Nov 3, 2022

“X” Marks the Spot

GiveSmart_Blog Header_960x380_xmarksthespot

What is a pirate’s favorite letter? You may be thinking R, but it is actually C. 

Looking for a fundraising idea for your next event that isn’t a groaner like that joke? A treasure chest raffle is a great stand-alone fundraiser or revenue enhancer for an upcoming event. It’s an engaging, fun alternative to a traditional raffle. And, it can help your organization raise big! 

So how does a treasure chest raffle drawing work? Let’s dig in.   

Set It Up 

Start by getting your prize set. It should be something of a higher value that will excite your audience. Some of our nonprofit partners have filled their treasure chests with multiple gift cards worth hundreds of dollars, a high-end exercise bike certificate, dozens of lottery tickets, and other high-ticket items.  

Your organization sets a limited number of tickets that will be sold and decides how many will be drawn during your program. When the time comes, draw your set number and have those people come to the treasure chest. Each chooses a key. One key opens the treasure chest and that person is the winner! 

This drawing is a spectacle, so make sure that after you set up the raffle purchases online, you still have a visual element to the drawing, be it a random number generator that you can display or slips of paper you can draw.  

You’ll need: 

  • Electronic raffle tickets as a part of your event fundraising software, set up as instant buys or a raffle 
  • Slips of paper to write the buyers’ names on 
  • Big, clear container to deposit slips of paper 
  • Treasure chest 
  • Locks and keys that will fit your treasure chest 
  • Prize(s) for winner(s) 

Let your supporters know about any experiences that will be available at your gala or golf outing. Hopefully, you use fundraising event management tools that allow you to showcase opportunities before they’re open for purchase. GiveSmart does! And, donors can pay right away online, starting your event with an exciting revenue generator.   

Make sure you write an engaging description and include both photos and video to spotlight your treasure chest prize(s). Highlight the status of your BIG prize, and give past supporters or guests the FIRST chance to buy the limited tickets you have available.  

Tips for Success 

Committee Support 

Make it their thing! Encourage your board to do a gift card drive at work, cash out their credit card points, or grab a nominal gift card at the checkout line. This is, of course, in addition to soliciting local businesses.  

Sponsored By 

Consider offering this raffle as a sponsorship activation. As it would be a premiere offering at your event, any company would have a captive audience. If a sponsor underwrites the item, you could even buy some harder-to-get gift cards or a high-end item. 

Social Media Preview 

Preview your exclusive items—like your treasure chest raffle—via social media for your support network. Virtually hosted raffles allow purchasing from anywhere. Sharing exciting, exclusive items encourages everyone to engage with your entire event’s offerings. 

Give a Second Chance 

You could offer multiple treasure chests, consolation prizes, or other second-chance opportunities for your guests. Some organizations like to keep the prize a surprise, only advertising the value of what is in the treasure chest.  

Depending on the flow of your evening and program and how many revenue enhancers you’re offering, second-chance opportunities might not be necessary. 


Make it easy for your committee and board to share information about your event. Give them images for social media posting, as well as draft text. Virtually hosted raffles allow people from near and far to support your mission! 

Looking for a way to easily offer your raffle, silent auction, ticketing, and more online? Check out GiveSmart today


how to organize an angel tree
November 25, 2022

How to Organize an Angel Tree 

As your organization or nonprofit looks for fundraising ideas for the holidays, creating an angel tree…

Read More
state raffle regulations
November 21, 2022

State Raffle Regulations

As a nonprofit organization, raffles can be an effective fundraiser to earn money for your…

Read More
giving tuesday
November 11, 2022

How to Create a Giving Tuesday Campaign in One Week

In 2021, donors gave nearly $3 billion on Giving Tuesday, a 9% boost from 2020. Since Giving…

Read More

What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

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.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County