by MNA Affiliate Member Cassie Bohannon from Interstate Merchant Services

What are raffles and what are their benefits

Raffles are a fun and easy way to fundraise!

Selling Raffle Tickets is a contest in which tickets are sold to supporters of a nonprofit cause for their chance to be drawn as the winner of a grand prize. People experienced in raffle ticket fundraising will tell you that raffles are easy to set up, with little to no upfront cost and need only minimal time to run and manage. When a fundraising raffle is done right it can raise thousands of dollars for an organization!

Why do people donate

People want to believe in something, and they will be committed to you if you can prove that your mission is a worthy one. They want to be a part of something that will make a difference in people’s lives, and if you can show them how their gift will have a direct impact, and how the funds will be used, that might be the right button they decide to push. Share the specifics with them! This makes them feel good and empowered.

Share the personal stories of how people have benefited from this program. I cannot tell you what a powerful tool this is! This allows people to connect on a personal basis and they want to know more.  This is showing them that their donation really will make a difference.

Tips on how to run a successful raffle

Spend some time in the beginning to plan and decide what your overall goal is. How many tickets will you be selling and how you will organize them. What are your overall fundraising goals – what kind of money do you want to raise and generate with this Raffle?

Next, you need to define your terms and Raffle Rules:

  • What is the date and time of the drawing?
  • Can the same person win more than one prize?
  • Does the winner need to be present?
  • How will the winner be announced?
  • How will all participants be notified?
  • Is there an age-restriction?
  • Is there a geographic restriction?

And of course, what are you going to raffle off?

  • Do some research about what type of prizes you want to offer your target audience. Most people will buy raffle tickets offering items or experiences they are interested in. Think about what people “Dream” about but perhaps cannot afford. This will create a sense of urgency and a situation that they don’t want to miss out on. Prizes like “Travel Vacations”, “Electronics”, “Gift Cards”, and “Sporting and Hunting Equipment”, for example, are items that folks may desire, and this will create a strong want to buy Raffle Tickets in order to win the prize.
  • Provide great pictures of the prizes you are offering. People love to “see” what is being raffled and not just hear or read about them.

Marketing your Raffle:

  • Prominently promote the raffle on your organization’s home page. A bold and large call to action button “BUY TICKETS NOW” should direct visitors to an online form where raffle tickets can be purchased using a debit card. Selling Raffle Tickets online makes things convenient and easy for folks and this will substantially generate more donations. You also should add- in bold- a statement letting folks know that they can only use a Debit Card in buying raffle tickets. You cannot use Credit Cards because it is illegal in the state of Montana.  For those who prefer to buy tickets offline, be sure to provide information about where/when they can buy them.
  • Promote your Raffle on social media and provide a link to your Raffle Page on your website and/or contact information, where folks can buy tickets online with their debit card.
  • Create ticket bundle choices which will encourage the donor to donate more.
  • Offer free gifts to donors who buy specific ticket bundles.

There is so much information about holding raffles that I have only included the basics. But this information will certainly get you started. If you are interested in holding online raffles, my company has a state approved, legal and free program for the nonprofit. Let me know if you would like more information. Good luck to you and I am here if you have any questions!

Cassandra Bohannon
Interstate Merchant Services
12505 Bel-Red Road, Suite 211
Bellevue, WA 98005
(206) 352-3294
(800) 488-3559

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