Games of chance like lotteries are an ideal way to raise funds for your charity or organization. There are a number of types of lottery events that can be used for fundraising. The most common charity lotteries are raffles and bingo, but there are other types as well.
Decide on the type of raffle you wish to have: will it be for cash or for prizes? Does the winner have to be in attendance or not? Will it be one winner takes all, or will you have several winners?
If the winner does not have to be present to win, you will need locations where ticket-purchasers can turn in their contact information. Sometimes stores are willing to allow organizations to put bins for that purpose on their premises.
Raffles in which the winner must be present will need to be held at some sort of scheduled event. Community events, parades, or special dinners are good venues for a raffle drawing.
A common charity raffle is a 50/50 raffle. The tickets are sold, the proceeds collected, and the holder of the winning ticket gets one-half of the money, with the rest going to the charity or organization.
If you choose to raffle off prizes rather than cash, you will need to purchase prizes or solicit donated prizes from local vendors. You could have volunteers make up special gift baskets for such a raffle.
When holding the raffle, it is often very effective to raffle off minor prizes first, saving the best prize for last.
Here are some tips for staging a successful charity Bingo event:
- Date & Time – Determine a venue and a date.
- Attendance – Once you have a good idea of when and where to hold your Bingo night, you should estimate the expected attendance.
- Supplies – With an idea of attendance, you can order your Bingo supplies, and determine your prizes. Prizes can be purchased or you can seek prize donations from local merchants, or you can budget for cash payouts determined by the amount of profits generated.
- How to Make Money – Some Bingo events sell admission packets to the players; usually for around $20 or so, each player can purchase a packet with a Bingo book, a free dauber, a program for the event, and perhaps an extra card for a jackpot game.
- Planning – Set up a program indicating the number of games. The more games you have, the more prizes you will need.
- Staff – Arrange for volunteers to call the numbers and monitor the games.
- Advertising – Publicize the event.
Other Types of Charity Raffles
- Pull-tabs, also called instant bingo, pop-opens or bowl games are cards with perforations that can be pulled open to reveal a series of images. Prizes are won by the number of matched images.
- Scratch-offs work in much the same way as pull tabs, except the purchaser scratches off circles revealing the prize.
- Mail-in sweepstakes: Many charities are now using mail-in sweepstakes for fundraising purposes. While they can be profitable, be careful to follow all the regulations governing sweepstakes.
Charity Lottery Laws
Raffles and other sorts of lotteries can be quite profitable and raise a good deal of money; however, it is very important to make sure that it is all done according to law. Rules governing how such a lottery can vary widely from state to state, so take the time to check them before setting up your lottery event.