Tag Archives: raffle ticket organization

October events offer ample fundraising opportunities

Columbus day dinnerWith the end of summer comes the end of vacation season, the beginning of another school year – and a whole new season of fundraising opportunities. October is a great month for themed fundraising events, with Columbus Day in the middle of the month and Halloween at the end.

Celebrating the arrival of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492, Columbus Day is a federal holiday that is observed in most states with parades and Italian-themed events. One such event is bocce. Bocce is a classic Italian lawn game that is easy to learn and fun for people of all ages to play, which makes it a great choice for a low-cost, low-hassle fundraiser. Individuals or teams can register to play in a tournament for a nominal fee, with a prize going to the top player or team.

Food is a well-known element in Italian culture and helps round out your fundraising offerings, especially when presented in the form of a dinner/dance that highlights Italian foods and music. Many Italian foods are familiar and easy enough to prepare or have catered – your organization might consider holding a spaghetti dinner with meatballs, foccacia pizzas with a variety of toppings, grilled sausage sandwiches with sauteed onions slices and strips of bell pepper as main dishes; dessert items might be Italian ice or gelato, ricotta-filled cannoli, biscotti or fresh fruit, with espresso or cappuccino and Italian sodas on hand as refreshments.numbered dinner ticket

The popularity of Halloween has increased in recent years, and your organization is sure to enjoy a successful, “spooktacular” event when it’s held on or near the 31st, especially if you think outside the traditional box and offer fun, new activities along with familiar favorites.

Your group could partner with a local farmer and hold a pumpkin sale a week or two ahead of the big day, or even carve some of the pumpkins for use in the window displays of local businesses. Another possibility is a “Halloween Happening,” with a pumpkin-carving (or, depending on the availability of space and cleanup crews, pumpkin *smashing*) competition in addition to the classic bobbing for apples and costume contest.

A “Hilarity House” offers a creative alternative to the scary/creepy/gross haunted house, with familiar Halloween characters acting out of the ordinary – imagine a Count Dracula who craves chocolate, not blood, or a Dr. Jeckyll who turns into a goofy clown instead of Mr. Hyde. Two teams of witches in pointed hats and black costumes might use their brooms as hockey sticks and play short games of Witch Hockey with a small football.Halloween party ticket

With both the Italian dinner and the Hilarity House, you can sell admission tickets ahead of the event and have tickets available for purchase at the door as space at your venue allows. Sequentially numbered tickets can be used for a raffle drawing to add another dimension of fun.

Enjoy the holidays of October, and good luck to your fundraisers!

Volunteer perks keep fundraising motivation high

Running a successful fundraising campaign can be mentally and emotionally tiring for even the most enthusiastic volunteer. After weeks and months of hard work trying to keep the community’s enthusiasm high, workers themselves can be in need of a pick-me-up. Here are some ideas to help prevent the candle from burning at both ends and keep your team’s motivation boosted.

fundraising committee rewards

One of the best way to keep your fundraising volunteers motivated is with rewards like a nice dinner out or even an extravagant limo trip.

1. Make sure there aren’t too many tasks in too little time for the number of workers. Few things are as demotivating and morale-crushing as the perception that one’s tasks are too onerous, too complicated or too numerous. Spread the workload evenly among the team, and check in with everyone regularly to gauge where they’re at. If you receive feedback indicating a need for more support or resources, or learn that some workers are carrying more than their fair share of the weight, make workload adjustments accordingly as possible.

If you’re the head of the fundraising committee, check yourself: Are you carrying your fair share of the work? Delegation is, of course, an important skill for event organizers and managers, but there’s a definite line between delegating and shirking. Be honest with yourself and evaluate your own level of effort.

2. On a related note, honor the people with whom you’re working. Be sure to praise committee members – particularly those who are volunteers – for jobs well done and thank them throughout the campaign – not just at the end – for all their hard work. Not only does genuine gratitude and recognition buoy flagging spirits, it helps foster an atmosphere of open communication, which is critical.

