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6 ways to make your charity raffle as enticing as possible

As a form of income generation for your charity, raffles are a fantastic choice!

As well as being especially appealing to your current database of donors, they’re also a great way to attract new and different kinds of supporters for your charity.

What’s more, while raffle tickets were originally only available physically, donors now have the opportunity to play a charity raffle online, enabling them to buy their tickets to play easily and instantly. In fact, this is increasingly important as donors now expect to be able to do everything for charities online that they can do offline. 

However, unlike a charity lottery (where donors sign up to pay a certain amount of money per month), raffles are a one-off game, which means that there’s the chance that a donor could simply play once, not win, and decide never to play again.  

Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to make your raffle as enticing as possible and keep donors coming back to play time and time again...

1. Offer a variety of tempting prizes

The main reason that people play a charity raffle (besides supporting your cause) is for the chance to win something. So, the more prizes you can put on offer, the more chances donors will have to win, and the more likely it’ll be that they want to play!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing your charity raffle prizes:

Make the top prize about what it can do for the player

The average raffle player is around age 66 and above, so be sure to consider this demographic and what prizes will bring them the most benefit/happiness when making your choice. 

Cash is typically the main incentive to play a raffle, so this is always a good route to go down. Alternatively, be sure to choose something that’s of an equally perceived high value, such as travel opportunities.

Don't forget the runner up prizes! 

While these obviously won’t have the same value as the top prize, these should still be just as enticing! Prizes that can help donors to achieve something (keeping the typical demographic in mind), such as DIY/gardening kits, TVs or smaller cash prizes are always a good approach to take.

Provide other incentives for additional interest 

Here are some of the additional incentives that our charity partners favour here at Woods Valldata:

  • Fast 50 – the first 50 donors to play receive something extra. 
  • Early Bird – those donors who respond within first week receive a free gift. 
  • Golden Ticket – if donors have a golden ticket in their pack, they’re eligible to enter an additional draw.

Throw in some freebies! 

We’ve found that the most effective of these are address labels, as they’re a cost-effective way to increase response rate by up to 10%, compared to standard letters! 

Stay aware of your budget

With all the above in mind, it’s important to remain aware of your budget; if you blow all your charity raffle prize fund on a huge prize that can’t be available again, you won’t have anything left to keep encouraging people to play!

Of course, it’s always helpful if you can collaborate with corporate partners for prize donations, too. Can they give you something for free that you can include in the prize-pot?

In summary, ensure that your prizes are of high value, create a sense of urgency, and are useful, fun or meaningful to make your raffle truly enticing!

2. Show donors what previous winners are enjoying

A little fear of missing out can go a long way when it comes to a charity raffle! 

By showing people what your previous winners have enjoyed by taking part in your raffle, they’ll instantly become aware of the opportunities playing could bring them and feel more inclined to give it a go. 

There are a number of ways you can do this, but here’re just a couple: 

User-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content, such as blogs, videos, social media posts and so on created by the winners of your charity raffle, as opposed to being created by your charity. 

For example, if your donor wins a cash prize, you could ask them to film themselves opening their prize envelope with the cheque inside and telling you what they're going to do with the money.

Ensure that they take the time to thank your charity, talk about your cause and encourage others to play the raffle too to be in with a chance of enjoying a similar experience!

Research has shown that UGC is perceived as 2.4 times more authentic compared to brand-created content, so it could be a real game-changer for your charity raffle! 

Social media posts and adverts

Promoting ads for your digital raffle or writing social media posts that focus on what your winners have enjoyed (perhaps even sharing the above mentioned UGC) is a great way of generating interest in your charity raffle. 

The greater the variety of posts you can share, the better – I.e., as many different prize winners as possible – as this will indicate to potential donors that the chances of them winning a prize are higher than they would typically anticipate.

charity worker writing thank you letters for charity raffle

3. Focus on your creative

The way that you market your raffle can have a profound impact on how many donors decide to take part. From your choice of wording to your selection of graphics, colours and imagery, your creative can be the difference between donors deciding to sign up or not. 

From our experience here at Woods Valldata, the creatives that are usually the most enticing are those with content that centres around a benefits-driven message, cutting through the noise and making your charity stand out from the crowd. 

We’ve also found that vibrant designs with bright colours, stand-out fonts and images of people or animals tend to perform better than other approaches.

4. Take time to consider your creative’s format, too

The format in which you share your creative is just as important as the creative itself when it comes to enticing donors to take part in your charity raffle.

For direct mail, consider how you can make this stand out from other post that comes through the door, such as an outer envelope which is a different size than normal, or making the window in the envelope part of the creative, e.g., designing shapes around it.

For your social media creatives, you could perhaps use a video advert rather than an image, or include a link to your site where donors can play something interactive.

In sum, ensure your creative and its accompanying format can work their magic together to make your raffle completely irresistible!

5. Let people know how their donations will help

Although prizes (and a fear of missing out on them) will undoubtedly be the main pull for your charity raffle, donors knowing exactly how their donations will make a difference is also exceptionally impactful, and one of the most important things to bear in mind.

Communication really is key here, so to make the most of this, ensure your marketing materials (such as email and direct mail) are personalised to the individual receiving them and highlight all the incredible things that their donations could bring about.

Be sure to put a spotlight on the achievements that other individual donor’s donations via the raffle have made too, and perhaps even include some quotes from those who didn’t win but were glad to have made a positive difference with their donation.

As well as encouraging initial play, this is also great for encouraging replay, too!

For example, each time a donor plays, you could engage with them through a personalised thank you letter, expressing your appreciation for their donations, letting them know what that money has gone towards, and so on.

The feeling of self-efficacy that this will incite will be a huge enticement for your donors to keep playing!

At Woods Valldata, we often help our charity partners to run response incentives (such as a free prize draw) in thank you letters to encourage increased engagement even further.

6. Don’t forget about the data!

Above all else, enticing donors to take part in your raffle is about targeting the right people, whether that's by accessing and analysing the donor data in your existing database or through cold acquisition.

This will also ensure that you’re getting the best return on investment for your raffle without an unnecessary increase in your expenditure. 

In conclusion...

There really is so much you can do to make your charity raffle truly enticing and ensure that you not only raise a wealth of funds for your cause but also guarantee that those who take part have a great time and feel wonderful about doing so!

Want to learn more about setting up a successful charity raffle?

Our experts at Woods Valldata have poured their 45 years of knowledge, expertise and experience in helping charities to set up their raffles into our complete, comprehensive guide, which explores everything from the creation of your raffle to promotion, the legal aspects and more!

The guide is available to download for free below. Alternatively, if you’d like to work with our dedicated team to launch your raffle off the ground, simply get in touch with us today – we'd be delighted to help!

charity raffle ebook

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