10 Fundraising Raffle Ideas To Raise Money For Your Nonprofit

Raffles are a fantastic way to add excitement to your next event or fundraiser. Everyone loves a game of chance, and raffles are great for incentivizing more ticket sales – resulting in more funds to support your important work. If you're not sure how to get started, we have 10 fundraising raffle ideas to inspire you and make your next raffle your best yet.

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10 Fundraising Raffle Ideas To Raise Money For Your Nonprofit

Raffles are a fun and easy way to raise funds for your nonprofit. They can be part of a larger event, held online or by mail. The reason to have a raffle is often to raise more money, but raffles can help your organization in several ways. If your nonprofit wants a unique way to promote your mission or a specific program, a raffle is an excellent way to get the word out. We’ve listed ten different raffle ideas and how to use them to meet your fundraising goals.

Online raffles are also a creative way to find more Facebook friends, share stories, and encourage peer-to-peer fundraising. 

10 Raffle Ideas for Your Nonprofit

Raising funds for your organization is likely the main reason you want to hold a raffle. If you are looking for raffle ideas that can raise a lot of money, here are a few raffle ideas that can be held at your next event or as a separate campaign.

1. Single Raffle

Your nonprofit can request and receive a quality product, service, or any other in-kind gift by connecting with local companies. This way, you are continuing to build community partnerships that can benefit both organizations in the long run.

When you receive a gift, do not wait for your next fundraising event. If it is a high-value donation, you can create a single raffle to raise funds right now! Create a campaign to sell tickets to a raffle event. Sell tickets for $25 or $50 for a product or service with a few hundred dollars retail value. The amount of money for a raffle ticket can be changed to fit the prize. Ensure your raffle has a start and end time to excite and encourage donors to purchase tickets quickly. At the end of your campaign, announce the winner on your website, by email, and with social media posts.

Pro tip: Do not forget to collect the names, emails, and addresses of those who bought raffle tickets. Take the time to introduce your organization to these individuals after the raffle. You now have an excellent opportunity to learn more about these people and connect with them to develop them into long-term donors.

Here’s a great example of the above type of raffle. You don’t always need a separate fundraising event to sell raffle tickets. 

Arts Impact found a winning raffle prize idea that they knew would excite their donor base. Hamilton continues to be a popular show for Broadway lovers. With this charity raffle, Arts Impact supporters could purchase raffle tickets to win a chance to see the show live.  

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2. 50/50 Raffle Idea

If you want to wait until your next event to hold a raffle, a 50/50 raffle can raise a lot of money. You will have the best results from your 50/50 raffle if your event is large and attendees will be staying until the end. There is no product or service to encourage people before the event, so the event itself will need to pull in a larger audience.

Once your event attendees arrive, ask them to buy a raffle ticket or more for $10 each. Tickets will have two sides with matching numbers, so all players must keep their tickets until the end to claim the prize. The more money raised during the raffle, the larger the potential gift for the raffle winner and the nonprofit.

Many people already know about this type of raffle, but you may have to explain the raffle to event attendees. You will want volunteers selling tickets to this raffle throughout the event to earn the most you can. At the end of the event, you can have the event attendee call out the winning number. It is important to thank your audience and let them know how much they raised for the organization, as well as won for themselves.

Child Network is a nonprofit helping abused and neglected children in Kankakee and Iroquois counties. They created the below 50/50 raffle during the pandemic to raise funds for these kids. You should check this simple form out for some inspiration. Also, we love how they have concisely described the event’s purpose along with a catchy image.

50 50 Raffle idea

3. Heads or Tails

Another fun raffle perfect for an in-person event is a Heads or Tails raffle. You will want to hold this raffle during a large enough event, but since standing and sitting are a big part of the game, it is best to hold this raffle during a gala or other indoor event. With this raffle, you will expect the emcee and event attendees to play along and have fun. Make sure your crowd is right for this raffle idea, and your emcee can get the crowd excited enough to play.

For this raffle, you don’t need tickets. Instead, ask players to give $10 or $20 to play. When everyone has paid and is ready, ask all players to stand up. After the emcee explains to the players what’s going to happen, they will flip a coin and call out heads or tails. Players will either place their hands on their heads or tails. The emcee will call out what the coin says, and only those who choose correctly will stay standing. The emcee keeps flipping the coin and calling out heads or tails until there is only one left standing.