3. Keep track of your committee’s progress toward the goal and be sure it’s visible to all. A classic means of doing this is to set up goal thermometers in public areas with gradations and fill in the appropriate amount that’s already been raised. This lets the community see at a glance how your fundraising is coming and how close you are to meeting your goal – and which often has the effect of rallying people to step up and help your group make it.

4. Along the same lines, regular (if not daily) updates on your campaign’s progress can be made available on your organization’s website and/or social media outlets (Twitter and Facebook are especially useful for this purpose).
5. Coordinate mini-campaigns or surprise 24-hour contests during the course of the fundraising campaign, with fun and exciting prizes that many participants can win, not just the top few. You could raffle off larger prizes, tied in to sales; keep in mind that some prizes, like an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World or a visit to a winery or other local destination, tend to inspire people more strongly than, say, a jarred candle.fundraiser dinner reward

6. When the campaign is over, a nice touch that really says thank you for everyone’s hard work is to throw a party! Have one last gathering somewhere special, such as a bowling alley, a local museum, a public garden or a park. Be sure to make reservations well in advance if required by the venue.

The main thing to keep in mind is that your fundraising committee is composed of people who are volunteering their free time to help support your organization. By making sure you do everything in your power to make them feel appreciated and welcome, you’re raking huge steps toward securing their continued support in future campaigns.

May offers two chances for holiday fundraising

With the month of May come not one, but two big holidays for fundraising: Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.

Flowers and chocolates are both widely associated with Mother’s Day. Carnations and daisies are particularly popular, as are roses, lilies, tulips, irises and gladioli. If selling flowers, decide whether to sell pre-orders of bouquets for delivery or pickup just before the holiday or to sell individual flowers on Mother’s Day itself. Work with a florist in your community who is willing to help you put together some lovely flowers or stunning bouquets at a discount in exchange for recognition at your event.

chocolates and flowers

Not very many mothers will turn up their noses to a tin of gourmet chocolates and fresh flowers.

As for chocolates … well, few are the moms who will turn up their nose at a box of gourmet chocolates! And the mouthwatering treat comes in more forms than just small squares in a box. Hold a bake sale right before Mother’s Day and sell variations on a chocolate theme: brownies, chocolate-chip cookies and so on. Be sure to include a variety of other flavors, such as lemon, red velvet and vanilla. With a bake sale, you will likely find a number of volunteer bakers eager to show off their baking skills while lending your organization a hand.

You may decide that it makes sense for your organization to offer both flowers and goodies for sale at a larger fundraising event. Consider holding a craft show if you have access to a gymnasium or other large space – this would provide people with an opportunity to browse among quality handcrafted items and pick out a special gift for Mom to go along with the bouquet and sweets. Ask crafters to donate one or two of their products (or put together a festive, decorated basket) for a raffle drawing; also, see if local businesses that may not have purchased table space at the show are willing to donate gift certificates or coupons for the raffle. Sell sequentially numbered tickets at the door for as little as $1, collect the tickets in a bucket, basket or even a coffee can, and then set aside time during your event to pick and announce the winning ticket numbers.

Memorial Day is at once a solemn occasion, a day set aside to celebrate the service of all military veterans, and a joyful event that informally marks the beginning of the summer season. You can decide which way to go if your organization chooses to hold a Memorial Day fundraiser.

Most communities hold a parade, a festival or a similar type of event on Memorial Day weekend. Your organization can be as big or small a part of the action as your creativity and budget allow. Consider offering small or full-size American flags for sale prior to the holiday or during a local event – these flags can be purchased online from party supply stores, which may give a discount on bulk orders if asked.

On a larger scale, if you have access to suitable cooking equipment and adequate space you could hold a breakfast event before the parade starts using supplies donated by a local grocer (be sure to check with your municipality and obtain any necessary permits beforehand).

