A basket raffle fundraiser is an option that can be quite lucrative with relatively modest effort. The premise is simple – baskets of varying themes are donated. Raffle tickets are sold in the weeks leading up to the drawing and people get to choose which basket drawings they wish to enter. The drawing is made, and the baskets go home with the lucky winners!
A couple of years ago, I watched a small elementary school raise several hundred dollars for new playground equipment in a matter of hours. Their overhead costs consisted of the cost of twelve empty laundry baskets and a couple of rolls of raffle tickets – two-sided numbered tickets that can be found at any major office supply store. They also had plenty of volunteers to handle advance ticket sales and publicity, as well as people to monitor the display area and manage ticket sales the day of the raffle.
This is a great fundraiser for a variety of causes. In the example above, the raffle was just one component of a winter carnival being sponsored by the school. Every classroom was responsible for selecting a theme for their basket and putting it together. The children are asked to each donate an item – in most cases they won’t have to spend more than a few dollars – and they ended up with 12 really nice baskets worth $100-$125 each. As an incentive, the children were rewarded with a few free tickets for the carnival games in exchange for the items they donated.
There are a wide variety of containers that can be used for a “basket” raffle donation. Get creative – a wicker basket or large colander would be perfect for an Italian Night basket, a plastic bucket for the Car Care basket, a decorative box for the Stationary basket, a soup tureen for the Soup and Sandwich basket, or a picnic cooler for the Beach Bash basket. Stuff the bottom of the container with blank newsprint if necessary so everything in the basket is easily displayed. Protect the contents by covering the basket in clear cellophane, or just leave them bare if you can display them in a secure location.
Basket themes will vary depending on your audience (dozens of ideas are listed below.) If you have a period of time when you can do advance sales, list the individual basket themes in your advertising to boost pre-sales.
Raffle tickets need only contain the name and contact information, as well as which basket drawing they wish to enter. You’ll need to have an individual container to hold the tickets for each basket; use a box with a slit cut in the top, or a gift bag with the name of the corresponding basket written clearly on the outside. On the day of the raffle, let folks just drop their tickets in the corresponding container for the basket they’re dying to take home.
Establish a fixed time when sales will end and when the drawing will take place (usually toward the end of the event as part of the grand finale.) Do your ticket holders have to be present to win? If you want a sure-fire incentive for the attendees to stick around to the end of your event, then yes. If it’s not critical to your success, then don’t make it mandatory, but be sure you’re collecting enough information on the tickets to get in touch with the winners after the event is over.
When determining a sale price for the raffle tickets, it typically corresponds to the value of the baskets. In the elementary school example, tickets were $1.00 apiece, or 6 for $5.00; the school made several hundred dollars. If you have set a higher goal for your fundraiser and plan to increase your ticket prices to increase your revenue, you’ll probably need to have access to a wider range of donors that can provide higher-end products and services to add to your baskets. Add a cooking class to the Baker’s Dozen Basket, ballet tickets to the Ballet Basket, or a spa day to the Home Spa Basket. Or think really big and add a tablet or e-reader to your Computer Geek Basket, a vacation package to the Beach Bash Basket, or a one-year auto lease to the Car Care package.
You can incorporate a basket raffle into almost any kind of fundraising event – a women’s retreat, charity ball, corporate conference, or a fundraiser for a sick friend. Ask for theme baskets from corporate sponsors, local businesses, committee members, and others sympathetic to your cause.
The next time you need to raise funds for a worthy cause, a basket raffle could be “just the ticket”!
Find raffle basket themes.
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