Deciding to run a charity raffle is just one of the many things you can do to boost your income generation, at the same time as expanding and diversifying your supporter base.
If you’ve never done one before, however, and are wondering how to run a charity raffle successfully, this new endeavour might feel a bit daunting to start with.
Our team of charity raffle experts here at Woods Valldata have therefore put their heads together to devise the following list of top tips. Read on to discover what they are and how they’ll help you set up a successful charity raffle...
Of course, it’s all well and good knowing that you want to do a raffle – but if you don’t define what your specific goals are, you’ll be setting yourself up for a false start!
Ask yourself exactly what you want to achieve from running your charity raffle. Are you looking to re-engage lapsed supporters? Attract a host of new ones? Or do you want to hit a specific fundraising target for your charity within a certain time frame?
Knowing all this will give you the proper foundations from which to start effectively planning your campaign.
By getting to know your audience – i.e., by developing supporter personas – you'll know exactly how to capture their attention and entice them to play your charity raffle; and not just once, but time and time again.
This isn’t simply about knowing player demographics (such as age, income, occupation and so on), but also their motivations behind playing a raffle. For example, are they predomonantly hoping to win the big prize ? Do they simply enjoy taking part in raffles for fun? Or are they keen to find new ways to support your charity?
Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that, while your charity’s usual audience may align with a particular set of demographics, typical raffle players may differ from this. We’ve written a handy blog which explores who is most likely to play a charity raffle to help you out.
3. Decide what your prizes will be
Being that the prize is the biggest incentive for people to play your raffle, you’ll need to consider what you want those prizes to be. Have a think about the total prize fund you can set aside, as well as the number and hierarchy of prizes on offer.
Here at Woods Valldata, for example, we often see a positive response to prize funds which have a top prize and a lot of smaller, runner-up prizes.
Other prize structures you could consider include a big top, middle and third prize with very few runners up, or lower top, middle and third with more runners up prizes.
You could also consider approaching corporate supporters and companies to see if they would be happy to donate prizes for your cause. These could range from top prizes such as a car or holiday through to smaller prizes, like food hampers or cuddly toys.
One of the biggest considerations you’ll need to make when working out how to run a charity raffle is your timings!
Our raffle benchmarking analysis, as presented in our Prize-led Fundraising Webinar, found that Christmas is the best time to launch a charity raffle, as this is when charities generally see the highest response rates and average gift. But that’s not to say that this is the best time for your specific charity.
Have a look back over any previous data you may have and see when your supporters were most engaged or donated the most funds, or consider a time of year (or multiple times of year) that holds particular significance for your charity; for example, the anniversary of its inception, or dedicated awareness months.
You should have a think about the number of times you run your raffle throughout the year to keep players playing too, as players are far more likely to play again if they have done recently (within a zero to 12-month period).
Our research at Woods Valldata has found that, to be really successful, a charity should run at least two raffles a year, and three to four generally works best. Some charities even run as many as five per year! Again, this is something you might wish to test.
As with any campaign, having a promotional plan in place can make a huge difference to the success of your charity raffle.
Taking your goals and target audience into account, consider techniques such as a beautifully-designed, personalised direct mail campaign or email campaign to re-engage lapsed supporters, or targeted social media adverts to attract a new and diverse audience. The possibilities are almost endless!
Whatever techniques you use, whether by post or online, ensure that you make it as easy as possible for supporters to play; i.e., by making the entry process straightforward, designing forms to be simple to complete, and by offering different payment methods.
If this is something you’re unable to do yourselves, then Woods Valldata can help; we have a specialist in-house creative team who’ll work with you to create the most responsive designs for your raffle campaign, both for printed materials and online.
In addition, we have our own print and production facilities in house, meaning we can support a campaign from the start to the end.
Rather than simply mentioning your charity raffle somewhere inconspicuous on your website, be sure to create a dedicated raffle page, which includes the information that’s most likely to entice your raffle players – predominantly, the raffle prizes on offer, the successes of previous winners, and entering the raffle will make a positive difference.
Furthermore, ensure there’s a clear and easy-to-complete form that donors can fill out to sign up… and a call to action to share this with their friends and family to encourage more sign-ups.
No matter the size of your charity, you need to ensure that you comply with the Gambling Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP). You should also check with the GC whether you need a licence to run your raffle, or whether you simply need to apply to your local licencing authority.
If this is something you’re unsure about (don’t worry, you’re not the only one), teaming up with an External Lottery Manager (ELM) such as Woods Valldata (we have our own in-house compliance team who’ll be able to help you through everything), or with a recognised gambling law specialist like Woods Whur can be a big help.
We run an annual Gambling Commission Roadshow alongside Gambling experts Woods Whur just for our clients too, which they find especially helpful. This ensures that they understand the requirements of the LCCP/RTS in relation to charity raffles and lotteries.
All the above pointers can make setting up a charity raffle appear a little daunting; however, teaming up with an ELM such as Woods Valldata can be transformative, not only making the process significantly easier, but more successful!
At Woods Valldata, this all starts with our team taking the time to get to know your charity, data and supporters inside out. We'll then work with you on your creative, ask, segmentation, incentive, channel and test strategy, integrating digital and print media and much more, so that we can develop the ultimate raffle strategy to achieve your ambitions!
In fact, we’ve been supporting our charity clients over a number of years (including the likes of RSPB and Guide Dogs) to deliver truly impactful raffle campaigns that have not only helped them to reach their goals, but exceed them.
If you’d like to know more about how to run a charity raffle, be sure to get in touch with our team for a chat about your requirements through a free consultation, and download our Winning Ways guide below!
We can discuss our print price promise with you too, as well as our current Data Strategy and Insight offer, in which we’ll look at your raffle data segmentation and make recommendations for a special introductory price.