The warmer temperatures and generally pleasant weather of late May help fuel spring-cleaning events – another fun way to raise funds for your organization. Solicit members of your community to donate sellable items in good condition for your group to sell over the holiday weekend. Price the articles at full price on the first day and then offer deep discounts on the second day to help prevent leftover items. You could hold a drawing to raffle off any eye-catching, popular items.

Good luck and have fun with your May fundraisers!

Promote your drawing with the Raffle Manager

Finding a simple and effective way to get the word out about your organization’s drawing doesn’t have to be time-consuming and difficult. By setting up an attractive, informative website, you can make it easy to share information about your raffle with a wide audience – in minutes.

The Raffle Manager is a great tool that presents information about your fundraiser online in an easy-to-use format. When you use Raffle Manager, you’ll get a unique web address that you can share on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, blogs and more. The internet becomes an extension of your organization’s advertising campaign!

Setting up your own raffle site is simple. To get started, go to the home page and use the login and password that are emailed to your inbox with the purchase of Raffle Ticket software .

Once you’re logged in, create a “path name.” The path name should be a unique name that describes your raffle; for example, a raffle to raise funds for the SPCA in Akron, Ohio, might use a path name such as akronohiospca2013 (no spaces or punctuation). This will create your raffle’s web address: http://www.raffleticket.com/raffle.aspx?akronohiospca2013.

Next, you are taken to a template page where you can enter basic information about your raffle, such as who or what the raffle benefits, what the prizes are, the drawing date, where to buy tickets, etc.

When you’re done, your page is finished and active for one year. You can come back at any time during that year to make changes, post updates, announce final winners and more – even print posters!

In addition, your raffle will be posted on Facebook to help you reach an even wider online audience. You can “like” the page and share your event on your own Facebook page, with your Facebook friends or even send as a message to others.

Have fun promoting your drawing!

Why it’s better to make your own tickets

Many people are familiar with ordering finished raffle tickets online or from a local print shop. When you order tickets this way you usually get great looking tickets, but there are several downsides to take into consideration.

1) You need to have all of your information: who, what, where, when set in stone. You can’t make changes after you’ve submitted your order.

2) You have to know how many tickets you are going to need. It takes time for the tickets to get printed. If you run low right before your raffle is set to take place, you won’t have time to order more.

3) Finished tickets can be very expensive.

4) You are out of luck if any information needs to be changed. You’ll have to throw the whole batch out and start over from scratch.

5) The ticket printer won’t normally save your files. If you want to run a similar raffle next year, you’ll have to try to remember how you did it and recreate your tickets over again.

Some of the benefits of making your your own tickets:

You can avoid all of these pitfalls if you use Raffle Ticket software. This PC software helps you design your own tickets, save them, make changes as needed, and print only as many as you need, when you need them. If you run low, you can open your saved design and print more right where you left off. And, you aren’t limited to raffle tickets only. This software works well to make admission tickets, valet parking tickets, and many other kinds.

There is a free demo version available if you’d like to try it yourself and see how easy it is to make your own tickets.

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Help Those Who Are Helping You

Organizing raffle drawings can be chaotic – yet another thing on your already-to-full plate.  But as busy as you are, you need to stop every once in a while and take a moment to recognize the hard work of those support people who are the backbone of your organization.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but taking the time to create an ordered structure for your sales team can ease tensions and make your volunteers feel appreciated.

