Raffles! Oh, boy. These can be super fun events. Whether you’re doing it as part of a holiday party, a charitable fundraiser, or some other reason, raffles can be hectic and rewarding. They can also be a bit confusing for people who have not run them before. While we carry a variety of inexpensive raffle tickets here at Dean’s, we work with a lot of people in the industry and we’ve put together a list of some of the best tips and tricks to running a successful raffle.
Why a raffle?
First of all, why would you run a raffle rather than an auction? Dylan Matthews from the Washington Post points out that raffles do better than auctions. This is due in part people knowing that their winnings are not necessarily dependent upon others’ involvements. They know, instead, that if they buy a ticket they have a chance of winning. In fact, the more tickets they buy, the better chance they have to win. Better yet, when they see others buying tickets, they want to be more—something about the competitive need to win.
Different Prize Levels
With a lot of raffles, one ticket is one ticket. Some of the most successful, smaller raffles, however, make use of multiple prize levels. A red ticket can be purchased for a dollar and will win one of these five or ten smaller items. A blue ticket can be purchased for five dollars and wins one of three or five medium prizes. Yellow—or, “gold”—tickets can be sold for ten or twenty dollars and only one, grand prize is awarded. There is some experimental economics behind this, but many who have run successful raffles this way will never go back to the old way of doing things with only one type of ticket.
This one is a big one. First, depending on the type of raffle you are running, there may be local and state laws to consider. Make sure you are following necessary laws when it comes to scribing the rules for your raffle. It also helps to make sure that participants know what they are getting themselves involved in and what they can expect. Keeping the rules as simple as possible really helps with this and the last step as well. Make sure the team you have working with you at the auction know the rules inside and out. This way, they can answer people’s questions right away and not have to go looking for an answer, which is a sure way to miss out on opportunities to sell more tickets.
Have a Theme
Remember your school dances? Were they ever as cool as the school dances on TV and in movies? You know one of the major differences between the two? The make-believe ones all have a theme. People get really into themes. They dress in costumes, sing the songs, get drawn in by the decorations and mood set by the theme. Have a theme to your raffle to help remind people of two things: why they are here and to have fun.
Match the Prizes and the Odds
One other thing you will want to do when organizing a raffle to carefully consider the prizes. One, you want to make sure that the prizes align with the audience and the ticket cost. If the prizes can also align with the cause, that’s even better. Beyond that, make sure that the raffles odds remains in the purchasers’ favor. They want to feel like they have better odds of winning. To do this, you may need to limit the number of tickets sold or have plans to add more items as prizes as the number of tickets sales increases.
Don’t forget to have fun. Whatever the reason for your raffle, don’t forget to have fun. If it becomes too stressful and too hectic, it is not going to be any fun. And, if you’re not having fun, chances are that no one else either. There is no surer way to tank a raffle than to have one that is no fun.