Sep 7, 2023

How to Hold a 50/50 Raffle

how to hold a 50 50

As far as fundraising ventures go, the 50/50 raffle stands as a time-tested and efficient method. From philanthropic events to community projects, this charity drive gives participants a shot at a substantial cash prize, which comes with minimal effort from the administering team. By adopting a methodical outlook, organizers can confidently navigate ticket sales, prize allocation, and legal considerations for 50/50 raffles.

What is a 50/50 raffle?

A 50/50 raffle is a simple and effective way for charities, schools, and other organizations to raise funds. Participants purchase any amount of tickets they wish for a chance to win half of the total proceeds. The more tickets they buy, the greater their chances of winning. For example, if tickets cost $5 and 1,000 tickets are sold, the sales amount to $5,000. The winner of the raffle would receive a cash prize of $2,500. The remaining half of the profits go toward the fundraising cause.

The appeal of the 50/50 raffle is that the prize pool grows with every ticket sold. As individuals purchase tickets, the total funds increase proportionally, creating excitement and motivation for even more ticket sales. This virtuous cycle maximizes fundraising potential and can engage a larger audience, as there is an increasing allure of a substantial prize.

Benefits of hosting a 50/50 raffle

hosting a 50/50 raffle

Hosting a 50/50 raffle offers many compelling benefits. It is a simple, reliable strategy with a wide appeal thanks to its prize potential. As the possibility for prize money grows, so does the anticipation of everyone involved. This involvement strengthens community bonds, leading to long-term support for the cause or organization beyond the raffle.

Here are some other benefits that nonprofits can look forward to when they run a 50/50 raffle:

  • Proven return on investment (ROI): The costs to start a 50/50 raffle, which often simply means purchasing raffle tickets, are substantially lower than the profits generated by the raffle, leading to a great ROI.
  • Connection with a new audience: The prize money appeal attracts a diverse audience, which increases fundraising potential.
  • A good option for all kinds of fundraisers: This type of event is versatile and works well within communities at in-person events or as an online venture.
  • Boosts community engagement:  The dynamic nature of the event creates a buzz, encouraging word-of-mouth promotion and social sharing.
  • Low entry cost: Ticket prices can appeal to a broad audience when they sell for $1, $5, or $10 apiece.

Who should hold a 50/50 raffle?

Any organization, group, or individual wanting to raise funds can benefit if they choose to run a 50/50 raffle. Nonprofits, schools, churches, golf tournaments, and more can harness the appeal to meet their fundraising goals, regardless of budgets or fundraising team sizes.

The raffle’s universal appeal and simplicity make it easy to adapt to various contexts for different audiences. Whether the goal is to support a charitable cause, fund a project or boost community involvement, the active nature of a 50/50 raffle is an effective fundraising platform.

How to price 50/50 raffle tickets

Pricing 50/50 raffle tickets requires a simple yet strategic approach. Consider the fundraising goal, target audience, and minimum value of the prize. Moderate ticket prices encourage broader participation. Higher prices can lead to a more substantial prize pool.

Evaluating the audience’s financial capacity to determine a reasonable ticket fee is a good idea. You can also research similar raffles for pricing references and assess local regulations to ensure compliance.

Boost sales by offering ticket bundles and discounting the purchase of multiple tickets to accommodate different budgets. An enticing pricing structure will encourage more ticket sales for a better chance at winning. The pricing should balance affordability with the potential for a significant prize pool. Here’s a formula that might help with your planning:

  • Gross organizational earnings = (Raffle ticket price * Quantity of tickets sold) / 2 – Expenses

According to the IRS, all raffles are a form of lottery. Raffle laws vary by state — some do not allow online raffle ticket sales. Nonprofits must file Form W-2 to report winnings and federal income tax withheld. Organizations must submit Form 1096 and send a copy to the raffle winner.

Individuals pay taxes on raffle winning as income. However, if the prize money surpasses $5,000, the nonprofit must legally withhold 25% of the winnings or pay withholding tax.

How to run a 50/50 raffle

The first step toward a successful 50/50 raffle is to define the cause and set a clear fundraising goal. With the financial goal in mind, set the ticket pricing and identify distribution points. Create a secure and transparent method for ticket sales, and consider using online platforms. Remember to use eye-catching designs and add legal disclaimers to enter the raffle. Promote the raffle through social media, flyers, and word of mouth to maximize participation.

As sales progress, update participants directly and through online channels about the growing prize pool — they may want to purchase more tickets for a better chance to win. Set a date and venue for the draw, using a candid method for selecting the winner. Randomized draws work best. Throughout, ensure there is adequate record keeping for financial transparency and IRS document submissions.

How to host an online 50/50 raffle

There are several easy steps to hosting a virtual 50/50 raffle:

  • Select a reputable online platform to manage ticket sales and payments securely. The convenience of multiple payment options will encourage more people to purchase tickets.
  • Customize the raffle page with compelling visuals, clear instructions, and legal disclaimers.
  • Promote the raffle with a direct link to ticket sales on social media, on the organizer’s website, and through email marketing. Drive interest to participate through video content and testimonials to create a sense of trustworthiness with the target audience.
  • Post regular updates about the increasing prize pool, starting an online countdown as the draw date approaches. Conduct the draw on live video to maintain fairness and transparency.

Hosting a fruitful online 50/50 raffle needs a tech-savvy process, clear communication, and adherence to legal guidelines.

Streamline your fundraiser with GiveSmart

A 50/50 raffle combines effective fundraising, community interaction, and transparency, making it a favorable strategy for organizations looking for an impactful and engaging way to raise funds for their cause. Integrating technology, clear communication, and efficient processes can enhance participant engagement and fundraising impact.

You can make hosting raffles easy with GiveSmart. Our comprehensive platform allows organizations of all sizes to host seamless fundraisers, with capabilities like online donations, payment processing, and more. Schedule a free demo of GiveSmart today.

streamline your fundraiser


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The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

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MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

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Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County