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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
After the lights and decorations have come down and been put away, after the holiday cheer has subsided into the realization that winter is just getting started, many people struggle to fight off the urge to hibernate until spring. But that’s no fun! Your charitable organization can come to the rescue by holding a winter festival that offers something for everyone to enjoy while helping raise funds. Continue reading
The month of March is an exciting time for fans of college basketball. This is when the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, organizes a championship tournament called March Madness that lasts for several weeks as the teams advance through the rounds and compete for the winning title.
This popular sporting event provides a great theme for fundraising, offering plenty of opportunities for creative events that will draw community members together for food and fun.
One fundraising idea is to hold a cookoff. Participants can form teams who compete against each other to see who makes the best chili, chowder, chicken wings – the possibilities are virtually endless. The competition could be organized much the same way as the team brackets, with the cooks serving up appetizers in the first round, moving on to main dishes and ending with desserts. Charge a nominal fee for each team and have prizes ready for the winners.
Your organization could also hold a March Madness party for one or more of the games. Be sure to have access to a large television and enough room and snacks for guests. A good way to ensure that you won’t run short of either is to offer advance-sale tickets that are sequentially numbered to help you keep track of how many have been printed and sold. You can also charge admission at the door and guests will receive food and drink while watching the games.
To raise even more money, you could combine other, related activities with your party. Consider organizing a free-throw contest if your March Madness party will be held in a gym. For a small fee, participants can compete against each other for a chance to win a prize. Of you can ask ticket holders to write in their guess for that game’s winner and enter all of the correct answers into a drawing for a door prize.
Prizes can be gift certificates or other items donated by local businesses that can be placed in a basket to be raffled off in a drawing (another possible use for those sequentially numbered tickets!). As much as possible, continue the March Madness theme in the basket by including basketball-related items, such as a local team-themed T-shirt.
Just remember: The phrase “March Madness” is trademarked and cannot be used in connection with a sports event or to sell something related to college basketball.
These are a few ways your organization can have fun sharing in the excitement of the college basketball season’s final weeks. Have a great time and best of luck with your fundraiser!
Thanksgiving in America is traditionally a time for roast turkey and a gathering of family and friends. Some, however, put an unusual spin on the national holiday and go bowling.
Turkey bowling, that is.
Growing in popularity in recent years, turkey bowling is said to have originated in the late 1980s in a Newport Beach, Calif., grocery store when a manager slid a frozen turkey across the floor, toppling a soda bottle by accident. From such a humble beginning comes one of the season’s more unusual fundraising events.
You can use regular or plastic bowling pins instead of soda bottles; and yes, it’s okay to use a plastic turkey instead of a real, frozen bird! With its irregular shape, the turkey moves in unexpected directions when rolled. That unpredictable trajectory helps make turkey bowling fun to both watch and play.
There are a number of ways turkey bowling can help you raise funds for your group or for another worthy cause, such as the local food pantry or other relief organization. Fundraising can be as simple as selling admission tickets to the event; or participants can buy tickets for a chance to win prizes for successfully knocking over a certain number of pins in a single roll, knocking over a pin of a particular color, etc. Frozen turkeys may be donated by a local supermarket and awarded as prizes – or given directly to your area food bank.
You may be able to obtain permission to use an actual bowling alley for your event, or an ice rink or fire hall or other facility with a large room may be available if outdoor conditions are less than desirable.
If your organization is looking for a fundraising idea that’s out of the ordinary, give turkey bowling a try!
Good luck and have fun!
Looking 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!
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?
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.
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.
Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, President’s Day store promotions will build your mailing lists
Build your brand while generating goodwill and repeat business by using customized raffle tickets to reward loyal customers while helping to promote a sale or special event at your business or organization.
The month of February is ripe with opportunities for customers – Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and Presidents Day all take place this month. Many companies take advantage of the Presidents Day weekend in particular as a time to mark down inventory or offer freebies, and consumers are responding.
Raffle tickets can become part of the holiday sale momentum and promote a holiday-themed sales event or special offer. You’ll want personalized, sequentially numbered tickets that display the name, address and contact information of your business or group. It’s easy to print them at the office with raffle ticket software. (Be sure to use perforated paper so your customer can easily remove the stub.)
