Category Archives: Raffle ideas

Have a Winning Fundraiser With Wine

wine raffleThe 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!


End The Baby Shower Monotony With A Diaper Raffle

Diaper RaffleA diaper raffle is a great way to help prepare moms-to-be with one of baby’s most essential items while breaking up the usual array of baby shower games with something out of the ordinary. There are several ways to go about holding a diaper raffle at a baby shower.

Include a note or cute poem with the shower invitation explaining that guests who bring a package of diapers will be entered into a raffle for a prize. Guests with last names beginning with A-F bring newborn-size diapers, while F-K brings the next size and so on. That way, the mom will receive a variety of brands as well as sizes – potentially enough to up to last several months. (If a specific brand of diaper is desired, that information (along with the rules for the raffle) can be added to the note.)

A gift card or, say, $50 in cash keeps the prize simple, while a gift basket containing a bottle of wine, a corkscrew and a couple of wine glasses can be quick, easy and affordable to put together.

Diaper Raffle Ticket Template

Diaper Raffle Ticket Template

As an alternative to bringing diapers is to put money in a box labeled “diaper fund” and offer tickets at $1 per ticket with the money dedicated toward a diaper fund. That way, guests who want to enter can do so at a low price, and mom and dad can purchase the diapers of their choice. Or, hold a 50-50 raffle – half goes to the baby, half to the winner. (The winner may even opt to give their half to the baby.)

Create a keepsake by personalizing your raffle tickets with baby shower-themed graphics, the date of the shower and baby’s name/gender (if known), and printing the tickets out at home using perforated paper in fun colors. Have fun and enjoy!

Holiday Fundraiser Ideas That Help Lessen The Burden On Families

holiday fundraiser ideasPreparing for the holidays can not only be stressful, but often overwhelming for many families. Your organization can help with holiday fundraiser ideas that offer a number of useful services and can help keep Mom and Dad’s to-do list short.

Amid the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas – all the shopping, decorating, and travelling adds up – it’s easy to lose track of time. Your group can help busy families enjoy home-baked goods by offering baked holiday cookies that members of the community can purchase by the dozen. Decide on two or three basic, popular varieties, such as sugar cookies or snickerdoodles, and begin taking orders at least two weeks in advance to give your group time to prepare and bake. If time, skill and interest allows, you could even offer pies or cakes.

While families are spending the day at the local mall or shopping center, your organization can make arrangements with mall management to set up a few tables and host a friendly gingerbread house-building competition with moms against dads against kids or brothers against sisters. Younger ones can try their hands at decorating gingerbread men and women (with adult assistance). A local bakery could donate cookies or building materials, with one of the bakers volunteering to judge the finished construction projects and/or cookies.

A great way to raise funds at Christmas time while helping families is by raffling off a fresh Christmas tree or wreath. Your local tree farm may be happy to donate a gorgeous tree or wreath in exchange for free advertising in your event’s promotional materials. Print out your own tickets on festive colored paper and customize the graphics on the tickets to highlight the season.

If you have a few scrapbookers in your group, they could apply their talent and interest by creating colorful, handmade greeting cards or gift tags. With advance orders (and for a nominal extra fee), the cards or tags could be personalized for that extra-special touch.

May you enjoy a successful and joyful holiday season, and have fun at your next event!

Lucinda Rowlands

Lucinda Rowlands

12 Days of Christmas Raffle

12 Days of Christmas Raffle


Polar Express Ticket

Holiday Dinner Dance Tickets

Holiday Dinner Dance Tickets

Experience raffles are worth more than money

When it comes to fundraisers, it’s fun to offer something different. If your organization is looking for an unusual drawing, think about experience raffles.

At first glance, this drawing looks much like many others: you print out your customized raffle tickets and sell them throughout the community. What makes this type of event unique is that the prizes aren’t tangible. Instead, entrants enter to win the chance to do or participate in something they’ll never forget.

