The 50-50 Raffle Fundraiser

Fundraising Raffle Tickets

The 50-50 raffle fundraiser. It’s not the most glamorous fundraiser. Or even the most productive fundraiser for the amount of money it raises. But when used correctly, the 50-50 raffle can be a steady ongoing source of fundraising revenue for almost any size or type of nonprofit group.

The 50-50 Raffle Fundraiser

The 50-50 raffle won’t win you any prizes (no pun intended) as a fundraiser. But then again, it won’t hurt you either. The 50-50 raffle fundraiser has a lot going for it and almost no downside:

  • Easy Fundraiser – Is your nonprofit group looking for an easy fundraiser? The 50-50 raffle is it. No need to explain it. Everyone knows about it. 
  • ROI (Return on Investment) – For the time, money, and manpower invested you won’t find a better return. 
  • Start Now – After you clear your initial hurtles with your state regulatory agency, a 50-50 raffle fundraiser is easy to get going. 
  • No Interference – The 50-50 raffle won’t interfere with your other fundraisers. 
  • Everyone’s a Donor – We’re talking pocket change here folks. A buck or two per person adds up quickly. 
  • No Burnout – This is a low impact fundraiser. So low that everyone who contributes won’t even think of it as a fundraiser. 
  • Repeat as Needed – Repeat this fundraiser time and time again with success. 
  • Add One – A 50-50 raffle fundraiser is a great add-on to an existing event.

How the 50-50 Raffle Fundraiser Works

A raffle involves many people buying tickets for a chance to win a prize or prizes. In the case of a 50-50 fundraising raffle the prize is 50% of the money taken in by the raffle ticket sales. The other 50% is retained by the nonprofit group holding the raffle. Hence the name, 50-50 raffle fundraiser.

A person can purchase one or more tickets, and each ticket purchased equals one entry in the drawing for a winner. A certain number of tickets are sold or a specified time passes and a single ticket is randomly chosen.

You sell as many tickets to each person as possible, for a fixed fee. Typical ticket prices are $1, $5, or $10 depending on the makeup of your group. The most common price is one ticket for $1.

So here it is in a nutshell: Sell the raffle tickets and collect the money. Add up the amount you have collected and divide it in half. One half goes to the winner and the other half to your organization. Draw the ticket. Award the winner their 50%.

Typically participants have to be present at the time of the drawing to win. Allow a set time limit, which can be as short as a minute or two, for the winner to claim their prize. If nobody claims the prize within the time limit, just draw another number until somebody wins.

Fundraising Raffle Tickets Your only expense for this fundraiser is the raffle tickets. You may also find it convenient for your raffle ticket sellers to purchase carpenter style aprons that tie around the waist. The aprons have two pockets. One for money and the other for the sold ticket stubs. A large clear plastic jar (gallon size or larger) to put tickets into for the drawing is nice too. It lets everyone see that everything is on the up and up with the ticket drawing.

Sell More 50-50 Raffle Tickets

Obviously the more tickets that are sold, the more money the seller and the winner will make. Since it’s all profit anyway (other than the small cost of buying the tickets), each 50-50 raffle ticket is usually cheap to buy. I wouldn’t recommend charging any less than a dollar per ticket. Making change is hard enough without adding coins to the mix.

No matter how much you charge per raffle ticket, offer incentives for multiple purchases. If you charge one dollar for one raffle ticket, offer three for two dollars, and seven for five dollars. Or an arm length for $20. Always try and up sell your customer.

Don’t forget to ask everyone. Just because someone hasn’t bought a raffle ticket before doesn’t mean they won’t buy one now. Some people just haven’t been asked. Others may not have had the money available the first time.

Make sure your customers know what they can possibly win when they buy their fundraising raffle tickets. Tell folks how much the last raffle winner won.

Who Should Hold a 50-50 Fundraising Raffle?

All nonprofit organizations and charities, large and small, should think about holding a 50-50 raffle fundraiser.

Although typically this type of raffle is used as a fundraiser for smaller nonprofit groups like booster clubs, sports teams, and social clubs, many other groups can and should consider the 50-50 raffle:

  • Churches
  • Golf Tournaments
  • Libraries
  • Festivals
  • Fire Departments
  • and many others!

While many larger nonprofits perhaps consider themselves above this type of fundraising, it can make a wonderful add-on to an existing event.

50-50 Raffle Ticket Sources

50-50 raffle fundraising tickets are the style of tickets that have two sections that both share a unique serial number. They come on a consecutively numbered double ticket roll. The seller keeps one half and the buyer gets the other half. Tickets can be sold fast because there isn’t any name, address, or phone number to fill out.

They are usually available at local party supply stores and big box office supply stores for under $10 for a roll of 2,000 tickets.

