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A Nonprofit Guide to Fundraising Raffle Ideas (14+ Prizes)

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By Jesse Sumrak

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Published October 7, 2022 Reading Time: 7 minutes

Need raffle ideas to raise funds for your nonprofit? You’ve come to the right place. We know a thing or two about nonprofit fundraising, and switching up events in creative ways like a raffle is on our favorites list.

From Willy Wonka-esque golden tickets to product giveaways, you can get downright creative with your raffle prizes—all while staying true to your brand and constituents. Below, we’ll walk you through 14 tried-and-true raffle ideas.

Before we do, let’s get on the same page about what a fundraising raffle is and why you should consider using one during your next event.

What Is a Fundraising Raffle?

A fundraising raffle is a game of chance. Traditionally, donors purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes. However, there are plenty of ways to make your raffle event more exciting and engaging.

You can spice it up with over-the-top prizes or make things interesting with guessing games or hidden tickets. And while hosting a standard raffle is fine, don’t be afraid to step outside the box and explore various creative and unique fundraising ideas for nonprofits that involve a raffle.

Also, consider modern-day fundraising technology to expand your raffle options. You can make them part of your in-person, virtual, or hybrid fundraising events with a solution like Classy Live.

How to Raise Money With Raffles

While there are plenty of top-notch nonprofit fundraising ideas out there, raffles have a few advantages. Here are a few reasons you should give raffles a try:

  • It’s simple: Raffles are simple and easy for everyone involved—from the organizers to the participants.
  • It’s affordable: You don’t need a bucketload of cash or a grand event to put on a successful raffle. It’s easy to get started with something as simple as a virtual event and a donated prize.
  • It can bring the feel-good vibes: Everyone wins with a raffle, especially when there’s a good cause—because they’re just happy to contribute and make a difference.
  • It helps build awareness: Regardless of how much funding your raffle generates, the activity still helps you get the word out for your nonprofit.
  • It can grow your community: Raffles often include prizes and experiences from local businesses and sponsors, giving constituents an opportunity to build their connections with the community.

14 of the Best Raffle Ideas for Fundraisers

As you delve into the raffle ideas below, start thinking about logistics. Sure, not every one of these raffles will be the right fit for your nonprofit, and that’s OK—you just need to find one that works for you.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you go through the ideas:

  • Could we do this online or in a hybrid format, or does it need to be exclusively in-person?
  • What about how to get donations in the first place? What partnerships or connections do we have with the community that we could use for raffle prizes and services?
  • Will we need volunteers to facilitate this raffle? If so, how many?
  • When would be the best time to hold this raffle event? Should we reserve it for a stand-alone affair, or should we incorporate it into an upcoming event?
  • Given the prizes available, how much should we charge for raffle tickets?

Download The 2022 Fundraising Event Experience Report for deeper insights into hosting a fundraising event. In it, we’ve collected data from over 1,000 fundraising event attendees to give you the real-life data you need to create compelling events with all the right details.

1. Raffle Off a Product

Find a local business to donate a gift for your raffle. It’s good exposure for that business and can be a huge incentive for your donors. Depending on your connections, you have a couple of options for product raffles:

  • Single-product raffle: If you receive a high-value donation, hold a raffle solely for this item. Tickets could cost anywhere from 10% to 20% of the retail value. 
  • Multi-product raffle: If you don’t have any high-value items, wait until you have a collection of low-value prizes for a successful raffle. 

2. Provide a Service or Experience

Instead of a tangible good, consider giving away a service or experience for your raffle. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Haircut from a favorite stylist
  • Lunch with the mayor
  • Climbing with a guide
  • Personal chef for a night
  • Babysitter for an evening
  • Cooking class with a local chef
  • Photography lesson with a local pro

3. Help Your Supporters Get Away

Everyone loves a getaway. Offer anything from a tropical resort to a cruise to a ski vacation. You could even partner with a local hotel.

Consider these other unique getaway ideas:

  • Exclusive camping at a coveted, hard-to-get spot
  • Camper van rental and week-long itinerary
  • Hotel stay outside a nearby national park
  • Weekend getaway to an amusement park
  • Hot springs and massage package at aresort

4. Offer an Exclusive Tour

You don’t need the Notre Dame Cathedral Paris or Windsor Castle in your backyard to have an unforgettable tour. Sometimes, a tour of a local restaurant, brewery, winery, or sporting center can satisfy your donor’s curiosity.

Think outside the box. Perhaps your donors would appreciate a backcountry ski tour, whitewater rafting guide, climbing expedition, backpacking trip, or geological exploration.

This is where knowing your constituents come in handy.

5. Supply Signed Memorabilia

Do you know someone willing to donate a prized piece of signed memorabilia? Your raffle prize could be a basketball signed by LeBron James, a poster autographed by Blackpink, or a T-shirt signed by Tiger Woods. People love practically anything signed by a famous athlete or celebrity.

Ask your team members, volunteers, partners, and anyone in your network if they know of anything. You might be surprised what cool items come out of the woodwork.

