Planning a Raffle Fundraiser: A How-To Guide

Are you planning a charity fundraiser? Looking for a dynamite way to attract more people to your next event, all while helping your community (and the charity of your choice)? Then a raffle may just be the “ticket” to success. Fun, cheap, effective, and marketable, raffle fundraisers are a popular option for adding a little risk and entertainment to your planned night of festivities. However, more than anything else, they are widely known as one of the most effective and least risky fundraiser opportunities that you can organize! Truly, if you’re looking for a fun and cheap centerpiece to your event, you simply can’t go wrong with a raffle fundraiser! You might even decide to purchase (at a discount) a higher ticket experience that can generate a meaningful donation.

Of course, planning a raffle – though it may seem simple – takes time, organization, and plenty of effort, which is why TravelPledge.com is here to help you through every step of the way! Keep reading for our guide on planning your next raffle fundraiser!

What is a Raffle?

The concept behind a raffle is simple: guests purchase tickets at a certain price each in hopes of winning one or more prizes offered by the organization. The proceeds from these raffles are then donated to charity. Ranging from small, intimate gatherings to large events with dozens to thousands of people, raffles can be held by any size organization – particularly if done correctly! In fact, as mentioned before, raffles offer near unlimited potential for success, as they are low cost and can bring good exposure to your organization and the event you are organizing. All you need to do is sell the tickets, market your event, and dot your I’s and cross your t’s, and you are sure to have a fantastic night!

Legal Disclaimer

Before we really get started, it’s important to remember one thing. While enjoyable – and mostly innocent – raffles are considered gambling ventures, and are thus subject to state gambling laws. Unfortunately, depending on the state you live in, this can mean a variety of things – including obtaining a charitable gaming license or permit, as well as a limit on the total value of the prizes.

Because gaming laws are so obtuse and different throughout the United States, we recommend you procure legal assistance when setting up your fundraiser! Though it may raise the overhead of your event, a legal representative will make certain you’re in the green when it comes to determining who can buy your tickets, what you offer as prizes, which records you need to keep (extremely crucial), and much, much more! You don’t want to endanger your organization or the funds you raise, and you definitely don’t want to go through a drawn out legal battle as a result of a missed statute or law – so, be prepared, apply and register for your gaming license, follow the rules that you already do know, and lawyer up!

1.       Getting Started

Getting the Raffle Started

Now that you have your legal team ready, and you know you’re operating within the laws of the state, it’s time to get working on planning your event. But, before you start buying your prizes and marketing the event, it’s important to get the framework in place:

Set Your Scope

Before you do anything, it’s important to sit down and decide where you’re going with this event. Are you a national company with large stakes throughout the US? Then you may want to shoot for a full statewide campaign with a high budget and a near unlimited demographic. Chances are, however, you aren’t on that level, and thus need to operate on a smaller scale – perhaps throughout your community, or even just your neighborhood. This scope will help you determine how many tickets you need to sell to be successful, how big or opulent your prizes should be, and even the limits of your community in terms of your overall goals (if you need to sell more tickets than how many live in your community in order to be successful, your scope may change, as may your definition of “success).

Set your Budget and Costs

Not only should you estimate how much money you plan on how much money you hope to make (for your charity, of course), it’s also extremely important to estimate a rudimentary cost map for your fundraiser. Make sure to include the following in your budget map:

·         Cost of Legal Services

·         Printing Services

·         Accounting and Auditing

·         Marketing

·         Prize Costs

·         Event and Venue fee

·         Event catering costs

·         Web development

·         Employee payment (if needed)

·         Stage rentals (if needed)

Price your Tickets

Once you have an estimate of what these will set your organization back, you can determine how many tickets you need to be successful and adjust your ticket price based on that. This can be done with a simple calculation: Your Desired Fundraising Result + Costs = Your Ticket Sales goal. This ticket sales goal will allow you to determine how much each ticket should cost, as well as how many tickets you need to sell in order to be successful; however, you also need to keep in mind the marketability of your event when creating these ticket cots as well. Here are just a few further tips that should help you determine the price of your tickets:

·         Balance your Ticket Price and the Prize Cost: If you have a huge prize – such as a house or an all-expenses paid trip to a luxury vacation (such as the one’s found at TravelPledge.com) you can be justified in charging a hefty amount. However, if you are offering smaller prizes, this requires a much smaller ticket price – never overprice your tickets, just because you need the extra funds.

