Build excitement about your raffle with a countdown clock

On the Marin County Dream House Raffle website they show a fun way to create excitement about the upcoming raffle. Right at the upper right hand corner, there’s a countdown clock.

Community Action Marin gives away numerous prizes in their big raffle. Not only do they give away a multi-million dollar home, they offer early bird cash drawings! The countdown clock on their website right now counts down to the early bird drawing. In Raffle Secrets we talk have a whole chapter on early bird and other drawings that can add excitement and revenue.

So could your raffle do something like this to build excitement? Sure!

If you don’t have access to a programmer who can make the countdown for you, that’s okay. There are websites where you can build a countdown clock in just a few clicks. You specify the date and whether you want it to just count down to the day, or also show hour and/or seconds.

Here is an example of a countdown clock that goes to one year from today!

Just go to the countdown clocks website and give it a try!


Gift Basket Theme Ideas for Raffles and Auctions

Today’s list is all about gift basket ideas for raffles and auction. Gift baskets can make a great prize, but they are even better when you have a great theme!

Here are some ideas:

1. Letter of the alphabet theme – Everything in the basket starts with the same letter. Include something that displays the letter prominently, such as a notepad or monogramed item.

2. Holidays – a basket devoted to one particular holiday

3. Movie theme – DVDs, popcorn, sodas

4. Chocolate – all fine chocolates

5. Wine and cheese – 2 bottles of wine, cheese, crackers, nuts

6. Kid’s coloring and art supplies

7. Electronics – iPod with iTunes gift cards, case, or portable DVD player, with movies

8. Travel – travel books, travel magazines, airmile certificate, VISA giftcard, hotel stay, gift card for online travel site

9. Sports – everything related to one particular team: t-shirt, hat, coffee mug, throw (or snuggie), bumper stickers, books, tickets to a game

10. Candles – several varieties of candles, gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond, Yankee Candle or other store where more candles can be purchased

An easy way to get prize donations [Video]

In this video Sherry from Red Apple Auctions shows how to get great prize donations from those “doing it anyway.” These are folks that have a hobby they are passionate about and would love to share it with your prize winners.

Great charity auction donations come from those “doing it anyway.”

How to Hold a Raffle

Raffles can be one of the easiest, most low hassle ways to raise money if they are done right. Armed with this step-by-step guide, your organization will host a raffle fundraiser that exceeds your fundraising goals and attracts the world to your cause!

If you are new to planning a raffle, you may not know where to start. Don’t worry, we cover all the basics. Or maybe you have tried a raffle fundraiser before and it flopped big time. (All that time and energy for nothing!) We help you know where it went wrong before and how to be successful this time. Perhaps you are ready to take your raffle to the next level. This guide offers advanced strategies that anyone can use to be more successful.

We help you sort through the headache inducing array of legal issues. Working within the rules can be a lot of work…but the extra effort will be worth it.

One of the most important parts of the raffle is having a great prize. We show you which types of prizes work best and how to get them at reduced price, or even free.

Just think… at your next fundraiser, you could:

Give away such a great prize that people will be begging to buy a ticket (we’ll show you how to get them at low -or no- cost)
Create the perfect ticket price (get the precise formula in this guide)
Double or triple your revenue with ticket-buying incentives (we’ll give you 5 proven ways)
Easily format and get tickets printed
Sell more tickets, raising more funds for your cause than ever before!

Raffle Secrets provides a simple map for charitable organizations wanting to raise funds with a raffle. Here you will find direction, ideas, and advice for planning, promoting, and executing a raffle event.

About the Authors

Sandra Sims began her love of fundraising as a volunteer with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program in 2001. In that effort she ran her first raffle benefiting LLS, giving away a big screen TV. She went on to earn a Certificate in Nonprofit Management, founded Step by Step Fundraising, and currently blogs at Guiding Vision.

