Last year, the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus came up with a really solid model for running raffles. They organized two last year, in the spring and in the fall, generating over $8,000 total for the organization. Not too shabby!
The prize for the first raffle was two season tickets (center orchestra) to a local theater’s Broadway Series (value: $1000). The focus of their spring concert was show tunes, so the prize fit in perfectly with their program.
The prize for the second raffle was a $1000 AmEx gift card.
Tickets were $10 each and they sold roughly 590 in the spring and 430 in the fall, resulting in the $8,000 mentioned above (total revenue: ~$10,200; total expenses: ~$2,090 including prizes and printing of raffle tickets).
Here’s a preview of the tickets for the Spring 2015 raffle:
In both cases, the chorus sold tickets over the course of two months. Instead of drawing the winning ticket at a concert, the chorus chose to extend sales by a few weeks. This timeline gave the chorus the opportunity to sell tickets in multiple ways:
1) Chorus members sold raffle tickets in conjunction with concert tickets. Winners didn’t need to be present at the respective concerts, which meant even those not interested in concert tickets could still support the organization.
2) The chorus sold raffle tickets in the concert venue before their concert and during intermission.
3) The chorus sold tickets during Buffalo’s gay pride festivities.
Keys to success
- Have desirable prizes (duh)
- Sell tickets through multiple channels
Note: because they collected contact information for the raffle (to alert the winner after the drawing), they were able to add a number of new people to their marketing database. Bonus points for maximizing the usefulness of this fundraiser!
Ideas for improvement
- Start selling earlier
- Get prizes donated so all revenue is profit
Make sure you know the laws in your state regarding games of chance. You may want to consult a lawyer to ensure your plans are legal and to determine if you need to file any paperwork before or after your fundraiser.
A big thank you to the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus and Tim Mahiques for sharing details about their raffle. Keep up the great work!
Share your story!
What about your chorus? Had any luck with raffles? Have other small fundraisers that have worked well for your chorus? Please share in the comments below!