Insights: Preparing for Your Raffle
Learn tips for ensuring your Raffle fundraiser is a success.
Running a Raffle can be a fun and effective way to raise funds for your cause since it's easy for donors to participate. The guidelines below can assist you with planning out the details and raising as much money as possible. The links will take you to Knowledge Base articles with more detailed information about each topic.
Check Local Laws and Regulations
In the US, Raffles are considered gambling. Because of this, Raffle laws can differ from state to state and even from county to county. Running an international Raffle can also be tricky since you must learn multiple countries' laws. Look up your local laws and regulations before planning your Raffle to ensure that all elements of your fundraiser are legal.
Can't Run a Raffle? Consider a Sweepstakes
If local laws prohibit you from running a Raffle, consider a Sweepstakes instead. They function similarly, but Sweepstakes often have fewer regulations because you're required to offer a free method of entry.
Get Your Prizes
Finding Raffle prizes can be a challenge, but there are several strategies you can use to reduce effort and expense.
Ask Existing Sponsors
If you're already connected to businesses, prominent individuals, or other organizations, contact them! They might be able to donate a prize or offer to cover the expense of purchasing one.
Reach Out to Local Businesses and Organizations
Raffles are an excellent opportunity to highlight local businesses and organizations you're not yet connected with. In exchange for a prize or donation, you can offer to list them as a Sponsor on your Raffle page as a form of free advertising. Depending on local laws, they might also be able to claim a tax benefit for their donation.
If no one can donate a prize, you may need to purchase one. You can ask for donations towards the purchase or cover the expense yourself. Some businesses are willing to give nonprofits a discount on their prize purchase since it's going to a charitable cause.
Run a 50/50 Raffle Instead
If you can't find or purchase a prize, consider a 50/50 Raffle (also known as a split-the-pot or jackpot Raffle), where donors enter to win part of the final amount raised while the rest goes to your organization. Money is always an attractive prize, and winners often donate part or all of their winnings back to the organization.
Promote Your Raffle
The best way to ensure your Raffle is a success is to get the word out. When more people hear about your Raffle, more people will participate.
Find Your Target Audience(s)
Your most likely target audiences are those who are interested in supporting your cause and those who are interested in winning the prize(s). Once you've identified your target audience, think about the best way to reach them. You can advertise online, offline, or a mix of both.
Plan how you'll advertise before and during your Raffle to build and maintain interest. Consider launching your Raffle with early-bird entry specials like discounts or merch, then end on a high note with last-minute specials. Keep in mind that it's often better to run the Raffle for a short time with strong advertising and promotion than to run it for longer with weaker promotion.
Ask Others to Help
People outside of your organization might also be able to help you promote your Raffle. Local businesses might be willing to display fliers or marquee messages, local TV or radio news stations might be able to highlight you in a brief segment, and bloggers or other groups adjacent to your cause might also be willing to help spread the word.
Reach Out Online
Don't forget to reach out directly to current supporters. Send out emails and updates before and during the Raffle, add a link to your Raffle on your organization website, and post on social media. RallyUp's Text-to-Give and QR Code features also make it easy for donors to access your Raffle from their mobile devices.
Use RallyUp's Sharing Rewards Program
Your supporters can also help you get the word out. Offer a Sharing Rewards program where donors can earn bonus entries by sharing a link to your Raffle on social media.
Create Your Raffle
RallyUp offers many ways to customize your Raffle so it's the best fit for your needs.
Choose Your Entry Settings
RallyUp offers several ways for donors to purchase entries:
How-to: Allow Donors to Purchase Raffle Entries for Any Prize Available (recommended if you have only one prize)
How-to: Run a Basket Raffle (coming soon!)
Use Entry Levels to Your Advantage
RallyUp offers default entry levels that we find work well for most Raffles, but you can add, delete, or edit them. We recommend offering at least one low-priced entry level ($10 is usually a good starting point) so more people can participate. That said, you can make high-priced entry levels more attractive by offering merch or entry discounts and setting time or quantity limits.
Sell Entries Offline
Your potential donors may not be online. In addition to online entries, RallyUp allows you to sell entries offline and manually add the purchases to your records. If you need to enter many entries at once, you can bulk import them to save time.
Make sure that all offline entries have been logged before you draw your winner. Offline entries won't be entered into the drawing until the purchase is logged.
Accept Multiple Payment Types
Depending on the funding method you choose (PayPal or Stripe), RallyUp allows you to accept payments via card, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or PayPal. You can also enable check payments. Offering more payment types can increase the number of donors, but your payment records will require more time and effort to manage.
If you allow donors to mail in a check, you'll need to ensure that all checks are received before you draw your winner. Donors who pay by check won't be entered into the drawing until their payment is marked as received.
Decide How Long Your Raffle Will Run
It's easy to assume that running a Raffle for a long time is the best way to raise the most funds, but that isn't always the case. Interest tends to peak when a Raffle starts and ends, but momentum often drops midway through. If you have the resources, you can combat the midway slump by sending regular emails and updates, debuting limited-time discounts, merch, or prizes, and hosting special events.
If you have limited promotional resources, you can still raise funds successfully with a short Raffle.
Choose Your Drawing Settings
RallyUp's drawing settings are fully customizable, so you can pick what works best for you. Have donors purchase entries for a specific prize or for any prize listed, draw winners automatically or manually, notify winners and non-winners via email, and prevent winners from winning more than once.
Add Images and Videos
Images and videos look attractive and professional, help you quickly convey complex ideas, and increase the emotional impact of your message. You can add images to many different places on your Raffle page so everything looks exactly how you want.
Add a Livestream
Livestreams are a great way to catch donors' interest and educate people about your cause. Host a Livestream at any point and as many times as you like, directly from your Raffle page. Interact with donors using trivia and surveys, bring in special guests, spotlight exclusive Raffle prizes, and more. Consider requiring paid admission to raise even more money.
Track Details with Reports
RallyUp also offers the following Raffle reports to help you keep track of every detail and pinpoint which fundraising methods worked best.
- Enter Physical Entries report:
Enter your offline entry sales, track how many offline entries were purchased, and see how much money was raised online vs. offline, which can help you plan your next fundraiser.
- View Promoters and View Earned Entries reports:
If you used the Sharing Rewards program, track who shared a link to your Raffle, who used a Sharing Rewards link to access your Raffle, and how many bonus entries were earned, so you can determine how successful the Sharing Rewards program was and choose whether or not to use it again for future fundraisers.
- Export, Export Entries, and Export Payments by Prize reports:
Track and analyze donor, entry, payment, and prize data. Data is sorted into columns to help you identify trends that can be useful for planning your next fundraiser.
- Manage Check Donations report:
If you allow donors to pay by check, track the payments you're waiting on and mark them as received once you get them:
- Manage Raffle Winners report:
Pull up winner data, ensure winners are eligible for the prize(s) they won, and plan the best way to deliver their prize(s).
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