Raffles are an excellent and easy way to raise funds for an association. It is also a compelling event to raise awareness of your organisation and the cause it supports. A raffle allows you to create a fun moment for your employees. You can organise one for special occasions, such as Christmas.
Thinking of organising a raffle but don’t know where to start? Here’s everything you need to know to make your event a success.
1. How does a raffle work?
It is a game of chance that requires the purchase of at least one ticket to participate to be eligible for a prize draw. Raffles can be organised for various events (association, football tournament, school event, company anniversary…).
The conditions are the same as in the lottery, i.e.:
- Usually, everyone can participate in this event, as it is open to the general public, but it can also be a private raffle.
- Participants have to buy tickets to participate.
- The winners are determined randomly.
Finally, in a raffle, you don’t get to choose your numbers: you are given a pre-printed ticket at random, and there is always a winner at the end of the raffle.
2. Check the necessary permits or licenses
Make sure that your organisation is legally authorised to hold a raffle.
Raffles are classified as lotteries under UK gambling laws and are regulated by the Gambling Act 2005. There are three main types of raffles: small lotteries (including fundraising raffles), private lotteries, and society lotteries. The rules, restrictions and permits may differ depending on the type of raffle you are organising.
Before organising a raffle in the UK, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the relevant gambling laws and regulations, ensure that you have the necessary permits or licenses, and adhere to any restrictions on prize values, ticket sales, and the use of proceeds. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines or legal penalties.
3. Set specific goals for the raffle
As with any event, even a non-profit event, it is essential to set goals.
Set deadlines, participation targets and, most importantly, a financial target (the amount of money you want to raise from the raffle). Also, define in advance the number of people needed to receive the attendees, give the prizes, etc.
In addition, knowing your financial goals in advance will help you in the subsequent use of the funds raised.
4. Define your raffle prizes
Another critical element is to find a balance between the overall cost of the prizes and the fundraising goal.
In general, it is advisable to create several categories with amounts indicating the value of the prize, such as:
- Prizes of less than £25
- Prizes of less than £50
- Prizes of more than £100
- A single prize, for one winner, of more than £200.
Generally, the total cost of prizes should not exceed 25% of the planned resources to stay within the budget. The ultimate goal of a raffle is to raise funds for your association.
5. Sets the price of tickets
You can decide on the price of your raffle tickets, just as you would for a ticket to an event (fair, conference, etc.).
As mentioned above, the cost of your raffle tickets has to be determined by two main factors:
- Your goals, in particular your fundraising goal.
- Total cost of the prizes.
Remember that it should be affordable and open to everyone when pricing your raffle tickets. In general, the price of raffle tickets should be low.
6. Create a list of suggestions and decide on prizes for your raffle.
Short of ideas for prizes? Here are some ideas:
- Gift cards (Marks & Spencer, Amazon, Apple…).
- Electronic appliances (iPad, toaster, TV…).
- Tickets to a theme park or a voucher for dinner in a restaurant.
- Tickets for concerts in the area.
- Gourmet hampers (wine, cold meats, sweets…).
- Household objects.
- A trip or a weekend, depending on your budget.
Don’t forget that you can also use sponsors to increase your budget or offer you prizes directly.
7. Registration and ticket sales
In addition to physical sales, selling your raffle tickets online is necessary to increase participation.
We strongly recommend creating a page for your raffle on social media or your organisation’s website. You can also integrate an online registration solution to determine how many people will attend the in-person draw.