10 Raffle Ideas for Nonprofits, Charities, and Events

Olivia James
Olivia James

Education at CauseVox

Raffles are a fun and engaging way to raise money at your charity event. Raffles work to add excitement and anticipation to your fundraising event, making it fun for participants and helping you raise more for your organization.

(For our full list of over 200 nonprofit fundraising ideas, check out our post here.)

What is a raffle?

A raffle is a type of lottery in which people enter to win prizes. The prize may be a single item, such as a car or trip, or multiple items, such as a weekend getaway or a basket of goodies. Raffles are often used to raise money for charity or other causes.

How do you run a raffle?

There are a few different ways to run a raffle. The most common is to sell tickets, with each ticket giving the holder a chance to win a prize.

Another way is to have people enter by making a donation to the cause. Still another way is to combine both methods, selling tickets and allowing people to make donations.

What are some good raffle prizes?

Some good raffle prizes include items that people want but may not be able to afford, such as a car or vacation.

Other good prizes are items that are unique or hard to find, such as a piece of jewelry or a work of art. Gift certificates to local businesses are also popular prizes.

How do you choose a winner for a raffle?

There are a few different ways to choose a winner for a raffle. The most common is to draw names out of a hat.

Another way is to have people enter by making a donation to the cause. Still another way is to combine both methods, selling tickets and allowing people to make donations.

What are good raffle ideas?

To help you create the best raffle for your fundraiser, we’ve compiled all our favorite charity raffle ideas that are proven to be fun and effective. Check out all the best charity raffle ideas here:

Easy raffle ideas

  • 50/50 Raffle
charity raffle ideas 50-50

A 50/50 raffle is one of the simplest charity raffle ideas. People can buy tickets for a set amount. At the end of the raffle, you pull a ticket. 

The ticketholder wins half of the money from ticket sales and your organization gets the other half. It’s super easy to set up and can bring in huge dollar amounts. Who doesn’t want to win straight cash?

This is an incredibly easy raffle to run in person (all you really need are a ton of raffle tickets) but it’s also quite simple to run digitally. Just have people purchase raffle tickets through an online tool (you can use CauseVox’s ticketing options for this), and use a random number generator to choose the winner. 

Learn all about running a 50/50 raffle here!

  • Item Raffle

Perhaps the most straightforward of all charity raffle ideas, this is exactly what it sounds like. Get an item donated, sell raffle tickets, then pull a raffle ticket to see who wins the item. This works especially well for one-of-a-kind items or experiences. 

If you can get a supporter of your organization to make or build an item to donate or put together a vacation package, you’re in business! This is a great opportunity to involve a corporate sponsor.

If you are able to get several items donated, you may want to consider a silent auction.

  • Heads Or Tails

Heads or tails is a game that works for in-person events. It’s incredibly engaging and will get your audience pumped up. Attendees can pay to participate. When the time comes to play the game, everyone who’s in stands up. 

The emcee prompts them to pick heads or tails, and they choose by placing their hands on their head or…their tails. The emcee flips a coin. Everyone who picked correctly stays standing. Keep going until there’s only one person left. They win the prize!

Heads-or-tails can easily be replaced with a competitive game of rock-paper-scissors too!

Food raffle prize ideas

  • Wall Of Wine

As a general rule, alcohol makes for pretty great raffle prizes.

The wall of wine is a fun game of chance, and it’s one of our favorite charity raffle ideas. First, you’ll need to get a variety of different wines donated.

Ideally, they’ll be at a wide range of price points, with a few particularly good bottles in there. Give each bottle a number. Participants pay to pull a number, then they receive that bottle. You can do this with other types of alcohol as well.

  • Sucker Pull

If you have a variety of smaller raffle prizes, a sucker pull works perfectly. 

Create a display and add a whole pile of suckers to it. Floral foam works particularly well: you can stick the suckers in it easily.

Some of the suckers should have a mark at the bottom indicating they’re winners (hide that mark in the foam). People choose a sucker. Even if they don’t pick a winner, they still get a sweet treat.

This is a great raffle to add in to other events. It fits wonderfully at a carnival, a craft fair, a resource fair, or even a gala if you dress it up nicely. You’ll want to use it at events with lots of people who are wandering past and in a mood for fun.

  • Bingo

There are plenty of ways to create a charity raffle out of Bingo, but one fun option is to create a Bingo card that has a single square marked as the winner. Players pay to roll the bingo cage and get a number. If they get the correct number, they win! 

You can have multiple cards with small raffle prizes prepped so that people can keep playing after someone wins.

One of the best things about Bingo is that it’s easy to run in person, online, or hybrid. It’s simple enough to send people a PDF of their Bingo sheet to print out and play, then run the game over Zoom, or pay for a single virtual roll of the cage to see if they win the raffle.

We still recommend selling your tickets online, even if you’re choosing the in-person route: it keeps everything easy to manage and in one place.


Kid-friendly raffle ideas

  • Plinko

Plinko is a great visual way for people to play a game of chance. Place different raffle prizes at the bottom of the board. This works especially well if you have a big gap in the worth of the prizes.

Maybe two are stickers, one is a bottle of wine, and one is a beautiful donated item. Players pay to drop in a token and win the prize where their token lands.

  • Golden Ticket

Speaking of sweet treats, the golden ticket is a particularly sweet kind of raffle. Buy a whole passel of candy bars, but hide a special golden ticket inside one of them a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

People can purchase candy bars, and whoever unwraps the ticket wins the raffle! You’ll want to be strategic so that people keep buying. You don’t want the first candy bar to be the winner, so consider selling in advance, or having an “unwrapping” ceremony during your event during which everyone opens their candy bar at the same time.

  • Hidden Diamond

Here’s an option if you want to go big. Ask a local jeweler to act as a sponsor and donate a precious jewel. Then find some cheap plastic or glass jewels that look similar and mix them all together into a bowl. Guests pay to try to pull the real gem. The better your fakes, the more fun. This works best if you run pre-sales so that the real gem doesn’t surface early and end sales.

Use Raffles To Drive Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

If you’re running a peer-to-peer fundraiser and you want to get your fundraisers fired up to raise more money, you can use a raffle to get people excited. There are a few ways to approach this. The first thing you need to decide is when someone will get an entry. You could give an entry for every donation that comes in through a fundraiser’s page. You could give an entry for every $50 a fundraiser brings in. It’s up to you and how you want to incentivize fundraising!

Set an end date for the raffle. When you hit the date, export all the donation information into a spreadsheet (it’s super easy to do through CauseVox) and total up how many tickets each person earned. Then use a random number generator to pick your winner. This works especially well if you announce raffle winners during a livestream: the potential to win raffle prizes keeps people highly engaged during the program.


The Autism Society of Minnesota had raffle drawings throughout their A Toast to AuSM livestream event.

Launch Your Charity Raffle Fundraiser With CauseVox

CauseVox helps you raise more with less effort, whether you’re running an in-person event or a virtual raffle.

Use CauseVox to easily spin up a fundraising campaign for your event with integrated event ticketing – helping you easily raise more and sell more tickets! No need to deal with complex, antiquated systems. CauseVox makes it easy for you to run and manage your fundraiser in less time + with less hassle.

Learn more about how you can use CauseVox for your ticketed events.

Editor’s note: This post was originally rewritten in May 2021 and was updated in July 2022 for freshness and accuracy.

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