·         Keep Odds of Winning in Mind: If you have Thousands of people participating with only one prize – regardless of how big – you may want to temper the prize cost. Lotto tickets are a good example here – though the prize at stake may be $50 million, tickets are still only sold at $3.00 apiece (or less) because the chances of winning are so low. If you wish to charge more, add secondary prizes or make the chances of winning a bit higher!

·         Don’t Forget your Audience: If your charity raffle takes place in a small, underprivileged community, you are going to have a very hard time charging high priced tickets and getting the sales your event needs. Either alter the price of your raffle tickets, or change the scope and the prize you are offering! Not every raffle needs to offer the raffle prize of a lifetime!

·         Money to Lose, not Money to Spend: Remember; this is a gambling venture; the price of your tickets should be what people are willing to lose, not spend! Sweeten the pot, make the odds interesting, choose a good prize, and balance the ticket price amongst all those factors; this is the secret to making a truly successful raffle!

Create your Timeline

Just as you need a roadmap of costs and possible returns, you also must have a drawn out timeline of when each task should be completed. This will help you plan which day your event will be on, as well as allot time needed to sell a successful amount of tickets. Remember; not giving your event the time to sell sufficient tickets is a fatal error many event organizers often commit! So, do not skip this step, and keep these tips in mind when creating your event timeline:

·         Overestimate Time Needed: Even the best laid plans go awry, so estimate the amount of time needed for each step, then add on to that for unexpected overages!

·         Don’t Forget the Inefficiencies of Government: Unfortunately, applying for gambling licenses can take a bit longer than the estimated 30-60 days you’ll see advertised. So, if your timeline depends on waiting for state approval, make sure to overestimate your timeline even further.

·         Base your Time on How Many Tickets you Need to Sell: Are you only selling upwards of 1,000 tickets? Plan for a smaller time frame then. Selling 5,000 tickets or more? Make sure to allot the time necessary to get those tickets sold. The more tickets you need, the more time you’re going to have to allow in order to get them sold, so keep that in mind when you plan this step

·         Marketing Limits: If you’re going above and beyond to create a website and a full marketing team, don’t underestimate the amount of time this can take. Get this started over a year before the planned event, so you can have all elements in place when the time is right.

·         Plan ALL Important Dates: Once you have your goals set, your general timelines complete for preparation, and you have your government and legal aspects perfectly planned out, it’s time to set some dates! Choose the drawing date based on all of these factors – as well as whatever event you happen to be planning (or plan on piggy-backing upon, if you are simply associating your raffle with an already scheduled event). Also make sure to schedule the following tasks and their dates:

a.       Marketing Begins

b.      Raffle Game Organized and Planned

c.       Volunteers Enlisted

d.      Sales Begin

e.      Venue Booked

f.        Permits Taken Care of

g.       Prizes Purchased (or Donated)

                                                               i.      Vacation prizes – such as the ones offered at TravelPledge.com – need not be purchased early on.

h.      Drawing Date

Once all this is planned and scheduled out, it’s time to start deciding what your raffle will actually include!

2.       Choosing your Prizes

Picking your Prizes

Question: What is a raffle without a killer prize? Answer: A really dull time!

This is why you need to put plenty of thought into which prizes you get well before you begin marketing your event! However, it’s also important to remember that choosing your prize isn’t just about making your event attractive – it’s also about budgeting, your audience, and the scope of your raffle as a whole! Before we get into all that, the first thing you need to answer is this:

What prize would you want to win?

Would you like a car? A house? Money? An experience? All of these are fantastic ideas, and can be the high priced ticket item you are looking for. Here are some other ideas to keep in mind that are both popular and proven to be a hit at most raffles:

·         Vacation Packages: Everyone wants to get away, and the opportunity to win a chance to do so can make your raffle exceedingly desirable. TravelPledge.com offers the ability to do precisely that! See example of a high quality vacation and the money you can raise.

·         Cash: Everyone likes cash, and the chance to win a singular monetary amount is always a great draw to any raffle!

·         Cars: Looking for something pricey and eye-popping? Cars can be the luxury items that get people excited for your event!

