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February 3, 2017 Raffle Drawings and the Magic of Momentum

We were consulting with a client the other day and raffle drawings became a big topic.  Let’s talk about the best use of these extra revenue generators.

Raffles serve many purposes.  Not only are they a fundraising mechanism for those guests who enjoy a “game of chance”, but they are also the perfect vehicle to tap into the purses of guests who want to donate to your organization but at a smaller price-point.

Make sure you follow your state gambling laws.

After you’ve determined which raffles you’ll be facilitating at your event you’ll need to decide if you want to require that the winner must be present to win.  This is an important factor.  I’ve seen confusion by the person doing the drawing (and some angry guests) when this is not made clear at the beginning of the event.  When raffles are only offered event night, I recommend requiring the winner must be present to win. If your raffle ticket sales are taking place in the days/weeks prior to the event this requirement may not be warranted.

When should you draw the raffle winning ticket(s)?

One big mistake I see is the drawing of raffle tickets during the live auction.  If you stop the live auction for this purpose it can have disastrous consequences on your fundraising. You’ve probably been to auctions where there was no energy in the room and very little bidding.  This is what we benefit auctioneers call “lack of momentum”. I’ve been in these difficult situations. As a nonprofit, you want to do everything possible to help your auctioneer build this momentum, beginning with being open to their recommendations regarding the live auction and what should take place when. When an auctioneer begins the live auction only to stop to do a raffle drawing in the middle of the items, the momentum can be difficult to rebuild, thus raising less money. Momentum during a live auction is a sort of magic that happens but not without careful planning. This momentum will lead to optimum bidding by the guests and therefore maximum revenue generated at your event.

Ideally, raffle drawings should be done at the conclusion of the fundraising portion of the evening.  This not only avoids the interruption of live auction momentum but also serves to keep everyone from leaving the event because they are waiting to see if they won the raffle.  If drawing all raffles at the end are not your preference, then I suggest you conduct a drawing just before the start of the live auction. But PLEASE – avoid ever stopping the live auction action to facilitate a raffle drawing.

Once your raffle winner(s) is declared, it’s a good idea to make it easy for the winning guest(s) to receive their prize.  Have a volunteer on standby with the prize, or the certificate if the item is non-tangible, ready to hand to the winner.

Raffles are a great way to raise additional funds at your event as long as the drawings are placed at the proper place in your timeline.

Make every minute a revenue generating minute!

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