Inner tube floating gift basketFor many people, Memorial Day fundraisers over the long weekend mark the unofficial first days of summer.  One great way to generate interest in your organization’s fundraising raffle is to offer irresistible summertime necessities as prizes.

A day at the beach is a classic way to enjoy a sunny summer’s day, so items like suntan lotion or sunscreen,
beach towels/blankets, sunglasses, disposable cameras, bug spray, flip flops, sudoku or crossword puzzle books, and a beach ball would fit the bill. Pack items into a large plastic bucket with a child’s shovel to compete the theme, and some lucky family will be all set to go.

Other summer-themed prize ideas include an ice cream maker, portable barbecue grill, a volleyball or badminton set, or a picnic basket with place settings included.

Memorial Day is, above all, a time set aside to remember all Americans who have died in military service for the United States. In keeping with the meaning of Memorial Day, you could offer a gift basket with a twist: a “one for you, one for them” raffle.

To do this, offer a basket prize of goodies for a lucky winner – but also prepare a “basket” of needed and requested items for troops overseas. Organizations such as provide lists of possibilities, including lip balms, travel-size bug sprays, air pumps and needles for sports balls, iTunes gift cards and much more, accept donations and send donations to the troops. They also provide instructions on how to properly mail items.

Lucinda Rowlands
Lucinda Rowlands

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