School Raffle Success Stories
Schools back and soon the newly elected P&C committee will be on the lookout for fundraising ideas & opportunities. Raffles can deliver a generous funds infusion but I hear you grizzling already that they are a lot of work.
For the last three years, RaffleLink’s new online raffle system has been successfully converting those grizzles into sighs of relieve.
Here is what some of our schools have said.
“We were a little anxious using an online raffle, but were thrilled with the result.” Linda – St Scholastica’s College
“We were happy with the money raised for our Rowing Club and will certainly be using Raffle Link again in the future.” Andrew – Lourdes Hill College
So what makes a successful raffle?
In many of our blogs we come back to the fundamentals of a successful raffle.
That is careful and considered choices about the 4Ps:
What better way to guide you with your next school raffle than to share some school raffle success stories as they relate to each of the 4Ps.
Schools are fantastic at giving a generous amount of thought into planning their raffle. Planning and forethought increases your chance of conducting a successful raffle. Why? It’s a bit like cooking. If you have the right ingredients and you follow the recipe then outcomes will be superior. If you rush, ingredients are missed and measurements are dodgy, then your cake will be a flop.
Timing is everything
Give thought to the timeframe and duration of your raffle. People tend to switch off during school holidays or public holidays. Engagement will be low and you can lose valuable weeks of sales if your raffle is conducted over a holiday period. You can factor this in by extending the duration of your raffle, but I would suggest that you plan to launch your raffle at the start of a term and then you have 9-10 weeks of “engaged” selling. This obviously means having your ducks in a row by the prior term or finalising your raffle during the school holidays (if you are super keen).
Every state has their own raffle regulations and the great news is, in most states if you are able to keep your prize pool below $5000 you will not require a raffle permit. At RaffleLink we provide tailored permit advice to suit your raffle so you don’t have to wade through government websites looking for answers. So don’t be shy. We’d love to hear about your raffle plans.
Your ideal outcome is to sell as many tickets as possible so your raffle needs to appeal to the ticket buyers. Consider who your ticket buying audience is when choosing prizes, ticket pricing and promotional methods which we will now explore in more detail.
Private Schools have a distinct advantage over public schools when it comes to raffle prize sourcing. One of the most sought after prizes (at least within the school community) is at their fingertips and could be considered 100% donated – school tuition fees. A pretty enticing prize for any private school parent no doubt.
Lourdes Hill College were raising funds to cover operational and equipment cost for their rowing team and offered one semester of school fees as their raffle prize. Just under $5000 was raised with this raffle.
Marcellin College opted to switch their annual ticket book raffle to online last year and raised just under $24000. They used the lure of school fees as their first prize but also offered the option of a $5000 Westfield gift voucher as an alternate first prize. We advocate this decision to broaden the appeal of your raffle to include those beyond the school community. Second & third prize were a selection of book & uniform vouchers, shopping gift cards and assorted luxury items.
Often when seeking prize donations, schools with end up with a collection of small, lower value prizes from local businesses. Pooling prizes together by category can be a great way to make a little look a lot. Maccabi Netball have done this wonderfully in their current raffle www.rafflelink.com.au/maccnet17 Their categories include “Getaway, Art & Fashion, Homewares, Jewellery, Memories, Pamper” amounting to a whopping $8850 total prize pool.
A common misconception is that a successful raffle requires an expensive 1st prize draw card such as a car and a massive prize pool of 30 plus prizes. Not so. Knox Grammar raised over $16000 with a first prize getaway valued under $1000 and a total prize pool of just $3748.
Most ticket buyers will look at the first prize, perhaps the 2nd & 3rd and make their decision to purchase a ticket. So 20 prizes is overkill. Let’s face it, no-one aspires to winning the 14th prize do they?
Listen up because people make the same mistakes time and time again with raffle ticket pricing. Rather than slap you on the wrist prematurely, I’ve tried to put a positive slant on these points.
- DO offer a single ticket price that does not devalue your prize. Unless your prize pool is worth $2000, the days of the $2 ticket are well and truly gone. We find that as a guide your single ticket price should be .1% (that is point one %) of your total prize pool.
- DO ask a higher ticket price for unique prizes which are highly sought after. Niche prizes may have a limited audience so your ticket price may have to be higher to offset the lower number of ticket sales.
- DO offer ticket packages. Adding a selection of ticket packages is an absolute must if you want to upsell ticket buyers to a higher sales transaction. Providing a selection allows buyers to choose at which price point they are most comfortable. eg. Single ticket $10, 3 for $28, 5 for $45, 10 for $80. Our system’s average sales transaction for last year was $42, proving that ticket buyers will spend more when visual cues are placed in sight. Only recently a client thanked me for the tip. Most of their sales have been $55 & $90 transactions, rather than the single $20 ticket sale they had planned.
- DO consider your ticket buying audience and what they would consider enticing package prices. Obviously in a more affluent area a ticket buyer would be comfortable with buying a package for $150 but in your average state school a $50 package may be the upper limit.
- DO use your raffle sales report to make informed decisions about your ticket pricing for next year.
Schools are fortunate to have many avenues available for communicating with the school community – website, Facebook, email, SMS, push notifications, newsletters, notice boards and notes home.
To reach beyond your school community you could consider a letterbox drop where each child/family is provided 25 flyers to go into the letterboxes on their street and surrounding streets.
Arranging a raffle table at your local shopping centre, markets or sporting event will get you out into the community and attracting “new money” away from school families.
Request an advertorial in the local newspaper. Rather than promoting the raffle outright, talk about where the money will be spent, then tack on your online raffle page URL to the bottom of the story. They can only say no.
If your school is affiliated with a primary or high school or local businesses, ask if they can share your raffle with their school community, employees or customer base. St Lucy’s School sold an extra 420 tickets raising $1670 from their association with the Westpac bank.
Templates for these ideas and more are provided to our RaffleLink clients once they’re registered.
Content, Shareability & Frequency
Making sure your raffle promotion content is varied and in a shareable format will increase your chances of people sharing your raffle with others.
To keep people interested in your raffle, you can drip feed information about the various prizes on offer via social media, which also provides an opportunity to give your prize sponsors a dedicated plug.
Share with potential ticket buyers your dream outcome for the raffle – where the money will be spent. Children can make a picture board of drawings (eg. our new playground) to catch the eye of passers-by at a shopping centre or event.
Promote the odds of winning in a limited ticket raffle to entice buyers. Often, as with a Thermomix raffle, tickets will sell out quickly when advertised that there is “only 200 tickets on offer”.
Providing your school community with Facebook posts and a promo email that is generically written allows them to easily share with family, friends, work colleagues and community groups. Always prompt them to share the information or it will go no further.
Promote your raffle frequently ie at least 2 times a week using different content. Our raffle reports have shown a direct correlation between promotion and sales. On the day of their email broadcast Glenaeon School received $2530 in ticket sales.
If you are conduct your raffle in conjunction with an event such as a fete/fair, trivia night then visit our event raffle blog for comprehensive tips on promotion techniques for the day.
Following the 4Ps will ensure your school raffle success every time.
- Planning – the most important aspect of planning is considering your ticket buying audience
- Prizes – don’t over invest or spend countless hours sourcing volumes of prizes 3-8 prizes maximum will do just nicely
- Price – price fairly and always, always add ticket packages
- Promotion – use every marketing avenue available to you, promote frequently and keep it fresh
So now that you are forearmed with everything to inspire a successful school raffle, follow in the footsteps of those before you and get linked to more sales and less stress!