Opportunity Drawings.

     Your guests are expecting to spend money at your fundraiser – don’t forget to provide them that opportunity. Opportunity Drawings are a perfect way to ask not only those who attend your event, but for those who don’t.

     The #1 reason people donate? Because they are asked! Opportunity Drawings provide a reason!  Most people will buy tickets, not for the prize, but for the opportunity to participate.

     A 50/50 drawing, where all monies donated are split between the winner and the sponsoring organization, has long been a favorite at fundraising events. However, it also costs the organization 50% of the profits – often thousands of dollars!

If your gross Opportunity Drawing revenue is $20,000.00 (200 tickets at $100 each), consider purchasing a $3,000.00 big screen TV with all the bells and whistles at your neighborhood wholesale retailer and use it as your Grand Prize. Your drop off in donations will be minimal, if any. Now instead of making $10,000.00, your profit is $17,000.00! Big difference!


IMPORTANT – Your Opportunity Drawings tickets are not for sale. They are available for a Suggested Donation only. If a guest wants to participate and they do not have any money, you must give them a ticket!

Every event should have two Opportunity Drawings.


Need Not be Present to Win!

     As the title suggests, you do not need to be at the event to win a prize. Every invitation should include a chance to participate in an Opportunity Drawing. The cost of these tickets generally range from $25-$100 or more. Whatever the cost of the ticket, the prize, or prizes, are generally large; cash, big screen TV, exotic vacation. This will give those supporters who can’t attend your event an opportunity to participate.

     To purchase a ticket, the participant must complete a perforated portion of the ticket and mail it back with payment to the organization. There are those organizations who sell multiple tickets in the invitation. Offering tickets on a website with the ability to charge to a credit card, is more and more common.

     The winning ticket is pulled at the end of the evening. This acts as an incentive to some guests to stay to the end of the evening. However, this is a need not be present to win drawing, so they don’t have to be there. The negative aspect of this type of drawing is when a person who is not present is the winner. It does have a tendency to deflate the crowd.   Another good reason to pull the ticket at the end.


Must be Present to Win!

     These tickets are sold only at the event. Most folks purchase Opportunity Drawing tickets to participate - not for the prize. The trick is to convince them to buy the maximum amount available. I am a fan of the "Chinese Raffle".


“Chinese Raffle” A skim of the crowd!

     When you “sell” tickets 1 for $5, 3 for $10 and 9 for $20, there is no incentive to spend the $20. However if you offer tickets at 1 for $5.00, 5 for $10.00 and a Generous Arms Length for $20.00 you will find that every couple will spend $20.00 - who wouldn’t?

     Depending on the spending power of your audience and the quality of your prizes, tickets can also be offered at 1 for $10, 5 for $20 or $50 for an arms length or even 1 for $20, 3 for $50 and an arms length for $100.  Besides, we don’t care how many tickets we sell - it’s how much we make on ticket sales. A roll of tickets generally sell for $8.00 each. A great investment!

     Use 2-part rolled tickets – all the same color. Although the odds for being picked are the same for any color, your guests will be happier having all tickets picked the same color as their ticket.


Don’t be cute and pre-tear an arms length of tickets to “make it easy on the volunteers” or “fair to all guests”. It doesn’t work. A generous arm’s length pulled at the time of sale is the trick! A long armed Auctioneer can come in handy!


     For the first 45 minutes of your event, volunteers should not approach a guest unless they have a drink in their hand. No one wants to just get checked in and immediately be asked to donate. However, after 45 minutes, new registrants are fair game - those that you know haven’t been asked yet!


The Set-up.

     Choose 3-5 items from your Silent Auction with values ranging from $100 to $200. Each item should appeal to a different interest; Sports, Getaway, Jewelry, Spa, etc. Good quality items will help sell more tickets.


Remember - 5 items with a total value of $500 will bring in at best, $500 on the Silent Auction. 100 couples buying $20 in tickets each will bring in $2,000 or $400 per item!


     Display the items on a separate table in or near the Silent Auction tables. Hang a unique color of helium balloons above the table to make it easy to find in a crowd. In addition, tie the same color of balloon to your ticket seller’s basket so they also can be easily found. Put a separate bowl, box or bag in front of each item where your guests choose which item(s) they would like to win. Because you give them both sides of the ticket, they get to place one side of each ticket in their favorite bowl.


Be sure to number each bowl, box or bag in case they get separated from their item.

Descriptions of your drawing items should be easy to read (large fonts) and easy to understand - from 2 to 3 feet away!


     Pull the winners during your Live Auction with a ticket chosen between auction items. This will keep things moving along and keep more guests involved.

     Always give the item with the least amount of tickets away first. Save the most popular until last.


The Sale.

     Tickets should be sold from the start of your event through your salad service. Allow guests to charge to their bid number. Many guests only want to pay once at the end of the evening. Many people don’t want to take out their wallets and pay cash. Make it easy!

     Assign a volunteer at the Opportunity Drawing table to sell tickets and assist participants. Don’t leave the table unattended. This is where many tickets are sold. Roving volunteers should carry a basket with a helium balloon the same color as the Opportunity Drawing table.


Don’t allow your volunteers to be skimpy with the tickets! The more generous, the more ticket sales!


     At the conclusion of the Welcome and Thank You, an announcement should be made for “last call” on Opportunity Drawing tickets, at which time, volunteers should go from table to table looking for final sales.


Blinking lights!

To keep guests from constantly being asked to purchase tickets, hand out a sticker or small magnetic light pin with each purchase. This not only identifies the buyers, but also the non-buyers!

     And of course there are many other versions of Opportunity Drawings from the Diamond Drop to the Balloon Pop, the Duck Race to the Old Fashioned Raffle and even Cow Patty Bingo!

Contact Steve

cell/text: 619/723-0324  •  email: stevehamann@cox.net