When is a raffle ticket more than just a raffle ticket?
“Impact a Life” scholarship essayist Paige Pajarillo does an outstanding job in outlining “selling hope with a raffle fundraiser.” Thanks Paige!
We don’t buy raffle tickets for their prizes. Rather, we purchase them for ourselves. For a certain time, it’s not a colored piece of paper we hold dearly in our pockets or purses. It’s a sliver of hope, the potential of life, a chance to beat the odds and entropy of the universe. We buy hope for ourselves when we feel that we have none.
Fortunately for non-profit organizations, hope remains a greater prize than any raffle can reward. When purchasing tickets for local groups in the community, many people aren’t spending money to win, to obey their wants and desires. People purchase tickets to give hope not only to themselves but also to that organization. With the additional revenue, organizations are able to return it back to the community. By using raffle fundraisers, organizations give back to the community through the community itself.
Unfortunately, holding raffle fundraisers is not as simple as it seems. Sometimes, people are hesitant to donate money to organizations, focusing on what the money means to them rather than what it means to others.
In order to combat this uncertainty, the impact of the ticket’s purchase must be stressed. Perhaps a ticket purchase doesn’t guarantee a prize or a winning, but it guarantees a contribution towards the community. The money given does not equate merely to materialistic items, but positive attitudes and improvement as a whole. A single purchase of a ticket can buy a pair of gloves for a nearby warm shelter, contribute towards a soccer gear for the town’s children, or even buy some dog treats for the local animal rescue shelter. While the winnings may not be definite, the impact is.
When creating posters for the raffle campaign, inform purchasers what their tickets buy for the community. People will see that they may not get their ticket’s worth from the actual raffle, but rather the raffle’s effect. By promoting the raffle for its selfless values, people will purchase tickets not for themselves but for others.
In addition to the raffle’s improvement of the community, the prizes offered can be an invitation for a ticket purchase. The first step is finding a prize that fits the raffle. For example, if only 100 tickets are expected to be sold at $1 apiece, perhaps the new iPhone 5S is not the best choice for a prize. Instead, opt for a prize that monetary values cannot compare to. For example, if the raffle is for a local Boy Scouts troop, make the grand prize a yard clean up for the winner. That way, the troop can capitalize on the money collected from the raffle and the winner can go home with a prize worth winning. Not all prizes are valued by their price tag.
Finally, the most important part of a successful raffle is the actual ticket selling. Holding a successful raffle is like a political election: it relies on the thoughts and opinions of the people. In the 21st century, going door-to-door no longer remains the best option for marketing. Use social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in order to spread the word. Many of these sites have a “retweet/share” button, so a successful post can travel like wildfire.
The best way to inform the public is to have volunteers. However, volunteers must be truly engaged in order to increase the success of the raffle. I know from my high school soccer raffles, selling tickets was extremely important because it gave my team the money to have sports banquets and new equipment. Use personal motivation to enhance volunteering hours. For a non-profit organization, count the hours volunteers advertise for the raffle as community service hours. This way, the raffle, community, and volunteer all benefit from the same source.
Raffles in the community simply are not composed of statistics and odds. Rather, they rely on their organization, their advertising, and above all, their community. For non-profit organizations, holding a raffle enables them to give back not only to one winner, but also to the community as a whole. A raffle does not merely capitalize on a person’s desire to win a prize. Rather, it captures the hope of the community and the spirit of optimism.