Typical charity raffles encourage donors to purchase tickets for a chance to win a predetermined prize. While these sorts of raffles can be a lot of fun and end up raising a lot of money, they often come with significant challenges, like having to purchase or identify an attractive prize, spend months planning and promoting the raffle, and hosting an in-person raffle draw that will attract a crowd and inspire excitement. Virtual 50/50 raffles, which take minimal planning and effort and have no upfront costs, can be an effective and simple fundraising solution for nonprofits of any size.
Read on to find out more about what a virtual 50/50 raffle is, how an online 50/50 raffle works, what makes 50/50 raffles so great, and how you can create a virtual 50/50 raffle with ease using the RallyUp platform.
What is a 50/50 Raffle?
A 50/50 raffle is much like other raffles; participants buy a ticket for a chance to win a prize if their name or ticket is drawn. The primary difference between a traditional raffle and a 50/50 raffle is that the prize that will be won in a 50/50 raffle is simply half of the money that was raised by selling tickets. For example, in a 50/50 raffle in which 1000 tickets were sold at $10 each, the organizations sponsoring the raffle would keep half of the money raised, $5000, and the winner of the drawing would take home the other half of the money that was generated by ticket sales, $5000.
How Does a 50/50 Raffle Work?
50/50 raffles work in much the same way that traditional raffles do; an organization sells tickets to donors for a chance to win a prize. The main difference between a traditional raffle and a 50/50 raffle is that the amount of the prize is unknown at the time the participant buys their ticket since it will only be determined once all tickets have been sold.
Organizations that run 50/50 raffles usually post a cut-off time for ticket purchases and hold the drawing shortly after. Most organizations also keep a running tab of how many tickets have been sold and how much money has been raised in order to publicize how much the prize pot has grown to. In many 50/50 raffles, ticket sales multiply rapidly as the draw date approaches because the prize pot has grown substantially. Excitement about the amount of the prize to be won incentivizes rapid ticket sales while, at the same time, these rapid ticket sales send the total prize amount soaring.
While the winner or winners of all 50/50 raffles are determined with a drawing, organizations can choose whether they would like to have one winner or several. For example, in the scenario above, with a $5000 prize, organizations could choose to have one winner who takes home all $5000 or several who split the prize in multiple ways. Organizations can choose to split our prizes in multiple ways.
Some organizations that run 50/50 raffles utilize a grand prize structure, with three or more winners taking smaller and smaller prize amounts. For example, with a $5000 prize pot, the grand prize winner might take home $3000, the first prize winner might take home $1500, and the second prize winner might take home $500.
Organizations might also choose to utilize a multi-winner model, with several winners splitting the prize pot equally. For example, with a $5000 prize pot, they might draw five winners who each take home $1000 or ten winners who each take home $500.
Raffle organizers should think about the people they are hoping to sell tickets to and consider which prize model may incentivize the most ticket sales. The size of the nonprofit, how much money they hope to raise, and the total number of tickets they hope to sell can also impact whether they would like to offer a single-winner drawing or how they might like to split the winnings between multiple winners. In general, organizations that anticipate a very large prize pot may choose to split the winnings among several participants to incentivize ticket sales, while those with smaller prize pots may choose to have only one winner to increase the attractiveness of their prize.
What Makes Virtual 50/50 Raffles so Great?
Online 50/50 raffles have several distinct benefits that make them a good choice for nonprofits of any size who want to raise money.
- Organizations that run 50/50 raffles are often attracted to the method because it does not require them to have a raffle prize before the beginning of the raffle. Often, identifying and purchasing the kind of high-dollar prizes that incentivize ticket sales is a major barrier to raising money through a raffle. With a 50/50 raffle, organizers are relying on the participants to supply the prize and don’t have to spend any money or time upfront securing difficult-to-secure prizes.
- Sometimes, financial needs can be urgent. 50/50 raffles allow organizers to move quickly to create a fundraiser without a lot of advanced planning or preparation. 50/50 raffles are a fast way to raise money without dedicating a lot of staff time or energy towards fundraising.
- While raffles are often the most cost-effective ways to raise money, holding a virtual 50/50 raffle has almost no associated costs. Organizers won’t have to pay for raffle prizes, and because they’re holding the drawing online, they also won’t need to budget for a venue or food and drinks for excited participants.
- While organizations don’t need to do anything in-person to host a fabulous virtual 50/50 raffle, virtual 50/50 raffles are versatile and easy to incorporate into larger events or campaigns. It’s easy to add a 50/50 raffle to an online or in-person gala or event, and organizations can even create hybrid draws in which they take both online and in-person tickets.
How Can I Create an Online 50/50 Raffle?
Creating an online 50/50 raffle is easy with RallyUp. After creating your account, you’ll follow the steps noted for creating a raffle experience. You can create a stand-alone 50/50 raffle or include a 50/50 raffle in a multi-component experience along with things like an event or an a-thon.
To create a 50/50 raffle, you don’t need to do anything other than note that the prize will be 50% of the proceeds in cash and then add details about how the pot will be split if you choose to split it.
After your campaign is approved and goes live, individuals will be able to purchase tickets directly from your fundraising page. If you enable text-to-give, donors will be able to text a unique-to-your-campaign word to our number and receive a direct link to your fundraising page for easy purchase. As your campaign moves forward, you can provide updates about the prize amount by enabling a fundraising thermometer or otherwise updating and noting how much the prize pot has grown each day. You’ll also want to be sure to spread the word about your 50/50 raffle. You can spread the word by encouraging your stakeholders to share the campaign on social media and integrating your campaign with other tools to share promotional materials.
When your campaign has ended, and it’s time to draw the winner, you won’t have to do anything at all! RallyUp will draw the winner automatically and, if you have selected automatic notification, reach out to let them know they’ve won. Donors who did not win may also be notified automatically if you have selected this option.
After the winner has been drawn and the campaign has closed, your organization will receive the total amount of funds raised. At this point, you can distribute prizes to your winner or winners in whatever way you specified in your campaign set-up.
Creating and running a 50/50 raffle online with RallyUp is a simple and effective way to raise money for your organization. Your donors will be thrilled to contribute and even more thrilled about the prospect of winning a large sum of cash as their prize. Check out examples of 50/50 raffles on the RallyUp app, and enjoy creating, prompting, and earning big money through your next 50/50 raffle!
Good luck and happy fundraising!