A Reverse Raffle -
How to Run One and Why You Should!

Let's face it - fundraising raffles might be effective, but they are a little... boring!

So why not liven things up with a reverse raffle - an idea that will create buzz, get everyone talking and bring in lots more lovely donations for your fundraising organization!

So What Exactly IS a Reverse Raffle?

A reverse raffle is one in which you do NOT want your number to be called... because the numbers called are for the ticket holders to be ELIMINATED from the raffle.

Calling continues until ALL participants are eliminated from the raffle, except for the winners.

How to Organize a Reverse Raffle

How to run a reverse raffle

Ideally, limit your ticket sales to a reasonable amount

Remember, all the LOSING tickets will have to be drawn and called, which will take a very long time if your ticket sales were particularly high.

Instead, set a ceiling on the number of tickets to be sold (in this example, we're going to use 200), then USE the limited number of tickets as a selling point.

If you will be offering 1 prize or 10 prizes, you can promote the tickets as offering a '1 in 200' or '1 in 20'  chance of wining.

Not only do the odds sound more attractive, the 'exclusivity' of the tickets makes them seem more desirable!

Obviously the point of the raffle is to bring in funds for your organization...

...so if you are going to offer a cash prize (which is ideal if you decide to use the "Added Fun" option) then you need to set your ticket price to ensure you make significantly more than you spend!

You can sell 'exclusive, limited edition' tickets for considerably more than 'regular' tickets, where entrants have no idea how many other participants they'll be competing against.

Of course, you can opt to offer 'actual' prizes instead of cash ones, which you can request as donations from local businesses in return for advertising.

You will want to run your reverse raffle in conjunction with another event...

...like a fundraising cookout, a trivia evening, or a simple music evening. This is because reverse raffles take far longer than regular ones to call - so you need to keep everyone entertained (and possibly bring in even MORE donations at the same time).

Start by calling 10 numbers.

These are the first 10 to be eliminated. Continue calling the tickets in groups of 10 throughout your event, until you work your way to your event's finale, when there will be only 10 ticket holders left.

How to Create a Little "Added Fun"

OK, you're down to your last 10 ticket holders. You can either have 10 smaller prizes and give them 1 each (which isn't TOO exciting) - or build the suspense by slowly calling off the last 9 numbers, leaving you 1 overall winner (which is a little more fun!).

OR, if you're offering a cash prize, create some added excitement by offering a 'stop and split' option.

What that means is that you ask the final 10 ticket holders whether or not they want to stop the raffle and split the cash prize equally between them... or if they want to continue with the raffle until just ONE of them wins the whole prize.

If just one of the ten wants to continue, then everyone must continue - the prize can only be split if everyone agrees.

Final Tips

  • Check if there are any legal restrictions on raffles/reverse raffles in your area.
  • If you plan on offering a 'stop and split' option at your raffle, make it clear that ticket holders MUST be present at the drawing. This is useful anyway, as it encourages attendance at your event and provides more customers for other fundraising events you may be running alongside the raffle.
  • Consider offering 'bonus' prizes for the 50th ticket called, 100th ticket called etc.
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