This week I have an incredible fundraising idea for you – a Pot of Gold Raffle fundraiser! This could be one of the most profitable fundraisers you run for your nonprofit organization and I’m going to show you how simple it is to organize.
Our local Boys & Girls Club has run a Pot of Gold Raffle fundraiser for as long as I can remember. It’s always been one of their most profitable fundraising events of the year, but this year, they made a small change to their offering that has the potential to result in an additional $43,000 in revenue for them.
Past Pot of Gold Raffle
In the past, here’s how our local Boys & Girls Club ran an amazing Pot of Gold raffle fundraiser. It’s called Pot of Gold for a few reasons. First, because they give away cash prizes, including $20,000 to one winner. And second, because it’s an event leading up to and ending with a large Saint Patricks Day dinner event where they pull the winners names.
- Sell 1,000 raffle tickets at $100 each = $100,000
- Offer $25,000 in cash prizes. They give away smaller cash prizes totaling $5,000 and one $20,000 grand winner cash prize. The cash prizes are given away from the tickets sold so there’s no out-of-pocket expense to the organization.
- Potential profit from the raffle tickets: $100,000 – $25,000 prizes = $75,000.
- Sell tickets for 3 months prior to your event ending. The Club begins selling tickets in December for their big drawing the week of March 15 (Saint Patrick’s Day week).
- Offer one early-bird drawing during the first month of sales. To encourage people to buy early, they pull one name to win $1,000 or $1,500 in December. This person’s name goes back into the large drawer for other chances to win later.
- The Saturday evening before Saint Patrick’s Day they host a corned beef dinner event in the Club gym. At this event they also sell additional tickets for raffle baskets.
- Annually, the Club has raised over $75,000 with this Pot of Gold event. Super successful and profitable!
Current Pot of Gold Raffle Event
Due to the 2020 pandemic and the inability to host large dinner events this year, the Club adapted their fundraiser in an incredible way. This one small change, not only should bring in more money with the raffle ticket sales alone, but more importantly, it made a mind-set shift in the way their customers will envision their chances of winning! Let’s take a look…
- Sell 1,500 raffle tickets at $100 each = $150,000
- Offer $32,000 in cash prizes. The major difference they made here was that instead of offering one $1,000 or $1,500 early bird prize and then giving away the remaining prizes on the night of the dinner, they are now giving away a $1,000 every week for the 12 weeks leading up to the Saint Patricks Day in March.
- Potential profit from the raffle tickets: $150,000 – $32,000 prizes = $118,000
Their advertising is important here. They visually showed their potential buyers how many opportunities they will have to win over the 12-week period by listing the drawing dates and the $1,000 prizes each week. Like this…
- December 23, 2020: $1,000
- December 30, 2020: $1,000
- January 6, 2021: $1,000
- January 13, 2021: $1,000
- January 20, 2021: $1,000
- January 27, 2021: $1,000
- February 3, 2021: $1,000
- February 10, 2021: $1,000
- February 17, 2021: $1,000
- February 24, 2021: $1,000
- March 3, 2021: $1,000
- March 10, 2021: $1,000
- March 17, 2021: $20,000
And, they made sure customers know that even if they win one week, their name goes back in the bin for other chances to win. Here’s a clip from their advertising:
“Weekly prizes of $1,000 will be given away beginning December 23, 2020 until the $20,000 grand prize drawing on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2021. Weekly winners go “back in the bin!” So, buy early to increase your odds.”
Do you see the mind-set shift they made with their customers and how they have the potential to increase their profit with this raffle from $75,000 to $118,000? That’s an increase of $43,000!
And don’t forget to also state on your advertising WHY you’re raising money. Here’s what they said..
“Your participation benefits our ongoing efforts to support kids & their families throughout the public health crisis. Your support means more now than ever before. Thank you in advance for your generosity & GOOD LUCK!”
You’ll will need to print raffle tickets and uniquely number each ticket. Most local printers can do this for you. Raffle tickets are designed in two parts. The buyer keeps one half half that shows the daily prizes and the calendar number they purchased. The other half has the buyer’s contact information and raffle number and should be returned to the event organizer/treasurer (along with the sale money) to be included in the random drawing.
You can read more about printing and numbering raffle tickets in THIS post where I talk about calendar raffle tickets.
Raffle Ticket Sales & Adverting
The Club has a small group of staff and a Board of Directors that assists them in getting the word out about their Pot of Gold raffle fundraiser. And they do a great job using this network of salespeople. There are things they do that boost their ticket sales tremendously as well…
- Cash & Check Sales: People can go to the Club and buy a raffle ticket in person.
- Website: Set up a website page to accept online payments via credit card and PayPal. It’s important to include PayPal. Imagine sitting on your couch and you receive an email from the Club to buy your raffle ticket. You want people to be able to login to their PayPal right then and there to complete their transaction. If they have to get up and find their credit card they may not do it!
- Email Advertising: They regularly email their Club parents, past supports, staff, and Board Members with an advertising to buy raffle tickets.
- Facebook: They post weekly announcements on their Facebook page.
- Facebook Event: They create an “event” on facebook about the event so it shows up as a local event in peoples feeds.
- Facebook Lives: The early-bird drawing (in December) is done as a Facebook live event so people can watch it live or on replay.
- Track Sales on a Whiteboard: They number out 1,500 slots on a large white board that’s placed behind the front desk in their lobby for everyone to see. As ticket #’s are sold, they write them on this board for everyone to see that they should purchase their tickets soon because ONLY 1,500 tickets will be sold.
- Facebook Live & Whiteboard to Announce Ticket Sales: As they get large batches of sales in, the host a 5-minute Facebook Live event where they very excitedly gather the staff, blow whistles, and write any new raffle ticket sales on the white board. This shows potential buyers that time and tickets are running out and they better get theirs soon!
- Print: They print a flyer on a bright green 8-1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper and ask the local newspaper to insert it into the newspaper one week. The newspaper also prints the flyer as an 1/4-page advertisement in the newspaper once or twice leading up to the event.
- Signs: They post a flyer in and place it in an acrylic stand and place it at their front desk. They also print a large vinyl banner and hang it out by the street in front Club for anyone driving by to see it’s time to buy their annual Pot of Gold Raffle ticket.
Always check the rules in regulations regarding raffles in your own state. If you live in Massachusetts, you can start at mass.gov and search nonprofit raffle fundraisers. Or, contact your local City Hall and ask if you need to obtain a raffle permit.
The limitations put on nonprofit fundraising events in the year 2020 and into 2021 has and will have a dramatic impact on so many organizations. Take these tips from this one Boys & Girls Club who pivoted, made adjustments to their amazing events, changed the mind-set of their potential buyers, and is on-track to have another successful event this coming year!
If you would like to support the Boys & Club of Woburn Pot of Gold Raffle Fundraiser that I talk about here or see how they set up their online page, click HERE
It’s all about Thinking Creatively!