Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Designing Your Raffle Tickets

Monday, December 6th, 2010

If you buy pre-printed, standardized raffle tickets for your event, they do nothing more for you than to identify the ticket buyer with the ticket stub when it is drawn. Custom raffle tickets, on the other hand, allow you to get creative and communicate much more to your audience. Our standard tickets allow you nine lines of text. Think about how many things you could include in that space. And if you need more than nine lines, we’re happy to oblige–just fill out the “Optional Features” section of our order form. This section also allows you to request text on the backs of your tickets.

So what exactly should you put on your tickets? Well, of course you’ll want to start with the name of your organization or the specific event. We’d also suggest you include the date of the prize drawing, plus information as to whether or not the ticket buyer needs to be present at the drawing to win. This is simple courtesy and very helpful to your buyers. But adding other types of text can be even more beneficial to you. In order to get others who might see the tickets interested in the raffle, consider listing the top few prizes on the tickets, as well as the ticket prices (1 for $1, 6 for $5, etc.).

You can also get your logo or another image printed on your tickets. How better to brand your raffle event than to make sure that everyone who purchases your tickets sees your logo every time they look at the stub? We’ll even send you a proof of your tickets so that you can make sure that your artwork prints correctly before we ship your entire order.

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.

Bulk Ticket Sales

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

One easy way to boost ticket sales for your organization’s raffle is to offer a discount on tickets when customers buy them in bulk. Offer 1 ticket for $1, 6 tickets for $5, 12 for $9, etc. The larger the number of tickets sold in a batch, the better the discount should be. You can afford not to make as much on each ticket, because you know you’re selling more tickets and your expenses for the raffle are already set. Printing more tickets costs you next to nothing. People will look at the larger batches of tickets as a better deal, and will also consider they have a better chance of winning the prize. If someone wants to buy an unexpectedly large batch of tickets, offer them a special price.

Another way to increase ticket sales is to offer customers a certain number of free tickets if they sell tickets to others. For instance, if someone sells 10 tickets to friends and family, give them a couple of free ones. This will get you a cheap distribution force as well as increase your sales. Just make sure to assess how many tickets you can afford to give away. An easy way to do this is to go by your bulk discount prices. If someone sells 5 tickets at $1 each, then give them one free ticket. To you, this is the equivalent of selling 6 tickets for $5, just as with the bulk sales.

Earning Raffle Tickets

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

The political raffle I wrote about back in August got me thinking about other ways for people to earn raffle tickets rather than buying them. No one ever said that a raffle ticket needs to be given in exchange for cash. For that political raffle, people earned raffle tickets by handing in names of prospective voters. What other types of effort or information might be worth offering raffle tickets for?

It occurred to me that sometimes more than money, non-profits and other organizations need man-hours. For example, do you have a community garden project that you’re trying to get going, but just don’t have enough people working on it to get underway? Offer raffle tickets in exchange for a certain amount of work. The prize could be garden tools, produce from the garden, seeds, or something completely unrelated. Or does your company need market research information? Offer raffle tickets to people who fill out surveys for you.

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)

Advertising Your Raffle

Monday, August 30th, 2010

When planning a raffle intended to be a significant fundraiser, it’s very important to advertise it properly. This is one aspect of running a raffle that many organizers forget or neglect. But if you don’t advertise well, you won’t enjoy the highest level of success. Think about it–if nobody knows about your raffle, how can they buy tickets? Many organizations don’t go beyond word-of-mouth advertising to promote their raffle. This is a great way to get the word out, but you really need to explore some more avenues to earn the most money for your enterprise.

Of course, the methods you use to advertise your raffle will depend on the cause you’re raising money for. For instance, if you’re running a school raffle you’ll probably focus on local channels, whereas for a national non-profit organization, you’d want to use channels that had a much wider audience. So start by thinking of that audience. Who are they, and how do they get their news? Where do they shop? What websites are they likely to visit? By asking yourself these questions, you can get a fairly good idea of where you ought to advertise. Some ideas include:

  • School and community message boards
  • Grocery stores and other local retailers
  • Local radio stations
  • Local television channels
  • Newspapers, local or national
  • Your website
  • Enthusiast websites (e.g. environmental websites if you’re an environmental NPO)
  • Flyers and bumper stickers
  • Email lists

Raffles and the Law

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Before you go ahead and start planning your raffle, make sure to look into your state’s gambling laws. I just read an article about a Utah community that was planning to raise money for a new police dog by selling raffle tickets. Unfortunately, they failed to take into account that the state’s strict gambling laws forbade raffles. Now, these folks had the best of intentions. Their county needed a new drug-sniffing dog and this seemed like a harmless way to raise the necessary funds. But the law is the law.