The prize for this raffle can be anything. The game generally appeals more than the prize, but if you expect people to pay $10 or $20 for a chance to play, the winnings will need to match that price.

Get More Attention

Nonprofits can use creative raffle ideas to gain notice from the local press and on social media. A raffle can be an excellent way to introduce your organization to individuals who have never heard of you.

4. Reverse Raffle

Reverse raffles have gained notice in local communities because they are unique and can become a huge event for the public. Generally, nonprofits will limit the number of people entering the raffle, and raffle tickets are sold for a more significant amount, like $100. If a nonprofit sells 300 tickets for $100 each, that gives the organization $20,000 and the winner $10,000. Unlike the 50/50 raffle, players know the amount of the prize before the game begins, which is half the appeal.

The winner of this raffle is not the number called. Instead, the winner is the last one left whose ticket number was not called. Watching is exhilarating, and people want to stay until the end to see what happens. To help encourage more excitement and participation, many nonprofits offer the chance to buy back into the game if your ticket number has already been called. Another way nonprofits have kept people until the end is by asking the last five if they want to split the pot or keep playing until the end.

How to host a reverse raffle

Nonprofits that want to make the most out of this raffle idea can hold the game recurrently. Suppose the first raffle earns the organization $20,000, and the winner gains $10,000. The nonprofit could take the $20,000 and be content or add $10,000 to the next pot. The following 300 people who pay $100 for a raffle ticket now get the chance to win $15,000, and the nonprofit can pocket the rest or keep the game going. If your nonprofit can keep the fun going and encourage enough participation, you will likely gain more attention from the press and public.

Pro tip: You should invite the local media to cover the event to gain more attention. Also, do reach out to the press in advance to print some articles on the upcoming raffle so that more people are encouraged to attend and partake. Such news should essentially highlight your nonprofit and its mission.

Spread Your Mission

Nonprofits can raise money and spread the word about their organization with raffles. Most people who buy raffle tickets may have never heard about your organization. Still, if you start a conversation with these people right away, you may be able to turn a one-time raffle ticket sale into a recurring donation.

5. Online Raffle

Online raffles gained popularity during the Covid pandemic. The financial benefits made it easy for nonprofits to continue using these raffles instead of worrying too much about the expense of running a fundraising event.

Cleveland Tri-League Little League has turned its online raffle into a series of successful fundraisers. On the first of every month, the organization sells tickets to win a new prize. Drawings happen at the end of the month. Supporters can purchase tickets with PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App. 

Donorbox offers nonprofits an easy way to hold successful online raffles with our free online donation tool. 

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Get More Online Connections

Social media has become one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get the word out about your organization and its mission. Nonprofits have started to share everything online, from event updates to program information and success stories. While it is easy to share these activities online, you may feel like your efforts are pointless if you do not have enough followers. Some nonprofits have found a way to find more connections online and ensure their stories are heard.

6. Facebook Raffle

Does your organization need ideas to find more Facebook friends? Several of your current donors may have Facebook accounts but have no idea you have an account and regularly post information.

One way to connect with these people is simply by asking them to be your friend. Another way is to entice them and their friends and family to join your social media network and pay close attention to what you have to offer. Raffles are an excellent way to encourage more participation from your current Facebook friends and to gain new Facebook friends in the meantime.

Your nonprofit can find a suitable prize for this raffle and offer it to everyone who wants to play. Promote a campaign with a start and end date to share your nonprofit’s story online. Ticket entry is determined by either joining your organization’s Facebook account or sharing the post on their newsfeed. Create Facebook posts to go out regularly throughout the raffle, and send emails to your current donor base letting them know about your account and the chance to win a prize.

This raffle may not earn you money right away, but it will introduce your organization to more people and find more ways to connect with your current donor base. You can also use this raffle to build a stronger relationship with potential community partners by promoting their goods and services throughout the campaign and giving your donors the chance to win their products.

7. Peer-to-Peer Raffle

Another way to gain more notice and raise funds online is with a peer-to-peer raffle campaign. Before starting this raffle, connect with a few supporters you think will participate if given enough support. Talk to them about what the campaign is raising money for and how they can spread the word online. Include a raffle prize entry for every donation that comes into their peer-to-peer campaign. You may want to choose a limited donation amount to keep the game fair.