Here are a couple of ideas to help your staff in their efforts:

  1. Assign a leader.  It might not be easy to get someone to step up as leader, but it’s easier on everyone if one person is in charge.  There will be less confusion and probably fewer conflicts.
  2. Enlist as many volunteers as you can manage.  Make sure your volunteers have the contact info of the person in charge.
  3. Schedule regular, but brief, meetings so everyone can compare notes and check progress.  You’ll discover if someone is struggling and you’ll be able to offer them help and guidance.
  4. Set clear deadlines and monitor to make sure everyone is meeting them.  It’ll prevent having to dump a ton of work on one or two people at the last minute.
  5. Offer ideas and ask for ideas from all of the volunteers.  You might be surprised who has contacts that will take your drawing up to the next notch.  Your volunteers will also feel rewarded if you put their ideas into practice.
  6. Call each volunteers up front by name so they can be recognized by the whole group.  Everyone likes a round of applause so let them have their moment in the spotlight.  And, it wouldn’t hurt to give a small gift or token of appreciation either.

Just about every group has a couple of dedicated individuals quietly working in the background who keep everything from falling apart.  Most of the time, these people go long stretches between “thank you’s.”

Whether these people are secretaries, club officers, or faithful volunteers, they deserve a little recognition.  Not only is it a nice thing to do, but it might encourage these faithful helpers to come back next year.

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Summertime Opportunities

I bet you’d rather be at the beach, or camping, or participating in nearly any outdoor activity.  But you’re not.  You’re stuck behind your computer and starting to resent being saddled with your next fund raising project.

You don’t have to feel guilty.  I’d rather be at the beach too.

The secret to happiness is to get your fund raising activities – and yourself – outdoors.  You can combine the two – selling tickets AND enjoying yourself – with just a little creative finesse.

When’s the last time you treated yourself to a car show?  How about an outdoor concert?  If those are few and far between, what about a firemen’s field days or local farmers market?

All it takes is a few phone calls to the right people, and you have a good chance of getting a table at the event where you can sell your raffle tickets.  Who knows?  You might even get the space, admission, and great parking all thrown in as a donation to your charity.  (You’ll never know if you don’t ask).

These are fantastic places to sell your tickets.  The crowds are concentrated, so you’ll have heavy traffic, and there is usually down time before the event starts and the crowds are looking for something to do.  These people are not only generally in a good mood, but they showed up with money in their pockets set aside for spending.

Best of all, you get to take breaks where you can walk around to enjoy the sights, sounds and – gasp – the FOOD!

It’s a win-win situation.

So stop feeling guilty about wanting to get outside.  You’ve got a game plan.  Go put it into practice and enjoy the results!

 

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Get the word out

Send information about your drawing to local news outlets – TV, newspapers, community calendars, local-info web sites,  chambers of commerce, even posters in store entryways – They’ll often mention your organization or event and sometimes they’ll even send a reporter or local dignitary to your event.

It’s free advertising that will help to draw more interest!

 

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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Springtime Opportunities

As warmer temperatures arrive, a whole new season of craft shows begin to fill the calendar. Spring is a busy time and people frequent shows looking to pick up ideas and supplies for their favorite pastimes.

Water Lily

By offering a raffle during a craft show, you are able to add another level of fun and excitement for participants while at the same time, sharing information about your organization or cause.

Because most show organizers require advance registration to reserve a space, some planning is helpful. Finding where craft shows are being held and registering with organizers in time can be tricky. In larger towns, you may have a number of shows from which to choose on a given weekend, while in smaller communities there may only be one or two shows a month.

Many times, upcoming craft shows will be listed in the classified section or advertised in a display ad in the local newspaper – you may even see signs posted along streets in the neighborhood where the show is to be held. Keep in mind that these listings are often notices of shows whose dates are rapidly approaching and whose registration dates have passed (meaning there may not be enough time for you to participate in that show), but by contacting either the organizers themselves or the facility where the show is to take place,  you will have a direct line to upcoming opportunities.

The Internet can be a great source of information for larger shows. Websites such as http://www.fairsandfestivals.net list a wide variety of shows sometimes months in advance of the show dates, organized by state. While details are made available only to paid members, the show names can be looked up separately through an online search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Other sites include http://festivalnet.com/craft_shows.html and http://www.artscraftsshowbusiness.com/default.aspx. You can also search the name of your town with the phrase “craft show” for smaller shows.

 

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