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Fundraisers, Holding Raffles

Raffle or Silent Auction: Which is Right for Your Fundraiser?

By Lance Trebesch July 26, 2015

When Fundraising, Is a Raffle or Silent Auction the Right Method to Use?

If you’re planning for a fundraising event, you might be left at a quandary as to which type of fundraiser you should choose. Two of the most popular fundraisers are raffles and silent auctions, but which one would be the best fit for your organization and work well with your event plan?

First, it’s important to note that both raffles and silent auctions operate passively, in that raffles and silent auctions both consist of participants using either tickets or a bidding list to enter for a chance to win a prize. But where they differ is the amount of money you can actually raise. Raffles raise money from the amount of tickets sold, while silent auctions operate from the amount of money bid. With that in mind, think about your event and ask yourself if it fits these criteria:

Does your event have a large turnout? If you are already aware that your event will have a huge audience, then a raffle might work for you. As stated above, raffles raise money from the amount of tickets sold. Raffles might be more secure than silent auctions in terms of making sure your organization has raised enough money for your cause. While a silent auction alone might rely on someone to bid big in order for the auction to be successful, a raffle already has its donation built in to the ticket price.

Does your event need another fundraising activity? The great thing about silent auctions is that you can hold a silent auction along with other fundraising games. If you have an event that still feels a bit bare, even with a raffle, then a silent auction would be a great way to create even more buzz for your event and provide your organization with another opportunity to raise funds.

What is your event’s budget? Depending on how much your organization can spend on the event, a raffle would be an inexpensive way of raising money. Silent auctions require much more commitment; a silent auction is a one-time event that has to have the winner present to win, unlike a raffle, which can extend over a larger period of time and doesn’t require the winner to be present. Also, the costs of a silent auction are much higher than a raffle. EHow’s Lori D. Fairchild states that organizers of silent auctions have to secure an auction site, publicize the event and, depending on the length of the event, provide dinner to guests. Meanwhile, a raffle’s upfront costs generally consist of paying for printed tickets and the prize, if the prize itself hasn’t already been donated.

Whether you go with a raffle or a silent auction, your organization would be on its way towards meeting its fundraising goals.