Tag Archives: prize donation

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. Continue reading

Pamper moms with a spa package fundraiser

Mother's Day Fundraiser

Invite a selection of manicurists, hair stylists, cosmetologists and massage therapists to your Mother’s Day fundraiser.

The month of May is associated with Mother’s Day, a time to remember Mom and go out of your way to shower her with love and attention. With a Mother’s Day spa fundraiser, your organization can help pamper and celebrate these wonderful women while raising funds for your cause. Continue reading

Fall fundraising ideas to warm your heart and clean your yard

Ahhh, autumn. The season of hot cocoa, bright colors on trees, lengthening shadows and the first crisp, frosty mornings. It’s a great season to celebrate with a fall fundraiser!

raking leaves and yard workWith harvest season fast approaching, your organization could team up with a local pumpkin or apple farm (sometimes one and the same) to help you raise money for your cause. Larger farms often hold a festival on their grounds to showcase the bounty of their harvest, with fun rides and events for little ones – they may be willing to donate a percentage of their profits on a given day to your group.

Many people in cooler climates look forward to warming up with a steaming hot bowl of soup after a brisk day – so why not hold an elegant soup sampling event? Ask local restaurants to participate by bringing their favorite soups to share with the community, either as samples or as part of a cook-off compePumpkin farm free offertition. Your local VFW, American Legion or school may be able to provide kitchen and dining facilities at a discount or even for fee. A pottery business in your area could donate bowls in which the soup will be served, and the bowls could be raffled off or sold outright as a way to raise additional funds.

Even as the leaves are turning colors, they’re also dropping from the trees and piling up in the yard. By holding a yardwork-a-thon, your group can help eliminate the hassle for folks while giving them an opportunity to support your cause. Collect pledge donations in advance of the event by posting fliers around the neighborhood and in post offices, supermarkets and other public areas, sending out an e-mail or postal mail blast and through word of mouth. Be sure to include such details as the date and times available for the cleanups, what services will be offered (raking leaves, bringing outdoor toys or sensitive plants in, etc.). Each household in whose yard you work could be entered into a raffle for practical, related yardwork tools such as a lawn mower, a new hedge trimmer, and so on – be sure to have plenty of tickets handy!

Keep in mind the fact that fall weather is notoriously unpredictable. When holding an outdoor event, remind everyone working at the event to dress for changing conditions and to bring a knit hat, a light jacket, gloves and boots. In addition, the hours of available daylight are decreasing, so you’ll want to be aware of what time sunset takes place in your area and be sure to finish your event before darkness falls.

Good luck and enjoy your fall fundraising!

Give the Twelve Days of Christmas raffle a try

Looking for a holiday-themed raffle that’s a little different and a lot of fun? Give the 12 Days of Christmas raffle a try – it’s a great way to keep the excitement building up until the big day and provides an opportunity to involve a variety of local businesses.

12 raffles of Christmas drawing

Try out a Twelve Days of Christmas raffle where you hold daily drawings with ever-increasing prizes. You can sell individual tickets or all 12 as a package at a savings.

The rules are fairly simple: your organization holds a raffle drawing and offers a different prize every day for 12 days. To keep interest high, the value of the prizes increases the closer you get to Christmas.

With a dozen prizes to pay out, you’ll need to be creative in your planning and make the most of your prize budget. A great way to start out is to contact locally owned businesses in your community and ask if they would like to either donate a product or service or offer them at a reduced price. Many times, a local business owner will be happy to donate, as this amounts to “free” advertising for him or her.

Gift certificates, vouchers and coupon books for popular items and services make great prizes, especially at the early stages of a 12-day drawing. To keep enthusiasm high and encourage ticket sales, offer increasingly higher-end items, such as a weekend getaway for two, a Nintendo Wii U or a 50″ flat-screen TV.

For a raffle like the 12 Days of Christmas, you can sell tickets individually and offer a block of 12 at a special rate for the chance to win all 12 prizes. (A smart idea is to clarify that a winning ticket can only win once!) Be sure to collect all tickets prior to the date of the first drawing.

Download the 12 Days of Christmas.zip files now.

Above all – have fun!

Great prize ideas to make your next raffle a huge hit

When you’re planning a raffle, deciding on the type of prize can quickly become a headache. Your organization may be providing lots of fun and entertainment and offering an opportunity for the community to support a great cause, but without great prizes the event may fall flat.