Fire Truck ride reward

Experience raffle prizes don’t have to have a dollar value. A ride on a fire truck or other once-in-a-lifetime experience can be just as rewarding.

Some examples of popular experience raffles include being in your local school’s homecoming parade – imagine how much fun it would be to ride on one of the floats! A grand prize winner could be given the opportunity to punt the football at the big game or wear the school mascot costume during a heated match against a rival team.

Another idea is to coordinate with your local fire department and raffle off a chance to ride in a fire truck – the winner might even be given a tour of the firehouse and a chance to eat with the firefighters. If your town’s mayor, town supervisor or other governmental administrator is popular, lunch with a local dignitary could be a prize as well.

An experience prize could even be something a little more practical. For example, you could raffle off the opportunity to have members of your organization mow the winner’s lawn or perform other yard work, help pack up for moving day, etc.

Experience raffles are an excellent way to help organizations raise funds without requiring a large investment in cash or prizes prior to the drawing. It also offers members of the community the chance to have fun doing something they never thought they’d be able to do. So have fun and give an experience raffle a try!

Fundraising opportunities abound at summertime cookouts

outdoor grillFather’s Day gatherings make for perfect fundraising opportunities

With the month of June come Father’s Day and the first official days of summer – warm, sunny days that are perfect for cookouts and outdoor fun. Your organization can host a barbecue and serve up delicious food and games for the whole family.

Consider how many volunteers will be needed to take care of setup, breakdown, cooking and cleanup. You’ll also need a small team of volunteers to arrange advertising for the event. It’s a good idea to work with your local police or constabulary to help direct traffic in and out of parking areas during the barbecue and coordinate with firefighters and emergency services personnel as a precaution. And be sure to comply with all local health department requirements and to obtain any necessary permits in advance of the barbecue.

community cookout

Community-wide cookouts can be a great fundraising opportunity for your organization this summer.

In return for free advertising in your event’s promotional materials and advertising, local businesses such as grocery stores and event planners may donate the use of items such as large tents, tables, silverware, and commercial-style grills and coolers that are sufficient to keep perishable foods fresh and ready to cook. Tailor the menu to local tastes and your budget; consider offering cold salads, snacks, beverages and desserts as well as the grilled meats.

Food is the main event at a barbecue, but family-friendly games such as bocce, badminton and volleyball and other activities such as door prizes and raffle drawings will help round out the day with fun for everyone. You can print out your own customized raffle tickets and sell them prior to your event at key locations in your community as well as at the entry point on the day of the barbecue.

Music is another big draw for events. Seek out local musical acts to provide entertainment during the barbecue, or arrange for a radio station DJ to set up a booth and deliver a live broadcast during the day. Or, to add yet more fundraising opportunities, reserve the musical entertainment for after traditional dinner hours and create an evening of tunes with a separate, ticketed entry fee.

Event Ticket Template

Get a head start on your fundraising with our outdoor cookout event ticket template.

There’s no better way to welcome summer than with a barbecue. Celebrate its return with the community and enjoy a successful event!

Memorial Day fundraisers herald the beginning of the summer season

For 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.

Inner tube floating gift basketA 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.

Getting green at a lawn and garden show and sale

With the arrival of spring, gardeners’ thoughts and dreams turn to the promise of another growing season. It’s time to plan the lush landscapes of vibrant, colorful flowers and the rows of veggies and herbs, whether grown at home from seed or purchased as a young, healthy plant. Your organization can be part of the action by hosting a lawn and garden show and sale that brings together those who love plants and local growers.

lawn and garden showWhile the great outdoors would be the ideal location for your event, a social hall, school cafeteria or other venue with ample floor space that’s easy to clean would make a suitable second choice (be sure to secure a team to help clean up afterward!). If your event is held outdoors, it’s a good idea to have a rain date and alternate location.

