I am looking at this now and wondered if anyone had experience.
The benefit I see is that the costs aren’t outrageous and if you pick a good destination the appeal could be broad. I don’t know how many will pay for a chance at a free vacation however.
My target was a family Disney vacation (possibly a Star Wars one to theme with this year or just Orlando parks). I think it could be appealing to families and we have people in the elementary schools that might help us get word out.
I think I’d want to raise about $15k for a $7.5k trip. I also don’t think I could sell much more than 200 tickets, so that puts me around $75 per ticket. Locally, I think there are ~1000 families, but we can also look to sell further around the area, especially up in the city where there are more people with a little more spending money. My fear is of course that we will struggle to actually sell tickets, or that to do so would take a long time. I would hope to draw a winner within 2-3 months of starting the raffle.
I haven’t figured out how to make the prize part work yet. I have seen a number of consignment travel companies that offer travel packages for non-profits to auction. I got an email from Mitch-Stuart that I may try to inquire more with. If you have experience either with some company that does that (and know who was good/bad) or you have put together your own travel packages (seems hard), I’d be interested to learn more.
Anyways, it is an idea that I hadn’t seen show up here too much. It might raise $6-8k for a smaller team, if done well, which easily covers a local regional. So I thought that was interesting.
Be very careful. The laws about these sorts of raffles vary a lot state-by-state. At the very least, you need to figure out what sorts of disclosures you need to give to participants. You might have to register the raffle with the state Attorney General. At worst, you’re committing a crime – it’s basically gambling, after all.
Thanks, this was informative, and something I had so far not really thought too deeply about yet. So I appreciate the efforts you made to link straight to the source.
Good news, is we are an educational non-profit, and the gross revenue would be capped well below $25k, so we are able to operate a raffle without going through licensing. Still I’d probably check through the school to make sure we have approvals and maybe have a lawyer review our rules. It probably is good practice to follow the conduct of licensed raffles.
Look for destinations which may be willing to donate or provide the vacation at a reduced price. My church has done a few of these, usually including lodging donated by a hotel or casino. If we’d paid anywhere near full price for the vacation, it would have lost money.
So, bottom line, it can be done! But be careful to know and obey local and state regulations. Having an expert donate a little time to make sure you are compliant is a good idea. Finally we have a third party CPA firm audit and select the winner. That anyone can win including folks in your own school district and parents (nobody under 18 unfortunately) on your team.
If you are part of a school definitely check on their policies for this type of fundraising. I had hoped to do this on a smaller scale with sports event tickets for our team since we are close by to some major events (NASCAR, Fiesta Bowl, Spring Training). Found out our district has a prohibition on raffle fundraisers. Unfortunate because that is the easiest way to get a donation from a lot of these events. If you have a booster or 501c3 you can work through it might be an option if you can’t do it directly through the school.