Posts Tagged ‘fundraising ideas’

Location-Centric Raffle Prizes

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Well here’s a fantastic idea: The Red Sox Foundation is raffling off a chance for golfers to take a swing at Fenway with Hall of Famer Jim Rice. The opportunity has to be darn near irresistible for Bostonians with a penchant for putting. The proceeds of the raffle go to the foundation itself, plus, if the golfer can hit a target out in center field a $50,000 donation will also be made to the charity in the winner’s name.

While this particular prize may not be one your organization can manage to offer, you can certainly generalize the prize IDEA and come up with something great along the same lines that you can offer. Is there a local landmark in your area? Or just a place that’s iconic to local residents? Offer them a chance to do something really unique in that location. Something that they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to try. You’ll be selling raffle tickets like there was no tomorrow.

Store Entrances: Prime Real Estate for Raffle Ticket Sales

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

There are quite a few ways you can go about selling raffle tickets to people who don’t know your organization. One of the best ways for small and large organizations alike is to set up a table at the entrance to a high-traffic location, like a large store or shopping center. Thankfully, this is fairly easy to pull off.

The first thing you need to do is talk to the owner of the location. Explain to them the cause you’re raising funds for as well as talk to them about times to set up a table. (Get them on your side, and they may even be willing to help out with some sort of matching donation.) Aim for times when lots of people will be visiting the location. For instance, if you’re setting up shop at a grocery store, sell tickets on Saturday afternoon or around rush hour during the week when people are making a quick stop for groceries on their way home.

Once you’ve gotten permission to sell, design your stand for success. Make clear, easy-to-read signs on all sides of the table from which large numbers of people are likely to approach. Most people will make the decision to buy or not before ever approaching the table. Explain the cause you’re raising money for as well as the cool prizes. Ask for people’s help.

Finally, make sure whoever mans your stand has a cheery disposition and enthusiasm for the cause. People are much more likely to approach and buy from a happy volunteer than a gloomy employee who’s been roped into it.

Raffle Prize Ideas Under $50

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

$50 is a great target price for a raffle prize if you’re running a smaller raffle or want to offer numerous prizes. It allows you to buy one relatively nice single item, or combine a few different things into a prize package. If bundling, take a look at our post on Raffle Prize Ideas Under $25 for suggestions.

  • Gift Baskets—If you’ve got at least $50 to play with, you can put together a very nice gift basket. Some ideas for themes include bath and body products, baby care items, food, school supplies, makeup, gourmet food and kitchen gear.
  • Tools/Supplies—This one’s closely related to gift baskets. If the people you’ll be selling most of your raffle tickets to have a similar hobby or profession, put together a collection of tools or supplies that appeals specifically to them. For instance, if you’re holding an art fundraiser, bundle together some brushes, pastels or other art supplies.
  • Games/Board Games—Many computer, board and other games are available for under $50. Even the most popular board games, such as Settlers of Catan, won’t blow your budget.
  • DVD Box Sets—You can get almost any TV series box set and some movie trilogies for under $50. HBO in particular has some great miniseries available.
  • Software—There’s some great software out there in this price range. Go for fun or go for useful. For the former, check out things like Living Cookbook, Family Tree Maker or The Complete National Geographic. The latest addition of Quicken, Norton AntiVirus or TurboTax would be good for the latter.
  • Gift Cards—Gift cards continue to be great at any price range. $50 could get someone a nice dinner for two or a super nice dinner for one!

Concert Tickets

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

This weekend I’m heading to see my favorite band in concert, and guess how I got the tickets? Yep, that’s right, a raffle. I’m ecstatic, because the concert was completely sold out. This is the first time I’ll have been to see them play in three years. I would have paid way more than the $5 I did for the raffle ticket.

This is why concert tickets (or event tickets of any type, for that matter) make such a fantastic raffle prize. If you’re located anywhere near a major city, there’s bound to be some concert or event that people are interested in going on at any time. You can pick the event to fit the group of people you plan to sell tickets to. Classical music, rock concerts, folk festivals—you name it. If you plan your raffle far enough in advance, you can buy tickets that will be sold out by the time it rolls around, and people will jump at the chance to win.

Even if the tickets are for a concert that’s not likely to sell out, people will buy them for a chance at a fun weekend they wouldn’t pay full price for. Throw in VIP passes to sweeten the deal if you think it needs it. Depending on the band or event, the organizers might even be willing to donate tickets for a good cause, or at least the VIP passes.

Instant Wine Cellar Raffle

Monday, December 13th, 2010

I just saw an article about a raffle going on in my hometown that I think is a fantastic idea: an instant wine cellar raffle. They’re raffling off two cases of premium wine to the lucky grand prize winner, plus a couple gift certificates to a local restaurant for runners up. As a wine-lover myself, I can’t think of a more fun prize to hop for for the holidays. One $5 raffle ticket, and I could create a wine cellar in one day.

And not only is this a fun idea for a prize, but it is totally customizable to your organization’s budget. If you have a good amount of money to lay out initially on prizes, you can either increase the number of bottles of wine included in the prize or buy better quality wines. Or, you could offer more prizes, so that more ticket holders have a chance at winning. If you’re lucky, you can even find individuals willing to donate a bottle of wine each toward the prize.

Attracting Sponsors

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Unlike with some other forms of fundraising, in order to host a raffle you need to have some money budgeted to begin with. If you really want people to buy your raffle tickets, you need to be able to offer attractive prizes which means spending some cash long before you see any return on your efforts. However, if you put some careful thought into your raffle beforehand, you can often find ways to reduce this initial outlay.

