If you are planning a raffle for your community organization or charitable group, you have a conundrum: You want to offer prizes that are attractive enough that people want to buy tickets, but inexpensive enough that your organization keeps a good share of the raffle’s profits. Here's how to pick affordable raffle prizes that help you sell more tickets and make a good profit.
Think About Your Audience
Before you start trying to gather prizes for your raffle, think about your audience. Who's buying the tickets? What are their interests? What will they find interesting and exciting?
It doesn’t matter how expensive the raffle's prizes are, if they don’t appeal to your audience, your tickets aren't going to sell.
So before you start thinking about what prizes to offer, make a profile of the people who are going to be at your event. Are they parents? Kids? Outdoor enthusiasts? Science fiction fans? Men or women? Older or younger? Where do they shop? What do they do in their free time?
Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your prizes to their interests and be as successful as possible. When you speak to potential donors, you can steer them in the right direction and you know which donations to turn down as inappropriate for your audience.
While any donation is generous, items that your audience won’t appreciate waste time and resources, and can even make your raffle more expensive.
Now, you can move on to your next step: Asking for donations.
Ask Local Businesses for Donations
Local businesses are a great place to start looking for raffle prizes at the best possible price: free.
Before you start knocking on doors, however, take a minute to brainstorm how you can offer something in return for a good donation. Some examples include:
- A thank-you wall where you post the logos of your prize donors.
- Free advertising in the organization's event flyers or church bulletins.
- A thank-you letter that the company can post in their place of business, showing their generosity.
Businesses can donate gift cards to their stores, branded toys and clothing, gift baskets, tickets to events, or their own products.
Brainstorm which companies in your area would be a good fit for your event. Some possibilities include restaurants, ice cream shops, grocery stores, theaters, pizza delivery companies, local toy stores, mom and pop shops, and attractions.
Many small businesses are happy to help a good cause in their community. Larger businesses may already have procedures set up to make requesting donations easier.
But companies aren't your only source of donations. You might have a rich source of raffle prizes inside your own organization.
Your Organization Can Make DIY Raffle Prizes
A low-cost way to get great raffle prizes is to have the members of your organization create DIY prizes. Obviously, you don't want anything that seems kitschy or cheap, but that still leaves a lot of options open to you.
For example, you can make attractive-looking recipes in a jar, or mix up DIY body scrubs and bath bombs and make a luxurious gift basket from them. You could make a cookie or baked goods tray, and talented members can knit scarves or make a teacup candle.
If your organization works with children, their parents might appreciate kids' crafts as prizes as well.
For the price of ingredients, you can come up with a variety of attractive DIY raffle prizes.
Ask Members to Use Their Talents
To source great, free or low-cost raffle prizes, ask your members about their talents. Oftentimes, individuals can donate not only money for prizes or physical objects to give away, but their talents as well.
For example, an artist can not only offer an original painting to raffle, but perhaps also a fun class for adults or for kids to learn to paint. A teacher could offer tutoring sessions, while a teenager could donate a few hours of lawn mowing or snow shoveling.
These kinds of donations can be more attractive than physical products.
Buy Raffle Prizes in Bulk
Another idea to save money on your raffle prizes is to buy small prizes in bulk and gather them into baskets or gift bags.
Think of a gift bag full of small toys, a garden fun gift basket with seeds, planters, and decorative plant tags, or other groupings of low-cost items.
Get More Inspiration
Hopefully, you’ve found some good raffle prize ideas to help you keep your costs down and the profits for your charity or organization up. But if you’d like additional inspiration, here are some places to look:
- Check out dozens of raffle prizes on Pinterest.
- Fundraiser Alley has an overview of the most popular raffle prizes.
- Shutterfly has a list of classy DIY gifts that you can adapt for prizes.