The July 24-30, 2009 edition of the Denver Business Journal (page A7) had an article by Bob Mook, “Nonprofits hope to win big with high-stakes raffles.”  The article describes how many nonprofits are trying what he terms a go-for-broke fundraising strategy in these tough economic times through the use of high-stakes raffles. 

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver is organizing the Rocky Mountain Home Raffle.  Participants can win a ski home in Keystone, a loft in LoDo, or $1 million cash.  Tickets are $100 each and the number of tickets to be sold is limited to 27,500.  For a limited time, they are offering a buy a 3-pack of tickets for $275 or a 10-pack of tickets for $800 and SAVE.  To date, however, they have sold only 3,500 tickets but the grand prize drawing is not until late September so they remain hoeful they will sell out.  Early ticket purchasers are put in early drawings to collect prizes ranging from $1, 000 to $20,000, as well.  Guess you need to keep your fingers crossed NOT to win one of those as it probably decreases your chances of cashing in on the BIG prize!

The website states, “Your $100 helps Boys & Girls Clubs to build caring, responsible citizens and create a positive place, full of hope and opportunity, for every child and …enters you in the raffle to win a stunning dream home or $1,000,000 CASH. The Grand Prize Winner selects either the $1,000,000 Ski Home, the $1,000,000 Denver Loft or $1,000,000 CASH. Thousands of dollars in additional cash prizes will be awarded in Special Early and Multiple Ticket-Buyer Drawings. Your odds of winning a prize are at least 1 in 200, depending on the number of tickets sold.”

Even if all 27,500 tickets are sold in the 10 packs – that would mean $2.2 million raised.  Not sure how much of that has to go out in expenses but that is a nice chunk of change to work with, nonetheless.   And the odds of 1 in 200 seem much better than the Colorado Lottery!  My friend bought a ten pack and I bought myself a ticket, as well – why don’t you join us and support the Boys and Girls Clubs?  You can put three additional names on each ticket purchased, so this could be a nice gift for employee recognition purposes – maybe to honor their volunetering in the community!

The DBJ articles also gives tips for nonprofits considering running raffles of their own on the legalities involved.  I knew running a raffle required a special license but I did not know the organization needs to have been in operation 5 years to be eligible.  So be sure to do your research before jumping into the deep end of the pool!