Who wouldn’t love to win a raffle?

A new car, a vacation, a flat screen TV… ahhh the dreamy prizes offered by raffles.  When charities approach me about buying raffle tickets, if the prize is great and the ticket price is right I am more than happy to buy one.  After all, your chances are a lot better with a charity raffle than with the state lottery right?

Sometimes I really just want to support the cause.  I know door to door selling by kids is frowned upon, but the high school kids often stop by our house with raffle tickets, discount cards or some other fundraiser and I’m happy to help.

A raffle was one of the first kinds of fundraisers I did when volunteering for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  The raffle prize was a big screen TV (this was years before flat screens though!).  I took my packet of tickets and hit up every cubicle dweller in my office.  The reactions I got from people when I asked them to buy a ticket usually fell into two categories.  Some people got stars in their eyes over the prize.  Others said “that’s a great cause” with a few relating their own stories about friends or family who had leukemia or other diseases.  It seemed like these reactions were about half and half, those who wanted the prize and those who acted more interested in the cause.  I suspect that it was often a combination of both.

Some people thought I was crazy but I really loved asking people to support the cause in this way, and found their motivations for buying a ticket quite interesting.

Even though raffles can be a great fundraiser, sometimes nonprofits have a hard time striking this balance.  Finding a great prize is important and can be one of the most challenging aspects of planning a raffle.  There are so many other details that, if done right, can mean a blockbuster raffle.  The charity raises a lot of money, reaching its fundraising goal so it can continue to do good work in the community… and the winner goes home with a great prize.

When I was publishing Step by Step Fundraising, raffles were one of the most asked about types of fundraisers.  (And some of the most popular articles on the website, garnering lots of comments.)

To help organizations reach their goals my co-author, Jim Berigan, and I have just published a new e-book, called Raffle Secrets. This is a thoroughly comprehensive and step-by-step guide on how your organization can plan and execute the most successful raffle fundraiser your group has ever had.

In addition to the fifty page e-book, we are also including three FREE bonus e-books. These are:

  • 18 Unusual and Amazing Raffles You Can Do to Raise Money for Your Cause
  • Drive into Fundraising Success with a Car Raffle
  • House Raffles – The Big Time Prize

Jim and I have done a lot of research on raffles in the past few months.  And we are still learning more!  I am looking forward to hearing the success stories that result from groups using this book to plan a great fundraiser. You can find out more about Raffle Secrets here.

Headlines Grab Your Reader’s Attention

When you have an amazing story to tell, capture the reader’s attention with a great headline. The World Vision eNewsletter tells a great story with this headline, photo, and story teaser – it makes you want to read more. It communicates the mission of the organization through a real story of one person whose life has been transformed for the better.

When I read the story and saw the photo of Salay behind a pile of bricks, I could not help but think of my own son, now just 1 1/2. I saw his own innocent face in place of Salay’s. How could such a young child be forced into manual labor? No child should be in that position.

How do you react to this story? To the stories that your nonprofit, or ones that you support, tell?

Seniors Struggle for Economic Security, Health

Millions of people can relate to being one paycheck, one lost job, one health crisis away from financial disaster.  If it’s not you, it’s your mom, your dad, grandparents or neighbors.

The One Away campaign is highlighting personal stories of people who are going through such struggles.

U.S. Veteran Kerry Simmons is faced with a frightening balancing act: providing 24/7care for his wife, who suffers from Dementia, while trying to find a job. Potential employers continually ignore his resume despite more than 40 years of electronic and computer experience. The couple is in the midst of a financial crisis.

It was peaceful until…

Another “says it all image” for me…

Bahrain Protests: Police Storm Protest, Army Controls ‘Key Parts’ Of City

Education leader Geoffrey Canada on Colbert

Geoffrey Canada on Colbert yesterday: He works to give kids an education and teach them how to grow up without using violence. (05:18)

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