How to get Raffle Prize Donations

GET RAFFLE PRIZE DONATIONS…

 

This guide is all about how to get free raffle prize donations. People often assume that it is really hard to get companies to donate but not from my experience. You need to approach getting donations with determination – be willing to send out 100s of asks if you need to and don’t be disheartened by the rejections. If you take this approach then you are sure to succeed.

Here’s the prizes from a raffle I organised which included theatre tickets, £100’s worth of restaurant vouchers and an ipod docks. I took £900 on raffle ticket sales alone!

prizes

USE YOUR CONTACTS

First things first….post a message on Facebook and send a quick email to your friends and family saying you are looking for raffle prizes. Most people know someone who has some kind of business. This is by far the EASIEST and MOST EFFECTIVE way to collect prizes fast.


EMAILS OVER MAIL

From my experience letters get ignored (and are expensive) so unless there is no other contact option I don’t bother with snail mail.

Phone calling is best for companies that you really want donations from as it is hard for people to say no on the phone. It is also best to call if you have a contact or link to call to ask for donations. Generally though I find calling time-consuming and in most cases you get a quick unhelpful no.

E-mailing in my opinion is the best option: it’s quick, free, easy for people to forward to the relevant department and you get a good response rate.

So first thing is to write a short email that explains a bit about the charity you are raising money for, the event details and what specifically you want.

Here is a basic example although the more you can personalise it the better. Keep it short and don’t be shy to spell out exactly what it is you are asking for:




RE: Request for raffle prize donations

Dear Sir/Madam (use a name if you have one)

[Charity name] is a charity that helps [list what they do]. I am raising money for the [charity name] because [are you doing it because they have helped you, you lost a friend or you feel passionate about their work…add a personal touch].

On [Date] I am organising a fundraiser [say where and when] which will include a raffle and am looking for raffle prizes which I can use to help raise funds for [charity name]

I would be hugely grateful for any donation [company name] is able to make to help support my fundraising efforts. All donations will be properly thanked and acknowledged on the evening.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to get back to me.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


SEARCH OUT COMPANIES

Now this is the fun part! The trick with who to ask is to be as creative as possible. The chocolate shop gets asked regularly for raffle prize donations, but how often do you think the tattoo artist gets asked?!

Once you have your email written it is so easy to copy and paste it into an email, edit the company name, find a contact address and send. So send lots….and i really do mean LOTS! The more you send the more prizes you will get so I literally send out 10’s of emails.

I tend to approach the ‘send out’ in 3 steps:

Step 1: Local Businesses and Attractions

It is always better to go local (especially if it is a local charity….make sure you highlight this in your ask email) as they will be more inclined to give. From my experience small and family run companies are most likely to say yes but the few bigger organisations will offer a more generous (or higher valued) prize. This is not always the case so try a mixture.

Try think of as many different types of businesses, services and products as you can. Then make a huge list of all your ideas.

For all of these ideas I just Google my towns name followed by ‘tattooist’ or ‘reiki massage’, for example, and send an email to the first 2-3 that show up.

Contacting local attractions is a must as it is very easy for them to give admission passes: local theatres, farms, small theme parks, manor houses, museums, soft play centres,

Also contact small independent restaurants. A quick search on google maps will list all the local ones.

Step 2: Celebrities

Most agents have a stack of signed books or merchandise to send out to fans or charity requests. Have a think about who will be attending your event and what sort of famous people will appeal to them. Then simply Google ‘contact [celebrities name]’ and the first link usually has an enquiry form or address to contact your celeb.

Depending on the size of the raffle and quality of the prizes, sometimes I combine my signed merchandise or include it with other themed prizes. Such as a music theme to win speakers/headphones and a selection of signed CDs or a sports theme to win a cricket set and sports autographs

Step 3: Chains

Once I have contacted all the small local places I try my luck at a few bigger chains. To save you from searching I have put together a directory, although note that some need to be contacted by letter (always best to ask your charity to provide you one on letterhead so it looks legitimate) or need you to fill in an online form.




FOLLOW UP

I found it the most exciting thing getting an email or letter in the post with a prize donation. Make sure you respond straight away with a HUGE thank you and lots of enthusiasm about their donation and how grateful you are. Be nice and appreciative…they could have easily ignored your request.

