Scratch cards can be a fun addition to your organization’s fundraising activities and can be highly effective for introducing your cause to new donors.
If you’re not already using scratch cards as part of your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts, here are some tips on how to get the most from it.
The Benefits of Scratch Card Fundraisers
Some of the benefits of scratch card fundraisers include:
- It’s a cost-effective fundraising option since you only need to buy scratch cards. It’s also a low-cost way for donors to support your organization since most donations will be less than $5.
- It can help your organization raise funds quickly, and usually has a high-profit margin (even when the cost of ordering scratch cards is taken into account).
- Scratch card fundraisers don’t require a lot of upfront planning. Your organization can order the number of scratch cards you think you’ll need and start fundraising as soon as they arrive.
- Since your organization doesn’t need to receive and fulfill orders (as would be the case in “brochure fundraising” such as cookie dough and candle fundraisers, it’s a low-maintenance fundraiser in terms of admin. Your organization simply collects donor details if you’re using certain types of scratch cards, along with donations.
How It Works
Scratch cards have coated areas that can be scratched off to reveal text or symbols underneath.
There are several types of scratch card fundraisers:
- Coupon-based – With this type of scratch card fundraiser, donors scratch off 1-2 dots and donate the amount revealed. This is often an amount between $0.50 and $5. After they’ve made their contribution, donors receive a sheet of coupons from brand-name retailers. This is the most common choice in the US.
- Match the symbols – With this type of scratch card fundraiser, donors need to scratch off two matching symbols to win a prize.
- Find the winner – With this type of scratch card fundraiser, donors choose a square in the hope of selecting the winning one. When all squares are taken, they’re scratched off to reveal the winner. This option is more common in the UK.
Depending on the type of scratch cards being used, donors may receive something in return for their donation — usually retail coupons. Often, donations are similar to a competition entry since donors contribute in exchange for the chance to win a prize.
If your organization is using coupon-based scratch cards to entice new donors to support you, think about the type of retailers that are included in the coupons and how valuable they’ll be to potential donors. It’s also worth checking expiration dates, so donors aren’t caught out by small print after contributing.
Pro tip: You can vary the type of scratch cards your organization uses, depending on the potential donors you’re approaching. Coupon-based scratch card fundraisers can work well for securing donations from one-time donors who aren’t already familiar with your organization, for example.
Scratch cards can be personalized with the name and logo of your organization. This can build trust with donors and increases your fundraising success.
A Sample Script For Approaching Potential Donors
Here’s a sample script that you can adapt for explaining how scratch cards work:
“Hi, my name is [insert your name], and I’m raising money for [name of your organization or group].
The way our fundraiser works is this. You scratch off 1/2 circles [choose the appropriate number, depending on the scratch card you’re using) on this card, and it tells you the amount of your donation. In return for that amount, I will give you a sheet of discount coupons for [give a brief overview of the coupons you’re offering in exchange for donations if you’re using them].
All the money we raise will be going to [briefly explain what you’re raising funds for].
Would you like to support us?”
Which Organizations Can Benefit From Scratch Card Fundraisers?
Schools, sports teams, and youth organizations can have a lot of success with scratch card fundraising, but it can work well for all types of organizations.
Pro tip: Scratch cards are an effective way for kids to fundraise for a cause that’s close to their heart, especially if there isn’t the time or resources to engage in door-to-door fundraising.
How Much Can You Raise Through Scratch Cards?
You’ll need to factor in the cost of ordering the scratch cards, which often starts at around $5 per scratch card (depending on where your organization orders them from).
You can give each fundraiser 1-2 cards, to begin with, which they can use on family, friends, acquaintances, and other potential donors. This avoids the potential for ordering more scratch cards than you’ll need, which can otherwise eat into your potential profits.
Pro tip: As an incentive for your fundraising team to secure more donors, you can introduce prizes for the one(s) that raise the most funds through their scratch cards. Alternatively, you can enter the top-performing team members into a prize draw to decide the winner.
There is strong potential for making a significant profit on your scratch card fundraisers since many scratch cards have a total value of up to $100 once all dots are scratched off, and the relevant donations are made.
Pro tip: Sometimes, companies will throw in free scratch cards when your organization places an order. This can maximize the number of scratch cards you’re able to secure donations through, at no extra cost. Not all companies will offer this, and you’ll need to weigh up this perk against the cost of ordering scratch cards and the potential profit margin since this can vary significantly between companies.
Over to You
Tried-and-tested fundraising methods can still be highly successful in boosting donations, and many organizations are using scratch card fundraising to good effect.
Scratch card fundraisers can be a quick and easy way to start raising more funds for your organization. Donors will often agree to give to your cause through this type of fundraising activity, especially since they’re getting something in return too. It can be a fun way to get more donors to support your fundraising efforts — especially people who may not have previously donated to your organization.
Since they can be personalized with your organization’s branding, they can also act as a marketing tool that raises awareness of your cause for potential donors.