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How do you make a 50 50 raffle successful?

A 50/50 raffle is a popular fundraiser where half the proceeds go to the winner and half go to the organization. With some planning and promotion, 50/50 raffles can be very lucrative for nonprofits, schools, sports teams and more. Here are some tips to make your 50/50 raffle successful:

Set a fundraising goal

First, decide how much money you want to raise through your 50/50 raffle. This will help determine how many tickets you need to sell and at what price point. Aim high but be realistic about what is achievable for your organization. You can look at past raffles or fundraisers to estimate a goal.

Get legal permissions

Check your state and local laws to ensure raffles are legal in your area. You may need to apply for a gaming license or permit. Make sure you comply with all regulations like age restrictions.

Find a good location

Secure a high traffic area to sell tickets, like outside a busy store, at a large event, school sporting event or other community gathering. The more people that pass by your booth, the more tickets you can potentially sell.

Set a ticket price and number of tickets

Typically, 50/50 raffle tickets sell for $1-$5 each. Decide on a price that is easy to transact and appealing to buyers. If you sell tickets for $1 each, consider selling 500-2000 tickets. If tickets are $5 each, you may only need to sell 100-500 tickets. Make sure you have enough tickets printed for your target sales.

Promote extensively

Start promoting the raffle weeks or months in advance through social media, email, posters, announcements at events and word of mouth. Create excitement and buzz around the jackpot. Promote the good cause proceeds will benefit. Offer incentives like prizes for top ticket sellers.

Recruit volunteers

You will need help selling tickets at booths, managing funds, tracking ticket numbers and pulling the winning ticket. Ask family, friends and community members to volunteer in shifts. Make it fun with contests between volunteers.

Secure permits and follow regulations

Check with your state laws on any required gaming permits or licenses needed to operate a raffle. Follow rules on collecting contact info from winners for tax purposes. Have clear rules and disclaimers posted.

Use attractive raffle displays and ticketing

Have an eye-catching raffle booth and large signs advertising jackpot amounts. Use rolls of sequentially numbered raffle tickets. Consider including stubs for entering contact information. Use clear containers for ticket purchases.

Post rules clearly

Have posters or signs that state the raffle rules, drawing date, price per ticket, how winners will be notified and how winnings can be collected. Include disclaimers that purchase does not impact odds of winning.

Track sales closely

Keep meticulous records of ticket sales and number sequences. This makes it easier to account for all tickets and identify the winning sequence. Have volunteers reconcile cash and unsold tickets at the end of each shift.

Increase excitement with the jackpot display

Use a poster or meter to display the jackpot amount in real time as more tickets sell. Update frequently to create anticipation. Place near your ticket booth.

Draw the tickets fairly

Use a random number generator or put all sold tickets into a barrel to draw the winning sequence. Do this publicly at the advertised date, time and location. Verify the winner has a matching ticket stub.

Split and pay out winnings promptly

Split proceeds evenly with 50% going to the winner and 50% to your organization. Pay the winner their portion promptly. Track for tax reporting requirements.

Thank participants and volunteers

Let all volunteers, ticket purchasers and the winner know you appreciate their support. Send emails, posts and make announcements recognizing contributions.

Planning Timeline for a Successful 50/50 Raffle

Running a successful 50/50 raffle requires careful planning and promotion. Ideally start preparations 2-4 months in advance.

Here is a sample timeline:

12-16 weeks out Set fundraising goals. Research regulations and permit requirements.
8-12 weeks out Order ticketing materials. Recruit volunteers. Begin promotions.
4-8 weeks out Confirm event locations. Send email/social media blasts. Post flyers and posters.
2-4 weeks out Train volunteers on processes. Ramp up promotions. Track sales data.
2 weeks out Send press releases to media. Make announcements at events. Update jackpot totals.
Day before Confirm sufficient tickets, draw procedures and winner payout process are in place.
Day of Sell final tickets. Do secure drawing. Announce winner. Distribute proceeds.
Post event Send donor acknowledgements. Pay winner promptly. Analyze for future improvement.

How to Promote and Advertise an Effective 50/50 Raffle

The key to a high grossing 50/50 raffle is robust promotion and advertising. Here are effective strategies to market your raffle:

Social media

Leverage your organization’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social platforms to raise awareness. Post details, behind the scenes photos and videos. Ask followers to share with their networks.

Email and text blasts

Send information on the raffle with a registration link to your email list subscribers. Collect phone numbers to send SMS reminders.

Posters and flyers

Blanket the community with eye-catching posters and flyers at local businesses, bulletin boards and community hubs. Include key details like date, time, location and jackpot.


Make public announcements about the raffle at your own events, meetings and gatherings. Ask partners to share at their events too.

Local media outreach

Send press releases to local newspapers, TV and radio stations. Ask to post events to community calendars. Pitch human interest stories on the cause.

Influencers and partners

Ask community leaders, partners and influencers to help spread the word through their networks. Provide shareable posts and emails.

Boosted posts

Pay to boost social posts to targeted demographics. Geo-target the community and fans of related causes. Set a daily budget.

Contests and prizes

Offer prizes and contests like “sell x tickets and be entered to win”. This incentivizes sellers to promote aggressively.

Person-to-person outreach

Encourage volunteers to share the raffle personally by word of mouth, email and social media to amplify reach.

Daily countdown

In the weeks before the raffle, maintain excitement with a daily countdown on social media highlighting the great cause.

