A home raffle is the “top dog” of raffle prizes, with some properties being raffled off that are worth over $1 million. This also be one of the most difficult raffles to pull off successfully. You’ll find out how you can go about getting a house to raffle off. (There are several different ways to do this!) Can your group score a big win with a house raffle? Start finding out by answering these questions.
Steps to Raffle
- Do you have a successful fundraising team in place? By “successful”, I mean a team with a proven record of excellent communication, organization, execution, and a history of profitability? Don’t even think about holding a house raffle if your team struggles putting on something as simple as a car wash. House raffles are the “big leagues” of non-profit fundraisers. Is your group really ready for “prime time”?
- Are you operating too far out of your organization’s comfort zone? What I mean is if you are a small organization, working on your first nationally-based fundraiser, are you trying to raffle off a million dollar home or a $150,000 home? Bite off only that which you can realistically chew.
- Does your team think beyond your own local market? If you are going to conduct a house raffle, you will HAVE to sell tickets all over the United States and possibly even the world. If this thought is scary to you and your team members, you should stay away from this large-scope fundraising method.
- Does your team manage it’s online affairs well? Every email, every Tweet, every posting on Facebook needs to be responded to quickly and professionally. Your website needs to be current and error free. When anyone, from any place in the world, wants to find out about you, they should have no trouble doing so. Your online “welcome mat” needs to be out!
- Does your board of directors have both an attorney and an accountant with non-profit experience who are willing to donate their services for free? If not, do you have access to these kinds of professionals who will help you pro bono? And, be prepared, there will be many hours of research and document creation involved in setting your house raffle up.
- If this is your first house raffle, do you think your organization is willing to hire a professional fundraiser to help navigate this potentially bumpy path? Trying to do this on your own, especially the first time, is a recipe for disaster.
- Do you have a board member or an executive director who is willing to put in hours of up-front time studying how successful house raffles are run? This will include interviewing several other organizations either in person or over the phone. Remember board members usually have other commitments that take them away and your executive director can’t devote all of his or her time to the raffle, so excellent time management skills will be required during the planning process.
- Does your marketing team have the creativity to launch a global campaign to sell tickets? Some house raffles set a goal of selling upwards of 20,000 tickets at over $100 each. This astronomical goal will require an extraordinary sales effort. IS your team really capable of this gargantuan task?
- Are you prepared with an informative, attractive, and accessible website that has all the pertinent information potential buyers will need and want before buying your tickets either in person or online? If you sell tickets online, do you have a properly secure website set up for making encrypted financial transactions?
- Are you planning this raffle at the right time of year for your organization? The majority of your attention during the raffle period will be focused on the raffle itself. Don’t schedule the drawing and the months leading up to it during your busiest operational season.