Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wreath Raffle: A Fundraising Idea


Do you need a fresh fundraising idea for your organization,
child's school/team or favorite charity?  Tired of bake sales,
candy/magazine sales, walks, tournaments? You might want
to try a "Wreath Raffle"! 


When my nursing unit at the hospital where I work was
looking for a new idea for a way to raise money for
the March of Dimes this past spring, I suggested having
employees make and donate wreaths for us to raffle off
as our fundraiser.  The boss said "Go with it."
 I am in the white coat in the middle

In the midst of these volunteer endeavors, do you ask
yourself, "How did I get myself into this?"

Anyway, we ended up with 15 wreaths for the raffle.
Everyone is busy busy these days so I ended up making
quite a few of them to make the raffle have a good
variety and enough quantity to make the effort worthwhile.

Now that the raffle is over, I hope to have time to share
 with you how to make the most popular wreaths that were
  in the raffle in case you want one for your door or mantle.

Right now, I'm sharing how the raffle worked to give you
maybe an jumping off place of how a wreath raffle might
work for you in a fundraising endeavor. 

I had been thinking how to make raffle tickets on the
 computer and then cut them all out, etc.  When I saw these
ready-made raffle tickets at Jo Ann Craft Store for
about $10 for 2,000 two-part tickets, I was sold. 
I think they also sell these raffle tickets at Party City.

The decision was made to keep the prices of the tickets very
low at only $1 each.   This allowed ANYONE to be able to
help the March of Dimes with even a small donation.

The March of Dimes organization was begun by Franklin D. Roosevelt who himself contracted polio.
Eddie Cantor, a popular entertainer of the time, encouraged Americans to donate whatever spare cash
they had, even a DIME, to help the cause to defeat polio.  That is where the name "March of Dimes"
originated. 

Did you know that Jonas Salk's work in the development of the polio vaccine was funded 
by a grant from the March of Dimes?    Now that polio had been largely eradicated due to this vaccine,
the March of Dimes now focuses on healthy pregnancies and how to decrease premature births. 
 The majority of patients in the unit I work in, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, are premature babies. 

Of course, if someone really loved a wreath, they would
buy 20 tickets to try to have a better chance of winning
the wreath (and some people did).

Some asked, "Why don't you just sell the wreaths?"

My feeling was that each wreath would have a top dollar
that someone would be willing to pay.  I felt that with the
raffle, there was no limit to how much a wreath might
be able to generate.  Also, even a person that only had
$1 still had a chance at each wreath (and that happened too). 

Even though I made a Facebook album of all of the 
wreaths and encouraged my co-workers to share it on
their Facebook pages (hopefully that their friends would 
ask to buy tickets for the wreaths) I don't think that sold
many tickets.  

The good old face-to-face "please buy a raffle ticket"
was the most effective.  For us, this worked best in 
actually displaying the wreaths near popular lunch
areas in the hospital and having a table set up to sell
raffle tickets.  It was a pain but it made about $100/day.



If you wanted to make something similar to a catalog
of the wreaths and give one to folks responsible for 
selling the raffle tickets, I think that would work too. 

All of my color cartridges are gone in my home color printer
so I sent collages of each wreath to a UPS store near me to
print up.  They printed them sideways (what!?) but I was
able to take the pictures around to nursing units and sell
tickets based on the photos.  This eliminated the folks 
actually having to SEE the wreaths in person. 

Here are some of the collages that I made in PicMonkey to
show the wreath in full then some close up photos too:









Even though I did have an area behind glass that I was
able to display the wreaths at the hospital while they
were not being actively marketed, it was kind of 
out of the way.  I was afraid that they would be
 stolen if  they were in an open area. 

Because my unit in the hospital is an ICU we couldn't allow
folks to be just walking in any time of the day to be
buying raffle tickets.  The flyers that I had printed gave an
email to contact to buy tickets but that was not effective.

It was rewarding to be able to raise money for the March
of Dimes but what was really fun was to call folks to
tell them they had won wreaths!  They were so thrilled.

If we did the wreath raffle next year (I can't believe I'm
saying that!  It was pretty labor intensive.) I would try to
improve how the wreaths were available to be seen and
how easy it was for folks to buy tickets.  Maybe you
could improve on these aspects if you give it a go.

If you have any questions about how the wreath raffle
worked please email me at misskopykat@gmail.com. 


6 comments:

  1. What a great idea for a raffle-but it does look labor intensive. That is a fun idea though and the wreaths are all lovely! xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a novel way to raise money. I would have loved a chance at winning one of those creations!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a fantastic idea for a raffle and for such a great cause!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an amazing fundraising idea you got there. I bet people who like to craft will love that fun concept. One can get to showcase their creativity and resourcefulness, and it's a perfect event for specific seasons. The ones that were done in your fundraiser all look spectacular and colorful. Thank you so much for sharing the specifics and more. All the best!

    Norman Watkins @ Giving Works

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really like this idea! We are always doing a variety of fundraisers for our HS every year. By far, we've had the most success in terms of dollars with the unique products offered by a company called BoosterShot (http://www.goboostershot.com/). We normally raise about $5K-$8K for each project. They're really hands-on and have always helped us ensure the programs are a success.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great article, thanks for sharing! I've recently discovered Tony Charalambides fundraising blog, you should check it out!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to comment on my blog!

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