Hold a Raffle like a Pro
Updated: Jun 12, 2018
A raffle is a nice addition to any fundraising event. Before you add this activity to your event’s agenda, there are a few things to consider that will lead your raffle to successful results.
Keep it simple
Simplicity is the real key to a holding a raffle. Maintain one to three items of real value in your raffle. Sell your tickets in bundles to make more money. For example, if one ticket costs $10, offer five tickets for $25 or twenty tickets for $50. Again, keep your pricing tiers simple to avoid confusion.
Try the “Blue Dot” advantage
Here’s how this works: ticket buyers who buy at the highest level will receive a blue dot to wear on their lapel, collar or somewhere noticeably visible high up on their shirt.
For those who are selling the raffle tickets, this helps visibly designate the people in the room who have already purchased at the highest amount. In other words, your guests won’t get annoyed from being “hit on” by ticket sellers. The blue dot also serves as a point of recognition, displaying those blue dot wearers as big supporters of your cause.
Work the crowd in pairs
Send your volunteers out in pairs to keep your event moving along on time. One person distributes tickets while the other collects the money. Two people together can also work together to persuade people to buy tickets. Volunteers who go out by themselves are usually reserved and more uncomfortable when asking without the help of another volunteer at their side for support.
Pre-sell your tickets
Use the power of the internet to pre-sell your tickets to people that may or may not be attending your event! Not only will you increase your ticket sales, but you will also expand your audience for both your event and your cause.
Send volunteers to local businesses to sell tickets to support your cause. Post event, announce the winners on your social media and website to draw additional attention to your digital presence for those that did not attend the event in person to hear the winner, perhaps they will think twice and attend the next year!
Announce your winners with a display board
If you have multiple raffle items, do not announce the winners one by one. This takes up a lot of time and time is of the essence when it comes to your program and keeping your guests in good spirits. Put the winners up on a display board and ask everyone to check it out at the end of the program.
In the event that you have just one major raffle item, save this announcement until after your fundraising is complete. This announcement doesn’t bring in any more money, so it’s best to build up suspense and hold everyone’s attention through all of the other parts of your program, such as the silent auction, live auction or open ask.
Don’t overlook the raffle section of your agenda — it can bring in a lot more money than you might expect and save valuable time in your program. If you are looking for more tips on running a successful raffle, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at AmFund.
* Note: In the United States fundraising raffles are considered to be games of chance and very tightly regulated. Failure to adhere to state raffle laws is considered a serious offense so make sure to read up on your state's laws before deciding whether or not you can hold a raffle at your next fundraising event.
Individual State Laws regarding Raffles:
Alabama – Illegal to do a raffle
Colorado – Holding a Raffle in Colorado PDF
Georgia – Contact your County Sheriff’s Office
Hawaii – Illegal to do a raffle
Illinois – Contact your County Clerk for forms
Kansas – Legal with some restrictions
Michigan – Raffle permit application PDF
Montana – Nonprofit groups contact your local board of county commissioners’ office
Nebraska – Raffle permit application PDF
South Carolina – Legal, but limited online information as to how to get a permit
Utah – Illegal
West Virginia – Raffle permit application PDF