After your (most likely stressful) event it is easy to want to forget all about it. Please do make sure you follow up every single donation with another thank you and an update on how much you raised at the event.

 

USE THE FREE WEALTH DIRECTORY

To give you a bit of inspiration and to save you time I have put together a directory of all the prizes I have ever received. This should have some ideas that you haven’t thought of yet and from the positive feedback I have received from the Free Wealth fans, a lot of people have found it helpful

Hepburn

 

 

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39 Responses

  1. pam says:

    Thanks, very helpful

  2. pam says:

    Thanks, very helpful article.

  3. Cheryl says:

    I love your website! I’m really enjoying my fundraising and have been
    more than a little overwhelmed by peoples generous donations and even the gracious no’s as u appreciate not every company can help or afford to splash out on prizes but we love the ones who did 🙂 xxx

    • Bex says:

      Hi Cheryl
      Thank you so much…your comment really made my day. I’m so happy that you, like me, have had a positive and uplifting experience with fundraising. Keep it up 🙂
      Bex

  4. stephanie says:

    Thank you so much!!! I found your website to be super helpful for raffle fundraising ideas. I’m going to follow your advice and start emailing everyone tomorrow. Can’t wait to see the responses 🙂

  5. maguba maseko says:

    Thank you for the educational reading..i will use it to racjchcise finds to make a fashion show.Thank you so much.

  6. Delphin eDarien says:

    This was very helpful.
    Thank you

  7. Lesley says:

    Many thanks for this. Am starting to organise a fundraiser which is taking place in May for Alzheimer Scotland at St Andrews Court (where my Gran stayed until she passed away). I came across this site while searching on Google. Looking forward to sending out the emails and see what response we get.

    I’ve already started to ask people for raffle prizes.

    • Bex says:

      Hi Lesley. Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you are fundraising for a really worthwhile cause. Remember to send out lots of emails – as many as you can – to maximise your chances of getting prizes.
      Good luck! Bex x

  8. Becca says:

    Thank you for this! I am organising a fundraiser for Children 1st as a school project! I was looking for ways to get raffle prizes and came across this, it’s by far the most helpful article I have found. This will help me so much!

    Thanks again 🙂

  9. Sharon says:

    Thank you ever so much for this! I stumbled across this web page while doing some research for my Pre-school fundraising event – I can’t wait to get started.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I had a fabulous response using the email method while fundraising for my daughters elementary school, but am having a less than stellar response for an event I’m planning for the Lupus Foundation of America. It’s getting to be a little frustrating.

    • Bex says:

      Just keep persisting. Maybe it’s worth changing your email to make it more friendly or easier to read? You could also try starting to follow up your email with a phone call to see if that brings you any luck.
      Keep at it either way! Bex x

  11. kenny maccuish says:

    Hi great info, can i ask would it be beneficial to let them know what has been already given in the email or not?

    • Bex says:

      Hi Kenny
      Thanks for your comment. If it was me I wouldn’t mention what other prizes I have been given. It might actually put people off donating if they feel their prize wouldn’t be good compared to other peoples.
      Bex x

  12. matthew says:

    I am doing a charity golf event for a local charity called the James Nicholas Foundation to raise money to fund ECG testing, to try and prevent young deaths through undetected heart defects.

    Any one know anyone who could donate any golf prizes?

    Thanks in advance

  13. Suzanne Stein says:

    Looking for ideas for a Christian school fundraising event

    • Bex says:

      Hi Suzanne
      I’m in the process of putting together a list of event ideas which should be up on the website soon. In the meantime, I would have a think about what sort of event you would enjoy going to yourself – that’s always a good place to start.
      Good luck! Bex x
      🙂

  14. Cally says:

    Hi my cousin has found out she can’t have children she’s had IVF on the NHS but she’s only allowed 1 shot unfortunately it hasn’t worked and now she’s got to find £3500 for another try she very upset and distressed I’m thinking of try to fundraiser but I’m not sure where to start can you help me please. Many thanks Cally

    • Bex says:

      Hi Cally
      This is quite an unusual fundraiser and my thoughts are that it would probably work best with close friends and family. Companies are unlikely to give donations or raffle prizes for this. Perhaps you can organise a big get together, such as a BBQ or quiz night, where everyone pays a certain amount which can go towards your sisters cause.
      All the best with the fundraising 🙂
      Bex x

  15. DeNajia says:

    Hey Bex, Im student council presidant and I’m hosting an family event to raiser money for my school can i still ask for raffle prizes even if its not for a charitable event?

