There’s a reason so many nonprofits employ in-person (well, pre-pandemic) 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? Eventgroove has helped thousands of nonprofits transition to and raise funds with online raffles, and our aim is to help you do the same. But before you do anything at all, please (please!) make sure running a raffle in your state is legal. We don’t want anyone getting in trouble with the law!
What do you need to host an online raffle?
All that’s required is a fundraising goal, a prize (or prizes), a method to sell virtual raffle tickets, a social media account, supporters to get the social sharing going, and a way to draw winners.
Sounds simple enough, right? While that’s 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 raffle ticket price is essential to your 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 considers your goal as well as the costs, such as printed raffle tickets (online raffles with Eventgroove are free!).
Set up a raffle page
Your raffle page 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 fundraising platform like Eventgroove comes in!
We make it a snap to create an on-brand raffle page 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. We know a few fundraising platforms are out there, but we think ours is the best (obvs) and hope you’ll check us out.
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 your area’s laws.
As far as actual prizes, baskets are always a big hit! You can come up with a fun theme like self-care, a WFH starter pack (blue-light glasses, a light that makes Zooming less unflattering, a custom mug promoting your cause), or even a Netflix and Relax package with items such as gourmet foods and coupons to local eateries. These can be gathered by reaching out to local businesses or even buying them with sponsors’ help.
Pro tip: Sell sponsorship of your raffle by offering logo placement on your raffle page or naming the sponsor during your virtual drawing (which you can embed right into your raffle page!).
Launch that bad boy
Does your online raffle page have strong messaging about your cause and organization? Are your prizes looking fly and the rules clear? Hit publish and get to promoting (more on that below).
Market your online raffle
For starters, encourage supporters to buy tickets by posting the link on your social media accounts. Next, send an email to donors and embed a raffle ticket sales widget (another of our built-in marketing tools) on your website or blog.
Keep your online raffle top of mind and encourage sharing with regular social media posts. Make it interesting through variety—feature an awesome prize or sponsor, share 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
There are loads of ways to announce raffle winners, including broadcasting the drawing live on social media and posting a video on your raffle page. Alternatively, with Eventgroove, you can have our system draw winners automatically. If you choose the latter, be sure to post on social media about who won what prize!