Choosing a prize begins with the community. You may find that business owners/representatives in your area are more than happy to help your organization reach its fundraising goal. A locally owned spa, for example, could donate gift certificates for an hour-long massage, or a ski resort could donate five free ski lessons. (An offer to post a sign near the donated item that displays the donor’s business name would likely be appreciated.)

When approaching a business for a donation, keep in mind that in many cases, chain stores aren’t always your best bet. Some outright prohibit making donations, while others may require a written request that must go a few rungs up the corporate ladder before it’s even considered. Locally owned businesses tend to respond more quickly and more positively to donation requests.


It’s a good idea to supplement donations with a mix of other prizes. It’s important to work within a budget when you’re thinking about prizes for your raffle drawing. The more money that’s been budgeted, the more – or more expensive – your prizes can be..

Common ranges for prize values are up to $50 and $50 – $100.There’s a lot you can do in each value range while keeping it exciting for participants. Gift baskets filled with a variety of items are always a popular choice – a coffee-themed basket with different coffees, mugs and flavored creamers, or a baseball-themed basket with tickets to the local game and a baseball hat, are just two of many, many popular themes.

Electronics make great prize ideas, since many people want them but won’t buy them for themselves and they’re relatively affordable depending on your prize budget. A Kindle or Nook e-reader can be bought for under $100, as can a Bluetooth headset or a Wii Fit Plus with balance board.


So get creative with your prizes and have fun at your next raffle!

‘Tis the Season for Charitable Contributions

Season of GivingAs this holiday season rapidly approaches, you might want to get your charitable efforts well underway before your schedule spins out of control … again … like it does every year.

So right now, before bad weather sets in and everybody heads south for the season, it’s the perfect time to catch local businesspeople and ask for donations of cash or products for your next raffle or drawing. With Thanksgiving still a couple of weeks away, you’ll be able to find most business owners in their offices. Many of them will be feeling warm, charitable thoughts (and it’s not just because they haven’t yet opened their credit card statements or suffered through the 300th rendition of “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas”.)

At year’s end, many businesses might have unsold inventory they need to clear out to make space for next year’s products. And, let’s not overlook the fact that many of these businesses can be greatly benefited by squeezing in a bit of last-minute tax deductions! Many businesses have their fiscal year’s-end coming up and every little bit makes a difference.

There are a few rules your business friends should be aware of before they start packing your arms full of unsold inventory. I recommend reading a recent article by About.com’s contributor William Perez called ” Tax Deduction for Charity Donations Contributions to churches and non-profits are tax-deductible.”

Perez points out that a gift of cash or property must meet certain criteria in order to be tax-deductible.

Businesses must actually donate cash or property. A pledge or promise to donate is not deductible until they actually pay.

They must contribute to a qualified tax-exempt organization.A qualified charity will be able to provide the business with the proper documentation to prove their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Not all organizations, such as churches and religious organizations are required to obtain 501(c)(3) status from the IRS.

Proper records must be kept. This includes saving canceled checks, acknowledgment letters from the charity, and appraisals for donated property. Contributions of property (other than cash) are also subject to strict record keeping and substantiation rules. The business must be able to substantiate the fair market value of the goods or property donated, plus keep any written acknowledgments you receive from the charity.

There are limitations on the deduction that can be applied. A charitable contribution’s tax deduction may be limited. There are limits specific to charitable contributions, and there are general limits on itemized deductions. A properly certified accountant is the best source for this information.

Not all contributions are tax deductible. Contributions are not tax deductible if given to any of the following:

  • Political parties, political campaigns, or political action committees.
  • Contributions given to individual people.
  • Fees or dues paid to professional associations.
  • Contributions to labor unions, chambers of commerce, or business associations.
  • Contributions to for-profit schools and hospitals.
  • Contributions to foreign governments.
  • Fines or penalties paid to local or state governments.
  • The value of your time for services rendered to a non-profit.

Charities should be ready to provide documentation to businesses regarding their donations in a timely manner. This includes both cash and non-cash contributions. No tax deduction will be allowed if the taxpayer cannot provide any supporting documentation –  and that might make the business owner less likely to contribute next year.

IRS Resources:


Increase your fundraising success with planning and preparation

Buying TicketsWhen it’s time to explore your organization’s fundraising options, holding a raffle may be one of the first options that come to mind. And why not! Drawings can be a fun way to get your organization’s message out to the community and network with a new audience that perhaps wouldn’t have been reached otherwise.

