how to Run A raffle
How to Run a Raffle
A raffle is a type of contest in which participants purchase tickets in exchange for chances to win a prize. The prize is typically determined by a "raffle drawing," when the winning ticket is blindly pulled out of the pool of tickets. Raffle contests are regulated by local governments, but the laws vary from state to state.
Short Video: How to Run a Raffle
Before planning a raffle, check your local laws to see if raffles are legal in your area. Draft rules that state whether or not participants have to be present when the raffle is called and how long they have to claim their prize. Create and print tickets that include space for a participant’s name, address, phone number, and email address. Avoid giving away highly regulated prizes like alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. Instead, consider giving away gift certificates or ask local businesses for donations.Keep reading for advice on how and where to sell your raffle tickets!
Preparing for the Raffle
Check the local government regulatory agencies to make sure your organization can legally hold a raffle.Your state may prohibit raffles. Other states place regulations on how many raffles non-profit organizations can conduct per year and the types of prizes that are allowed. Consult your state's laws about raffles or, better yet, talk to an attorney.
- Avoid prizes that could cause legal problems. Prizes over 0 might draw the attention of the IRS.Also, avoid prizes that are tightly regulated, such as alcohol, tobacco, and firearms.
Define rules for your raffle.You might get into legal trouble if a disgruntled loser decides to challenge the contest. If the rules are spelled out clearly, you can mitigate some of that liability.
- Be sure to cite the appropriate provision of your state law in your raffle rules. For example: "This raffle is conducted according to the rules of the state of [your state here] in accordance with [cite the reference to the law here]."
- Spell out the rules in plain English. For example: "Entrants purchase a ticket which is placed into a box and blindly drawn at random." Use common sense for your raffle rules.
- Make it clear that your organization has some discretion in handing out prizes. For example, if a ticket is drawn and nobody claims the prize, another ticket can be drawn.
- State in the rules whether entrants are required to be there in person when the drawing occurs.
Decide on a prize.All raffles promise at least one lucky winner a prize at the end of the drawing. There may be more than one raffle contest prize, or even prize levels (first, second, third, etc.) based on order of the draw.
- You can get local businesses to donate prizes as a tax write-off.That will save your organization some money. It's a great idea to go to your local shopping mall and talk to managers in each store at the mall to solicit prizes.
- Gift certificates at popular stores make great prizes. That way, you're giving out a prize but in reality the winner is picking out his or her own prize at the store.
Print tickets.Raffle tickets need certain information on them, regardless of your event or organization:
- You can use your favorite word processor to print the raffle tickets.
- On one side of the ticket (the stub side), list the following organization/event information: organization name, address and phone number; list of prizes; event name; drawing date and website.
- On the opposite side of the ticket, provide spaces for participants to fill in their information: participant name, address, phone number, and email address.
- Tickets may or may not have numbers on them. Some state regulations require numbers, so look into the rules for your particular state before having tickets printed.
Conducting the Raffle
Sell tickets.Have each purchaser fill in his or her contact information, then tear the ticket in half, keeping the half with the contact information and giving the participant the stub with the raffle drawing information on it. There are many avenues through which you may choose to issue your raffle contest tickets:
- Door to door. Organization members and their children may choose to knock on doors and invite people to participate.
- Online. Promoting the raffle online is a good way to reach a broad audience that doesn't require a lot of footwork, but you need to check state regulations to make sure Internet raffle contest marketing fits inside governing policy.
- Storefronts. Local shops and boutiques, especially those donating prizes, may be willing to let you post flyers in their windows or on their doors.
- Print ads. Inexpensive ads in local newspapers and lifestyle magazines are an effective way to get the community involved.
- Booths. Booths outside of local stores, or at art shows, carnivals and festivals are a good way to draw raffle participants.
- Fundraising event. Sell tickets for the raffle contest at the actual event where the raffle drawing is to occur.
Hold a raffle drawing.This is usually done toward the end of the advertised fundraising event, after you have sold as many raffle tickets as possible. Simply have a designated person draw from the pool of tickets without looking, then announce either the winner's name or the winning number.
- Keep the box with the tickets in it at a secure location to avoid cheating. Believe it or not, sometimes people try to "game the system" at nonprofit raffles.
- Mix the tickets up so that the drawing isn't biased in favor of tickets that were placed in the box earlier or later.
Contact any winners who were not there to claim their raffle contest prizes.You'll need to make sure that you deliver the prizes to your lucky winners.
- Fortunately, you have their contact information that they filled out on the raffle ticket.
- In some cases, winners might be required to be there in person. If that's the case, make sure it's spelled out in the rules.
QuestionShould I put the winning raffle ticket back in the box for the next prize?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. Nobody likes seeing a person win twice with only one ticket. Even if the chances are unlikely, it's very unsatisfying to other people who have purchased a ticket.Thanks!
QuestionCan the person running the raffle be in the drawing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGenerally no, people could accuse you of cheating if you win, but if it is your raffle, you get to make up the rules!Thanks!
QuestionWhat is needed for a school trip's fundraising raffle?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou will need prizes that adults are into, so you get a wider audience.Thanks!
QuestionWhile sitting outside a store, are you allowed to call out to customers to buy a raffle ticket if you have a license?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis involves an agreement with the shop owner. You should ask the them.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I legally hold a raffle for no particular reason other than to sell things?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRunning any type of raffle requires a license from your state government and the entity running it to be a nonprofit organization.Thanks!
QuestionCan a raffle let the same person win first and second place?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSome do, some don't. It's up to those running the raffle to decide.Thanks!
QuestionCan a person raffle off his own product?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, as long as he's abiding by any laws/rules set down by the government.Thanks!
QuestionHow much should I sell the tickets for?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUsually they go for about , at most. You could also have a special deal, like 10 tickets for .Thanks!
QuestionWhen drawing a raffle ticket for the top prizes, is there any special order they should be drawn in?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUsually it goes from "last place" (smallest prize) to "first place" (largest prize).Thanks!
QuestionIf I hold a raffle in the UK and no one claims the prize, how long do I have to wait before I can offer the same prize in another raffle?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's up to you. You can state that in your raffle rules, just make it very clear to the people as you sell tickets too.Thanks!
To make sure a raffle is legal, doesn't the ticket have to have the time, date and location of the drawing?
Why would you draw the smallest prize first going to the highest prize .doesn't that eliminate the person who won the smallest prize from getting the largest prize?
My church is have a charity fashion show and will be selling raffle tickets. Do I have the item on display or do I have a typed card describing the item? A container will be in front of each item.
What is general time frame for raffle which first prize is worth about 00? Should tickets sell for each?
Does the worth of a prize determine the number of tickets sold or the price of the ticket?
- Consider having different levels of prizes. For example, the first ticket drawn wins the "grand prize." The second ticket drawn wins a lesser prize, and so on.
- When running a raffle contest for charity, it is not unusual for local businesses to donate their goods and service as prizes for the raffle drawing.
- If your organization plans to hold a raffle on a regular basis, purchasing raffle ticket software may be more cost-effective than paying to have tickets printed or buying tickets from an office supply store.
- Consider if an better suits your purposes.
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