Elk NetworkThe Art of Pre-banquet Raffles

Volunteer News | November 20, 2019

The Art of Pre-Banquet Raffles

Have you ever stayed awake at night thinking about all the people who could be donating to elk country who aren’t attending your banquet? Ok, you’re probably (and hopefully) not actually losing sleep over it. But regardless, pursuing different fundraising sources can be really beneficial. Incorporating pre-banquet raffles into your chapter’s fundraising repertoire is a great way to reach people who may not actually attend the banquet.

One of the best pre-banquet raffles to run is the progressive raffle. This raffle is shown in the RMEF merchandise catalog each year. Raffle ticket templates are provided, as well as advertising posters, making it very easy to promote and sell tickets at remote locations. Often, it’s even possible to have employees of a business help sell tickets for the chapter. You can sell a limited number of tickets, for example 300.

Prizes for the progressive raffle are a rifle or a bow package. When the lucky winner is drawn, they have the option of taking the rifle or the bow. This option will appeal to rifle hunters as well as bow hunters, and should make selling tickets easier. Winners are then entered for a chance to be drawn for a grand prize elk hunt.

Another great pre-banquet raffle to run is one of the never ending raffle boards such as the royal board or the imperial board. It is always a good idea to set a limited number of tickets to sell for a pre-banquet raffle; it is a great selling point when a customer knows the exact odds of winning. A chapter has full latitude to set the number of tickets to be sold and the price for each ticket. For example a chapter could sell 12 tickets at $100 per ticket for the royal raffle board or they could sell 60 tickets at $20 per ticket for the royal raffle board, both ways produce a solid net return.

Although limited to chapters in the west, the Les Schwab Tire Raffle is another great pre-banquet raffle. The raffle ticket templates are provided, as well as advertising posters. Many Les Schwab stores are willing to promote the raffle by hanging the posters in their stores. Some even sell tickets for the committee.

Some donors are willing to host a raffle and sell tickets at their place of business prior to a banquet. This approach gives the donor some new business if new customers come into their store to buy raffle tickets. This method not only provides a location for selling tickets, but can produce income from folks who are not able to attend the banquet. Not only that, it also provides some good publicity for the event, which will likely drive up attendance.

Good places to sell tickets for pre-banquet raffles are county fairs, sport shows, local sporting events and retail stores like Bass Pro shops, Cabela’s or a local sporting goods store. Another great way to sell pre-banquet raffle tickets is face to face sales. Get the whole committee involved in selling tickets wherever they go in the community and surrounding areas.

It is very important to advertise your pre-banquet raffles in your banquet ticket invitations that are sent to RMEF members in your area and all other banquet advertising. If you have them offered in your invitation, individuals may go online (where legal) and purchase the pre-banquet raffle tickets. Or a chapter volunteer can conduct the raffle ticket purchase. This is an easy and effective way to sell some of your tickets. If you sell out a pre-banquet raffle, you can start another raffle and finish it up at the banquet.

Pre-banquet ticket sales through the banquet invitation will almost always double the amount of money that you will generate on the raffle. Not only will you be getting sales from people that cannot attend the banquet, but many individuals will have a certain amount of money to spend each month, and that gives them the opportunity to buy chances in the pre-banquet ticket sales and buy again on banquet day when they have money available again.

Offering a special deal on the pre-banquet tickets will also encourage more purchases. Three examples are listed below. 

All Ticket Packages Below are Pre-Event Specials. Tickets Full Price at Event.

Leupold Raffle: $15 for two tickets, $10 each at banquet. Ticket Limit 400                     

Kimber Pistol Raffle: $30 for two tickets, $20 each at banquet. Ticket Limit 400            

Progressive Raffle: $30 for two tickets, $20 each at banquet. Ticket Limit 400                 

You may only want to discount (if legal in your state) or advertise one or two pre-banquet raffles in your invitation letter. You can analyze the results and increase the number at your next year’s banquet if needed.

Pre-banquet raffles are a great way to grow revenue outside of the banquet setting. They can also generate some excitement for your upcoming event, and reach people that might otherwise not have known about it. Think about giving pre-banquet raffles a try as your banquet planning continues.