·         Once in a Lifetime Experiences: From golf lessons from everyone’s favorite pro, to Courtside tickets at the Lakers game, experience packages are always a huge draw for charity raffles

·         Gift Cards: Easy, quick, and possibly cheap, gift cards can be the small ticket items that fill out your roster – on top of the big ticket prize.

·         New Electronics: Everyone’s on the lookout for the latest and greatest technological marvel, so why not let it headline your raffle? If nothing else, it’s a fantastic eye catcher.

Don’t forget to offer a “Cash in Lieu of Prize” option, in case participants desire the cash value of the prize more than the prize itself!

Of course, we’d all love to give away a car and a house at all our raffles; however, deciding which prizes are right for your event and audience is just as important as making the prize you choose desirable. Just keep these tips in mind when picking your prizes:

·         Big Ticket Prizes Require Big Ticket Sales: If you want to offer a car, all the power to you. But, you need to be able to sell thousands of tickets at prices your community may not be able to sell. If you’re of a limited capacity in terms of ticket sales and price barriers, electronics, gift cards, and other smaller prizes may be better for you.

·         Don’t Make Alcohol a Prize: Limiting your audience to above the age of 21 can take a bite out of ticket sales; don’t do this, and keep to other more family friendly prize ideas.

·         Keep Track of Expenses: Is your organization paying for the prize? If so, how many tickets will you need to sell to cover those expenses? Can you get the item donated? These are just a few of the questions you need to answer when determining the prizes in your raffle. Answer them, and use them to help augment your budget as needed.

Tip of the Day: Be Creative when Obtaining your Prizes to Limit Costs and Improve Charity Returns

While you may be tempted to simply fund all prize purchases using organizational funds, this doesn’t have to be the case! Utilize your organization to see if anyone has anything they can offer to the prize pool! If you are signing on sponsors for the greater event, they too may have something to offer as a donation. Remember; ask, and you may receive; don’t ask, and you’ll never know. Delve into all possible corners – including neighboring business and other non-profits – before you start utilizing company funds.

Once you exhaust all free opportunities, make sure to take advantage of deals and auction sites to save a few bucks on all prizes you may be offering! TravelPledge.com, for instance, offers incredible deals on vacation packages, music lessons, and more – with many prizes on sale for less than MSRP! Better yet, 50% (or more!) of all proceeds from your purchase go right back to the charity you’re supporting, providing you with a much better option than most consignment deals (which normally only give your charity 10-20% back of purchase value)

Daily deal sites, like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Woot are also fantastic places to get quality prizes on the cheap – just make sure to do your research before purchasing!

3.       Printing the Tickets

Printing your Tickets

Let’s get one thing straight; though printing your tickets may sound like an easy thing to do, there is a ton to it that you simply cannot forget! Unfortunately, this is a step that is often overlooked, even though it can be one of the most important parts of implementing your fundraiser raffle!

While it may be easy to go to Kinko’s and print out thousands of tickets on the cheap, this is the completely wrong way to go about it for a variety of reasons. Not only is the ticket you provide valuable advertising space for your organization – especially since many people will buy and hold onto this ticket for quite some time, until the day of your event arrives – there are also plenty of legal and administrative things you need to include that can’t be overlooked. Not to mention, you want your tickets to look good, right? If so, then follow these steps:

What to Include for Legal and Record Keeping Purposes

The basic raffle ticket comes with two parts: the stub and the actual ticket (which the buyer keeps). These two parts both have a variety of information that must be filled out, else it could lead to confusing situations, mistakes, and worse – something that you absolutely must avoid, especially if you are organizing a large event! Even more importantly, many states have different regulations for what appears on your ticket; these include, but are not limited to:

·         The name of the non profit

·         Ticket cost

·         Legal Statements

·         Raffle License Number

·         Prizes awarded

·         Location of the Drawing

·         Date of the drawing

·         The buyer’s full name

·         The buyer’s phone number

·         The buyer’s address

·         And the Buyer’s email address

Make sure to check your state’s regulations to determine whether or not more items are needed to make your raffle legal (you may also need to include a “you need not be present to win” statement, and much, much more. Do your homework!)

