Running a raffle: tips and advice
Raffles are frequently run alongside big PTA events.
We've had several questions on our Facebook page, with some valuable advice which
we had to share! Find out how much other PTAs charge, where to have
raffle tickets printed and get tips for pulling out
Sourcing raffle prizes
Charlotta Trygg Bolton: 'We
ask local businesses for donations, like vouchers for hair
dressers, beauty salons, shops, etc. Last year, we asked each year
group to combine hampers with various themes (alcohol, movies,
Dawn Deacon: 'A great prize we had donated from
a local farm was £50 of lamb!'
Kathryn Morley: 'We usually buy the main prize
(Kindle, TV) for about £80-£100. Last year, our new head teacher
put together a list for a hamper, and the staff all brought in one
Poppy Mander: 'We always buy according to the
theme of the fair. This year, we had a beach theme, so rented a
beach hut for the week for our main prize. We asked for sponsorship
from an estate agents to cover the cost, in exchange for
advertising at the fair.'
Shirley Higgins: 'We send a ParentMail out
requesting raffle donations and state the kind of items we're
looking for. A number of parents run their own businesses, so we've
obtained an iPad and a Kindle this year! In return our sponsors are
named in our programme.'
Allie Evans: 'We write to local attractions,
such as soft play centres, childrens farms, adventure parks,
cinemas, National Trust venues and castles. We also pop into pubs
and other food outlets for prizes.'
Sarah Christie: 'We target local companies with
letters and get amazing responses. Our main prizes this year are:
£500 cash, Sonos system, a widescreen TV, a mini iPad and a
4-person Segway experience.'
Rebecca Bradley: 'I do a mix of sending letters
and contacting parents for help. Thank you letters after the event
are also very important. We always thank our supporters via our
Facebook page and on large posters at the fairs, too.'
Hellen Dunne: 'We contacted lots of local
businesses via email and over the phone, and ended up with some
pretty good donations. They ranged from the usual boxes of
chocolates, bottles of wine, etc. to restaurant vouchers and
Zoe Symonds: 'We have secured some really good
prizes this year, such as a restaurant meal, a round at a local
golf club, hair cuts and beauty treatments. Local companies have
been very generous, and we followed up a thank you in the form of a
certificate so they can display it in their window. A win-win for
both of us!'
Raffle ticket printers
With so many raffle ticket printers out there, it can be hard to
know which ones to choose and which suppliers have the best deals.
Here are three printers that we recommend, and the deals they
ticket suppliers in our online directory.
How much to charge for raffle tickets
Suzanna Pearce: 'We send home two books of give
tickets and charge £1 per book. We do it this way as we have quite
a few donation days leading up to the fair and so don't want to put
too much more on the parents. However, as they are so cheap, lots
of parents ask for more books!'
Syreeta Oakes: 'I would say it depends on how
good your prizes are! We usually charge £1 a ticket.'
Elaine Croft: 'We used to sell ours at 25p but
this is far too low and we don't make much money. £1 is much better
but depends on quality of prizes too I guess.'
Gabby Johnston: 'Ours are £1 per book of five,
or 20p a ticket. Never had any complaints, even I buy them.'
Sally Edwards: 'We tentatively sent out a book
for £10 instead of £5 (£1 per ticket). Sales doubled and no
complaints. Felt naughty but nice. Possible theory: people who buy,
buy. People who don't, don't. No one was hurt during this
Anne Kelly: 'We are doubling the price to £1
each and doubling the 1st prize to £200. We think this will
increase overall takings, even if ticket sales go down.'
Rachel Pearce: 'Our Xmas raffle is our main one
- we send out two books with 10 tickets in teach and they are 50p
each. If children don't sell them all, they can just send them back
to us to give to someone else or sell on the day. We're considering
upping the price to £1 a ticket as we do have some quite good
prizes at Xmas.'
Angie Stewart: 'Our summer fayre raffle has
prizes worth over £1,000 so we send out books of five tickets, £1 a
ticket. Our Christmas raffle is a bit more low key, so we have 50p
tickets for that.'
Lynne McFarlane: 'We send £2 worth of 20p
tickets home. At Christmas, about half sold. People who sold them,
sold all. Maybe an argument for increasing the number!'
Roo Kanis-Buck: '50p a ticket. Send home
£10-worth per family.'
Lesley Black: 'We send out a book of 10 printed
tickets to each family, £1 a ticket. Goes down really well and last
year we sold about 1,800 tickets.'
Drawing the winning raffle ticket
Sarah Christie: 'Under gambling laws, you have
to draw the top prize first, it's the only way that everyone who
bought a ticket is in with a chance of winning it!'
Lucy-Claire Duckworth: 'We list our prizes in
prize order and work from the smallest prizes up to the biggest.
That way, everyone stays until the end. One of two people grumbled,
but everyone else was happy and we find the excitement grows and
grows to feverpitch by the end! We've done it this way for at least
the last three years.'
Lisa McCluskey: 'We have a list of all the
prizes and let first drawn out choose, if the person isn't there at
the time we choose for them.'
Emma Holmes: 'You don't have to, we let people
choose their prize if they are there, and if not, we either pick
something we know they would like (very small school!) or if we
don't know them, we give the next highest in value.'
Sue Blake: 'We call first prize first.'
Tina Tanswell: 'We number each prize and stick
all the numbers in a hat. When the winner comes up, they then pick
a number out of the hat and that then corresponds to a prize.'
Syreeta Oakes: 'We always draw bottom to top.
It means that people stay until the end of the raffle.'
Francesca Gubbay: 'We do smaller prizes first
and then work in reverse order. Best prize is last!'
Elizabeth Whyman: 'You can do what you like as
long as you announce it like "and for first prize...". We have
tried both ways, having a list or letting people pick from the
Have more questions about raffles? Put out a question to our
Facebook community. Either email us or visit our Facebook
page to get your queries answered!
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