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How to Host an Online Raffle and Win!

January 26, 2024

There’s a reason that so many nonprofit organizations employ in-person and virtual raffles to raise money for their cause—they’re the little black dress of fundraisers.  Whether you’re a coach raising funds for uniforms, a retail business supporting a local cause, or a national nonprofit – a raffle gets the job done beautifully.

How do we know this? The proof lies in the countless nonprofits that Eventgroove has helped transition to and raise funds with online raffles. The first step, before anything else, is to make sure it is legal to run a raffle in your state. The only thing worse than hosting an online raffle that didn’t land, is getting in trouble with the law because of your raffle fundraiser.


What do you need to run a successful raffle?

Sounds simple enough, right? While that is true, below we break down how to take those components and turn them into an equation for success.

Tips for a successful online raffle

Fine-tune your target

Prospective raffle participants are going to want to know who or what their money is going to help. Consequently, it’s best to define your goal. Do you need $1,000 for classroom art supplies? $5,000 to upgrade the animal shelter health clinic? The more specific you can get with your reason for the raffle, the better.

Determine a raffle ticket price

An accurate ticket price is essential to your raffle fundraiser’s success! As a result, we’ve created this handy raffle ticket calculator to help you figure out how many raffle tickets you need to sell and for how much. It will consider your goal as well as the costs, like raffle ticket printing.

Set up an online raffle platform

Your raffle platform is how potential supporters will “meet” your fundraiser. Because of this, it’s essential to instill confidence! Be sure to brand it to your organization and clearly present the raffle’s purpose, rules, and drawing details.

This is where a raffle platform like Eventgroove comes in. We make it a snap to create an online raffle with which to showcase your cause and prizes as well as process raffle ticket sales. Plus, if your online raffle has an in-person component, you can order matching printed raffle tickets.

Organize the prize(s)

The simplest prize is cash, in which case your best bet is a 50/50 raffle. In a 50/50 raffle, half the proceeds of tickets sold go to your cause while the remainder constitutes the prize.  We should mention that 50/50 raffles, in particular, vary in legality from state to state, so be sure to double-check local laws.

As far as actual raffle prizes, baskets are always a big hit. You can come up with a fun theme like self-care, remote work essentials kit (blue-light glasses, a desk light to make Zoom meetings less unflattering, a custom mug promoting your cause), electronics, or even date night packages with gift cards to local eateries. Raffle items can be gathered by reaching out to local businesses or buying them yourself with the help of current sponsors. Make sure to be super clear when asking others for these donations. People love saying yes when they know exactly how they are contributing to your fundraising goals.

Pro tip: Sell sponsorship of your raffle by offering logo placement on your fundraising page or naming the sponsor during your virtual drawing (which you can embed right into your raffle platform!).

Launch your fundraising raffle

It’s time to kick off your online raffle. Snap some snazzy pics of your raffle items. Throw in some lively captions, mentioning the worth of each item. You want people to feel like they’re scoring a sweet deal if luck comes their way!

Don’t stop at the goodies. Use your raffle website to shine a light on your organization and why you’re on this fundraising journey. Once you’re happy with your raffle page, hit publish and get to promoting. Which brings us to our next tip…

Market your online raffle

For starters, encourage people to buy tickets by posting the link on your social media platforms, send an email to donors, text friends and family, and embed a raffle ticket sales widget on your website or blog. Get everyone else in your organization on board with sharing the link within their social networks too.

Keep your online raffle top of mind and encourage sharing with regular posts on your social media platforms. Make it interesting through variety—feature an awesome raffle prize or sponsor, be transparent about how close you are to your goal, and shout out to anyone who purchases a ton of tickets. Don’t forget you can always talk about your cause and who it’s going to help! If you’re unsure of how to approach it all, we’ve put together some in-depth fundraiser promotion strategies.

Draw and announce winners

Now comes the exciting part – choosing the lucky winners! You can have our platform’s random number generator draw winners automatically. Then, decide how you’ll reach out to your winners. To amp up the anticipation, you can live stream the winner selection on social media and post a video on your online raffle website.

Online raffle fundraisers are a widely used and effective way to generate funds. With the right tools, hosting one can be pretty straightforward. Fine tune your fundraising goals, figure out the right ticket prices, and give your raffle some personality. Whether it’s money or themed baskets, reach out to local businesses for prizes and make it crystal clear how they’re helping out. And when you launch, go big! Show off your prizes, shout about your cause, and keep the hype going. Remember, it’s all about having fun while making a difference.

Want to see Eventgroove in action?

We’d love to show you! Schedule a one-on-one demo with our expert sales team.

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