Fundraising Raffle Ticket Roll Fundraising Raffle Ticket Single

50-50 Raffles and the Law

A 50-50 fundraising raffle is a game of chance. They are highly regulated in all 50 states. Each state, and sometimes each local jurisdiction, has their own rules. There are even a few states that forbid 50-50 raffles!

Don’t even consider planning a raffle until you understand all the rules and regulations involved. In most instances, paperwork will have to be submitted and approved before you can hold the 50-50 raffle fundraiser; but if your nonprofit qualifies it is usually a simple process.

How To Hold A Successful Basket Bingo Fundraiser

Basket Bingo

Bingo fundraising events have been around for decades. That’s because people love to play bingo and charities can earn several thousand dollars in just one evening of bingo. Many nonprofit organizations, clubs and schools have annual basket bingo events. There are some organizations whose basket bingo fundraisers have become so popular and lucrative that they hold basket bingos two and three times a year.

While your organization can earn as much as $5,000 for an evening of basket bingo, it does take quite a lot work and preparation behind the scenes to put on one of these fundraisers.

How to Hold a Basket Bingo Fundraiser

How To Hold A Successful Basket Bingo Fundraiser

So what is a basket bingo fundraiser?

Basket Bingo is like regular bingo except that the prizes are all baskets. Most often the baskets are Longaberger baskets. The baskets are filled with products such as Longaberger accessories, gift certificates, candles, scrapbooking supplies, beauty products, gourmet foods, etc. Each filled basket can be worth several hundred dollars. This is a big draw for your fundraiser.

The typical basket bingo fundraiser lasts from three to four hours. Holding them on a Saturday afternoon or evening are good times.

The Elements of a Typical Basket Bingo Fundraiser Are:

  • Admission Tickets: Admission tickets are usually sold for $20.00 at the door or $18.00 in advance. For this price each participant receives a book of Bingo sheets good for 20 games of Bingo. You an sell extra game books for $5.00 each. Some people will buy extra sheets to increase the odds of winning in each bingo game. You can also have a couple of special bingo games that people pay extra for. You should aim to sell between 100 and 200 admission tickets. If you sell 125 tickets for $20.00 a piece that will bring in $2,500. By holding raffles and selling food during the event you can bring in more money for your organization.
  • Raffle Prizes: In addition to prizes for each bingo game, you can also hold a raffle of a special prize. You can presell the raffle tickets and sell more during the event for an amount such as $1.00 or $5.00 per ticket. To maximize your earnings you should advertise the prize and presell tickets. Do not require that the winner be present during the drawing. The raffle prize doesn’t have to be a basket but should be a nice prize with a high dollar value. Longaberger wrought iron tables and accessories are good for raffle prizes.Raffles for monetary prizes. 50/50 raffles are also a good way to raise more money during a basket bingo fundraiser. With a 50/50 raffle, tickets are usually sold for $1.00. At the end of the raffle one ticket is drawn and the winner receives fifty percent of the total amount raised by the sale of the tickets. The other fifty percent of the pot is kept by your organization.
  • Door Prizes: You can also have door prizes that you hold drawings for during the event. Give everyone who purchases a ticket to the event one raffle ticket for each prize. The door prizes are usually small items.
  • Food and Refreshments: Snack Bars and Concessions. Since the event will last for three to four hours you should have refreshments available for purchase. At some basket bingo events a buffet luncheon is served that attendees pay extra for. You can raise more money by having food donated. You may want to provide one free drink to everyone who purchased a ticket. Bake sales are also good earners during bingo fundraisers.
  • Professional Bingo Caller and Bingo Supplies: A professional bingo caller is recommended because it takes a person with experience and bingo equipment to run a night of bingo. You will also need a master of ceremonies to be in charge of making announcements and keeping the activities moving.
  • The Prize Baskets: You will need to have a unique gift basket as a prize for each game of bingo. Longaberger baskets are good to use because they are collectible. There are a lot Longaberger basket collectors who might not otherwise be bingo players but will come to your event for a chance at winning a basket. Many Longaberger baskets are also created with a purpose so filling them with items based on a theme is easy. In order to make money on your fundraiser the baskets and prizes should be donated. You can contact a local Longaberger sales representative who can sell you the baskets and give you advice on how to fill them. Raising the money to buy the baskets, or getting them donated, and filling them will take time and money. If your organization is a school you can assign each class a basket theme and ask the families of the students to send in items to fill the baskets.

Conclusion

Realistically it will take a couple of months of work in order to hold a basket bingo fundraiser. You first need to decide if you will be able to assemble of team of volunteers willing and able to do it. After you have assembled your team then you have to get the word out that you need donations of baskets, money, and prizes. You also need to select the venue and date for the fundraiser. Then you will be well on your way to a successful basket bingo fundraiser.