Once the decision is made to hold a raffle, it’s time to take a hard look at the logistics. Are raffles or other drawings – sometimes referred to as “games of chance” – legally permitted in your state and community? If you’re not certain what the rules are in your area, contact your state attorney general’s office or look online for your state’s statutes, being sure to read everything thoroughly. If there is any aspect of the law that isn’t clear to you, or you have questions, do not hesitate to ask your state attorney general.

Assuming your organization is able to operate a raffle, the next question is which type, and how to run it. 50-50 raffles, Queen of Hearts, Chinese auction … there are many different types of drawings, each with their own rules. A bit of research will be needed to determine whether your organization will be able to hold a given game.

Some factors that you will need to take into account include the number of people in your organization who are willing to be part of a raffle committee. You will need a certain number of people to work together to make the magic happen! Since this group will be representing the entire organization to the community, directly or indirectly, you’ll want people who have the available time and talent to dedicate to the drawing. Some may enjoy working behind the scenes to choose a drawing and help the process move smoothly, while others will have more fun serving as an operator – someone who meets players face to face and runs the game. Try to match each person’s talents and interests to the task.

There are a number of details to be considered: Does everyone involved understand the rules of the drawing? If the raffle requires equipment, can the equipment be obtained? What will be the prizes? Where will the raffle be held? How many people will be needed on-site to ensure everything goes smoothly? Who will take care of applying for any required permits or licenses? Some states require applications be received at least two months in advance of the date on which the raffle is to be held, so planning for a raffle should begin well ahead of time.

Of course, publicity is critical for your raffle’s success. No one will come if they don’t know about it! It may be helpful to prepare tickets and flyers ahead of time for members of the committee, and members of the organization itself, to sell as permitted by law.

Social media is a great way to get the word out about your raffle, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Harvest American has a Facebook page dedicated to all things raffle related, and we invite you to come and post to share your thoughts with our community experienced fundraisers.

Don’t forget about your personal page on the RaffleTicketSoftware.com web site where you can post all of the information about your upcoming raffle. Give us a call if you’ve misplaced your log in information and we’ll get you set up right away.

Don’t forget about company newsletters where you work. Make sure you give a flyer to the person who builds the newsletter and ask them to print it in the newsletter, put it online, and post the flyer in the break room.

Depending on your budget and the intended audience for the raffle, you may want to purchase newspaper ads or radio spots.

As the big day approaches, be sure to meet with everyone one last time to ensure that the details have been followed through on and any lingering issues are resolved. Make sure the site is prepared, all necessary licenses and prizes have been obtained, the equipment is set up and working, and everyone who is part at the raffle is ready to go. Have emergency contacts prepared to run errands in case a last-minute situation comes up.

With a bit of planning, your organization can enjoy a successful raffle. Good luck, and have fun!

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Thank your donors and sponsors

Many businesses can be enticed to donate prizes for your drawing if you promise to promote their business in return.
Keep a list of who donated and the value of their donation.

You can place your sponsors names right on the raffle tickets if you have room. If space is at a premium, you can use any program on your computer – like Word or Publisher – to print the names on the backs of each ticket.

To do so, simply flip a blank sheet of perforated raffle ticket paper over left to right. Measure the location of the perforations and place guides on your 8-1/2″ x 11″ document. Fit the text inside one set of guides and then copy and paste the text onto the other seven tickets.

Print a test sheet on regular paper, place it over the raffle ticket paper, and hold both up to the light to make sure the printing falls correctly in between the perforations. Adjust and repeat as necessary.

Once correct, print the back side of all of the tickets, flip the stack over, and print the front of the tickets normally.

Sponsorship levels

Think about offering different sponsorship levels to invite a little friendly competition among your donors.

For example, the biggest donor would get “Platinum” status and their name would appear near the top on every available printed material. If you have a wrap-up banquet, the platinum sponsor’s party would sit at the head table and receive special thanks during speeches.

Gold, Silver, and Associate sponsors would receive commensurate billing – from printing their name lower on signage to appearing only in the program.

You’ll be surprised how a little extra recognition goes a long way as an enticement to give.

Try it next time you have a drawing. Your donors will love it and so will your bookkeeper! 

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