TicketPrinting Blog

Raffle Tickets

Managing A Raffle: From Start To Finish

By Lance Trebesch and Dustin Stoltz May 4, 2009

money-hoistOnce you have the essentials of your raffle planned out, it is important to manage efficiently. Managing a raffle continues throughout the whole process and will likely determine the overall profitability of the program. Let’s take a look at how to manage your raffle.

On Your Mark…

It is important to plan all aspects of your raffle beforehand to make sure you will reach your goals. Prepare for everything! Above nothing else, have the following sorted out to perfection:

  • Prizes: Know what prizes you are raffling. Whether they are donated or you had to invest in some yourself, it is beneficial to have them before you start selling tickets. Prizes are one of the top factors in a successful raffle. There are a number of ways to obtain great tickets for your event, but the ticket pricing should reflect the perceived value of your prizes; not your costs.
  • Volunteers/organizers: Make sure everyone knows their job by assigning tasks and positions. Set up group leaders to manage your various tasks, like ticket selling.
  • Ticket sales process: Know how you will track your ticket sales! Whether it is by hand, on the web, or by an Excel spreadsheet, record everything. Analyzing this data can determine what needs to be improved, what areas you are doing well at, and perspective buyers for your next raffle.

Get Set…

An essential yet very difficult task in directing a raffle is managing the people involved. Most raffles are organized and managed solely by volunteers, or a mix of volunteers and the organization members. This means you have to get people motivated. As you probably already know, this is easier said than done. The top motivator for volunteers is to make it clear they are helping a great cause. Let everyone know your organizations purpose and tell them how their work will specifically help the organization reach its’ goals. Give updates on how the event is going and keep everyone informed.

From TicketPrinting.com’s survey, we found there are two very different approaches to getting volunteers involved in the ticket sales process. The first, and most popular approach, is to have prizes or awards for sellers with the greatest number of tickets sold (prizes for best attitude, hardest worker, etc. were also given in many situations). Conversely, the other option is to have sellers take only as many tickets as they think they can sell. Then, if all their tickets are not sold the specified deadline, they will have to purchase their remaining tickets. Whichever method you choose, remember to keep all volunteers busy and make them feel like they are making a difference!


As mentioned, tracking and recording sales is an essential part of hosting a raffle. Doing a poor job of tracking opens the doors for legal repercussions. According to our recent survey of over 200 nonprofit raffle-tools-image1organizations, a surprising 19% had no tracking system at all. To effectively track ticket sales, you must at minimum record the seller/buyer’s name, amount sold, price, location, ticket numbers, and dates. You can track sales by hand, use an Excel spreadsheet, or invest in an online program. For those looking for a more inexpensive and simple tracking system, consider setting up a Microsoft Office template. The key to templates is to make them reusable, saving you the time of reproducing documents.

Now that you know the essentials in managing a raffle, put this knowledge to use! Raffles are great fundraisers and can have a real impact on your organization. The more time you put in before the raffle, the more likely you will be able to handle any unexpected setbacks. Following these steps will help ensure a smooth raffle and give you confidence for future events.