Keep a stack of printed raffle tickets near the front desk or cash register along with several pens and a small bowl or jar to let customers fill in their names and contact information on the stubs and drop them into the container. You can use this personal information to build an effective marketing mailing list.
Several weeks prior to your event, collect the stubs and use the contact information to remind customers of the upcoming sale and compile a guest list. As they arrive on the big day, you can check their ticket numbers against your guest list.
You can also reward loyal customers with a free gift just for presenting you with a valid ticket stub from a prior visit. This is fun at any point in the year, but keeping the theme seasonal helps make it a special event.
Be sure to keep in mind the nature of your organization or business and what your customers are most likely to want to see you offer as a prize. For example, if your landscaping/nursery company is warming up to the spring planting season, consider offering a free packet of seeds or a flat of live plants. If there is an expiration date, make note of it on the ticket body and on the stub.
Dunk tanks are a creative use for fundraising tickets
When it comes to organizing your fundraising events, the temptation can be great to stick with what’s always worked in the past: the same annual event, the familiar raffle drawing table. There comes a time when a fresh, new approach is in order, however. If you’re looking at ways to spruce up your organization’s fundraising, consider using a dunk tank to make a real “splash” in the community!
The dunk tank fundraiser works best when you have two or three candidates for getting dunked – particularly if they are high-ranking members of your organization or community. For example, dunking a school board member or building principal is a great way to get parents and even kids to take part and support the PTO. Dunking the pastor of a local church or the town’s fire chief can also be a fun draw.
Guests at the event can purchase numbered raffle tickets for the chance to throw a ball at the target and activate the dunker. The stubs are placed in a basket. Every hour, or at set intervals, a volunteer picks a stub from the basket and announces the winning ticket number. The holder of that ticket gets to take their best shot!
If the weather isn’t right for an outdoor dunking, or if you want to save the expense of renting a dunk tank, you could always make the dunkee walk the plank at the local pool or just douse him with dozens of water balloons.
A variation is to sell tickets using different ticket colors. Each color represents a different “dunkee.” At the end of the event, a volunteer counts the number of different colors in the basket. Whoever has the most tickets is the lucky one who may end up getting wet! Then you can draw tickets to see who gets the first shot at the dunkee.
Your dunkee doesn’t have to get wet either. You could have the most-purchased ticket get a crazy haircut or have to wear a funny dress and makeup. The possibilities are endless.
There’s no need to settle for business as usual when it comes to fundraising. Try something new and have fun!
Make a checklist of what a participant will need to know
Last time, we looked at the building blocks of raffle tickets that wow – quality perforated paper, brilliant ink and paper colors and raffle ticket software that offers a template so you can design and print your own tickets. Let’s not forget the nuts and bolts: the information you simply must have for a successful event.
Keep and refer to a checklist of what a participant will need to know about your event. A good raffle ticket will provide the drawing’s name, location and date; the cost of the ticket; and your organization name and contact information – especially if the entrant need not be present to win the prize. Consider including a brief (one- or two-line) description of the prize or prizes, as space allows.
Don’t forget to select the font or typeface for the information you will print on the ticket. This is an important step because different fonts can evoke different emotions – some whimsical and fun, others serious. Check your computer’s system to see what fonts you have installed and which are best suited to reflect the tone of your drawing.
Be sure to give some thought to the overall appearance of the ticket. An attractive design can be created by using your organization or event logo as a focal point of the ticket to add visual interest. Additional artwork can be used to complement a logo, but avoid creating a cluttered look that distracts from the drawing information.
If you’re working with a template from raffle ticket software, check to see whether you’re able to upload an image or logo from your computer onto the ticket and follow the instructions provided.
These guidelines also apply to the ticket stub. While the stub is, by definition, the smallest portion of the ticket, by no means does that make it any less important than the main part of the ticket. After all, it’s the part you retain for the drawing itself – without it, you can’t choose a winner! You’ll need the ticketholder’s name and contact information, including phone number and/or e-mail address, at a minimum.
Don’t forget to number the tickets! Good raffle ticket software will allow you to number the tickets forward or backward sequentially with the start number of your choice, so if you want to start with No. 123 and end with No. 3465, you can. Best of all is software that tells you exactly how many total pages of tickets you will be printing out based on how many tickets you need, and print them out in stack or single-sheet order. No more unpleasant surprises!
Have fun designing your raffle tickets, and may your next event be a great success!