Adding a raffle to your fundraising events is a great way to raise a little extra money for your organization and get your supporters excited about attending your events. With an easy set-up and even just a few simple prizes, you can quickly put together a raffle that will entice all your donors.
What is a raffle?
A raffle is a simple game of chance where your donors will purchase raffle tickets to be entered into a drawing to win prizes. While you can hold a raffle as a standalone fundraiser, it’s a great add-on to any fundraising event from auctions to standard events. By adding a raffle to your fundraiser and promoting it well, you’ll get your supporters’ attention and increase participation in your event.
Before you start planning your raffle, make sure you understand what the local gambling laws are in your state. Many states have rules and regulations around games of chance, including raffles. In some states, any income your raffle generates may be considered taxable, and other states may require you to keep the proceeds from your raffle in a separate bank account. So, before you start sourcing prizes for your fundraiser, make sure you’ve done your research to avoid getting in trouble with the law.
How do you run a raffle?
As with any other fundraiser, you should start your planning process by setting goals for your event. Consider how much money you want to raise with your raffle, and if you’re using your raffle as an add-on to another fundraiser, take into consideration what you expect your event attendance to be. Use those estimates to figure out what kind of prizes to go after and start sourcing prizes.
Once all the set up for your raffle has been completed, it’s time to start selling tickets. If you’re adding your raffle to another event, try selling tickets online during the event registration process and give your attendees another opportunity to buy tickets at the door. For a virtual or hybrid event, add a raffle ticket item to your online store so online attendees can still participate. Boost ticket sales by teasing prize items on your social media accounts in the weeks leading up to your raffle.
When you’re selling your tickets, make sure your donors know what time your raffle drawing is being held. Designate a specific time for your raffle drawing, or if you want to keep donors engaged throughout the night, try drawing raffle tickets at various times to give away multiple prizes at a time.
Where do you get raffle items from?
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to go out and find the prizes you’ll be giving away. Use your network connections with your staff, volunteers, and board members to see if they’d be willing to contribute or can help you get in touch with people who might be able to provide you with enticing prizes. Reaching out to local businesses and artisans to see if they’d be willing to become in-kind sponsors for your event is another way you can collect items for your raffle.
What are good raffle prize ideas?
As you come up with raffle prizes for your fundraiser, keep your supporter base in mind. Collect prizes that would interest them and entice them to buy a ticket for a chance to win. But if you’re not sure where to start, here’s a list of raffle prize ideas you can use to get your donors excited about your fundraiser.
Food & Drink Raffle Prize Ideas
- Personal chef for a night. Give your donors the opportunity to impress all their friends with a dinner party they’ll never forget. Reach out to the chef at your local restaurant hotspot to see if they’d be willing to donate their services to your raffle and schedule a home-cooked date-night dinner or dinner party for a lucky winner.
- Tour of a winery or brewery. Any wine or beer lovers amongst your donors? Give them a special opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at a winery or brewery to see how their favorite drinks of choice are made. Cap off the adventure with a tasting session or turn this into an even more extravagant item by adding on a weekend getaway to the tour.
- Cooking classes. Calling all aspiring chefs! Your foodie supporters will love the opportunity to learn some new skills in the kitchen and add new recipes to their repertoire under the watchful eye of expert culinary teachers.
- Restaurant gift certificates. For a date night or new food adventure, give a lucky winner the opportunity to go for a night out at a beloved local establishment or a new, highly rated restaurant!
- Wine and cheese basket. Charcuterie board lovers will appreciate this wine and cheese tasting in a basket. It’s the perfect prize for any upcoming gatherings or a date night in.
- Baked goods. Do you have a highly frequented bakery nearby? Is there a volunteer in your community who’s known for their famous pies or cookies? Raffle off some coveted, oven-baked goodies to your lucky donors!
Health & Fitness Raffle Prize Ideas
- Golf getaway. For a big-ticket item, raffle off a getaway to a golf resort to give a lucky donor the opportunity to play on new and exciting golf courses for a whole weekend!
- Personal trainer sessions. If any of your donors are looking for some extra help at the gym or trying to develop a fitness regimen, raffle off some private training sessions with a personal trainer.
- Home gym equipment. It’s not always easy to find the time to drive to the gym and get a workout session in. Instead, make it easy for your supporters to schedule more physical activity into their days by giving away some home gym equipment.
- Signed sports memorabilia. Sports fanatics will love the opportunity to take home memorabilia signed by their favorite athletes to display in their homes and show off to any guests!
- Spa treatment gift cards. Self-care is essential for your health. Give your donors permission to take some time for themselves with gift cards for spa treatments at your local spa.
Seasonal Raffle Prize Ideas
- Family portrait sitting. When Christmas card season rolls around, it always seems like a last-minute mad dash to find those family photos that you can send out to family and friends. Instead, your lucky donors can be prepared for their cards to go out when they win portrait sitting sessions with a local photographer!
- Ski getaway. As a big-ticket item, give your snow sports lovers a vacation to remember with a ski resort getaway. They can barrel down the mountain all day before heading back inside to enjoy the après-ski scene at a luxurious, all-inclusive resort.