Look to local conditions as a guide to when to hold your event. If the last danger of frost usually passes in late April, then that is a great time; if the last frost date tends to be early May, try to schedule it for then. (Numerous websites provide average last frost date information based on ZIP code, city, etc., to help you plan.) Generally speaking, late spring to very early summer is the height of garden prep season and interest will be high.

Local greenhouses can bring seeds, seedlings, live and cut herbs and flowers, soil amendments and garden equipment; hardware stores and lawn and garden maintenance companies in your community may also be interested in setting up tables and promoting their services. Extend an invitation to a representative of your local cooperative extension to give 15-minute presentations on topics of interest to gardeners, such as soil testing, pest management and more.

A lawn and garden show is a natural for raffles. You can customize and print out your own tickets, using open-source images to complement the green-thumb spirit of your home and garden show. There are so many possibilities for prizes – here are some ideas for drawings you can offer in conjunction with area businesses to keep excitement high:

  •  A tool kit that includes a gardening tote bag with plenty of pockets, hand tools such as a garden totetrowel, a cultivator and a weeder, knee pads, gloves, hand lotion and a straw hat
  • A package of seed packets
  • A bug zapper or organic/environmentally friendly insect repellent
  • A pair of Adirondack chairs
  • A patio set: table, chairs and umbrella with base
  • Gas or charcoal grill
  • Gift certificates to local nurseries, greenhouses and hardware stores
  • Free delivery of 2 cubic yards of organic compost
  • Books on flower or vegetable gardening

Have fun and good luck!


Easter and springtime raffle ideas

Easter Egg HuntWith many parts of the country seeing record-shattering cold and snowfall totals, it can be difficult to remember that the calendar says Easter and springtime is right around the corner. But it really is, and your organization can play a part in fostering the hopeful excitement of warmer weather by sponsoring an Easter-themed fundraiser.

Colorful eggs brought by the Easter bunny are synonymous with Easter, so consider holding an Easter party hosted by the bunny himself (rent or invest in purchasing a bunny costume). Breakfast or lunch with the bunny can be held at a hall in the area and catered by a restaurant, or members of your team can do the job themselves to put a personal touch on the event.

An Easter-egg hunt is a classic activity for little ones, and the eggs don’t have to be real – they can be wrapped chocolate or candy eggs. You could hide an egg or two of a particular color and offer a small prize to the egg hunter who finds those specially colored eggs. Young and old can participate in a decorated egg competition – who can create the most beautiful/artistic egg? Or the funniest? Or hold an Easter egg toss, where two people toss an egg to each other and gradually increase the distance between the tossers until finally the egg is dropped or broken.

Easter egg hunt

Check out our selection of Easter-themed ticket downloads

A gardeners’ raffle is another great way to channel some of the excitement of spring toward your cause. A basket of essential gardening items – and some fun stuff, too – donated by local nurseries and garden centers is an early-season favorite. Instead of a traditional basket, consider stuffing a gardening tote full of hand tools like a trowel, cultivator and weeder, a pair of plush kneepads, gardening gloves, a wide-brimmed straw hat, gardening books and some soothing hand cream that’s designed for gardeners. Gift certificates to the businesses that supply the tools are a plus.

You can really kick your celebration of springtime up a notch by offering some higher-end raffle prizes that can kickstart the outdoor season. A bug zapper, Adirondack chairs, a patio set or even a grill can really add excitement to your fundraising efforts.

Have fun and good luck with your fundraising!

Fund raise while helping your community celebrate Christmas

With the holidays upon us, there are plenty of creative ways your organization can help the community celebrate … and raise funds at the same time.

For many families, Christmas dinner is a central part of their holiday celebration. You could raffle off a certain number of turkeys and/or hams (or both!), using festively colored raffle tickets with customized artwork. Work with local supermarkets or butchers to put together a package of prizes that could include a meal with all the fixings.

ugly Christmas sweaterIt seems as though just about everyone has that one blindingly ugly sweater … why not celebrate it? Consider holding an Ugly Sweater or Ugly Tie contest, charging a nominal entry fee for entrants. Or you can keep it positive and hold a Hot Hat contest for best-looking hat. Guests at the event can serve as judges, as can local officials such as the city mayor or school superintendent.

