Winning a Raffle; Part I

Our goal with this series is to prepare you to run a professional campaign to give you the best chance of meeting or surpassing your fundraising goals. HOW? You might ask – Easy. We have broken it down into 8 categories and will … Continue reading

What are Raffles?

Raffles are a way of raising money by selling tickets for a chance to win a prize. These tickets are then drawn at random to choose the winner.

Raffle’s date back to the beginning of human civilization. Even before tickets could be printed and way before you could hold an electronic drawing, The Old Testament states that Moses used a lottery to award land West of the Jordan to his people. Since then ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all ran some sort of raffles for themselves and their people.

The idea of using raffles to raise funds caught on strong after these pioneers first introduced raffles to their cultures. In today’s world, Raffle Ready has created an easy way to run raffles, while generating maximum profits.

Raffles usually require a lot of man power to process all of the donor/ticket data, however. For non-profit organizations, raffles are often the most effective fundraising method because everyone likes the chance to win a prize, while helping a good cause. However; many nonprofits struggle with a lack of time and resources needed to manage a raffle, that is why nonprofits across the country are turning to Raffle software programs to automate their raffle fundraiser. Next time your organization is considering running a raffle, calculate your complete raffle costs and call Raffle Ready to see how they can help.

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How to Decide on Ticket Pricing

A huge part of running a successful raffle is finding the right ticket prices. Your tickets must be cheap enough to attract a lot of buyers, but at the same time they need to cost enough for your organization to raise a lot of money. A third factor is the value of the prizes. One more thing to factor in is your target donor base’s financial situation. All of these things should be factored in when you are deciding on ticket prices. Your ultimate goal should be to reach to ticket sales goal that your organization has set.

When you start a raffle for your organization, your first instinct will probably be to offer tickets for a high price (say $50) so that if you sell the number of tickets you want to sell (say 1,000) you will end up with a lot of money ($50,000). The flaw with that is that it is very difficult to find 1,000 people who want to spend $50 each on a raffle ticket for a prize they don’t really want and/or an organization they don’t have much of a connection with. Now if your organization is raffling off a car or a house convincing people to buy tickets won’t be much of an issue. However, trying to convince people to spend $50 to potentially win a $250 gift card is not likely to be very successful.

The financial situations of your target donors are very important to factor in. If you are targeting corporate sponsors and major philanthropists you should be able to charge $50 a ticket and have a ticket package for 50 tickets for $1,000. The exact numbers aren’t important but my point is that if you have donors with very deep pockets you can get away with charging a lot and still sell plenty of tickets. However, if you are targeting individuals or families that don’t have those kinds of resources your prices and expectations will need to be much lower.

To sum it all up, deciding on the right ticket price for your raffle comes down to figuring out how much value your tickets actually have based on both the prizes that are being offered and how much people are willing to pay for them. You need to decide whether a higher price will deter too many people from buying and if a lower price will keep you from meeting your goals in terms of money raised. Finding the perfect balance between too high and too low should be your goal.

How to Optimize Ticket Sales

When running a raffle fundraising campaign, obviously the most important thing is ticket sales. Selling a lot of tickets should be the goal of the campaign because, well, you want to raise a lot of money for your organization. But there are many factors that can affect ticket sales including ticket price, what the prizes for the raffle are, and how well you market your campaign.

Finding the right ticket price is very important. If you charge too much for tickets fewer people will want to buy them, but at the same time if you don’t charge enough you could sell a large number of tickets but still find yourself falling short of your fundraising goals. You also need to factor in what your prizes are. If you are raffling off a car, for example, you can charge a lot for tickets and people will still be very interested in buying them. But if you are raffling off a smaller prize like $500 or tickets to a football game, your ticket prices are going to need to be much lower. But keep in mind that, unless your ticket prices are exorbitantly high, the more attractive the prize, the more people outside your regular donor base will be interested in buying tickets.

You should also utilize larger ticket packages that will give the buyers more bang for their buck. For example, if one ticket costs $10 then you can sell three for $25 and/or 7 for $50. These packages raise more money at no extra cost to your organization. All you need to do is add in more tickets for that donor.

Good marketing also plays a major part in optimizing ticket sales. Reaching a large number of potential donors who aren’t already connected to your organization should be top priority. Your organization should utilize every resource at its disposal to spread the word about your raffle. Everything from putting up signs around the area to sending out a mass email to going door to door can help reach new sources of funds.

One of the most important factors in a successful fundraiser is volunteers. If your organization has dedicated, energetic, and motivated volunteers your organization should have much greater success in reaching a wider donor base and bringing in a lot more ticket sales. Volunteers who are excited about the project they r working on will spread their enthusiasm and it should give you a boost. Also, you should try to optimize your usage of your volunteers to maximize the value you get from them. For example, if one of your volunteers is very good at sales you should use them for phone banking if you are using that. And you can offer rewards to your volunteers for selling “x” amount of tickets or raising “x” amount of money.

Another good idea to help improve ticket sales is to use an online raffle or fundraising site. There are many websites that offer online fundraising help. Each one of them is tailored differently, and you should try to find one that best fits your organization’ needs. Most of the sites aren’t really tailored for raffles, so make sure you find one that is or that at least has some kind of raffle support. The prices of those sites are usually a percentage of the money raised through them, and a few are even free. But as I said before, make sure the site you use fits your organization’s raffle needs. The best sites should be able to increase your ticket sales while still lowering administrative costs. So if you are going to use one finding the right one is crucial.

If your organization is ever going to be running another raffle or another fundraiser in the future, it is crucial for your organization to record the contact information of everyone who bought tickets in your current raffle. This way you have a great database of people who you know are interested in supporting your organization to use for future fundraisers. This will definitely enable your organization to raise more money down the road.