Jim Berigan is a freelance writer living in Petoskey, Michigan, with his wife and four children. Jim has served as the principal for a Christian elementary school, as well as the associate director of a non-profit summer camp for boys. He has been involved at every level of fundraising and is happy to share his experience in this field with others. Jim also the author of the School Carnival Money Making Guide.

100% Risk-Free Guarantee

Your satisfaction is completely guaranteed. In this guide you’ll discover the simple 12 step formula for planning a successful raffle fundraiser.

If after reading this guide and testing the materials you are not able to create a raffle fundraiser, or you are dissatisfied for any reason, we’ll issue you a prompt and courteous refund. This guarantee is in effect for up to 60 days after the date of purchase.. If you have any questions before or after ordering feel free to contact us.

Bonus Reports

When you purchase Raffle Secrets you’ll also get these three special reports:

Bonus #1: 18 Unusual and Amazing Raffles You can Do to Raise Money for Your Cause

This special report uncovers some really creative ways to raise funds with a raffle. Be inspired by these examples in order to create your own, unique one of a kind raffle that will get people excited about winning (and buying lots of tickets!)


Car Raffle eBookBonus #2: Drive into Fundraising Success with a Car Raffle

This is one of the most popular raffle prizes. No wonder, everyone would love to win a new car! This special report includes several real life examples of groups raffling off a car.

These charities raffled off a variety of great cars including a Corvette, Camaro, and a Volvo. You’ll find out how much they charged for tickets and other details about these raffles. Do you want to award a brand new car to one lucky winner in your raffle? Find out how to do this successfully in this bonus report!

House Raffle eBookBonus #3: House Raffles – The Big Time Prize

A home raffle is the “top dog” of raffle prizes, with some properties being raffled off that are worth over $1 million. This also be one of the most difficult raffles to pull off successfully. You’ll find out how you can go about getting a house to raffle off. (There are several different ways to do this!) Can your group score a big win with a house raffle? Find out in this special report.



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Not sure yet? click here to look inside this book immediately
and then sign up by email to get an exclusive report,
“12 Ideas for Getting Free or Low Cost Raffle Prizes”


Please note: This guide is specifically about raising funds for non-profit, charitable organizations. It does not cover raising funds for a business or for individuals. Raffles must benefit a charitable organization. They cannot be used for personal or business income. Consult with all applicable laws before starting a raffle fundraiser. US residents can check for state laws here. Raffle Secrets includes an entire chapter on legal issues.

Have a legal question about raffles?

The laws governing raffles can be complex. The laws can be quite strict, and they vary significantly from state to state. If you’re ambitious, you could certainly do your own research. In fact, much of this research has been done for you in the ebook Raffle Secrets, which includes a chapter on legal issues, among other things. You can also find general information on this site to get you going.

If you have a specific legal question, though, you should consider obtaining the assistance of a lawyer. Normally, finding and engaging the right lawyer would require a great deal of time and expense. It might not be worth it if you just need a single question answered. If you have specific questions, try JustAnswer, a service that can connect you with a lawyer who will answer individual questions, one at a time.

Here’s how it works. Enter your question in the JustAnswer box to the left. You get to name your price for the answer. A lawyer will answer, often within minutes, usually within a few hours. The lawyer will send an e-mail notifying you of any answer or may request more information. If you accept the answer, you get to decide how much the answer is worth. I’ve used the service myself, particularly to get answers to thorny tax issues.

What are the raffle laws of each state?

Raffle License or Application

The application for the raffle license may be required by the state, county or city government. Sometimes organizations must file with the state and local government so it is always wise to contact all government agencies. Most applications require a fee.

Raffle Requirements

Each state also has different requirements about the organizations that are allowed to hold a raffle and the manner in which it is conducted.

For example according to the laws of Colorado, the organization must have been in existence for five years before an application for a bingo/raffle license can be made. Some state raffle laws limit the number of raffles that a tax-exempt organization can hold. Other states have other very specific laws about the value of prizes given away, the format of tickets and other aspects of the raffle.

Advance Planning for Raffles

Not-for-profit organizations should also keep in mind that some registering agencies require that permits be applied for in advance. For example in Iowa the department requests that applicants allow up to 30 days for processing the application.

