We offer some advice on planning your virtual raffle, generating interest through social media, and drawing exciting prizes on the big day
Aside from generating much-needed revenue through fundraising, virtual events can be an essential resource for charities because they are cost-efficient, require little maintenance, and they capture audience information.
Virtual raffles can constitute a part of your digital strategy, or they can exist as a standalone event. Preparing for a raffle doesn’t have to be a challenge. By following our simple steps, you will be able to plan and launch your own virtual raffle.
The first step is to decide whether your virtual raffle is part of a digital fundraising event or whether it’s a standalone one.
According to the NCVO, standalone raffles (virtual or otherwise) require compliance with local councils. Licenses need to be obtained – these can vary in cost but are not prohibitive. Different types of licenses allow charities to raise certain amounts. For example, a small society lottery license costs £40 and will allow raffles up to £250,000 over the course of the year.
There are other practical considerations. You’ll need to consider whether you wish to sell tickets online or physically and you will have to consider where marketing efforts should be concentrated. Planners will also need to keep track of ticket sales to ensure that each ticket is unique.
Naturally, exciting prizes motivate raffle ticket sales. Charities need to think creatively, as prizes can draw in audiences not only during the event, but afterwards as well.
Our top tips for prize sourcing are:
Prizes should also form part of your charity digital marketing campaign. If you already have branded products, plush toys, or stationary, add that to the raffle draw. For charities with retail outlets, offering vouchers is another way to entice audiences at minimal cost.
Get your digital fundraising engine revved. Much like any other virtual event, charity digital marketing teams should get the word out on the virtual raffle as soon as possible. Generating interest in the virtual raffle includes posting adverts consistently on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Make sure to mention where proceeds are going and what the prizes are.
Digital crowdfunding raffle sites also promote charity causes. Hubspot recommends using Zaffo. The platform creates online raffles, sells tickets, manages campaigns, and takes payment on behalf of charities.
The benefit here is that charities don’t have to invest in specific digital or payment technology. Zaffo’s mobile and online offering is also an opportunity for charities to connect with a broader audience.
Also, don’t forget to check the Gambling Commission’s rules for social media advertising and fundraising.
As the big day for drawing prizes nears, it’s time to think about how it will take place.
Many charities might opt to generate last-minute sales by livestreaming. YouTube is a great place to host charity raffle events. With the livestreaming option, charities can draw winners as part of their digital strategy or event.
The Teenage Cancer Trust uses YouTube as part of their livestreaming digital campaign. The charity’s YouTube channel broadcasts live music and shows to those who donate. Online raffle tickets have been sold to audiences to gain access to The Cure’s full performance, for example. Once the show is over, the online raffle’s winners are announced a few days later.
For charities who don’t want to organise an event around the winners, they can be drawn at random. Online sites like Random Picker ensures that the draw is impartial and done at random.
Make sure that your winners get social media coverage. As soon as you’re aware of the winners, tag them in your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts. When your winners receive their prizes, document the event with videos and pictures. Charity digital marketing teams can then recycle the content to promote future raffles.
Finally, don’t forget to thank participants. During the virtual raffle, the online sales process should have collected contact details. Send personalised thanks and keep their details for future marketing opportunities.