So do a little research before you launch your raffle. In many states, raffles for charities are legally allowed, considered on the same level as state lotteries. In other places, like Utah apparently, they’re a no-go no matter what the cause. The relevant laws are legislated by the state. Simply Google your state and raffle laws. The information is often on the website of the state attorney general, though in some states, like Kentucky, a separate government department may exist to handle charitable gaming laws.

Political Raffle

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Here’s a new one to me. I just read a news article out of Austin Texas about a political candidate who’s trying to use a raffle to glean information about likely Republican voters. The campaign is offering raffle tickets to supporters who submit contact information for voters who might support the campaign. The idea is an innovative one.

Of course, it’s not far off from all of those raffles for cars you see in malls that are run for the sole purpose of getting consumer contact information. An interesting twist is that the campaign is tailoring the prizes to their constituency, hoping to narrow down the type of information that is submitted and weed out random submissions in that way. The prizes include meals with prominent Republicans, a lesson in marksmanship and a calf-roping lesson with a lieutenant-governor.

This could be turned into a good strategy for many organizations hoping to raise money through a raffle. Take a lead from this campaign and customize your prizes to your audience. Say you’re environmental group trying to get the word out about buying locally. Offer prizes like a membership to a CSA, a personal tour of a local farm or a year’s supply of locally-raised, grass fed beef. Not only could you sell more tickets to those who are already interested in your cause, prize winners who are not as familiar with locally grown food will get a first hand experience.

Car Raffles

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

A big prize like a car requires a big raffle.  If you are looking to raise a whole lot of money for your organization, choosing a car as your raffling prize is definitely the way to go.  There are a few things you have to consider though when you are throwing a car raffle.  They are not the easiest raffles to put together.

Most organizations offer a cash prize in place of the car if the winner decides he/she does not want the car.  Also, it’s a good idea to offer a few smaller cash prizes to help you sell more tickets for your organization.  What you don’t want to come across as is one of those car raffles that they hold in almost every mall in America.  You are not out to steal people’s addresses, you are out to raise money for a good cause and you need to make sure people know that.

The car you choose needs to be a desirable car, not just any car.  You will want to work with a dealer to get this car, and offer them lot’s of free advertising to be able to get a good deal on the car.  A plus to going with a dealer is that you can use their client base as possible raffle ticket buyers by mailing them a letter about the raffle and keeping the car your raffling off, along with a sign for your raffle, in their show room where a lot of people will see it.   These are just a few things to consider.

Good Raffles Are Hard to Find

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

It’s been hard coming up with some unique raffle ticket selling ideas.  Its easy to go the traditional route, and just visit schools and churches that are sure-fire customers.  However, in this economic climate its necessary to search new horizons and expand the client base.  As stated in previous blogs, I’ve explored selling tickets to restaurants and non-profit organizations.  I have a few tips on how to come up with good raffle ticket selling ideas.

First, its necessary to find a need that any business has.  One of those needs typically is gaining new customers.  If you can find a way to bring in more customers for them, most businesses are open to hearing your idea.  Secondly, the idea needs to work for both you and your client.  No business wants to hear an idea that only benefits you and your business.   You have to work to find a way that you raffle idea will benefit them in a significant way.  Lastly, your idea needs to financially stable for both you and your client.  Needless to say, this quite hard to do in this economic climate.  Almost every risk you take financially has the potential to leave you broke.  But risks are necessary, and its important to remind not only your client of that fact, but yourself as well.

Ideas are always there to be found, you just have to persistent and hard-working enough to find them.  Be open to other people’s ideas as well.  Talk to people in your community about your ideas and get feed back from them about what they think.  Also, get feedback from your clients about how your ideas are working for them.  There is always room to improve and grow.