The following is a list of raffle laws by state (where available).

Location Legal? State Law
Alabama No Ala. Code § 13A-12-20
Alaska Yes Alaska Stat. 05.15.010
Arizona Yes Ariz. Rev. Stat § 13-331
Arkansas Yes Arkansas Code,§ 23-114-101, et seq.
California Yes Cal. Penal Code § 320.5; Cal. Code Regs. tit 11, §§ 410-426
Colorado Yes Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-9-101, et seq.
Connecticut Yes Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 7-170 to 7-186
Delaware Yes 10-100-102 Del. Code Regs.
Florida Yes Fla. Stat. § 849.0935
Georgia Yes Ga. Code Ann. § 16-12-22
Hawaii No Haw. Rev. Stat. § 712-1220
Idaho Yes Idaho Code Ann. § 67-77
Illinois Yes 230 Ill. Comp. Stat. 15/8.1
Indiana Yes 68 Ind. Admin. Code 21-1-01 through 21-7-14
Iowa Yes Iowa Code § 99B.6
Kansas No Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-4302
Kentucky Yes Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 239.500-570,995
Louisiana Yes La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 4:701-740; § 27-402
Maine Yes Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17 § 331
Maryland Yes Md. Code Title 13 Gaming
Massachusetts Yes Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 271 § 7A
Michigan Yes Mich. Comp. Laws § 432.101 et seq.
Minnesota Yes Minn. Stat. §§ 349.11 to 349.23
Mississippi Yes Miss. Code Ann. § 97-33-50 et seq.
Missouri Yes Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 313.005 to 313.080
Montana Yes Mont. Code Ann. § 23-5-413; Mont. Admin. R. § 23-16-2602
Nebraska Yes Neb. Rev. Stat.§ 9-1,101 et seq.
Nevada Yes Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 462-064; 462-130 to 462-200
New Hampshire Yes N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 287-A:1 to 287-A:11
New Jersey Yes N.J. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 5:8-50 to 5:8-
New Mexico Yes N.M. Stat. Ann.§§ 60-2F-1 to 60-2F-26
New York Yes N.Y. Rac. Wag. Law §§ 185 to 195r
North Carolina Yes N.C. Gen. Stat.§ 14-309.15; § 105‑130.11 et seq.
North Dakota Yes N. D. Cent. Code§ 53-06.1
Ohio Yes Oh. Rev. Code. Ann. § 2915.092
Oklahoma Yes Okla. Stat. tit. 3A, §§ 401 to 427
Oregon Yes Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 464-250 to -995 and Or. Admin. R. 137-025-0020 to -0310
Pennsylvania Yes 10 Pa. Code §§ 311 to 327
Rhode Island Yes R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-19-1 et seq.; 41-3-1 et seq.
South Carolina No S.C. Code Ann. §16-19-10 et seq.
South Dakota Yes S.D. Const. § 25;S.D. Codified Laws § 22-25-23 et seq.
Tennessee Yes Tenn. Code Ann.§ 3-17-101 et seq.
Texas Yes Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 2002
Utah No Utah Const. Art. 4, Sec. 27
Vermont Yes Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13 § 2143
Virginia Yes Va. Code Ann. §§ 15.2-912.2; 18.2-334.2; 18.2-340-16 et seq.
Washington Yes Wash. Rev. Code. Ann. § 9.46.0311
Washington, D.C. Yes D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 30, § 1500 et seq.
West Virginia Yes W. Va. Code R. § 47-21-1 et seq.
Wisconsin Yes Wis. Stat. Ann. § 563-90 et seq.
Wyoming Yes Wyo. Code R. § 6-7-101


The information and links provided on this site are intended as an informational resource. is not responsible for content provided on websites which are linked to from this site. No warranties or guarantees are implied or expressed. Information on this site is not meant as a substitute for advice given from a licensed attorney. Consult with an attorney to ensure compliance with state and local regulations, or risk investigation and/or penalties if a complaint is filed or law enforcement agencies become aware of non compliant activities.