Consistent and creative promotion across multiple channels ensures your message reaches the maximum number of potential ticket buyers. Track results and double down on what works best.

How to Manage 50/50 Raffle Operations and Logistics

Meticulous operations and logistics management ensures everything runs smoothly on the day and funds are properly accounted for. Here are some best practices:

Permits and insurance

Secure all required permits and licenses from your city/state in advance if doing a public raffle. Obtain event insurance if selling tickets at a large gathering.

Set up ticketing booths securely

Have tents, tables, chairs and displays ready for ticket sellers. Use banker boxes to collect cash and tickets safely. Ensure adequate lighting.

Recruit volunteer teams

Staff booths in shifts with teams of 2-4 trusted volunteers. One sells, one works the cash box, one engages with passerby. Rotate frequently.

Train volunteers thoroughly

Cover raffle rules, how to sell tickets persuasively, how to handle cash and keep records. Have them practice their pitch.

Use numbered tickets and stubs

Preprinted raffle tickets with sequential numbering and stubs with space to collect contact info are most secure. Avoid handwritten tickets.

Track meticulously

Log each booklet of tickets distributed to each booth. Have volunteers reconcile tickets sold and cash every few hours.

Store cash and tickets securely overnight

Keep cash locked up and require dual custody for access. Keep all unsold tickets locked up as well. Destroy unsold tickets once the winner is drawn.

Have a public drawing process

Use transparent methods like pulling the winning ticket from a barrel while filming live on social media. Announce details widely.

Verify the winner

Confirm the winner has a matching stub to claim the prize. Have them show ID and sign paperwork for taxes.

Pay the winner promptly

Within days of the drawing, cut a check to the winner for their portion of the proceeds. Obtain a W9 for tax reporting.

Analyze and improve

Look at sales trends to optimize future raffles. Identify what worked well and areas for improvement.

With strong organization and operations, you can run a transparent raffle that participants will trust.

How to Maximize Proceeds and Minimize Costs

A 50/50 raffle can be extremely lucrative if planned and executed correctly. Here are tips to maximize proceeds and minimize costs:

Secure donated or sponsored items whenever possible

Ask for donations of food, goods, venues and supplies from community partners to reduce overhead. Offer sponsor logo placement in return.

Price tickets appropriately

Use an attractive, round price like $5 that seems reasonable yet generates more revenue. Odd numbers like $3 can work too. Avoid too low (like $1) or too high pricing.

Pass fixed costs to participants

For large events, consider charging an entry fee and include one free raffle ticket. This covers your venue and staffing costs upfront.

Buy tickets, wristbands and raffle drums in bulk

Shop wholesale suppliers online to get the lowest pricing on ticketing materials, drums and marketing giveaways when purchasing in volume.

Use volunteers as much as possible

Your largest controllable expense is likely labor. Volunteers help minimize paid staffing. Show appreciation with donations if budget allows.

Sell at existing gatherings

Piggybacking onto existing events, fairs and festivals eliminates additional marketing and venue costs to draw a crowd.

Negotiate deals with partners and sponsors

Offset costs by having partners supply goods in exchange for branding and promotion. Get corporate sponsors to fund specific expenses.

Go mobile

Using a mobile app for ticketing reduces the costs of printing physical tickets and the staff time for reconciling paper.

Provide food and drinks donated by local businesses

Free snacks and beverages incentivize people to hang around and socialize longer, selling more tickets.

Share expenses with other fundraisers

Co-organize with related nonprofits to share marketing, staffing and venue expenses where possible.

With some creativity and cost-cutting measures, you can reduce overhead substantially and direct the majority of proceeds to your cause.

How to Improve Your Odds of Winning a 50/50 Raffle

While winning any raffle comes down mostly to luck, there are some strategies you can use to improve your odds when buying 50/50 raffle tickets.

Buy more tickets

This exponentially improves your chances. Buying 10 tickets versus 1 gives you 10 times the probability of winning. Pool money with others to buy more.

Target less popular times

Sales tend to be slower at the beginning and very end. Your odds improve if fewer total tickets are sold.

Ask which books have been selling least

Volunteers may know which ticket booklets have had the lowest demand. Choose those to improve relative chances.

Research the average sales

If you can find data on previous raffles, choose numbers higher than past popular ranges.

Avoid choosing special numbers

People gravitate toward birthdays, anniversaries and lucky sevens. Avoid these commonly chosen numbers.

Pick randomly

Letting the volunteer hand you the next ticket in sequence adds randomness versus picking your own.

Buy both higher and lower numbers

Vary across the sequence because you don’t know where the winning number will land.

Split purchases across sellers

Different books have different number ranges. Buy from multiple sellers to diversify.

Go for a less popular prize structure

If there are multiple prize options like 60/40 splits, the 60/40 has better odds as fewer go for the higher risk/reward ratio.

Donate some winnings back

Pledge to contribute a portion of proceeds back to the organization if you win to boost karma!

While it’s not an exact science, using some of these approaches can incrementally increase your probability. Good luck!


Organizing and executing a profitable 50/50 raffle requires time, dedication and creativity. With careful planning, promotion, operations and a focus on driving revenues while reducing costs, your nonprofit or organization can run a successful raffle fundraiser. Use the tips outlined above on setting goals, obtaining permits, recruiting help, tracking sales and creating hype. With smart management, transparency and fun, your raffle can exceed projections while engaging your community in supporting a good cause.