What to Include for Marketing and Stylistic Purposes

You don’t just want to have a ticket that is filled with a bunch of random text, do you? Of course not; fortunately, there’s much you can do to make your tickets stand out, and it doesn’t even cost a lot of money! Here are just a few tips you should follow to ensure you get the most out of your tickets:

·         Go Professional: While printing at home may be cheap and easy, printer paper never looks professional – and doesn’t last. That’s why you should any one of the myriad print services online that allow you to design and print your tickets for cheap!

·         Don’t Forget to Advertise: As we’ve mentioned, these tickets are a great place to advertise – especially since many people will hold onto these for quite a while! Put your organization on the ticket itself, as well as your website (if you have one). This can turn your plain tickets into a fantastic marketing tool!

·         Use Card Stock, not Paper: Again, if you want your tickets to last, don’t use printer paper. Buy thicker card stock for a good impression AND so people are less likely to tear their tickets before the event.

·         Make the Raffle Number Visible: For easy price deliverance, don’t obscure the raffle ticket number – make it front and center, so there is no confusion!

·         Be Creative: From logos, to designs, to taglines, and more, there are plenty of things you can add to set your raffle tickets apart from the everyday carnival ride tickets. Just keep an open imagination!

Remember; even if you’re a small organization, a little bit of design and fun can go a long way. Don’t leave your tickets plain, you’ll be happy you didn’t!

 

4.       Planning the Actual Raffle

Planning the Actual Raffle

Now that you have your roadmaps, prizes, tickets, and budgets in place, it’s time to determine what you’re going to be doing at your raffle! Here are just a few questions you should answer before moving forward with the event!

Is it a Singular Event or Part of Something More?

First thing you need to decide is whether or not this event is a singular event or part of something more. If you plan on making the raffle drawing its own spectacle, don’t forget the following items:

Book a Great Venue: Every event needs a venue, so find a classy and enjoyable location for your fundraising raffle! Though event halls are obviously preferred, (upscale) parks and similar outdoor locations can also be enjoyable if you are a smaller organization working with limited funds.

Rent a Stage: The final event and presentation are important, and everyone wants to see the victor get their prize! That means renting a stage, not only to give your event an air of legitimacy, but also to provide a great vantage point for the presenter and the present-tee

Employ other Entertainment: If this is a large gathering, live music is always an enjoyable addition to an otherwise bland night. At the very least, a DJ and a playlist is always welcome

Purchase Food and Refreshments: Though you don’t always need full catering menus – although they are welcome – snacks and drinks are an absolute must for your raffle. Plan these into the budget, and make sure you don’t forget them!

Remember; the scope and theme of your event are important when planning the setting of your raffle. Small raffles may fit into a local restaurant, while boat raffles may be held at the marina (if you want the pleasure of seeing the winner step onto their new prize!). As always, plan this important step around what your event is – not just what you want it to be!

Adding Extra Incentives

Though a festive event and “the basics” are all well and good (sell your tickets, give prizes), if you want to make your raffle as memorable and marketable as possible, there are plenty of different tweaks you can make on the standard formula, such as:

·         Early Bird Drawings: If you want to inspire ticket sales from the first day, why not schedule prize drawings at regular intervals before the main drawing? These (mostly smaller) prize drawings can improve excitement, maintain the buzz, and ensure ticket sales throughout the period leading up to the final draw!

·         Secondary Prizes: Don’t limit your raffle to one big ticket prize! Spread the wealth and offer a variety of smaller prizes, in addition to your “crowd drawer”. This will allow guests to feel like they have more of a chance to win and thus improve ticket sales.

·         Multi-Ticket Drawings: Have special drawings for those who bought more than one ticket! This requires more prize purchases and, perhaps, an administrative effort on your end; but, it can spur ticket sales even more!

·         Kick-Off Promotions and Discounts: Though you certainly don’t want to lower your ticket prices to much, creating a special reduced price during the initial sales period can generate buzz and get the sales flowing! Just make sure this fits with your budget before deciding on utilizing it.

·         Multi-Ticket Discounts: Finally, multi-ticket discounts can easily persuade people to purchase more tickets and, thus, raise the hype level for your event to an even more gratifying level.

Just remember; this type of promotion only works if done correctly, with budget boundaries in mind! Don’t offer too many discounts if your event can’t afford it, and don’t give away tickets just because it builds buzz; if you do, you may find yourself clawing for more funds by the time the event is through.

