Archive for the 'Raffles' Category

School Raffle in 2011-2012? Read This First!

Here is an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT for anyone who will be running a raffle at their school in 2011 or 2012.

My partner Sandra Sims and I have just published an excellent e-book called Raffle Secrets. Sandra is the former owner of this site, TopSchoolFundraisers, as well as StepbyStepFundraising. You have known me for the last three years as the main content provider for this blog.

The goal of RaffleSecrets is to give your school fundraising team all the tools necessary to plan and run the most financially successful raffle possible.

Here is just a sample of the things you’ll find in RaffleSecrets:

  • How to decide if a raffle is right for your group (includes checklist)
  • How to keep your raffle legal
  • The top 5 most attractive prizes and how to get them at low -or no- cost
  • 5 ideas to add revenue with ticket-buying incentives
  • How to set the ideal length of time for ticket sales
  • Create an event schedule so you’ll stay on track (includes a sample!)
  • How to set the price for the tickets
  • How to estimate costs (includes sample budget)
  • The formula for creating the perfect ticket price
  • Where to get your raffle tickets printed
  • Promoting your raffle: advertising and publicity
  • The #1 way to sell the most tickets
  • 10 tips for selling tickets at a public booth
  • Incentives and contests to motive volunteer ticket sellers
  • Marketing techniques to build excitement
  • How to give away the raffle prizes with a big event

In addition to this fifty page e-book, we are also including three FREE bonus e-books. They are:

  • 18 Unusual and Amazing Raffles You Can Do to Raise Money for Your Cause
  • Drive into Fundraising Success with a Car Raffle
  • House Raffles – The Big Time Prize

Sandra and I put a lot of time and effort into creating RaffleSecrets. After years of providing rock-solid information about school and non-profit fundraising to our readers, we know the questions you want answered, because we have listened to you, and we have been there ourselves. Much of this material is based on our own real-world experience.

There is a 100% money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk to you. Also, we are running a special introductory offer with a much lower rate, but this won’t last forever, so please check us out now.  We have a website set up specifically set up to sell this amazing resource.

If you’ve ever benefited from any one of our blog articles, you’ll know you are getting something very valuable in our brand new e-book!  I hope to see you over at!



School Raffle Fundraising Success Tips

school raffleMy son’s school had a raffle this year that was so successful that next year the school might just implement this raffle idea as the only fundraiser.

Our school like most schools has an auction/dinner fundraiser every year. An event that a handful of parents work on all year long for weeks and weeks and the rest of the school parents put in a pretty good share of time too. This year was one of the most successful ones because we also implemented a raffle that raised a quarter of the whole event!

The truth is I think that raffles rule! But you have to do it in a smart way. Here is what we did:

Since kids are great raffle ticket salespeople we wanted to make it fun and rewarding for the kids to sell the tickets. We made a list of all the coolest raffle prizes that our kids would love to receive. The #1 thing was a Unicycle (we have a circus performing arts class that all the kids take), after that we came up with a Tamagotchi , a skateboard and tons of beanie babies!

What we did is organize in effect two raffles, one was the fundraising raffle and one was the kid’s raffle. You cannot buy raffle tickets for the kid’s raffle, you can only earn them. For every 10 tickets that a kid sells they get one free kid raffle ticket. Naturally, the kid raffle’s main prize was a unicycle (which we got donated) and the rest of the prizes were bought by us.

The kids went nuts!!! We gave each child a packet with all the instructions and got them psyched! We made an executive decision that no kid will go empty handed at the end of the raffle and we bought beanie babies for all of them (we got them on eBay for a dollar each).

In order to try and inspire people to buy more raffle tickets for the regular fundraising raffle we awarded those who spent a lot of money with loads of tickets. One raffle ticket sold for a dollar, 6 for 5 dollars all the way to 500 tickets for $200! The thinking for the high amount is that many family members, friends and grandparents live far away. They would be happy to support junior’s school and cannot attend the fundraiser BUT they can buy raffle tickets and would make junior really happy because the more tickets they buy the more the granddaughter receives free kid’s raffle tickets.

In my opinion, the only reason for having a raffle that compliments an auction/dinner is to be able to squeeze money from people that are not going to be at the physical event.

In order to solve the problem of filling in your name and number on each ticket we offered a free fill in service for those who bought $40 worth of tickets or more. We devised a system at the end to make this easy for us to do. I can’t tell you how many of my friends added $20 bucks just so they won’tt have to fill out 30 tickets!

Out of about 50 kids (we are a very small school k-6) we sold about 6 $200 deals (which also included 2 free tickets to the main event, a $50 value)..

Some kids sold hundreds of dollars worth of raffle tickets just by approaching their church members or even at the local market (naturally, we made it clear that kids do not sell on their own and must have an adult present). What I found is that people will be happy to give 5-10 bucks to a local school not really caring what the raffle prizes were.

This was a way to get money from school supporters who could not attend the dinner event for whatever reason.

We ended up raising over $6000 with this raffle which was huge for us. I am already thinking of ways to refine this system in order to make it even more successful next year.

When I think of how much time and energy goes into doing the fundraiser dinner and relatively how little time was involved with the raffle I wonder if it is possible to stretch these ideas and make it the main event.

I think that the key to the success was having the secondary kid raffle. Because once you charge up the kids they not only do a great job but most of them love it too.  And also I think that people are quite tired of buying from those catalogs stuff that they really don’t need or want and would prefer to just give the full amount of money to the school.

If you were given a choice between buying overpriced $8 gift wrap (which the school only sees $3) or buying 12 raffle tickets for $10 which all goes to the school what would you choose?

About the Author: Frustrated with the usual unorganized school fundraisers Suzanne Wouk turned to the internet in search of a better way. To her amazement and delight, she found so many new and exciting ways to fundraise that she started the site in order to share the information and ideas with others.

Writer Richard Russo Includes Raffle Winner’s Name in Latest Book

The Community School is looking forward to the day when Richard Russo will come to their school to read from his latest novel, “Bridge of Sighs“. Russo will read from the book two months earlier than its scheduled publication date. The reading by the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Emmy-nominated novelist and screenwriter is a fund-raiser for the Community School in Camden.

But the Community School is especially interested in hearing about a particular character in his latest novel becuase he shares the same name as a resident of the town, Josa A. Ocariz. Last year the school held a raffle that reached across the nation. The prize: the winner’s name would be used in Russo’s latest novel as a character.

The raffle sold 78 tickets and Ocariz purchased two of the tickets. One of those tickets was the winner, and his name was included in Russo’s latest novel. He is included in the novel and his character is a middle school teacher in upstate New York.

The school raised $7,800 from the raffle event. Tickets for the reading are $20. Russo’s book will officially be published on September 25th.