Tag Archives: raffle ticket success

Planning for a perfect fundraiser

Last month, we looked at fundraising plans – a road map that helps you to establish fundraising goals and what types of events will help your organization reach those goals. Once you’ve chosen the kind of event that will best benefit your mission, the next step is to chart out how to make that event happen as smoothly as possible. With some forethought and effort, you can avoid many of the pitfalls and headaches that are brought on by a lack of proper planning.event logistics

Take a realistic look at your fundraising budget. As the old saying goes, it takes money to make money – how much has been allocated toward the upfront costs of making an event happen? Depending on the type of event you are planning, you may need to be able to cover the costs of space rental, transportation, catering, entertainment/food, and advertising. If a raffle drawing is in your plans, for example, you will need to budget for raffle ticket paper and software as an economical and convenient alternative to using a commercial printing house.

Consider the anticipated upfront costs, set aside a buffer amount for unforeseen circumstances … and then stick to your budget once it’s finalized.

Look ahead on the calendar when setting the date of your event. Give your group enough time to realistically meet its goals. Be sure to take the time to investigate what other events are taking place in your community to help prevent too much competition for people’s time, attention and dollars. Look closely at the calendar: a holiday might help your group’s goals … or it might interfere.

A special consideration for outdoor events is the weather, which doesn’t always choose to work with your best-laid plans. Have a rainy-day backup plan in place. Similarly, have a backup plan in case something goes wrong with the equipment, a performance, or any other part of your event. Rehearse as much as possible to help identify pressure points and deal with problems that may arise.

As you make your plans, it’s critical that you spend time working out the logistics of physically holding an event. Do your plans comply with local laws regarding health and safety, for example? Find out right from the start whether you will need special permits to carry out your plans. Your committee members may need to choose who will be responsible for conducting this research and ensuring that all regulations are being met.

Related to the logistics of holding an event are coordination of ticket sales. Selling tickets to an event can add up to a surprising amount of work, and you want to avoid burnout and frustration. Spread out the tasks of selling tickets among several people, and establish a single person who will be responsible for coordinating the money and sales figures.

When the event is over, do not forget one of the most important aspects of holding an event – thanking everyone involved, including the community. Members of the public have given you their hard-earned cash, and members of your committee and organization have donated hours and hours of their personal time to see that the event is a success. If the people who worked on the fundraiser do not feel appreciated, you can bet they’ll refuse to work on another fundraiser. And everyone who donated or participated will want to know how much was raised and what it is that your group will be able to do that you couldn’t have done without them. This bedrock of goodwill is a strong base on which to build future fundraising events.

A fundraising plan is your road map to success

A key element to the success of any business in operation today is its business plan – a road map that outlines the route a business plans to take to increase its revenues and grow financially. A similar road map exists for nonprofits and other organizations that raise monies for their continued growth and success. fundraising plan

Called a fundraising plan, this road map helps you to look ahead, establish fundraising goals and then focus your efforts on how to achieve those goals. A comprehensive, written fundraising plan becomes a document that you and everyone else can refer to for guidance on tactics and strategies while you’re in the middle of mailing letters, making phone calls and composing e-mails.

Under the best scenario, fundraising plans are written by members of your organization’s development committee in consultation with the CEO or executive director and the board. In the absence of a development staff, the executive director or CEO should write it while consulting with the board. Development consultants are another option; they can help your charity write a fundraising plan that suits your needs, but be sure they are qualified to do so.

A common approach to writing a fundraising plan is to start by listing the overall fundraising goal for the coming year. Articulate what the end goal is for your group’s efforts, based on the organization’s actual needs. Be sure to base your figure on a demonstrable need, not just what seems like a good amount. This is the time to think about what activities your organization would like to carry out, and how much money it will take to do so.

The next step is to think about the mission of your organization – why do you need the money? What is your operating budget, and why is it the size that it is? Once you raise the money, what will you do with it?