5.       Marketing your Event and Selling Tickets

Marketing the Event and Selling Tickets

Even if you have the perfect prizes, the perfect tickets, and the perfect setup to your raffle, there’s still one major hurdle that you absolutely must clear before truly creating the perfect raffle fundraiser: this, of course, is marketing and selling your tickets! If people don’t know about your raffle, there’s simply no way you’ll be able to reach the level of success you desire; fortunately, we can help you build a plan that maximizes your potential. All it takes is a little work!

Start Small

Before you begin your major marketing campaign, it’s important to start with the (not so) little people. These are the people who already have donated to your cause, your friends, supporters of your organization, and other easily reached opportunities that you believe may be able to contribute. Send out pamphlets, emails, business cards, or postcards with your event’s information on it; or, just give them a call! These close-to-home opportunities can easily be among your most converted clientele, as they already know they support your cause! Though you won’t be able to sell your tickets out, you will at least be able to get a little boost – and some goodwill – by talking to those around you first.

Don’t forget to also reach out to your staff, board members, and volunteers and ask them to do the same; before you know it, you’ll have a solid group of sales before the real marketing has even begun!

Get Large

From here, it’s time to spread your marketing efforts beyond your friend circle and into the community at large. If you have a mostly local raffle that’s targeting only your community, there are a variety of low cost measures you can use to get the word out. These include community calendars, leaving stacks of business cards and fliers at local businesses and restaurants, billboards, direct mail, press releases, local event advertising, and much, much more. Just make sure to post your fliers everywhere you legally can, so your entire community knows what’s happening! Heck, even local radio and television stations may allow advertising, so do everything you can to make sure your community knows your raffle is upcoming.

Go Digital

If you have a larger marketing budget than a small market organization might, utilizing the internet for your marketing endeavors may be the best thing for you. Websites and internet marketing can put your fundraiser and raffle in front of targeted markets – including your home town – so you can get your event seen by the people who matter! Some common tools you can use include:

·         Pay Per Click Advertising: If you’re a large organization with tons of money to spend, pay per click advertising is perhaps the most effective advertising strategy you can use. Costs are easily managed by setting a daily spending limit, and you can use remarketing strategies – as well as intuitive location marketing strategies – to show ads only to those who may attend (for instance, you can show ads only to searchers who are in the town your event is taking place in)

·         Build a Website: Building a website or blog that outlines all necessary information about your event – including dates, rules, contacts, and even a shopping cart where people can buy tickets – can be instrumental in ticket sales. If you can’t afford this but already have access to your organization’s website, creating an event page on there can also be a great strategy

·         Email Blasts: Does your company have a long list of clients and customers signed up to a newsletter or email list? If so, utilize that list to send updates about your event, as well as all the information they may need (and a URL to buy tickets from, if you offer it). This is a direct and easy way to get the word out across your demographic, particularly if you already have this email list set up!

·         Events on Facebook and Twitter: Don’t forget to create the event on Facebook or Twitter – utilizing your company’s Facebook, if possible – and invite all your fans! This personal strategy may be ignored more often than not, but it provides you with yet another location to put your event information!

·         Press Releases: Online press release sites are cheap and easy to use. Just write up a description of your event – including location and date details – and send it across the world wide web!

More Legalese

Though we have mentioned online shopping carts and advertising a few times in this section, purchasing raffle tickets online still counts as “online gambling” and can be illegal in your state. Check on your state statutes to see if you can utilize these strategies; if not, you may still be able to display event details and send notifications online, though advertising gambling via the internet may also be illegal in many cases.

Selling Your Tickets

If you have laws against selling tickets online, that’s okay! Sometimes, the in-person touch is just what you need to really go that extra mile. All you need is a booth, some volunteers, and well-trafficked locales that are sure to get you the most exposure! Here are some tips on how to do all of the above:

·         Selling Through Volunteers: Though most of these will have to be through your organization, volunteers can help sell a significant amount of tickets through personal networks, workplace relationships, and more! Simply pass as many tickets out as you can to ALL your volunteers – including board members and organization leaders – and have them work as your in-person sales team!

