One of the easiest ways to add thousands to the bottom line of your next fundraising event is to gamify your fundraising. It sounds simple, but non-profit organizations blow their fundraising targets out of the water simply by adding games.
Donors love games!
When you gamify things, you start to get donor engagement. A non-profit fundraiser we attended held a casino night as a fundraising event, and folks were lining up to buy chips to play the games. They weren’t winning money because the money they exchanged for chips went to the non-profit, but they loved playing the casino games.
Here are 2 non-profit revenue enhancers that can help you raise significant money for your cause.
Non-Profit Revenue Enhancer #1: Never-Ending Raffle
Raffles are a great way to raise money at your fundraising event. Donors of all capacities can give and have an opportunity to win prizes. We recommend that non-profit organizations run more than one raffle at their fundraising event so they can add thousands to their bottom line.
However, there is a point of diminishing returns. Raffles require time and volunteers to run. Plus, you don’t want too many points of contact around the room at fundraising events. The never-ending raffle allows you to maximize the money you raise from raffles using the same resources and touchpoints as if you were running one raffle.
It works really well if you are unsure about the appetite for a raffle in the room because you can run it repeatedly throughout the night until interest wanes. The smaller number of tickets also means that you are not struggling to move large numbers of tickets or reduce the chances of raffle participants if you sell more tickets.
How the Never-Ending Raffle Works
You run the raffle as a limited-chance raffle with a small number of tickets available to enter. This number should allow you to make money on your raffle while still giving raffle entrants a high chance of winning. For example, you could have 50 tickets available for $100 each. This means you raise $5,000, and you have raffle prizes that are $2,000 or $3,000 each.
The key to a never-ending raffle is to have multiple high-value raffle prizes available from which the winner can choose. The choice of prizes makes the raffle more desirable to those who are only interested in one of the prizes. Donated items that you don’t want to put in the live auction can work really well as prizes. However, consignment items that can be chosen multiple times are essential for your never-ending raffle because you can run them as many times as you want.
As soon as you sell that 50th ticket, you draw the winner and make an announcement. Then, you can announce that you will do another raffle to select another winner. Each time, you sell 50 tickets at $100 (or whatever you choose based on your costs) and offer the prizes. We recommend using that bidder number so donors don’t have to go digging for cash. This makes it easier for donors to enter multiple rounds of the never-ending raffle.
Your donors will enter multiple times because they have a 1 in 50 (or more if they purchase more tickets) chance each time. The better the odds, the more likely it is that donors will keep buying tickets in each round of the raffle.
Non-Profit Revenue Enhancer #2: Last Champion Standing
Last Champion is a great revenue enhancer that puts a twist on the concept of a live auction. The game is very mission-driven, and donors know that their bids are more about the mission than the item up for grabs. When non-profits do Last Champion, they often start with a spiel about their cause and what the non-profit organization will be able to do with the money raised.
How the Last Champion Works
At the start of the Last Champion, after the spiel, the MC asks everyone to stand up. They show the prizes and ask the room if they would be willing to donate the starting bid price. From there, the MC or auctioneer will continue to raise the price by the agreed-upon increment. If donors are willing to donate that amount, they stay standing. If they are not, then they sit down. You need to set the expectation from the start of Last Champion as to whether donors can stand up again if they change their minds.
The last person standing wins the Last Champion and also the prize.
We have seen organizations have a maximum amount to prevent Last Champions from dragging on too long. This only works if your prize is a consignment item that can be sold multiple times. For example, they may choose to end Last Champions when it gets to $10,000, and each person left standing gets the prize. If there are 4 people left standing, then the non-profit raises $40,000. You don’t want Last Champions to take too long. It’s meant to be a fun game that gets people up and participating. If it takes too long, then your sitting donors get bored.
HGA’s Matt Ashley, Jason Ledlow, and Trevor Nelson discussed revenue enhancers that gamify your fundraising event in depth on our free webinar for non-profits. Listen to Episode 117 of the HGAFundraising webinar to learn more about never-ending raffles and Last Champion.
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