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Have a frighteningly good time with a Halloween basket social

Halloween BasketLooking for a fun way to bring members of your community together while raising money for your organization? Consider holding a Halloween basket social – good for adults as well as little ones.

For a successful basket social (a takeoff on the popular Chinese auction), you’ll want to make up about 2 dozen baskets (more or less, depending on the size of your organization and how many people you expect to come) prior to the date of your event. While you’ll certainly want baskets full of candy and goodies for the kiddos, you might also add items like small puzzles, coloring books and crayons, small stuffed animals or toys, or school supplies. For grownups, add a scary movie DVD or a free rental from a local rental shop, microwave popcorn, pumpkin cake mixes, gift certificates, etc. You might even hold a costume contest! In exchange for publicity, local businesses may be willing to donate the gift certificates and supplies.

Keep a few smaller items to have for door prizes that you can give away during your event. You might also reserve a large item as a lottery prize, or put together a consolation prize or two for those whose tickets didn’t win.

When people arrive on the day of your basket social, be sure to have plenty of raffle tickets on hand to sell at the door. You’ll want different colors of tickets for the door prizes, the baskets and the raffle prize so guests can purchase different types of tickets if they wish.

Place a large can, bowl or bucket in front of each basket for people to put their ticket stubs in, being careful to remind guests to retain their ticket to match numbers with the stub in case they win. During your event, pause every so often to draw a door prize winner. Designate a person from your group to draw for one item at a time from each of the containers of tickets, and then draw for the large lottery prize. After that, hold a consolation prize drawing and/or the costume contest drawing if you are offering them.

With a bit of planning, you can hold a Halloween event that offers fun for everyone while raising money for your group. Good luck and have a great time!

 

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See how tickets were used to fund raise at Jeffery’s benefit

Jeffery benefit

Jeffery and his grandson Ronny.

Medical expenses are frequently cited as the top reason for bankruptcies in America today. While health insurance may cover a good percentage of costly treatments, few if any plans actually pay 100% of the cost of care for serious illnesses. When that happens, families and friends may decide to rally together and plan a benefit event, using raffles to raise money and help defray expenses.

Lori and Jeffery found themselves in this situation not long ago when Jeffery was diagnosed with cancer in his throat. While insurance covered much of the initial costs of treatment, it quickly became apparent that it wouldn’t cover everything. The decision was made to hold a benefit with a raffle, door prizes and a Chinese auction to help cover the extra costs.

This was Lori and Jeff’s first time holding a fundraising event, so they had lots of questions: Where to begin? Where should they hold the benefit? Who had experience with events like this, and who could help?

Benefit live music

Live entertainment helps make a benefit gathering festive.

They chose the local VFW hall since this was where they’d had their wedding reception 22 years earlier. The VFW offered some services, such as  use of the kitchen, room for a live band, beer by the keg and a cash bar. Use of the room for four hours, the kitchen and the beer came to $200, which they were told was a discounted price. The couple scheduled a date and time (keeping Jeff’s surgery date, recovery time and treatment schedule in mind), put down a cash deposit, and printed up some flyers.

That’s when it became time to enlist family and friends to help with details big and small. One of Jeff’s cousins volunteered to use their Raffle Ticket Software and perforated paper so she could print out hundreds of 50/50 raffle tickets, Chinese auction tickets and admission tickets. Tasks such as cooking, asking local businesses for donations of door prizes, making baskets and selling tickets were delegated to others while Lori cared for Jeffery and took him to daily appointments.

Chinese auction

A Chinese auction is a fun way to fund raise at a benefit. People can buy as many tickets as they want and divide them up or put them all in the drawing for whichever basket they want to win the most.

With admission tickets prices set at $15 or two for $25, the 50/50 raffle and numerous door prizes, raffles and baskets for a Chinese auction, and the help of family, friends and the community, Lori and Jeffery were able to raise much-needed funds to help pay medical bills to take off some of the pressure during that stressful time. It also provided a cheerful venue for family and friends to gather together and celebrate a good time with Jeffery and Lori outside of the medical settings they were becoming so tied to.

Do you have a story to share? Have you taken part in a raffle or helped someone with ticket making? Speak up, share your experience and perhaps we’ll publish it here on this blog. You can remember a loved one or offer someone else a helpful idea. This is your chance to be a hero in a small way all over again.

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Raffle themes: Have you ever tried a Chinese auction?

Not only are they easy, Chinese auctions lend themselves to fun themes too. How about a colorful Chinese New Year-themed auction to liven up the drab days of late January?

For a fun variation on traditional raffles and silent auctions, consider holding a Chinese auction. Also known as “pick-a-prize,” “tricky tray” and “penny social,” the Chinese auction combines elements of a silent auction with the excitement of a drawing while giving players the opportunity to win great prizes.

Chiness Auction Tickets Are Easy To MakeChinese auctions are especially fun when held around a theme. Christmas, golf, summertime, your organization’s services – virtually any type of theme can be highlighted in a Chinese auction.

You’ll need:

  1. Two-part “admission-style” tickets
  2. Empty containers (one per prize, if you are offering multiple prizes)

In the Chinese auction, players (or bidders) purchase tickets, which may be as inexpensive as a penny each. (Many organizations allow bidders to purchase more than one ticket to increase their chance of winning.) The bidder retains one part of each ticket while depositing the other part in the container corresponding to the item on which he or she is bidding.

To determine the winners, a member of your organization who is in charge of the auction draws one ticket from each prize’s container and announces the ticket number.

Have fun!

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