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Inexpensive Raffle Prize Ideas

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Raffles are a great way to raise money for charities and get people involved. Participation usually involves purchasing a ticket and entering it into a drawing.

Raffle prizes can be as big as a trip, car or house, or as small as movie tickets, dinner at a restaurant or a $5 gift card to your local coffee shop.

If you're holding a raffle to raise money for a charity or worthwhile cause, you need not buy expensive raffle prizes. Save the unspent money for your charity.

Donated Prizes

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Local merchants will often donate something to your fund-raising event, especially if it supports a charity or cause within the community. Reciprocate by offering to post a sign and "thank you" near the donated item, with the donor's business name on it.

Some possible donated prizes are a restaurant gift certificate, free car wash, or haircut and style at a local salon.

The best businesses to approach for raffle donations are privately owned. Many chain businesses have rules to follow regarding donations.

Cash Prizes

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People love to win cash. Your investment for a cash prize can be as little as the cost of purchasing the raffle tickets. From the late 1700s to the early 1900s, many businesses and universities funded expansions through cash raffle prize drawings.

Ticket holders enjoy dreaming about winning a big prize. Keep your raffle ticket prices low, between $1 and $10, to encourage purchase. Your prize should total about 50% of all proceeds.

Prize amounts can be stated upfront if you're confident you'll sell the necessary number of tickets. Or, you can announce the prize amounts after closing the raffle.

Gift Baskets

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Gift baskets are a creative raffle prize. They can be themed to appeal to certain people. A baseball lover's gift basket might consist of a baseball, baseball hat and tickets to a local game. Coffee lovers might enjoy a gift basket with a coffee mug, a bag of coffee, and a flavored powdered creamer. Random items can be placed in a gift basket as well, and people can purchase raffle tickets for whichever basket(s) appeal to them.


Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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