Raffle tickets can be sold in advance or on the day of the raffle.
Raffle tickets can be sold in advance or on the day of the raffle.

Charitable organizations, schools and churches often hold raffles to raise money. By definition, a raffle is a drawing for prizes or money for which tickets have been sold, with each ticket offering the holder an opportunity to win the prize. While these fundraisers are, potentially, big money-makers, raffles are complicated events. They are often overseen by a state’s gambling division, and a license is often required for holding this type of fundraiser.

Single-Prize Raffle

Some fundraisers offer a single prize, such as a trip or car, as the single prize to be raffled. This raffle stands a high probability of raising money for the organization if the prize offered is valuable and desirable, and if ticket prices are expensive. Valuable prizes for single-prize raffles are often donated by local businesses in exchange for the publicity of providing the prize to support a worthy community cause. Sometimes single prize raffle prizes are less valuable. In these cases, the raffle sells very inexpensive tickets. Single prize raffles either offer tickets for sale over a period of time in advance of the raffle or on one day only.

Multiple Prize Raffle

An organization raising money by offering a raffle might consider collecting a number of prizes and selling tickets for a multiple-prize drawing to be held. These raffles most often ask all participants to pay a set price for one ticket without knowing which prize their ticket might be drawn to win. Multiple-prize raffles sometimes have a theme for prizes, such as local artwork, an array of products from a local electronics store or gourmet shop, trips or clothing. Multiple-prize raffles either offer tickets for sale in advance of the drawing or on the day of the raffle only.

Monetary Raffle

Sometimes participants are asked to buy a ticket for a chance to win money. For charitable organizations attempting to raise money, monetary give-aways work as fundraisers if the prize or prizes offered fall well short of the money raised by selling tickets. Monetary raffles offer single or multiple prizes. The prize money offered can be a pre-determined amount or a percentage of the total money raised through the ticket sales. The percentage raffle guarantees the organization will take home a percent of the money raised, but may not be as attractive to potential ticket buyers as a set dollar amount prize, since percentage prize ticket buyers are not sure what the prize money will be. Monetary raffle tickets can be sold over a period of time or only on the day of the raffle.

Calendar Raffle

A calendar raffle offers money or prizes and is intended to be an event that runs over the course of a week or month, giving away a prize a day for the specified time period. Calendar raffle tickets are usually sold in advance, as the tickets should not be sold during the period in which the raffle takes place. An organization that is able to obtain a large number of rather inexpensive prizes -- such as gift certificates or free restaurant meals or services -- might consider a calendar give-away. For this raffle, the inexpensive prizes are given away each day of a designated month.