    • Bex says:

      Hi DeNajia
      Yes, you can certainly try. You might find that people will be less generous than if it was a charity but if you go local and try and maybe contact parents from the school then I am sure you will get some positive responses. Just think beforehand who would be willing to support the school. Good luck! Bex x

  16. polly says:

    hi Cally
    I’ve never had a fundraiser…i’m tryin to help a co worker that has stage 4 breast cancer ,,she is missing work and struggling with two children…to be honest I don’t know how to start a fundraiser ,,,where would I have it?,,do I need entertainment?,,do I sell tickets?,,,if u can help me with a few suggestions I would be more then grateful,,,as u can see i’m lost lol

    • Bex says:

      Hi Polly
      I’m sorry to hear about your co worker – good on you for doing something positive about it! If you aren’t sure, try and keep it simple. Perhaps do it in your home, or in your local pub (they are usually always happy to give you a private room for free for this kind of fundraising) or maybe even in your workspace after hours. Just get asking and see what sort of response you get.
      A quiz is often a simple fundraiser to put on as then you don’t need to worry about entertainment. If you really are nervous about organsing something entirely, how about simply asking your local pub quiz if you can do a raffle during the break. They will already have a full pub and a quiz master set up. You then just need to get some prizes and sell some tickets on the breaks. You can get friends and family to get some teams together.
      If you want any more advice or want to run some ideas past me, just drop me an email (contact me page).
      All the best 🙂 Bex x

  17. leanne cawte says:

    hi bex. your page has helped me out alot i`m just wondering if you think ill get raffle prizes and things to auction of for my sons fun day we are trying to organise he was diagnoised with lukemia in july of this year he is only 3. we want to raise as much as we can as we are giving a percentage to the ward that is looking after him aswell thank you x

    • Bex says:

      Hi Leanne
      Sorry to hear of your sad news. A fundraiser like this would most likely work best amongst friends and family who know you and your son. I would suggest trying to contact companies that you have used personally to ask if they would help. For example – any classes that he might of attended, or restaurants you eat in regularly. This would be a more personal approach.
      All the best with the fundraising!
      Bex
      Ps. sorry for the delay getting back to you!

  18. Nick says:

    Hi Bex,

    First of all thank you very much for taking the time to write this article as it seems to have helped many people looking to start their own fundraisers including myself.

    I’m trying to organise a raffle competition for SCOPE charity at my university but I wanted to ask that when you emailed the companies for possible donations, did you ask for particular categories of items or was it just based on anything they could give?

    Also, in your experience for the companies who agreed to make donations, did you have to collect the prizes from one of their stores or were they mostly happy to send it to your address? Mainly asking this as to gauge whether I should request donations from companies who might not have stores that are within travelling distance for me.

    • Bex says:

      Hi Nick
      Thanks for your kind words! When I asked for donations I would never specify something specifically. Usually the company will give whatever they have available – perhaps something that isn’t selling well.
      In terms of picking up or being posted, I’d say this was about 50/50. There were a few times when I wasn’t able to collect and I found that always the company was happy to deliver if I asked.
      Good luck!
      Bex

  19. Heather says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I was just wondering how I can ask companies to donate even though it’s not for charity. We just started a social committee at work and thr money is raised just so my department can have family bbqs, appreciation dinners and christmas parties. Our department never does any of these because we don’t have the funding. So the money is not going towards a charity but back to our department. Any tips would help. Thanks

    • Bex says:

      That’s a tricky one Heather. I think you’re best bet is to use personal contacts and also any companies or businesses that have connections with your department.

  20. Jillian Burnett says:

    This is a really useful and helpful website. Many thanks

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