FUNDRAISING – Raffle prizes

A few refusals are perfectly normal and

not everyone will be in a position to help you. However, if you think too many people are saying no, see if you can tweak your request to emphasise the emotional and beneficial aspects of your fundraising.

instructors or mobile beauticians? Donating a voucher is an easy way for them to drum up new business. By the time your raffle is drawn, you should have a selection of different prizes that will appeal to all. Remember, the more prizes, the greater the chance of

winning for each ticket purchased.

Buy a prize If, despite your best efforts, you still

‘It helps to have a letter on headed paper to hand to potential donors. Just go in, say you are asking for prizes for a raffle for your child’s school. Explain how a donation would allow them to advertise within the school community, and tell them how many children or families are in the school. Explain what the money raised would be going towards and let them know that anything they can offer would be amazing. Ask to speak to the manager as they are the one who will make the decision. Once you’ve been to a few places and secured some donations, it helps with confidence. Now I’m firmly in the “if you don’t ask you don’t get” camp – and I’ll ask absolutely anyone!’ Sarah Wesley, treasurer, Friends of South Camberley Primary & Nursery School, Camberley, Surrey (757 pupils).

Local and national You can contact local and national

companies via email, Twitter or Facebook. Find out the name of the right person to approach and use it. Try posting a request on local

PTA+ online

Read our FAQs to raffles and lotteries at

50 SUMMER 2019

Facebook pages and groups. If you’re fundraising for something specific, it’s a good idea to mention this and list the benefits for pupils. Don’t be afraid to follow up your

email, tweet or letter. Be polite. If you don’t hear anything after two attempts they probably aren’t interested, so leave it there and try someone else. If you are offered a donation, reply quickly and say thank you. Once the fair is over and the raffle has been drawn, contact donors again with another thank you and a note to say how much the raffle raised for your cause.

One-off prize While the most obvious prizes are

items donated by local retail and manufacturing companies, it’s also good to think outside the box. Items and experiences that can’t be bought ‘off the shelf’ make extra-special raffle prizes and will have visitors queuing up to win. Do any of the parents own anything as luxurious as a holiday cottage they would offer for a week? Are there any creative parents who would be prepared to produce a piece of artwork? If this really doesn’t sound like

your community, how about a couple of hours’ cleaning or gardening? Or can the best baker on the PTA offer to bake a special cake? Are any of your parents personal trainers, yoga

don’t have a main prize to drive ticket sales, you can consider buying something special or offering a cash prize. How much you are able to spend depends on what type of raffle you are running. The rules set out by the Gambling Commission allow for some of the proceeds of each kind of raffle to be spent on prizes: for an incidental lottery (tickets are only sold on the day and the draw is made at the event, or shortly after) up to £500 of the raffle takings may be used to buy prizes. If you’re running a small society lottery (tickets can be sold before the event and you must register with your local authority) you may use up to 80% of takings for prizes. Of course, spending money on

prizes will reduce your profits on the day, so make sure you plan to sell enough tickets to cover the extra outgoings. Visit the Gambling Commission website (gambling for more details on different types of raffle.

On the day

Make sure all your volunteers know what big-ticket prizes you have on offer, where tickets are being sold and what they cost. Sell tickets on the door and have a few volunteers selling as people walk around. Include a list of prizes in your programme,

if you have one, and display them clearly on the door. You could laminate an A4 sheet for visitors to pass around. Make sure you’ve included any company logos or contact details you have promised and that everything is spelled correctly.


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