Chalk-Board1How did your last raffle go?  Were you happy with the amount of money you raised?  If not, you may think that raffles aren’t the best way for your organization to raise funds.

But hold on.  Ask yourself, what part of the fund raising went poorly?  Did you fail to meet your ticket selling goals? Were they priced too low, or too high?  Did you factor in the cost of the prizes, the cost of the ticket making and the cost of the drawing event itself?  Did you even have a dollar amount in mind when you started?

Many times, a disappointing result to a raffle fundraiser can be blamed squarely on a lack of planning from the outset.  Don’t give up, we are here to help! Here are a few tips to help you hold successful fundraisers in the future.

Know How Much Money You Need to Raise:

Sure, that sounds straightforward, but it’s more than just the cost of the thing you are trying to raise money for.  You need to factor in the additional costs you’ll incur in the fund raising itself.

Here’s a list of costs to factor in:

  • Money needed for project = $10,275 roof repair estimate
  • Cost of the prizes = $1,348 for gift baskets, gift certificates, vacation package
  • Cost of the tickets = $120 for 7 packs of perforated bond paper
  • Cost of advertising = $827 for 10 radio commercials, 2 newspaper ads, 500 posters
  • Cost of selling the tickets = $75 for gas receipts, bag lunches
  • Cost of holding the drawing party = $175 for 8 pizzas, punch, cookies

Suddenly, you realize that you need to raise 25% more than you originally bargained for
.  I can guarantee you’ll be disappointed in the results if a quarter of your profits disappear in overhead costs.

As intimidating as these numbers can look on paper, it’s very manageable so long as you plan for the extra costs in advance.

Find the Right Price for Each Ticket:

The face value of your tickets will have a huge influence on how many tickets you sell.  It’s also a big determiner of how and where you’ll have the best success selling them.

If you have high-value items to raffle off, you can obviously ask a higher face price for each ticket.  If you have a car or house as a prize, for example, you won’t have trouble asking $20 or even $100 for each ticket.

Mid-value prizes – like snowmobiles or guns – can still get high face values if you limit the number of tickets sold and make that a clear selling point.

More humble prizes, like gift certificates or baskets, limit the interest any given individual will have in winning – even if you have many prizes to raffle off, thereby increasing the odds of winning.  The odds of winning do come into play in a prospective purchaser’s mind, but usually as a secondary factor, so chances are that the individual will have made up their mind to purchase or not to purchase before they consider the odds.

Target Your Market:

You might have a tough time selling a $20 ticket from a table in front of a grocery store as shoppers hurry to their cars.  That same ticket would be much easier to sell at work, on payday, after you’ve told all your coworkers about the raffle days in advance and shown them photos of the prize.

Always keep in mind what kind of cash purchasers are likely to have on hand.  And save yourself headaches by choosing whole dollar amounts so you don’t have to lug around a bunch of change.

$1, $2, and $5 tickets usually sell without too much trouble.  If you get into larger face values, you should be prepared to either accept personal checks or wait until the prospect has a chance to go get cash (and possibly lose the sale).

And don’t overlook the chance to up-sell.  If your tickets are $2 each, or 3 or $5, many peop
le jump at the chance to save a dollar.  Meanwhile, if you don’t offer the deal, you’ll have fewer customers buying two or more tickets.

Quality Depends on Price, or Visa Versa:

Now that you have an idea what face value you can ask for your raffle tickets, calculate how many tickets you’ll need to sell.

Let’s say you think you can sell a lot of tickets if you can keep the face value down to $2 each.  You estimate that you’ll need to raise at least $12,808.  $12,808/$2 = 6,404 tickets.  Right away, you’ll be able to set a sales goal of 6,500 ticke

Harvest American’s perforated papers come in 1,000-ticket packs, so if you buy 7 packs, you’ll be able to print 7,000 tickets.  You’ll also save on shipping because you’re buying all of your paper at one time, plus your order will qualify for a 20% volume discount!  7,000 is a reasonable goal, and it gives you enough extra to cover the up-selling deals of 3 for $5.  (Remember, if you plan to sell more tickets,  you’ll need to cover the cost of the extra paper).

What if you decide that there’s no way you’ll be able to sell 7,000 tickets?  Could yo
u sell 3,000?  If so, you’d need to ask $4.25 each.  But, that’s not a convenient round number, so maybe you should ask $5 each and try to sell at least 2,500.

Once you break it down, the goals are less intimidating.  You’ll gain confidence as you see how sales are progressing and you’ll be able to make adjustments to your tactics if you see that sales are lagging.

With just that much forethought and preparation, you’re guaranteed to enjoy much more successful fundraisers in the future!

Happy raffling!

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Lucinda Rowlands
Lucinda’s Rowlands


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