‘Tis the season to go shopping, right? Your group can lend a big hand to harried shoppers by offering a gift-wrap service at the local department store or mall for a couple of dollars per item wrapped. Not everyone has a knack for wrapping, and the convenience of having someone else neatly wrap a gift and put ribbon and a bow on it will surely be well worth the modest fee.

Christmas ticket templates

Make arrangements with management at the store or the mall and be clear on whether a table and a couple of chairs can be supplied or if you’ll need to bring your own. It’s possible the tape, wrapping paper, ribbons and other supplies can be donated by the store. Not feeling too confident in your gift-wrapping skills? Brush up by watching YouTube videos online and get some practice in.

Presents go under the tree – so why not offer Christmas trees as a fundraiser? Partner with a local tree farmer who has set up a stand in a prominent corner of a parking lot, preferably on a busy street or at the mall for maximum exposure. Some or all of the proceeds can go to your organization, whether on a certain day only or the entire tree-selling season.

Have fun and good luck with your fundraising efforts this holiday season!

Pumpkin smashing fundraisers make the most of Halloween leftovers

Not sure what to do with your jack o’ lantern after Halloween night? If your answer is yes, chances are good you’re not alone. There are probably many people in your community who are left wondering what to do with that grinning orange face once the candle within has burned out and the shell’s begun to wither. Hold a smashing pumpkin fundraiser in the week or so after Halloween, and help make disposal easy.pumpkin destruction

This type of event is a fun (and messy!) way to be done with that aging jack o’ lantern once and for all while raising money for your charitable organization. You’ll need access to an open space (preferably outdoors, such as a large field or an open section at a local apple orchard or pumpkin farm), a large, rugged tarp, a table or two and some chairs, and some instruments of pumpkin destruction – a regular metal claw hammer or a sledgehammer. Ask a local contractor if they’d be willing to donate the use of a cherry picker or a bucket truck. Be sure to have buckets, scoops and shovels handy for cleanup afterward. Don’t wear your best clothes to this event!

Prior to the event, make arrangements with your local or regional yard waste or composting facility to accept the pumpkin remains – this will let you dispose of the remains responsibly and help to make more compost available to future gardeners.

Advertise your event throughout the community, inviting people to bring their jack o’ lanterns. If your location is a pumpkin farm or an apple orchard that also grows and sells pumpkins, you could set up additional tables for on-the-spot pumpkin decorating (don’t forget to bring the markers!) for a nominal added fee – chances are good that the farm will still have some unsellable pumpkins still on the ground.

Spread out the tarp and secure it as best you can with heavy weights such as rocks, bricks or blocks, etc. If you were able to obtain the use of a cherry picker or bucket truck, be sure to get the equipment in place over the tarp.

Arrange for guests to stop first at the table as they arrive with their pumpkins, and station volunteers there to examine each pumpkin and remove any wax candle stumps or pieces, non-organic decorations, and lingering pumpkin seeds. Make sure the table is far enough away from the tarp to avoid being part of the mess! The registration table is a good place to collect entry fees.

You can add to the fun atmosphere as well as your fundraising ability with a Chinese auction. Guests who arrive early can put their ugliest, best-looking or most creative jack o’ lanterns on display. Have raffle tickets with detachable stubs available for purchase at the registration table, and be sure to set up bowls, coffee cans or buckets in front of the competing pumpkins and offer a small prize for the winner(s).

Be sure to establish a cleanup crew ahead of time to collect the smashed pumpkin pieces (large, sturdy plastic tote bins and shovels are key here) and transport the remains to the composting facility as soon as possible if representatives from the facility were unable to join you.