Posts Tagged ‘prizes’

Raffle Prize Ideas Over $100

Friday, July 15th, 2011

If you can afford to spend over $100 on a raffle prize, congratulations! You should have no problem offering a prize that will tempt people to buy your raffle tickets. There are of course almost a limitless number of possibilities once you get up into higher budget brackets, but here are just a few ideas, some that are not too far-fetched, and some really luxurious prizes.

  • Cash—Who can resist a hefty cash prize? Paying even as much as $10 for a raffle ticket when you might be rewarded with $500 doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. If you offer a large cash prize and are going to be charging a fair amount for tickets, though, make sure to offer some smaller, runner-up prizes, too.
  • Computers—Computers or computer peripherals make great prizes. A brand new laptop sounds good to just about any demographic. To really lure ticket buyers, consider raffling off some of the newest tech, like an iPad. It’s something many people wouldn’t buy outright, but would love to win.
  • Electronics—There are of course many other types of electronics you can raffle as well. Smart phones, GPS devices, ebook readers and MP3 players are just a few of your options.
  • Event tickets–We mentioned event tickets in our post on raffle prizes under $100, but if your budget’s a little bigger you can get tickets to more expensive events or offer premium seats or elite access.
  • Travel—And now we get into REALLY premium prizes. Travel is of course a popular prize for many types of contests. You could pick a popular destination such as Hawaii, a unique experience like an overnight train trip down the Pacific coast, or an adventurous getaway like a whitewater rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. The key here is to know your audience and pick an appropriate prize.
  • Cars—If you want to offer a car as a raffle prize, it’s going to involve some serious money or a very generous donation. You’ll also have to weave your way through the vagaries of tax law. So you’ll need to consider carefully before opting for this one.
  • Houses—A dream house of course couldn’t be left off the list. They’re very popular prizes these days and bound to draw ticket buyers. However, house raffles can be even more problematic than car raffles, and many states have specific laws about this particular prize.

Whether you decide to raffle off a house or a computer, there are bound to be people who won’t be particularly interested in that specific prize, no matter how much it’s worth. So our final word of advice is to offer a cash option to your winners.

Raffle Prize Ideas Under $100

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

When you hit the $100 range for your prize budget, you can offer some really attractive items. Here are just a few of the awesome things you can offer to tempt people to buy your raffle tickets.

  • Small Appliances–Almost any group of potential raffle ticket buyers is likely to have some gourmands or home chefs in it. That makes small appliances a great prize idea for almost any organization running a raffle. I know I’d buy a ticket for a chance at a cappuccino machine, breadmaker or juicer.
  • Jewelry/Watches–If you’re organization’s audience is largely female, go for some nice jewelry. If male, opt for a watch. There are plenty of beautiful options out there for either that will keep you under $100, from pearl earrings to diamond pendants to Seiko watches.
  • Electronics–There are lots of cool gadgets and electronic accessories out there in this price range. Some options include iPod docks, mini camcorders and even some Blu-Ray players.
  • Tools–If you’ve got a do-it-yourselfer audience, tools are an ideal idea. Check out power drills, dremels and soldering equipment, all within your budget.
  • Cookware–Some deluxe cookware makes a nice addition to anyone’s kitchen. Appeal to your audience with cookware sets, canners, dutch ovens and griddles galore!

If none of these strike your fancy, see our posts on prizes in the $25 and $50 ranges as well.

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.

Raffle Prize Ideas Under $25

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Raffle prizes don’t have to be expensive. Yes, it’s fantastic if you can afford to raffle off a car, a house or a large amount of cash. But there are plenty of great prize ideas for every raffle budget. This is the first in a series of posts giving suggestions for raffle prizes for specific budgets. Here are some great suggestions for prizes under $25:

  • Movie Tickets–A pair of tickets to a nearby movie theater makes a great raffle prize. Offer tickets to a specific movie if you know your audience well enough or buy an open-ended pass that the winner can use to see a movie of his choice.
  • DVD–If you choose a DVD for a prize, the winner can continue to enjoy it year after year. To make the prize feel a little more substantial, throw in some candy or microwave popcorn.
  • Gift Certificates–You can raffle gift certificates to restaurants, stores or local attractions. When choosing among your options, make sure that the amount you put on the card will buy the winner something substantial. In other words, don’t raffle off a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant that charges $40 for an entree.
  • Toys–Toys are a particularly good prize if your raising money for anything having to do with kids. They’re also particularly attractive to ticket buyers around the holidays. Find out what the latest fads are (silly bands were popular recently) and tempt those parents!
  • Books–Books can be expensive these days, so if you buy new you may only be able to offer one and still keep the price under $25. However, you can often find second-hand books that look just like new at used book stores or online. Choose a theme and offer a few as a package.
  • Alcohol–Most adults would enjoy a good bottle of wine, beer or liquor as a prize. You can get a very nice bottle of domestic wine for under $25, almost any six pack of beer and many bottles of spirits.

Whatever prize you choose, don’t forget that frequently businesses are willing to donate to a good cause. It doesn’t hurt to ask before shelling out the cash. If someone does donate, don’t forget to give them credit on your raffle tickets!

Taxes on Raffle Prizes

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

So that $5 raffle ticket really paid off and you’ve won a really valuable raffle prize—money, a car, a house. Congratulations! However, be aware that that raffle prize can bite you in the rear come tax time if you haven’t accounted for it. Believe it or not, raffle prizes are taxable, and when the prize is a big one, the amount you owe can come as quite a surprise.

Now we certainly don’t mean to rain on your parade. We want you to enjoy that prize to the fullest! But the best way to do that is by being fully aware of all the financial implications from the start. Otherwise that parade is likely to end in a thunderstorm come April. Money and prizes won through raffles count as gambling proceeds and must be reported on Form 1040. Of course, sometimes organizations will pay the taxes due as part of a prize, in which case, you’re in luck!

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.

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.

Fertility Raffle

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Just read this article about a couple who won a round of fertility treatments through a raffle. Not only that, but they conceived and now have a beautiful baby boy. Can you imagine the story they’ll have to tell that kid of his birth? Or better yet, how he as a small child will translate that story to friends? “Yeah, my mommy and daddy actually won me in a raffle.”

Raffling medical treatments strikes me a little funny. Just imagine the concept in another situation. A charity raffles off the money to pay for chemo treatments. Seems a bit cruel, doesn’t it? Great for the person who wins, but raffles have a lot of losers…. Of course, I don’t think raffling IVF treatments is likely to prove a forerunner to anything like that. But it does make me think about the fact that when choosing creative raffle prizes, one must always consider the implications.

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.