Steps to Maximum Raffle Success
To encourage participation in a raffle fundraiser hosted by a nonprofit organization seeking to raise funds nonprofit can begin by selling tickets at the low, affordable price of one dollar per ticket. Let’s assume the fundraiser is to raise funds for a program that connects foster youth with mentors and resources they may need to encourage them to stay in school. Word of mouth communication to community members and other stakeholders will certainly augment knowledge of the event, but social media must also be utilized. Devising a method to provide ticket stubs via the web may be considered. Through Facebook, Twitter, the organization’s home website, YouTube, and other online forums relevant to disseminating information about the organization, news of the fundraiser can be announced. The organization should also produce a low-cost video message explaining the purpose of the raffle and feature past beneficiaries of the foster child mentor program giving their testimonials (foster children, mentors, foster parents, adopted children, adoptive parents, as well as birth parents reunited with their children).
If the raffle is to last one month, at the end of each week, ticket buyers can be motivated to purchase additional tickets each week via a prize drawing separate from the final grand drawing, thereby having five chances to win a prize instead of only one. Based on the number of tickets a participant has purchased, his or her ticket(s) can be entered into a weekly drawing. For example, individuals who have purchased 10 to 20 tickets by the end of the first week will be entered for a weekly prize drawing for a prize with a value of up to $25 (ex: two movie tickets). By the second week, who have purchased 21 to 50 tickets are eligible to enter a weekly raffle for a prize that costs between $25 and $60 (ex: an elegant sterling silver picture frame). The third week, those who have purchased more than 50 tickets will be entered into a drawing for a prize worth $50 to $75 (ex: a gift certificate to a beloved local store). The fourth week, anyone who has purchased more than 75 tickets can win a prize worth $100 (ex: a modest spa experience). And then at the end of the fourth week, all ticket holders, including any past winners, are eligible for the grand prize drawing as well, worth $150 or more (ex: dinner for two at a nice restaurant).
The final grand prize drawing should take place during an evening reception held for no more than an hour and a half at a local venue. All tickets are eligible to win, and having an event to look forward to will also give local contributors the opportunity to celebrate a night out for a good cause as well. As the host organization is a nonprofit, the event can be a simple, but nice, business casual cocktail hour with a cash bar and finger foods. The evening of the reception, guests should be allowed to make as many additional raffle purchases as they would like, with ticket providers made readily available throughout the room. The group morale and feelings of camaraderie and gathering for a collective good cause will further raise spirits and motivate attendees to donate even more in person the day of the evening event. At the event, another short video (no more than 2 minutes) with testimonies and expressions of gratitude for the raffle participants should be shown and if possible, a past beneficiary and mentor who volunteers through the program should speak to the guests at the event for five to ten minutes. A live testimony provides insight and captivates an audience like no other medium. The emotional pull made possible through such speeches is very moving and especially memorable. Attendees, many whom at this point will be in tears upon hearing stories of sadness and adversity followed by friendship, triumph, and love should be given one more opportunity to purchase tickets, as they will have been moved in a way they could not have imagined at the beginning of the evening. And then the final grand prize drawing can take place, followed by mini desserts.
All volunteers who help organize the event should be rewarded with a pizza party two or three days following the grand prize drawing. At the party, they can then receive small gifts of gratitude, like coupons to local stores (ice cream parlors, local grocery stores, discounts at flower shops, etc.), made possible through connections previously established between local vendors and the mentor/foster child program. In this way, the fundraiser helps the program in need, while simultaneously strengthening community relations and benefiting all participants involved in the fundraising efforts as well.