Set an end date for the peer-to-peer campaign and raffle. Once the campaign is done and you have shared how much everyone raised for your organization, you can export all donor information to an Excel sheet to total the number of tickets each fundraiser has earned. Use a random number generator to pick the winner and announce the winner with social media posts or a live stream. This donor information can be a great resource for you to reach out to new people through marketing techniques.

Pro tip: Keep and offer bonus points for those who manage to get their friends and families to follow/subscribe to your social media handles along with getting donations. Here your focus should be on meeting a long-term goal of creating a strong donor base rather than getting instant donations.

Use In-Kind Donations

Has your organization ever received in-kind donations they do not know what to do with? This is a fairly common problem with nonprofits, and most organizations are opposed to sending any gift back. Instead of junking the items or hiding them in a closet, why not use them as raffle prizes? Regardless of the worth or size of an item, your nonprofit can raise money from these gifts and spread the word about your organization.

8. Door Prizes

If you have an upcoming event or location that sees many visitors, a door prize may be the right raffle prize idea for your nonprofit.

Take pictures or display the items prominently with a glass jar next to each. Ask event attendees or players to purchase raffle tickets for one dollar each. Once they have their tickets, they can place their raffle tickets in the jar next to the items they hope to win. Choose an end date for this raffle to be held at your location. At the end of the event, or date of the raffle, a ticket will be chosen out of each jar and the winner will be contacted about their prize.

Pro tip: This is an opportunity to use up the gifts you received that do not have a place, at the same time collect contact information for visitors and event attendees. Do not forget to connect with each of the raffle players by email or phone call and start a relationship that can benefit your organization for years to come.

Kid-Friendly Raffle Ideas

Raffles are the perfect game for children’s events. These games are easy to play and understand and do not need a lot of money to participate. If your nonprofit has a fair or other kid-friendly event, look for ways to include a raffle to raise funds and spread the word about your organization.

9. Golden Tickets

“I’ve got a golden ticket!” This cry was heard in the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and can be exclaimed at your next kid-friendly event. You can hold this fun and tasty event by purchasing a bunch of candy bars and placing one or more golden tickets under the wrapper. Sell the bars to all attendees, and watch the winner’s eyes light up when they find their prize. To make sure the winner does not ruin the game for everyone else, you may want to collect the money first and pass out the candy bars all at once.

The great thing about this raffle is everyone is a winner. After all, everyone ends up with a yummy candy bar! Raffle ideas like this can excite players and get their parents to spread the word about your event and organization with their friends.

10. Guess the Amount

Our final raffle idea can raise money or be for free. Your nonprofit will fill a jar, tub, bear, or whatever you want with small items. The winner of this raffle is the one who chooses the closest amount to what you have. Your nonprofit can either sell tickets to guess the amount or ask everyone for one guess each.

It is best practice to choose items that fit your mission to give this raffle an extra benefit for your organization. While the children choose a number, you can talk to the parents about your organization and the work you do on the ground. At the end of the game, you could also pass out the items to the players to keep your organization’s mission fresh in their minds.

Pro tip: Partner with your local schools to conduct a raffle of this kind. That way, whether or not your raffle is free of cost, you get to spread the word about your organization among school staff and parents alike. You can even invite the adults to your next nonprofit event or talk to them about an ongoing online donation campaign while students are playing the game.

Final Thoughts

Raffles are a great way to raise money for your nonprofit, but there are several other ways your organization can benefit from this fundraising idea. Whether you are looking for ways to stand out in your community, find more friends online, or spread the word about your mission, raffles give nonprofits unique and creative ways to accomplish those goals.

Remember, most local governments require nonprofits to buy permits before selling raffle tickets. Contact your local government to find out about city and county permit requirements. The cost to hold a raffle is usually not much, but not having a required license or permit could cost you a lot in the long run.

To learn more about your state’s nonprofit laws and other fundraising tips, visit our blog. If your nonprofit needs an online donation processor, Donorbox offers a no-contract affordable option for nonprofits of all sizes. Visit our website for a breakdown of features and more information on how our system can help you raise more money.

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Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

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