A raffle is a great way to raise money at an event, past volunteers have raised nearly £150 from holding a raffle at a designated event – a great source of funding! Please note that if you are planning on holding a raffle you need to read the section below entitled ‘Raffles and the law’ to ensure you are holding a legal raffle and don’t require a licence.
How to start?
First of all you need to either arrange an event that you can hold your raffle at (e.g. a talent show, a pub quiz etc), your raffle needs to be held at an event and you can’t sell tickets before the event (all sales must happen within the time of the event and on the premise that the event is being held). You may also want to see if you can hold a raffle at an event organised by someone else, whether that’s on a local pub’s quiz night or at a local show, see what’s going on locally and where a raffle would work well!
Secondly you need to get the prizes and this is the hardest part! You’re more likely to raise money if you have some great prizes for people to win. Start off by contacting local stores – hairdressers, beauty salons, local speciality shops, home stores etc. Remember to take along your letter from us confirming you’re a VESL volunteer, otherwise you could be anybody! It is also worth approaching some of the bigger stores. From personal experience going in and speaking to the manager in the store on a quiet day (you’re not likely to get anywhere on a busy Saturday!) is best or writing a personal letter to selected organisations explaining why there product would be a great raffle prize. Remember to use your connections – if you know people that work for organisations see if they can ask for a donation for you (write them a personal letter too). Some national stores that have given VESL volunteers prizes in the past include:
- Cath Kidson
- Hasbro (toy & games manufacturer)
Volunteers have also received donations from local hairdressers, bakeries, local vineyards, department stores and a volunteer received a signed Ashley Cole shirt! Not everyone is going to say yes so don’t give up and keep trying! If you get any donations for your raffle be sure to let us know so we can thank the organisation too!
Advertise the event that you’re holding or attending and let people know what prizes are on offer, the more you advertise the more money you’re likely to make!
Make sure you have your pre-bought raffle tickets and decide on a price per ticket (£2 is great starting place especially if you have good prizes!).
All that’s left is to get selling on the day!
Raffles and the law
There are strict regulations around holding raffles which are also known as a lottery as it is a form of gambling. To run certain lotteries or raffles you need to obtain a licence, however if you’re running what is known as a incidental, non commercial lottery a licence is not needed, but you must adhere to the following rules:
- The raffle must take place at a designated event (you can not sell tickets prior to this event)
- The draw must take place at the event (i.e. announcing the winners)
- No more than £100 can be deducted for costs
- Prizes can not total more than £500 (whether donated or bought)
For more information on the legalities related to lotteries check out this website.