Raffles are a popular way to raise money for charity. All you need to do is come up with some prize ideas, get some donations, and sell some raffle tickets, right?
Well, in theory, it might be straightforward, but unlike buying bingo tickets, it can be a challenge to set a budget, find the right prizes, and sell the right number of tickets. Or, you might be stuck and not know where to start!
To help you out, here are some guidelines for how to host a raffle, how to source donations for prizes, along with some ideas of what to give away – for every budget.
How to host a raffle
The most important thing is to set a goal. What charity do you want to support, and why? Who do you think is going to support it? As with any project, it’s important to define your target audience.
This is even more important if you are hosting an online raffle, where you don’t get to meet and interact with potential ticket buyers in person!
Once you have this in mind, you can plan how much money you want to raise and work out how many tickets you need to sell. This will depend on whether you can get the raffle prizes donated; otherwise, you’ll need to factor the cost of the prize(s) into your sums.
How to get donations for prizes
You would be surprised at how many people are willing to donate to raffle competitions that are held for a good cause! Who you approach will also be influenced by what charity you are supporting, where you are based and who your target audience is (as well as how much they’d be happy to spend on a ticket). If you make your case compelling enough and the issue you’re supporting is close to their hearts, then you should be able to persuade a few people to chip in with some surprisingly generous prize offers.
For example, if you’re looking to support an animal charity, you might approach pet shops or pet merchandising brands or even pet-sitting or pet-grooming services for prize donations. Since raffles are a popular way of raising money in the UK, many companies or individual business owners are likely to be used to people contacting them for this reason.
Whether you choose to send an email, letter or approach people directly, make sure you communicate your objectives clearly. And don’t be afraid to follow up if you’ve had no response!
10 prize ideas for every kind of budget
Whether you’re selling in-person or online raffle tickets, it can be difficult to know where to start with prizes, especially if the charity isn’t particularly specialised.
In this case, it’s a good idea to offer a range of options to potential raffle winners, as people are more likely to enter a prize draw if they know there’s a chance that they’ll walk away with something, even if they don’t win the main prize! To get you started, here are some general ideas:
A car or a vehicle is one of the most popular options for a raffle draw – who doesn’t love those big massive bows that they put on them, too? If not a car, a scooter or other small vehicle could also make an exciting prize.
A luxury getaway might be your first choice, but local getaways can also be very popular and a good way to support a local business. Here the destination and length of time of the getaway all depend on what you can secure from a donor or incorporate into your ticket costs. Try to make the prize for at least “you and a guest”, though – because the thought of taking up the offer of a prize getaway break alone might not cut it for many potential ticket holders!
3. Gift baskets
A gift basket or hamper can easily be changed up and customised, depending on who you are targeting. From delicious food items and artisanal products to other smaller homeware or beauty items, you really can go wild with gift baskets – there’s a reason that they’re such a popular option. Depending on the charity that you’re holding the draw for, you might be able to tie in the theme with the basket contents for greater effect.
In a digital world, everyone loves to get a new device, whether that’s a tablet, speaker or even a set of headphones. Your budget will dictate what brands you go for, but thanks to the popularity of these types of products, you’ll be spoilt for choice. It’s a dead cert for a popular prize these days!
5. Home appliances
These are another great prize option: home appliances are always welcome, and there is a range of lower- to higher-budget options available. From small, handheld vacuum cleaners to larger, high-end coffee machines, you can cater to everyone – from the reluctant homemaker to the kitchen connoisseur.
6. Home services
Home services are another great idea for a prize draw, as there is always something that needs to be done around the house! Whether that’s a simple home clean or a garden landscaping service, anyone who is feeling a bit tired of DIY might be very enthusiastic about winning this type of prize.
7. Gift cards
It may be a tried-and-tested choice, but who can say no to a free massage, manicure or pedicure, or even a free meal? Gift cards can cover a huge number of options, such as a certain amount at a local store, or a larger chain or department store – depending on what kind of donation or prize you can organise! If it’s for a beauty salon, for example, they’ll usually set a limit of value for services and then the lucky winner can choose what they want to have up to that amount.
Similar to the gift-card idea, a subscription is a wonderful idea for a raffle. As the world shifts more towards online services, this could also be very appropriate for a raffle website and could include anything from exercise classes to a monthly food-box subscription.
9. Clothing or accessories
Everyone loves a designer piece, and even with a budget, you can find brands or people who would be willing to donate to a good cause. With so much up-and-coming talent in the world of fashion, this could also be a great opportunity to support a young designer and help them raise their profile.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a complete list without some kind of memorabilia on it! Whether that’s a signed piece of clothing by a local sporting celebrity or a signed picture, this could go down very well, especially if it involves local celebrities. If you do happen to secure an item from someone who is mega-famous, all the better!
Extra tips for organising a successful raffle
Organising a successful fundraiser is about coming up with a goal, approaching the right people and following your plan through efficiently. Other tips to help you include getting a letter of support from the charity you are supporting, to show that your efforts are legit.
Another simple, but important, thing to do is to thank everyone for what they have donated, and to keep track of all the people you have contacted, in case you ever need to organise a similar fundraiser again. It’s also really good practice to inform everyone – both the donors and the people who entered the raffle draw – the total amount that was raised for the charity in question. It leaves everyone with a lovely, warm feeling!
With so many incredible fundraising events happening all the time, there are many inspirational examples to follow, including all the people who have come up with creative ways to raise money for Sport Relief.
Buy your raffle tickets at Mecca Bingo
If you’re more excited about buying tickets for a competition than creating your own, you can enter our regular prize draw. Although you may not always be supporting a worthy cause, you could still stand a chance to win some great prizes when you do.
All you need to do is buy a ticket online on the raffle page of our site, or enter free of charge by post!