6. Assemble Gift Card Baskets

Collect gift cards from local businesses to create a must-have gift card basket. You could get various gift cards in the mix, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Gyms
  • Bakeries
  • Hotels
  • Retailers
  • Theaters
  • Pet shops
  • Florists
  • Car repair shops

And, if you receive a big enough gift card donation, consider excluding it from the basket and making it a one-off grand prize. 

7. Give Out Subscriptions

Subscriptions can be a fun way to expand a one-off service into a lifelong benefit for your donors. For example, instead of raffling off a weekend getaway to an amusement park, you could replace that with a year-long membership.

Another entertaining raffle idea is subscription boxes—a great way to feature local businesses that might not have a storefront. Research businesses near you (whether that’s your city, county, or state) that provide subscription boxes.

8. Arrange a Mentoring Opportunity

Want to have a raffle at a college or university? Consider offering a mentorship program. This could be virtual sessions with an accomplished CEO or shadowing opportunities at a local business.

The mentorship could be as simple as making a life-changing introduction or include elements like breakfast with a developer or invitations to exclusive networking events.

9. Reserve a Parking Space

A coveted parking space could be worth more than gold (in some places). So if your nonprofit owns parking spaces in a high-trafficked part of town, you could reserve them for lucky donors for six months or a year.

Reserved parking spots are a great raffle prize for colleges and high schools, too. That’s especially true if your donors are supportive parents or alumni. 

10. Get Supporters Excited About an Exclusive Concert Ticket

Do you have a big-name artist coming to a nearby venue? Purchase front-row seats (at least two) and raffle them off at your next event. Plus, if you capitalize on this opportunity early, you can get the tickets cheaper—and it doesn’t hurt to know a person or two from the band or venue.

11. Find a Local Art Piece

A local artist might love the opportunity to donate their work and build awareness for their pieces. You could also partner with one to see if they could offer personalized family portraits or custom one-of-a-kind pieces as part of a raffle.

12. Go Big With a 50/50 raffle

A 50/50 raffle is the perfect idea when you can’t find enticing product or service donations. With a 50/50 raffle, participants purchase a ticket and add their money to the pot. At the end of the event, 50% of the donations go to your organization and 50% to the lucky raffle winner.

Because the grand prize never grows too high with 50/50 raffles, reserve this idea for events with lots of attendees. That way, the bigger your event, the bigger the reward.

13. Hold an Online Raffle

You don’t need an in-person raffle to fundraise for your profit—you can do everything virtually without sacrificing the experience (or the donations). Take your online raffle to the next level by using a purpose-made platform like Classy Live.

With Classy Live, you can provide a full online or hybrid streaming experience. Features like live leaderboards, campaign progress, and activity boost engagement and fundraising, helping drive more contributions to your donation site and, therefore, your cause. Plus, you can use text and email reminders to keep attendees engaged and in the know.

Attending a virtual event is also much easier than in-person, especially for busy parents, students, and professionals. However, since every audience is different, experiment and see which events get more attendance and participation.

14. Hide a Golden Ticket

Want to increase the hype and tap into genuine nostalgia? Channel your inner Willy Wonka with your raffle. But instead of using stubs for raffle entry, hand out candy bars.

The twist is that one lucky candy bar has a winning ticket tucked inside. Your prize could be a product, service, getaway, or anything we mentioned above—the golden ticket aspect makes it fun and memorable for everyone involved.

Who hasn’t wished they would someday find a golden ticket slipped in their Hershey’s packaging? You can make a dream come true while raising money for your nonprofit.

[Bonus]: Guess the Number

Guess the number adds an engagement layer to your raffle. You fill a container with anything you’d like (anything)—just make sure it’s a lot. Then, participants purchase an entry to guess how many items are in the container.

At the end of the event, you unveil the exact amount of items in your container and reward the person who guessed closest to that amount. You can also add other fun layers, such as bonus rewards for thinking of the exact amount or winning a prize for guessing over the amount.

Sure, in the end, most participants probably have the same chance of winning a random raffle drawing—this just adds excitement and a bit more ownership. 

Bring Your Raffle Ideas to Life With Classy

Regardless of your raffle idea, make sure it’s on-brand and true to your organization. And with so many options available, you don’t have to force your brand to fit a raffle—shape the raffle to fit your brand.

Whether you host a local raffle or a major fundraising gala, count on Classy Live to power your virtual and hybrid event experiences. Drive more engagement, donations, and revenue for your mission with:

  • Virtual venues: Take it all online or build the perfect hybrid experience so that everyone gets a chance to participate.
  • Fundraising features: Drive up the energy (and the donations) with live leaderboards, campaign progress, and donation activity.
  • Remote experiences: Host breakout rooms, virtual tables, and speed networking to build deeper relationships with your attendees.

You have enough on your plate—leave all the nitty-gritty details to Classy. We’ll help you build the experience, collect donations, promote sponsors, send email and text reminders, and gain insights into your attendees’ engagement.

Schedule a demo to see for yourself how Classy Live can bring your fundraising raffle ideas to life.

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