We wrote an in depth article for Fundraising.co.uk with all the steps to planning a successful charity raffle campaign. A charity raffle can be an extremely successful fundraising method, raising high profits and supporter engagement.
The costs of setting up and running a raffle is low cost, especially when prizes have been donated, leaving you room to invest your budget in promotion to help reach your target. However, planning a successful charity raffle is key to reaching your fundraising goals. At Capen, we have been setting up and running raffles for years, focusing on digital and online raffles for charities and good causes. We wanted to share with you what we have found to work and some great tips for ensuring a successful raffle campaign.
One of the most common question we get asked is 'do we need a license to run our raffle?'. There is no straightforward answer to this as it depends on what type of raffle you are wanting to set up. It is recommended that you have a look at the Gambling Commission's website when deciding which type of raffle will suit your campaign. There are however, circumstances where you may not need a license. Some of these include; Prize Draws, Work Lotteries, Customer lotteries, Private Society Lotteries, Residents' Lotteries and Incidental Non-Commerical Lotteries. For more information on these please visit the Gambling Commission website.
For this particular post, we will focus on Small Society Lottery Licenses, which is the most common license needed to setup and run a charity raffle. A Small Society Lottery License will enable you to run multiple raffles or lotteries each year where your players will pay to enter for the chance to win prizes. A Small Society Lottery License has a maximum limit of £20,000 in ticket sales per draw or £250,000 in a calendar year. A Small Society Lottery License can be obtained through your local authority by completing a registration form. The registration fee is £40 with a £20 annual fee.
Goal Setting and Campaign Planning
It is vital to have a campaign strategy so that you and your team members will all have a clear idea of your goals, targets and missions. Aligning your team members with a concise campaign plan is important to ensuring a smooth running campaign. To begin with you should have an idea of your fundraising goals. What is your fundraising target? How many raffles are you wanting to run throughout the year? What are you expected returns and how will you maximise this? Once you have a clear goal in mind, you can start planning your campaign targets.
Let's say you are wanting to raise the amount of (XX) for a campaign period of (XX), here are some questions you may need to answer before you start planning your raffle:
- How will you ensure you reach your above goal during this time frame?
- Which marketing channels have worked for you in the past - and which will suit this particular campaign?
- Will you sell combine traditional (offline) ticket sales with online ticket sales?
- How will you ensure your prize(s) suits this particular campaign?
Now that you have your targets you can begin your raffle campaign plan. Your campaign plan should delve deeper into your goals and targets, dissecting each target into smaller, achievable targets. Below is a step-by-step guide to a great raffle campaign plan.
- Dates and times: how long will your raffle campaign run? You can decide to choose dates that fall on seasonal holidays (ie Christmas) or choose dates that align with a separate campaign you will run which will likely compliment your raffle. This worked exceptionally well with WWT and their #FlightOfTheSwans campaign.
- Prizes: It is important that you choose a prize that suits your campaign vision. In our experience, we have found that 'experience' prizes work better than cash prizes. However, this may not be the case for every raffle campaign. It is also important to remember that sourcing donated prizes will save you money and increase profits. Here's how you can source prizes with our step-by-step guide.
- Price: Deciding on a price per ticket for your raffle will entirely depend on your fundraising goals and which methods you will use to ensure you reach your goals (ie email marketing / social media etc). At Zaffo, we use 'Money Buys' to increase basket values.
- Location(s): Where and how will you run and draw your raffle? Running a raffle online (or combining offline and online) will drastically improve your reach and conversion rates.
- Promotion: Promoting your raffle is essential to success. Use methods that your charity knows works well while trying out more innovative and creative methods to get your message out to the public.
- Draw: Who and where will you draw your raffle? Think about if it would be beneficial to draw your raffle winner(s) at an event. How will you then ensure that you contact your winner(s) and how they will receive their prize(s).
- Reporting: Your raffle has ended and you have raised (XX) amount for your charity. It is important to report on what was successful and what could be improved for reference for future campaigns.
- Share the good news: Is it also important to share the good news with you dedicated supporters. Let your supporters know the winner(s) (if you have their permission to do so) and how much you raised and how that money will be used.