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A Nonprofit Guide to Fundraising Raffle Ideas (20+ Prizes)

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Published April 11, 2024 Reading Time: 8 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 20-plus tried-and-true raffle ideas.

Before we do, let’s clarify what a fundraising raffle is, what the legal guidelines are, and why you should consider using one during your next event if permitted.

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 board games or hidden tickets. While hosting a standard raffle is fine, don’t be afraid to step outside the box and explore various creative and unique fundraising ideas that involve a raffle.

Also, consider modern-day fundraising technology to expand your raffle options. You can use fundraising event software like Classy Live for in-person, virtual, or hybrid fundraising events.

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Raffle Regulations to Consider

Raffles in the United States are regulated on a state-by-state basis. Most states have laws that define which organizations can conduct raffles, the purposes for which they can be held (typically for charitable causes), the rules that must be followed, and the number of raffles allowed per year.

Nonprofits are generally permitted to hold raffles to raise funds, but regulations vary significantly between states. Some states have stringent requirements, like obtaining licenses, setting limits on prize values, and maintaining detailed records. Others, such as Texas, have minimal regulations and rely on self-regulation.

In states where raffles are either illegal or highly regulated, it’s best to consult with legal counsel or local authorities to understand the specific rules applicable in that area.

While raffles are typically legal in most states, it is crucial to review the laws in your state before conducting a raffle event for your nonprofit.

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 the top reasons to give raffles a try:

  • It’s simple: Raffles are simple and easy for everyone involved—from the organizers to the participants.
  • It’s affordable: Raffles don’t need a bucketload of cash or a grand event. They can be successful with a virtual event and a donated prize.
  • It can bring feel-good vibes: Raffles make everyone a winner. Plus, supporters are happy to contribute and make a difference, especially when there’s a good cause.
  • It helps build awareness: Raffles help you get the word out about your nonprofit, regardless of how much funding they generate.
  • It can grow your community: Raffles often include prizes and experiences from local businesses and sponsors, giving constituents an opportunity to build connections with their community.

The Best Raffle Ideas for Fundraisers

As you delve into the raffle prize ideas below, consider logistics. 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?
  • How do we get donations in the first place? What partnerships or connections do we have with the community that we could use for good 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 incorporate it into an upcoming event?
  • How much should we charge for raffle tickets, considering the prizes available?
  • What are our fundraising goals?

Download Classy’s Fundraising Event Experience Report for deeper insights into hosting a fundraising event attendees won’t forget. 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 experiences with all the right details.

Access the Free Report

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.
  • Multiproduct raffle: If you don’t have any high-value items, wait until you have a collection of low-value prizes for a successful raffle.

Have a handful of product donations? Make an auction basket. It could be a date night basket or a games basket (depending on your donated items).

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.

Here are some other unique getaway ideas:

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

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 comes 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 jersey 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 can locate anything. You might be surprised what cool goodies you can find.

Once you secure your exclusive memorabilia, be sure to let everyone know on social media. Marketing popular raffle items is a great way to generate engagement.

6. Assemble Gift Card Baskets

Collect gift certificates from local businesses to create a must-have gift basket. You could even get a mix of gift cards to create a themed basket. Here are a few themes to consider:

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

If you receive a large 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 turn a one-off service into a lifelong benefit for your donors. Instead of raffling off a weekend getaway to an amusement park, offer a year-long membership instead.

Another entertaining raffle idea is subscription boxes, which are 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, including elements like breakfast with a developer or offering 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 great raffle prizes for college and high school fundraisers, especially if your donors are supportive parents or alumni.

10. Get Supporters Excited About Exclusive Concert Tickets

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 nonprofit—you can do everything virtually without sacrificing the experience (or the donations). Take your online raffle to the next level 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 donor activity boost engagement and fundraising to help 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 much easier than in-person, especially for busy parents, students, and professionals. However, since every audience differs, 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.

15. Arrange an Adventure Day

A heart-pounding prize might be a better fit for adrenaline lovers and adventure enthusiasts among your donors. You could include adventure ideas like skydiving from dizzying heights, gliding through the canopy on a zip-line tour, or floating above the landscape in a hot-air balloon ride.

More than just a prize, an adventure experience is a chance to create lasting memories directly associated with your nonprofit while supporting a cause close to their hearts.

16. Make Over a Home

Local interior designers or landscapers might want to offer your donors the chance to win a home or garden makeover—whether it’s a chic room redesign, a cozy nook creation, or a complete garden transformation.

17. Provide Exclusive Workshops

Offer the winner a personalized workshop or series of classes relevant to your nonprofit’s cause. You might show them how to capture moments through photography, express themselves with painting, build with coding, or explore culinary delights in cooking classes.

18. Give Away a Personal Fitness Package

How about providing donors the opportunity to explore new forms of movement with an all-in-one fitness package? Partner with local businesses to offer personal training sessions, subscriptions to health and wellness apps, basic fitness equipment or apparel, and discounts on prepared meal kits.

19. Treat Your Donors to Relaxation

Whisk your lucky raffle winner away to a relaxing high-end spa resort. Treat them to massages, facials, gourmet meals, yoga sessions, meditation workshops, and hot tubs. It’s the perfect raffle prize for those needing a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

20. Surprise Donors with a Mystery Flight

Want to fuel your supporters’ need to be a little bit daring and spontaneous? Try a “mystery flight” ticket. You’ll plan a trip (whether to a bustling city or a tranquil beach) and only reveal the destination to your lucky winner the day before their flight departs. It’s the ideal package for the wanderlust-filled donor ready to embrace the unknown.

Bonus: Guess the Number

Guess the number adds an engagement layer to your raffle. You fill a container with anything you’d like—just ensure 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 raffle 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 close to the amount.

While most participants probably have the same chance of winning a random raffle drawing, this adds excitement and a higher level of ownership.

Bring Your Raffle Ideas to Life with Classy

Regardless of your raffle idea, ensure 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. Instead, 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 in-person, 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 everyone can participate.
  • Fundraising features: Drive 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 attendees.

You have enough on your plate—leave all the nitty-gritty details to Classy. We’ll help you build the experiences, 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.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

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