Now you’re ready to consider exactly how you will reach your fundraising goals. What methods have worked in the past? Or, if your group is entirely new to fundraising, brainstorm ideas and list them one by one.

You may decide that holding events will be the sole means of raising the money needed to reach your goals. Perhaps a mixture of events, asking donors to make individual gifts (called “individual giving”) to your organization, and soliciting giving from major donor groups is best for your group. These are certainly valid options, but you are not limited to them. Some other tactics include direct mail, telemarketing, pursuing corporate giving programs, online and e-giving, and participatory fundraising (walk-a-thons, cook-offs, etc.).

Once you have a list of tactics, establish a timeline that covers the coming year and pinpoint where on the timeline each tactic belongs. Treat each tactic as a smaller goal that leads to your organization’s success: even though they are smaller, they are important pieces of your fundraising puzzle and need just as much care and attention. Look at each tactic and break them down into timelines of their own – when will a decision on venue need to be made? When will sponsors be solicited? When will invitations need to be sent?

The same approach can be taken for a fundraising plan that looks ahead 2 years, 5 years and beyond. A one-year fundraising plan should be seen as a starting point to charting out years of success for your organization. It’s well worth taking the time to do this work at the very beginning to help avoid stress and even financial panic down the road.

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.

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!

Offer golden tickets as an incentive for purchasing extra tickets

Easter Egg Hunt FundraiserWe all know that the success or failure of raffles as fundraisers hinges on how many tickets you sell, how much you ask for them, how hard you have to work to sell them, and how much the prizes cost you.

It’s common practice to offer a discount to encourage people to purchase more than one ticket, such as $1 for 1 ticket and $2 for 3 tickets. This up-sell method is effective because it’s easy for the purchaser to see how their odds of winning improve exponentially.

Another great tactic to sell more tickets to each purchaser is to offer an added bonus such as a golden ticket. Marketing studies show a remarkable increase in sales when “something for nothing” bonuses are used.

Golden ticket

A golden ticket can be offered free of charge as an incentive to anyone who purchases a certain number of tickets. The golden ticket doesn’t increase their chance of winning, but if the drawing winner happens to have a golden ticket, their prize is automatically increased. Whether you offer a greater cash prize, an extra prize, or a combination, golden tickets are a great way to encourage supporters to spend more money on your raffle, saving your selling teams time and effort.

I don’t recommend that you number these tickets, because these tickets will not be placed in the drawing box. The contestant who purchases a required number of regular, numbered tickets will be given the golden ticket as a bonus. This ticket is not eligible to win anything in and of itself, but, if the winner holds one of these gems, their prize is increased by a determined amount.

Generally, you’ll only need to print a few sheets of golden tickets since a perception of scarcity can make them seem that much more valuable.

Make sure your regular ticket clearly states how many tickets must be purchased to qualify for a golden ticket. In this example, for each 6 tickets purchased entitle the purchaser to one golden ticket. If one of the golden ticket holders wins the drawing they will receive two Easter baskets. You can also print the regular tickets in stack order so that you can staple them into consequtively numbered booklets of 6 with one golden ticket each.

Easter basket giveaway

For a limited time, if you purchase any regular package of perforated ticket paper from us, we will include a few sheets of the goldenrod stock with your order for free. Just write “golden ticket” in the Comments section of the shopping cart and we’ll make sure you get some with your order.

You can download the template to make this ticket and matching golden ticket at our web site.

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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Successful Fundraisers Hinge On Smart Goals

How did your last raffle go?  Were you happy with the amount of money you raised?  If not, you may think that raffles aren’t the best way for your organization to raise funds.

But hold on.  Ask yourself, what part of the fund raising went poorly?  Was it that not enough tickets were sold?  Were they priced too low, or too high?  Did you factor in the cost of the prizes, the cost of the ticket making and the cost of the drawing event itself?  Did you even have a dollar amount in mind when you started?

Many times, a disappointing result to a raffle fundraiser can be blamed squarely on a lack of planning from the outset.

