The popularity of wine has been on the upswing in recent years, with no sign of letting up. A wine raffle is a great way to raise funds for your organization.
Contact wine merchants and/or distributors in your community and ask them to donate or sponsor bottles for your event in exchange for publicity in your advertising and marketing materials. Also consider requesting that donations be above a certain price point (for example, “Please contribute bottles that are over $15,” or whatever price you decide). With enough time and planning, you can publish at least a partial list of sponsored wines that will be available.
You can incorporate a wine raffle with a larger event, such as a dinner function or a tasting. Set up a table at the event with a display of some wine, the raffle box, raffle tickets for sale and a locking moneybox. Sell raffle tickets before the event and at the event itself, and raffle off bottles of wine every 15 minutes or so. Timing is important, however – keep in mind that raffling off prizes during dinner, for example, would be disruptive for guests.
Depending on the amount of wine at your event, you may find it helpful to split up the donations into groups based on varietals, price point, region, etc. For example, you could offer two prizes in a silent auction or raffle drawing: one consisting of white wine and another, reds/rosés. Or group bottles by varietals, such as pino grigio or cabernet sauvignon, if you receive a large number of sponsored bottles. Ask the donors for tasting notes and price points for each bottle, and to highlight special bottles – you can compile this information and present it to guests on sheets or in a book that they can browse before purchasing tickets.
A variation on this is a wine pull raffle, in which everyone who purchases a raffle ticket wins a bottle of wine. In this “blind draw” type of fundraiser, sometimes referred to as a “wall of wine” raffle, each bottle is wrapped in such a way that the label cannot be seen and is then numbered. Everyone who purchases a raffle ticket then selects a number that corresponds to a bottle – and prepares to be surprised by their prize! A $20 raffle ticket just might win the ticket holder a $100 bottle of wine.
Kick your prizes up a notch by adding donated accouterments, such as wine openers, wine buckets, a wine book, wine charms or an attractive wine rack.
Have fun and enjoy a successful event!