How To Lock In New Donations With a Birdcage Raffle Fundraiser

A birdcage fundraiser is a great way to make a raffle more interesting at your next nonprofit event, dinner, or gala. It is easy to dress up or down as well depending on your guest list!

 

What is a Birdcage Raffle Fundraiser?

In essence, it is just a simple raffle made more interesting with the intrigue of locks and good presentation. A birdcage, glass or Plexiglas box, or other see-through enclosure is put on display at your event with a desirable raffle item. A piece of expensive jewelry, a full color photo of a nice piece of furniture, or tickets to a hot sports event coming up in the near future are all ideas of a top prize.

How to Run a Birdcage Raffle Fundraiser

The presentation is “key.” Dress up the inside of the cage and the surrounding table with related items and information to draw out the display even more. If you have a fine piece of jewelry, you might include a cardboard cutout of a beautiful woman wearing the piece next to the cage. Or if you opt for tickets to a playoff game, hang a banner of the team, baseball gloves, and maybe even a looped music presentation of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” near the cage to draw attention.

Always, the keys are affixed to colorful ribbons and presented with the cage. If you have teams raffling different items, team members hang the keys from their arms and can either station at an event or walk around to tables. Alternatively, a presentation board with pegs can hang keys to the cage that guests can purchase instead of a typical raffle ticket, at the entrance table or a visible table at the event. Only one key will open a lock holding the prize shut up within.
Birdcage Raffle
The only difficult part of the fundraiser is to make sure you give the winning key away! Tips to make this happen include:

  • Make sure that the key is in the first bunch of ribbons hanging from the peg board or from arms of raffle advocates/key sellers.
  • Only invite people to open the cage at a set time in the event when all keys have been sold. If you don’t sell all the keys, you can auction the remaining keys to the highest bidder right before inviting guests to try their luck at the cage.

What You Need to Make a Birdcage Raffle Fundraiser Happen

  • Obviously, you need a cage or a box, and you need a raffle item. Try getting the item donated by a local store or ticket seller for maximum impact!
  • Then, you need to go to a local locksmith and have him outfit a good amount of keys for a padlock or a special box lock.
  • Set up a table at your event, or set up a team of volunteers to take the cage and the keys mobile throughout the event.
  • Also, you can buy a small self-adhesive LED light to make your prize more noticeable, especially if your teams are mobile with your cages during an event.

Immediate Gratification Birdcage Raffle Variation

One way to go about it is to carry the cage around to tables at a dinner or speaker event and sell keys for immediate trial to guests. This is a great way to play since people will be inspired to keep purchasing keys until they win. Since the guest will win the prize if they open up the cage, you should have multiple prizes available to recharge the cage throughout the event!
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Delayed Gratification Birdcage Raffle Variation

You can spin the game the other way and use the raffle as a pay for play overtime. If you are planning a longer event, such as an art show, exhibit, or holiday open house, invite guests over a 2 week period or months’ time to purchase a key when they visit. Then you can ask them to come back and try their key over a set time after the event, such as the next month or the following week. If you choose this variation, make sure you collect email addresses and phone numbers of key purchasers and also give each key a secret number or code! If your winner does not show up, you can send out a notice to participants afterwards.

No matter which version you choose, you can easily lock in new donations for your cause by locking up good prizes in a birdcage raffle fundraiser!

Ed’s Advice

  • Buy a small self-adhesive LED light to make your prize more noticeable, especially if your teams are mobile with your cages during an event.
  • Make sure that the winning key has been sold before allowing guests to try and open the birdcage.
  • Go to a local locksmith and have him outfit a good amount of keys for a padlock or a special box lock.

Some Personal Insight from Ed

The display presentation is “key.” Dress up the inside of the cage and the surrounding table with related items and information to draw out the display even more. If you have a fine piece of jewelry, you might include a cardboard cutout of a beautiful woman wearing the piece next to the cage. Or, if you opt for tickets to a playoff game, hang a banner of the team, baseball gloves, and maybe even a looped music presentation of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” near the cage to draw attention.

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.


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