- “Summer in the backyard” basket. Encourage your donors to enjoy their summers to the fullest and give their kids something to do with a collection of hot-weather outdoor backyard activities. Include chaise loungers, an outdoor umbrella, a blow-up pool, and anything else that might help your supporters enjoy the great outdoors while the weather’s nice. For a big-ticket item, offer up pool installation services!
Home Goods Raffle Prize Ideas
- A brand-new house. This is a big-ticket item that will take a lot of research and planning but can be completely worth it if you can pull it off! In some cases, you may need to meet a minimum ticket sales amount or other standards before you can raffle off a house, so make sure you’re aware of the rules and regulations around raffling off a house before you put this up as a raffle item!
- Interior designer consultation. Give your lucky donors the opportunity to win a nice home refresh with an interior design consultation.
- Flatscreen TV. Take movie nights to the next level by raffling off a brand new flatscreen TV!
- Smart home devices. The popularity of home tech has grown substantially in recent years. Give your raffle ticket holders the opportunity to get connected with a collection of smart home devices to make their everyday routines a little bit smarter.
- Home services. When the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it’s time for some spring cleaning. Give your lucky winners a little bit of help with organizing that closet that they’ve always been meaning to go through or with cleaning that pool that’s been covered all winter by raffling off a variety of home services like professional organizing or a simple cleaning.
Kid-Friendly Raffle Prizes
- Ice cream with a teacher. For your next school fundraiser, raffle off the opportunity to grab a sweet treat with your students’ favorite teachers. You can also raffle off lunches, an afternoon of board games, or craft sessions so students and teachers can enjoy some fun activities together outside of the classroom!
- Board game basket. Family game night just got more exciting with some fresh additions to your donors’ board game collections! You can throw in some multiplayer video games as well to keep things interesting for kids who prefer digital game formats.
- Yearly entertainment subscription packages. Expand your donors’ movie collections by raffling off streaming subscription services gift cards so they can keep family movie night fresh and fun with all the latest blockbuster releases.
- Shadow for a day. Parents will love the opportunity to give their kids a behind-the-scenes look at professional life with a shadow for a day raffle prize. Reach out to local members of the community and see if they’d be willing to bring a raffle winner along with them to get a look into their day-to-day professional responsibilities. This is a great prize option for a high school fundraiser to offer to students who are looking forward to the future.
- Escape room gift certificate. For a fun family bonding and team-building experience, raffle off a gift certificate to an escape room!
Unique Raffle Ticket Prizes
- Shopping spree. Partner with a local boutique to offer a shopping spree and personal styling session for a lucky raffle winner! If you’re looking for a smaller ticket item, see if your local boutique shop owner would be able to put together a few outfits you can raffle off to your donors instead.
- Custom art pieces. From pet portraits to wedding day portraits, partner with a local artist to raffle off custom art pieces to your donors.
- Reserved parking space. A great prize option for school fundraisers, your lucky raffle winners will love knowing that they’ll always have a place to park when they win a reserved parking space.
- Car servicing. Taking your car in for oil changes and tire rotations can get pricey. Take that burden off your raffle winner’s back by offering car servicing gift certificates up as a prize.
- Engraved bricks. Are you building a new addition to your nonprofit’s office building? Is your church getting a new walkway? Raffle off engraved bricks so your donors can have their support forever memorialized as a part of your organization’s new property.
- Private house concert. Make entertaining easy for your donors by raffling off a private house concert. At their next party or gathering, a local musician or band will give your raffle winner and their guests a private house concert for a memorable night of music.
Easy Raffle Prizes
- 50/50 raffle. Split your raffle ticket sales pot with a lucky raffle winner! A 50/50 split is a popular option, but you can offer up any percentage of the raffle sales as a prize from your organization.
- Simple home goods basket. Put together a basket with candles, picture frames, baking mixes, home decor items, and anything else that will make a house just that more homey for your donors.
- Gift certificates. In general, gift certificates are a great raffle prize that will appeal to almost any donor. You can put together a gift card basket with a variety of gift cards to different shops and establishments, or raffle off gift certificates one-by-one.
- Chocolate basket. Chocolate-loving supporters will love the opportunity to win a basket full of chocolate goodies to satisfy all their cravings!
- Movie tickets. Your donors’ next movie night out is on you! Raffle off movie tickets to the next, highly anticipated blockbuster or try to snag a pair of opening night or advance screening tickets so your supporters can be the first to see the next great movie masterpiece.
Hosting a raffle can add an additional exciting element to any fundraising event and drive more ticket sales and donations. While prizes can range from sweet and simple to expensive and extravagant, just make sure you have something that appeals to everyone, and you’ll be sure to have a successful fundraiser!
Check these resources out to make planning your next fundraiser a breeze:
- Silent Auctions | The Ultimate Guide for Your Next Event
- 50 Silent Auction Basket Ideas
- 11 Online Auction Website Best Practices for a Dynamic Virtual Event