Know How Much Money You Need to Raise:

Sure, that sounds straightforward, but it’s more than just the cost of the thing you are trying to raise money for.  You need to factor in the additional costs you’ll incur in the fund raising itself.

Here’s a list of costs to factor in:

  • Money needed for project = $10,275 roof repair estimate
  • Cost of the prizes = $1,348 for gift baskets, gift certificates, vacation package
  • Cost of the tickets = $120 for 7 packs of perforated bond paper
  • Cost of advertising = $827 for 10 radio commercials, 2 newspaper ads, 500 posters
  • Cost of selling the tickets = $75 for gas receipts, bag lunches
  • Cost of holding the drawing party = $175 for 8 pizzas, punch, cookies

Suddenly, you realize that you need to raise 25% more than you originally bargained for.  I can guarantee you’ll be disappointed in the results if a quarter of your profits disappear in overhead costs.

As intimidating as these numbers can look on paper, it’s very manageable so long as you plan for the extra costs in advance.

Find the Right Price for Each Ticket:

The face value of your tickets will have a huge influence on how many tickets you sell.  It’s also a big determiner of how and where you’ll have the best success selling them.

If you have high-value items to raffle off, you can obviously ask a higher face price for each ticket.  If you have a car or house as a prize, for example, you won’t have trouble asking $20 or even $100 for each ticket.

Mid-value prizes – like snowmobiles or guns – can still get high face values if you limit the number of tickets sold and make that a clear selling point.

More humble prizes, like gift certificates or baskets, limit the interest any given individual will have in winning – even if you have many prizes to raffle off, thereby increasing the odds of winning.  The odds of winning do come into play in a prospective purchaser’s mind, but usually as a secondary factor, so chances are that the individual will have made up their mind to purchase or not to purchase before they consider the odds.

Target Your Market:

You might have a tough time selling a $20 ticket from a table in front of a grocery store as shoppers hurry to their cars.  That same ticket would be much easier to sell at work, on payday, after you’ve told all your coworkers about the raffle days in advance and shown them photos of the prize.

Always keep in mind what kind of cash purchasers are likely to have on hand.  And save yourself headaches by choosing whole dollar amounts so you don’t have to lug around a bunch of change.

$1, $2, and $5 tickets usually sell without too much trouble.  If you get into larger face values, you should be prepared to either accept personal checks or wait until the prospect has a chance to go get cash (and possibly lose the sale).

And don’t overlook the chance to up-sell.  If your tickets are $2 each, or 3 or $5, many people jump at the chance to save a dollar.  Meanwhile, if you don’t offer the deal, you’ll have fewer customers buying two or more tickets.

Quality Depends on Price, or Visa Versa:

Now that you have an idea what face value you can ask for your raffle tickets, calculate how many tickets you’ll need to sell.

Let’s say you think you can sell a lot of tickets if you can keep the face value down to $2 each.  You estimate that you’ll need to raise at least $12,808.  $12,808/$2 = 6,404 tickets.  Right away, you’ll be able to set a sales goal of 6,500 tickets.

Harvest American’s perforated papers come in 1,000-ticket packs, so if you buy 7 packs, you’ll be able to print 7,000 tickets.  You’ll also save on shipping because you’re buying all of your paper at one time, plus your order will qualify for a 20% volume discount!  7,000 is a reasonable goal, and it gives you enough extra to cover the up-selling deals of 3 for $5.  (Remember, if you plan to sell more tickets,  you’ll need to cover the cost of the extra paper).

What if you decide that there’s no way you’ll be able to sell 7,000 tickets?  Could you sell 3,000?  If so, you’d need to ask $4.25 each.  But, that’s not a convenient round number, so maybe you should ask $5 each and try to sell at least 2,500. 

Once you break it down, the goals are less intimidating.  You’ll gain confidence as you see how sales are progressing and you’ll be able to make adjustments to your tactics if you see that sales are lagging.

With just that much forethought and preparation, you’re guaranteed to enjoy much more success.

Happy raffling!

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