One of the easiest revenue enhancers you’ll find is the 50/50 Raffle.
It’s just like a normal raffle, but instead of a prize, the organization splits the proceeds with the winner. Anyone can participate, even if they just have a few dollars. And they get a chance to win much more, which is very appealing.
The benefit of offering a 50/50 raffle for your organization is an excellent return on investment—for little expense and not much effort, you have guaranteed revenue and a way to involve everyone in supporting your cause.
What do you need?
All you really need is raffle tickets, but the additional items listed below will help make the process smoother:
- Raffle tickets. Purchase a double roll of tickets at an office supply store or party store. These are the tickets that tear apart and both tickets have an identical number.
- Clear plastic jar. Place all the tickets in a clear container so everyone knows the drawing is fair. Make sure it’s big enough to hold all the tickets (gallon or larger).
- Selling aprons. Make it easier on your ticket sellers and provide them with easy-access pockets to hold cash and sold tickets.
How do you do it?
The process is simple:
- Sell tickets. Generally, single tickets sell for a flat rate and there’s a deal for buying multiples. Typical prices are $1, $5 and $10, with $1 being the most common. Bundles can go for $2 for 3 tickets or $4 for 5, or an arm’s length for $10 (just don’t use long-armed volunteers!). Be sure to offer tickets to everyone and let them know how much they could win.
- Calculate the winnings. Add up all the tickets sold and divide the total in half.
- Hold the drawing. Ask an impartial person draw the winning ticket (someone who didn’t buy any tickets), perhaps a student, a beneficiary or a committee member.
- Announce the winner. Have your auctioneer announce the winning ticket number. Give the winner 1 to 2 minutes to collect their prize (allow more time if the prize is large). If no one shows up, select another winner. If you’ve collected a sizable sum, consider choosing multiple winners at $100, for instance.
- Although the 50/50 split is the most popular, you can experiment with different configurations: a 40/60 split or a 30/70 split.
- You can also earmark the proceeds for a special project to generate more interest.
- One organization created a grid numbered from 1 to 45 and sold tickets for $2. They then selected two winners—one for $30 and another for $15.
- Earmark the proceeds for a special project to generate more interest.
- Keep announcing to your audience what the total current sales are and, thus, what the prize will be. The more you announce the current prize amount, and emphasize it is a growing prize, the greater sales will be.
- If you want to be sure the prize is spent at your event, you can announce the prize as “credit toward auction purchases or contributions.”
Some Personal Insight from Kip
Here’s a fun thing to do with the 50/50 raffle. Don’t wait until the end of your event to draw the 50/50 raffle prize, as you might do with another raffle. Instead, draw the winning ticket right before your live auction. That way the person who wins the 50/50 raffle has that much more money to spend in your live auction.
Raffle fundraisers are considered games of chance and are often regulated by state and local laws. Make sure you understand the rules and regulations in your jurisdiction and design your raffle accordingly. Some states even prohibit raffles.
Have you run a 50/50 Raffle at your fundraiser? Share your experiences in the comments below. What worked and what didn’t? We’d love to hear from you.
This article is part of our 26 Proven Revenue Enhancers for Your Fundraiser eBook available as a free download. If you looking for new revenue enhancing ideas and how to incorporate them into your event—this easy-to-use lookbook is for you.