We are starting a “How To” series on our blog to cover some of the finer details of fundraising events. For the first in this series, let’s talk about raffles. There are certainly a lot of ways to use raffles to increase giving, add an element of fun and create some suspense. There are many different types of raffles you could choose from for your event. This blog will cover the top 3 raffles we recommend.
*Keep in mind that in Oregon you have a limit of $10,000 a year that can be raised through raffles and gaming without a lottery license.
Wild Card Raffle
This is a quick and easy way to possibly raise $10,000 for one of your live auction packages. The idea is that you’re going to sell 100 raffle tickets for $100 each and the winner gets to choose any package from the live auction!
Here’s how it works:
· Have volunteers walk around (in pairs) during the silent auction and sell tickets
· Left over tickets can be sold from the stage by your auctioneer right before the live auction
· Bid numbers should be recorded so they can be entered properly for sales purposes
· One winner is pulled from a basket or hat
· The winner chooses from the live auction packages and that package should be skipped during the live auction
This raffle capitalizes on the impulses of your guests. There is a little more preparation before your event for this raffle but it can be a quick, fun way to raise money. The raffle will be guided by your auctioneer and can happen anytime during your event. Make sure you sequence it properly since this raffle gives a lot of momentum to your event. It also makes your donors visible since they will be the ones physically putting their raffle tickets in the baskets.
Here’s how it works:
· Attach several raffle tickets to each guest’s bid card in advance with corresponding bid numbers printed or written on them
· When the auctioneer starts the raffle, bidders drop their raffle tickets into baskets as volunteers run around the room collecting them
· Decide in advance how much each raffle ticket will sell for (usually around $25 per ticket) and print that on the ticket
· The winner will then be drawn from all the collected tickets
· Make sure you keep the raffle tickets to log in the sales from this raffle
The prize for this raffle can be something subjective that might not work in your silent auction such as a diamond necklace. Guests might be willing to pay $25 for a raffle ticket to have a chance at winning this item, but they might not be willing to bid on it in a silent auction.
Heads or Tails Raffle
This raffle is a fun way to increase audience participation and create energy in the room to head into your live auction. Have your auctioneer announce and run the raffle. Make arrangements with them prior to auction night so they can time it appropriately. If a guest decides at the last minute to participate, have your auctioneer sell chances from the stage by having the guests raise their paddles.
Here’s how it works:
· Instead of a ticket stub, guests buying raffle should get some fun, inexpensive favor—like a light stick, beads, etc. (tie the favor to your event theme if appropriate)
· Have volunteers walk among the tables with extra raffle favors while the auctioneer is announcing the raffle to encourage last minute participation
· Once the raffle has begun, your auctioneer will ask all Heads and Tails participants to stand up and put their hands on their head - or their tail
· The auctioneer will then flip a coin and announce whether the coin came up heads or tails
· Those with their hands on the “winning end” stay standing—the others sit down
· The auctioneer will continue asking participants to decide what end to select and flip the coin to eliminate players
· Once the number of players gets down to a handful, the auctioneer can ask the finalists to come to the stage for the last few coin tosses
· The last player standing who’s selected the right “end” for the coin toss wins
· Make sure all bid numbers of participants are logged and written down for your data entry sales (including multiple sales per bid number)
When choosing a raffle for your event, keep in mind the types of guests you will have and the kind of energy and momentum you’d like to create in the room. Raffles are a fun way to raise funds for your organization and can be a great addition to your program during your event.