Race to the Finish Line: Managing Your Raffle Fundraiser
Profitable, memorable prize draws don't just happen. Like all successful fundraisers, they need to be organized. Someone - you - must plan out the details, foresee the unforeseeable, and stay on top of any catastrophes that strike. And planning is just the beginning: once you have the essentials of your raffle plotted out, efficient management on your part ensures the overall profitability of the program.
The more time you put in before your raffle, the easier you will find it to handle any unexpected setbacks. Attention to detail helps you ensure your overall success, and there are a lot of details to consider.
Ready to reach your goals? Start preparing now. Consider the following, which you'll want to get right, right from the beginning.
On Your Mark...
What's the big draw in your big prize draw? While you probably have patrons who will always support you, raffles allow you to attract a whole new level of donors. With prizes as a hook, you can spread your organization's message far and wide, gain new supporters, and even get big donations from people who aren't interested in your cause.
Great prizes are one of the top factors in a successful raffle.
Whether they are donated or bought with available funds, it is beneficial to have prizes in hand before you start selling tickets. Once you have your prizes, you can print and price your Raffle Tickets accordingly. Ticket pricing should reflect the perceived value of your prizes, not your costs.
Some organizations have had great success running two raffles concurrently. You can raffle off smaller prizes at perhaps a dollar a ticket for those who want to support you but can only afford small donations. At the same time, you can sell tickets for a cash raffle or new car for substantially more money.
- Print a description of the top 3 prizes on the ticket
- Determine how winners will claim their prizes
- Take into account how to transport large prizes
- You can offer more than 3 prizes! More prizes=more ticket sales
With prizes as a hook, you can spread your organization's message far and wide, gain new supporters, and even get big donations from people who aren't interested in your cause.
Some organizations have the cash to purchase prizes out of their own reserves, but most of us aren't that lucky. You may have to go around with your hat in your hand soliciting donations before you even begin. This is an excellent opportunity to spread the word, network among potential supporters, and turn your raffle into something surprising and magical.
How? Contact collectors, philanthropists, and local businesses to learn what they might be willing to donate. Search your organization's records, the Internet, and the phone book to generate a list of possible helpers. Then make appointments, dress yourself up, and go make your pitch.
Ask directly for donations of goods or services
Listen to all suggestions, no matter how unusual
Mention if these donations will be tax-deductible
Thank supporters for their time at the end of your meeting
Send thank-you notes to those who donate
- Discuss your mission statement
- Clearly state how you intend to use the profits from the raffle
- Offering potential donors free publicity is a great incentive
- On the Raffle Tickets themselves
- In your organization's newsletter
- On your website, blog, or homepage
- At the event where you will draw your winners