Guest Post by David G. Siedt
Traditional raffles consisting of tickets sold and pulled out of a hat are quite common, and in many cases quite successful. However, your organization can greatly benefit by taking advantage of new technologies that are available that can make your fundraising even more profitable while requiring less work planning and managing the event. In this article I will outline some of the key problems and shortcomings of a traditional raffle.
Eliminate the banquet
Many organizations only conduct raffles during banquets. While banquets have their purpose, they are very taxing on the number of volunteers that are required. You don’t need to hold a banquet to award prizes for every raffle you conduct. Instead, you can rely on web-based software that tracks who won what prize and instructs them on how to claim their prize. This alone can eliminate 50% of the effort that goes into conducting a raffle.
Even if you decide to hold a banquet, you could set up one or more monitors and allow people to redeem their tickets at their leisure using web-based software. Now your banquet can focus on awards, presentations, or other games of chance instead of hours of number calling which is not enjoyable for anyone attending. Many don’t buy raffle tickets for that reason alone as they don’t want to attend the banquet and don’t want to rely on other means to discover what numbers were chosen.
Eliminate ticket stubs and reduce administrative work
Anyone that organizes a raffle knows how difficult it can be to track the number of tickets being distributed, number sold, money collected, prizes available, prizes won, prizes claimed, and ensuring accurate contact information on ticket stubs. Almost all of these headaches are completely unnecessary as web-based fundraising software can manage almost all of these flawlessly.
The days of buying expensive raffle tickets or formatting your own can be eliminated with most available programs. Instead, you can print out customized tickets from the website with safeguards to prevent duplicate numbers, etc. There is no need to collect contact information from ticket buyers since buyers must enter their information on the website before entering their ticket number. As ticket numbers are submitted, your organization has online visibility of who won what prize using what code.
Other advantages of online raffle redemption
- Multi-tiered raffle capability– You organization can easily create and manage multiple overlapping raffles. For example, software is smart enough to know that a $20 Fall Fundraiser ticket code has a different set of prizes available to win than the overlapping $1 Halloween Raffle.
- Online ticket delivery– Many times people would like to purchase tickets but they live out of state or it’s just too inconvenient to hand deliver tickets. The option to produce digital tickets makes it easy to send tickets via email to people just about anywhere. This is becoming more important as people become more transient and when raffles are promoted via social media.
- Future marketing efficiencies– People who buy tickets submit their code and contact information online before they are able to see what prize they won. Now your organization has collected email addresses that can be responsibly used to promote future fundraising events or other information about your organization.
- The ability to accept credit card payment can greatly increase sales. There are several free apps for smartphones that would allow sellers to accept credit card on their phone for a nominal fee. This is becoming more important as many rarely carry cash anymore.
- Try to make every ticket a winner. How?- Replace “not a winner” with discount coupons businesses. Many will give you an unlimited number of coupons.
David G. Siedt is the founder of Cinco Squared, a web-based software company that started in 2011. The idea of the Cinco Squared program stemmed from observing that organizations need a better way to fundraise.
Photo Credit: charchen