What information should be printed on raffle tickets?

There are key pieces of information that need to be on raffle tickets. There needs to be a section for the purchaser to fill out which will then be put in the drawing container (or raffle drum). The ticket needs to require the purchaser’s name, address, and phone number. You may wish to ask for the person’s email address and have a check box for them to choose if they would like to be added to your email newsletter. This could be an optional, not required field for them to fill out.

On the other part of the ticket print the information about the drawing: the organization’s name, address and/or city, state, phone number, date of the raffle, list of major prizes, and website. Give this stub to the purchaser to keep.

Numbered tickets will enhance the professionalism of your tickets and give your coordinator an easy way to keep track of the number sold. Numbered tickets are also required for some states raffle regulations. Raffle ticket software makes numbering tickets easy.

From Raffle Secrets:

While each state does have different regulations as to what must appear on a raffle ticket, here is a very basic list of what should appear on each portion of the ticket.

On the portion the TICKET BUYER keeps:

  • Name of the non-profit conducting the raffle
  • The date and time of the drawing
  • The location of the drawing- use a specific address, not just the name of the building or business
  • The grand prize and any other lesser prizes that will be awarded
  • The ticket number and the number of total tickets printed- e.g. 0088 of 1,000
  • The amount each ticket costs- e.g. $5 or 5 for $20
  • The statement “Person need not be present to win” (if required)
  • The raffle license number issued by the state (if required)

On the portion the NON-PROFIT keeps (also known as “the stub”):

  • Name of the non-profit conducting the raffle
  • The date of the drawing
  • The buyer’s full name
  • The buyer’s phone number
  • The buyer’s address (street, city, state, zip code)
  • The buyer’s email address

Are raffles legal in the United States?

Some states allow raffles while others do not.

Some states require that you submit a registration form in advance. Other states require a filing fee. It is important to research the laws that apply to the state where the raffle will be taking place.

Some cities, counties/parishes also have additional laws on the books that govern raffles. You should contact local government offices to inquire about the regulations in your local area.

In the states where raffles are legal, the proceeds must benefit a registered charitable organization or school. The raffle cannot be a for-profit money making venture for a business or individual.

Click here for a list of laws by state

Disclaimer: The information and links provided on this site are intended as an informational resource. is not responsible for content provided on websites which are linked to from this site. No warranties or guarantees are implied or expressed. Information on this site is not meant as a substitute for advice given from a licensed attorney. Consult with an attorney to ensure compliance with state and local regulations, or risk investigation and/or penalties if a complaint is filed or law enforcement agencies become aware of non compliant activities.

Where can we buy a raffle drum?

The raffle drum is the container that holds the remitted portion of the raffle ticket.  These are the tickets that have the buyer’s information.   Most groups want to purchase a nice raffle drum in order to make the drawing first fair and above board, and secondly for dramatic effect.  It’s fun to watch the presenters turn the raffle drum, watch the tickets spin and hope that they pull out your ticket as the winner!

There are a variety of raffle drums available such as those made out of brass and others that are clear made from acrylic materials.  You will want to estimate the number of tickets to be sold at your raffle and buy a drum that will be the right size.  Raffle drums can be bought at online stores such as

How much should we charge for raffle tickets?

The amount that you charge for raffle tickets depends on the value of the prizes offered.

For low value items such as gift baskets, $1 per ticket is normal.

For mid level value items such as televisions and some travel, $5 per ticket is normal.

For the largest value prizes automobiles, boats, or large travel prizes $10-$20 per ticket is usually best. Some raffles which restrict the number of tickets sold will charge $50 or $100 per ticket. The logic is that the person buying the ticket has a better chance of winning and will be more likely to buy a ticket.

Deciding on the ticket price is an important step in your raffle planning. The ticket price should be related both to the value of the items and to the market that you will be selling tickets to. Charge too much and people will not want to buy… charge too little and your fundraiser will not be as successful as it could be.