One significant way to save money on your prizes is to find sponsors for your raffle. Individuals or organizations willing to donate their time, money or products to your cause. Of course, the more worthy they consider the cause, the easier this will be. If you’re a non-profit organization, it’ll probably be a lot easier to find sponsors. But you can also create incentive for sponsors by giving them something more in return for their generosity than just your sincere thanks. One very easy way to do this is to include your sponsors’ names on the raffle tickets themselves. This shouldn’t cost you any extra, and it gives your sponsors free advertising. Their name will reach as many people as your fundraising does.

Cow Chip Raffle

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Oh, in my posts on raffle twists, how could I have forgotten the time-honored cow chip raffle? Running across this article this weekend reminded me of this unique way of picking raffle winners. The middle school I attended used to hold one of these yearly. Basically, the raffle organization paints a grid on a big field, numbering each space in the grid and selling tickets with corresponding numbers. Then you simply let some well-fed cows loose on the field, and voila! They choose your raffle winners for you by their own natural processes.

This is just another example of how creative you can get with your process for choosing raffle winners. Come up with some innovative way of picking a winner, tying the method to the organization you’re raising funds for. If you’re an agricultural or animal rights organization, the cow chip raffle’s a great choice.

Raffle Twists

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Over the years, people have come up with many creative twists on the traditional raffle. Using one of these variations can provide novelty for participants and hosts alike. After all, a traditional raffle is old hat to just about everybody on the planet. Here are a few of the variations that I’ve run across and that you might consider.

  • 50-50 Raffle: This one’s nothing more than the split-the-pot raffle often run at high school sporting events. Participants buy raffle tickets and all of the money collected is added together. The holder of the winning raffle ticket splits that money with the organization running the raffle.
  • Door Prize Raffle: I call this one a door prize raffle because every single participant who doesn’t “win” gets a sort of door prize gift anyway. Bags or other containers are filled, each with either a door prize (one suggestion is to use candy) or a number inside. They are all wrapped alike, and the contents are muffled with tissue paper or other material to disguise them. Participants purchase the containers, and at a given time they are all opened together. Those who have chosen numbers choose from the prizes in the order indicated by their numbers (1, 2, 3, 4…).
  • Reverse Raffle 1: There are a few types of raffle that are sometimes called reverse raffles. The first variation involves first choosing a prize that no one will want–a donkey, an hour of watching grass grow, having to stand on stage and wear a leotard while singing a song–whatever. Then everyone that comes to the event or is involved in the organization is given a raffle ticket, free. The only way to get out of the raffle is to sell your raffle ticket back to the host organization.
  • Reverse Raffle 2: Another common variation on the reverse raffle involves a real prize–one that people will actually want. The twist is that instead of giving the prize to the first number drawn, you give it to the last ticket remaining. To add to the drama, when you get down to the last few remaining candidates, you can give them the choice of splitting the prize between them or continuing to draw numbers.

Raffling Off the President

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Well, not strictly speaking. As far as I’m aware, the President will be staying snugly ensconced in his current domicile. But the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) are raffling off a chance to meet President Barack Obama. I’d say this one-ups the calf-roping lesson with the lieutenant governor I wrote about last month. Also included in the prize ticket is the opportunity to watch a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. All you have to do is donate to the campaign before midnight tonight.

By this maneuver, the campaign gets not only your money, but also your contact information. I’d be curious to see how this tactic works for the DSCC. Will they get more small donors than usual? I can hardly think this raffle would tempt anyone into a large donation they did not otherwise intend to make. But again it does help them get contact info. A perfect time for another reminder that it’s always important to know your goals when throwing a raffle. It can be much more than a fundraiser. It’s a great three-in-one device for getting money, phone numbers and raising awareness for a cause. Keep that in mind when designing both your raffle tickets and your publicity campaign.

Get Creative with Raffle Prizes

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

When planning your raffle, don’t be afraid to get creative with the prizes. Many small organizations limit themselves to the small prizes that everyone expects–gift certificates, gourmet baskets, electronics, power tools and other such items. However, the more creatively you can think for your prizes, the more interest, hype and money your raffle will draw. Selecting the prizes for your raffle is a great opportunity to think outside the box. Ask yourself a series of questions as you think up your raffle prizes: What unique services do people involved have to offer? What kind of interesting packages could we put together? Who do I know that might be willing to make a donation of time? What kind of open-ended prizes could we offer?

Such questions will lead your thinking away from more traditional, tangible prizes that ticket buyers could simply purchase for themselves. If you’re having trouble getting started with this type of creative thinking, run a Google search to see what types of prizes other organizations have offered. If you do a news search, you’ll come across some of the more intriguing ideas that have come up recently. While many of the prizes that make the news may be too expensive for your organization to offer, think about how you might scale them down. For instance, I just saw a news article talking about a raffle that’s offering an all-expense-paid trip to Oktoberfest in Munich. This is a grand prize indeed, but a smaller organization could offer something more local. How about a trip to a nearby state park, with transportation, meals and a guided tour included?

In the end, any kind of value-added prize will prove much more of a draw than something you’ve simply bought at the store. The more unique a raffle prize is, the more attractive it will be. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Guided tours
  • All-expenses-paid outings
  • Service-oriented prizes (a day of housecleaning or landscaping)
  • Customizable prizes (the opportunity to commission artwork or a gift certificate to the restaurant of the winner’s choosing)
  • Unique opportunities (a day with a local celebrity or the chance to fly a plane)