Fundraising Games How to: Heads and Tails

Heads or Tails

Fundraising Games How to: Heads and Tails

Finding engaging ways to generate more revenue at your event (aka: giving donors every opportunity to give) is a key task. Don’t knock the traditional activities like Wall of Wine or Heads and Tails, just add your own flare. A Heads and Tails game isn’t your usual raffle; it’s a fun, novel way to engage event guests who might otherwise be hesitant to participate and bid in the live auction. It operates the same way as a standard raffle, but with a twist!

Pick Your Prize

First, select an item for your raffle that will appeal to a broad audience, to get as many people as possible to participate. The value of the prize itself can vary, but pick something that costs relative  in relation to the ticket sale price.

Generally, 20-25% of your guests will participate in a raffle—so the more guests you have, the more tickets you’ll sell.

Price your raffle ticket conscientious of your guests’ budgets; for your average smaller event, $15 is great. For larger events, $25. Big events can sometimes charge $50 or $100 depending on the value of the raffle prize.

Promote the Game

The best way to sell more raffle tickets? Promote it! Start spreading the word about the raffle prior to the event—put up a page on your event website about it, send out fliers advertising your prize, and make tickets available for sale online. Just be sure to track who’s already bought one, then add them to the list of event night raffle participants.

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Make it Fun

Instead of giving out a ticket stub to raffle participants, give guests participating in Heads and Tails a fun and inexpensive party favor, such as a light stick, a toy, a noisemaker, or another raffle favor tied into your event theme.

For guests who purchased raffle tickets in advance, include the favors in the bidder packet that guests pick up at check-in.

Maximize Participation

A Heads and Tails raffle is a great way to spur engagement during the entertainment portion of your event, before or during the live auction, so be sure to make arrangements with your auctioneer in advance of event night to announce and host it.

Note: Many states have specific rules that govern auction games. Make sure to check your state’s raffle licensing laws as well as your organization’s bylaws. Also, check on alcohol sales rules and permits, as well as firearms, if those will be available at your event or in the auction.

While the auctioneer is announcing the raffle, encourage last-minute participation. For guests who do decide to participate in the raffle at the last minute, make sign-up sheets available at each table, and send out a few volunteers to walk among the tables with extra raffle favors. Be sure to collect the sign-up sheets before the raffle starts.

How “Heads and Tails” Works

  1. When it’s time, your auctioneer should ask all Heads and Tails participants to stand up. Then participants select either “heads” or “tails” by putting their hands on their heads—or their tails!
  2. The auctioneer flips a coin and announces whether the coin came up heads or tails. Those participants whose choice matches the coin flip get to stay standing—everyone else sits down.
  3. The auctioneer continues asking participants to select “heads” or “tails,” then flipping the coin, eliminating more players until only a handful are left.
  4. Ask these few finalists to come to the stage for the last few coin tosses, until only one player is left standing. This is your raffle winner!

4 Responses to “Fundraising Games How to: Heads and Tails”

  1. Is it illegal for kids to play head and tails at a nonprofit auction? Is heads and tails considered gambling?


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