·         Selling Through Public Booths: Ticket sales booths at grocery stores, festivals, events, and other public locations can be a raffle lifesaver – particularly if you put some work into the booth itself (and your sales-person techniques!) Just remember:

o   Always Have a Ticket Sales Both at your Event: If your event is more than just a raffle, offering the chance to buy tickets throughout the course of your event can make you tons more sales!

o   Showcase the Prize at your Booth: Whether you’re in a public place or at your festival, having pictures of the prize you’re offering (or the prize itself, if possible) can be instrumental in swaying those who are on the fence!

o   Keep a sealed box for All Ticket Stubs: Remember; tickets have two parts, the stub, and the ticket itself. You need to keep the stub, so have a sealed box where they can be kept! You should also be keeping track and making absolute sure all stubs are accounted for! Take detailed records, and do NOT misplace anyone’s stub – this is one of the most crucial points of ticket transactions!

o   Take Precautions with the Money: Unprotected money can make you a target; get a cash register, or a lock box to put all money from transactions in

o   Don’t be Passive: Volunteers should talk to all passerby’s and see if they’re interested in a ticket!

o   Be Noteworthy and Eye Catching: All booths who want to sell are more than just a table and tickets. Add some artwork, be creative, talk about your booth, and make yourself stand out! The more people notice you, the more tickets you will sell

o   Motivate your Volunteers: Utilize team-based contests, individual prizes, and competition amongst your volunteers to motivate selling! And remember; treat your sale’s team right, and they’ll treat your sales right.

 

6.       Crunch Time

Crunch Time

As the days wind on and your event comes closer, it’s important to make sure momentum continues and you eke out those last sales before the day of truth arrives! After all, with such a long sales period, it can be difficult to keep sales going the entire time – fortunately, there are some strategies that you can employ that are certain to help you meet those last minute goals! Just remember that excitement sells tickets, and keeping both ticket sellers and buyers excited about the event until it’s completely over can bring that last bit of success that you so desperately desire. Oh, and remember these tips as well!

Create Excitement and Urgency via Updates

Utilizing your email newsletters, social media, website, and blog, you can emphasize the last few weeks of your sale to create urgency. This plays upon potential ticket buyers’ desire to buy tickets now, rather than miss the opportunity as a result of procrastination, and normally creates a boost in ticket sales.

Be Relentless

Utilizing all our marketing strategies we already talked about, you can continue maintaining interest in your event (in addition to letting people know that it’s actually happening). Send emails with each passing week that the day is approaching, and use Facebook and Twitter to implement a countdown! Your website and blog can also be used to this goal. Just be sure to continually post critical deadlines, drawing information, how to purchase tickets, background information, pictures, and anything else you can to drum up interest and excitement; you don’t want to fade into the background!

Final Countdown and Real Time Reminders

Reminding people for up to a week before the deadline that your sales deadline is approaching can be a master stroke in improving your sales. In fact, many companies experience nearly half of their income a week before the sale’s deadline, while some even experience 40-60% from their last reminder!

Emphasize that Sales Are Going Well

If tickets are flying off the shelves and you’ve reached 80-85% of your sales goal, give real world numbers of how many people are now participating in your auction! Here at TravelPledge.com, we believe that awe-inspiring participation oftentimes persuades even the most skeptical of prospective buyers that your auction is worth it. However, if you are struggling to sell tickets, emphasize that “even if tickets are still available, there’s a limited time (or number) left for you to buy!” This too creates urgency, and a sense of “must have” in buyers who may not have finalized their purchase just yet.

Other tips:

·         Don’t Spam: Make sure to space out email blasts and social media updates, as not to annoy your fan base. No one likes spam, and sending too many emails may turn people away.

·         Utilize Email and Social Media Scheduling: Creating automated tweets, Facebook statuses, and email blasts can save you time and effort from doing it all manually!

·         Make your Updates Visually Appealing: Don’t just send a block of text; send pictures of your team having fun (as well as the prizes themselves), or make sure you have some logos or graphics on each of your emails or statuses.

Always keep in mind that it’s the quality of the message, not how many times you send it, that matters! If you do this, you will get that “end of sale” spike that your event truly needs!

7.       Final Preparations and the Day of the Event

Final Preparations and the Day of the Event

Finally, after all your hard work and planning, the day has arrived! Ideally your ticket sales goal has been reached, and it’s almost time for everyone to start filing into your well-decorated venue. Now, you can just sit back and watch the plans you have made come to fruition, correct? Well, no.

