We help out several organizations each year with raffle fundraisers and there are some major differences between how we handle them compared to some other businesses in our area. The number one difference, and it has become a huge issue recently with supply shortages, is that we only allow items on raffle tickets that actually exist. When we finalize a list of items with an organization those items are allocated to them and set aside.
The winners get three choices. 1. Take possession of the item. 2. Use the value the organization paid for the item towards something else. 3. Cash Option - We write the winner a check for 85% of the amount the organization paid for the item.
From the calls we have received and people that we have talked to there is nothing worse than buying a ticket, winning, and finding out the business that supplied the organization with the items listed on a raffle ticket don't actually have the items listed. Then they hear, "we could order it for you" or "most people don't want the gun". We have literally had upset people call us because they won a gun on a raffle, been waiting months for it, wanting us to get them the same gun and bill the other business for it.
Yesterday, I had an individual want to sell me a raffle ticket. One of the first items listed read, "Ruger American". I asked them about the item they were raffling and what Ruger American it was. They thought it was a rifle. I asked what caliber and they didn't know, but they thought I could decide. This person had actually arranged the purchase of the firearms for the raffle.
I pulled up on our computer Ruger American's and showed them it could be a pistol or a rifle. The value could be anywhere from $280-$1160. They had no clue what they had wrote a check for, their sales receipt just said "Ruger American" and a dollar amount. They got a little embarrassed when I posed the question, "So, your organization paid for a gun, but you don't know what you paid for? Want me to buy a ticket, but don't think the gun actually exists? Isn't this a Ponzi Scheme?" They were embarrassed, but also realized the implications as raffles require permits and the organizers must follow rules.
For the business that sold them the mystery gun it's a great deal. The money paid went into their pocket immediately. If they are lucky the winner never shows up. If they do show up they can tell them the organization purchased the cheapest model. When they don't even have it they can offer to order it in. Because supplies are so low the winner will have to wait and maybe they'll forget to come back. Maybe they can even talk them into buying something more expensive that is in stock. If they do provide a product, it can be paid for by the next organization that bought guns that didn't exist.
If your organization needs help with an event or raffle let us know how we can help. We sometimes work months in advance to secure the right items for our client's events. Any items you purchase actually exist and can be picked up for promotion and advertising. Most importantly we'll make sure you and your donors get great service.