While you may almost be to the finish line, you’re not quite finished yet!

Before the raffle can end on that high note you so desperately desire, there are still some majorly crucial items that need to be crossed off the list. Fortunately for you, we have a checklist all written out so you don’t have to make one! Follow this checklist to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch!

ü  Verify your Event with All Professional Staff: Days before the event, make absolute sure all event planners, caterers, live musicians, and other staff are still able to make the event. If there are cancellations, find last minute replacements. Also, verify your reservation at the venue!

ü  Get a Ticket Drum: Tickets for the final drawing need to be put somewhere, and many states require official ticket drums depending on the size of your event. Check with your attorney to determine what the process is, and look online for full sized raffle ticket drums to

ü  Arrive Early with Volunteers and Make Sure the Venue is All Set Up: Do you have tables and chairs laid out? Is food and drink ready? Is your stage complete? Do you have ticket booths open for last minute sales? Have volunteers begin set up in

ü  Set Up the Award Stage: Make sure all essential equipment is in place, such as a microphone, a table, and a table for the ticket drum

ü  Set Up the Prize Display: Everyone likes to see what they’ve bid on, so display the prizes prominently on a dais in front of the stage. If you have a vacation prize – such as one from TravelPledge.com – then procure something that symbolizes the prize, such as a large picture or oversized tickets.

ü  Ensure Venue is Easily Traversable: If seating arrangements or placements aren’t obvious, set up an ushering system with your volunteers

ü  Make Sure your MC is Prepared for the Big Moment: If you hired a master of ceremonies, make sure all information they need is supplied, including the names of sponsors, the charity, and all those who need to be thanked.

The Drawing

Once all of your checklist is complete, the night can begin in earnest! Make sure the ticket is drawn by an official who has not purchased a ticket, then begin by thanking all who made the night possible. This includes volunteers, the charity, the board, your organization, sponsors, and contributors!

Then, it’s the winner’s time to shine! Draw the ticket(s), announce your winners, and your event is complete!

 

8.       Wrap-up and Conclusion

Wrap Up and Conclusion

Once all is said and done, the victor has their prize, and everyone begins to head out of the venue, it’s time to wrap things up. All you have to do is bring this long and arduous journey to a close with your supporters, your winners, your staff, and the law – then, you can start planning for next year!

Final Announcements

Though, at this point, you’ve already announced the winner, it’s important to give them just a bit more recognition. Post them on your site, feature them in your newsletter, and make sure everyone knows that they won something big! Not only does this give your winner something to smile about, it also sets the table for next year by giving all who see your newsletter a bit of that competitive nudge! Make sure to highlight the winner’s prize; you want all who might be willing to take place (and buy a ticket) next year to have the vision of that amazing prize burned into their collective memory!

Other important announcements you should make include final “Thank Yous” for all your sponsors and contributors – do so publicly AND in personalized thank you letters, for those who truly made the event happen – as well as the last farewell to all who participated.

Even More Legalese

Finally, after all the formalities are complete, you can discuss with your attorney one last time whether or not you have anything left to do. Many state and local gambling laws require documentation of the fundraising accounts, so count, collect, compile, and send all the needed information to the authorities within the necessary time frame! Don’t forget this step, or you could find yourself in needless legal trouble!

Conclusion

Creating and organizing a fundraiser raffle can be taxing and difficult; however, it can also be an awarding experience that generates a meaningful donation for your great cause! Follow the guidelines in this playbook, and your raffle is sure to be a success!. Create your TravelPledge account and you'll gain access to some fabulous experiences for your next raffle. Sometimes you don't have a lot of folks that want to cut a $7,000 check in attendance at your silent/ live auction event. There is an easy way to maximize your donations from the attendees that are there to cut much smaller checks but still want to support your organization... it's called a RAFFLE. There is a full guide to raffles here, and they can be quite productive for your organization!

 

9.       Example of Higher Ticket Experience Raising REAL Money

Here's an example of a vacation/experience that you can obtain at a meaningful discount and then sell raffle tickets. For example, purchase the discounted dove hunt (in Argentina!) highlighted below and then sell 200 raffle $50 tickets. This brings in a total of $10,000. Subtract your (greatly reduced thanks to TravelPledge) cost of this amazing experience ($3,650) and your organization just realized a net donation of $6,350.