November is the month when animal rescues promote adoptions of Senior Pets. One of the many fundraisers that could be done this time of year to celebrate these special pets is the Thanksgiving Dinner Raffle. There are many families in your town who would love to have a complete meal cooked for them. Here’s how to do it…
Basis: Your group sells raffle tickets where the winner will receive a fully cooked Thanksgiving meal for 8 people, complements of donations from local grocery stores or from your volunteers.
Note: Be sure to follow the rules of raffles in your state. Check with your Secretary of State for more info on hosting raffles to determine if there is a registration or permit your group will need for this event. If using the volunteer- twist, then this event should be treated like a bake sale, following the rules of proper labeling, and noting the lack of a health inspection in the kitchens used.
How it works: Your group can ask a grocery store, deli, caterer or restaurant to donate a fully cooked turkey for your group to raffle off. Some of your donors may also throw in a few side dishes to round out your meal. The winner will be drawn by the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so everyone knows how to proceed. The winner will pick up their meal items at the store or retaurant the morning of Thanksgiving, or other special arrangements can be made.
Or, if you can’t get a turkey donated, ask your volunteers to each prepare one dish for the meal, to be ready by noon on Thanksgiving day. By breaking up the meal items and asking each family to prepare one dish, the burden is dispersed over several people. Your group members should have the meal brought to a central location, such as your shelter or another convenient meeting place.
Vegetarian Option: Your group may elect to host a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner to avoid dealing with meat products. You can double up on the number of side dishes to include a pumpkin soup, cauliflower casserole, or winter squash dish. This option would allow the winner to add in their own cooked ham or turkey if they choose to do so, or leave it as a vegetarian meal.
Advertisements: Create fliers to place in work places, bulletin boards, and around town. Contact the media to announce your press release for your 1st Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Raffle. Post the complete menu on fliers and in announcements, so winners know there will be several dishes on the menu. State whether you are using the award winning apple pie recipe from the county fair, or a donated dinner from ____ Restaurant, known for their amazing rolls and glazes. Generate enthusiasm and watering mouths with your fliers and press releases.
Where to sell: Sell tickets to FRANK! That stands for Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbors and Kids’ contacts (coaches, teachers, friends’ parents). You can also get permission to sell tickets in front of the store that is donating the dinner items. They will receive good publicity, community goodwill and public acknowledgment from your ticket selling. Be sure to have your volunteers sign out the tickets that they will be financially responsible for. Create a sign-out sheet and keep track of # of tickets sold. Your volunteers should also carry around a zip topper bag filled with tickets, a pen, and some change. People will ask what’s in the bag, and they have a great conversation starter to talk about the raffle and the group.
Give discounts for multiple ticket purchases. Typically, a raffle ticket for this sort of prize would start at $1 each or 6 for $5. You can also create a Baker’s Dozen where you have 13 tickets for $10. This gives the donor more free chances to win by purchasing more tickets.
For those who say they will be out of town during Thanksgiving and don’t need a meal, ask them if they would donate the winning meal to the local food bank. What a great way to help two causes with one ticket purchase.
Fundraising potential: From $300 to $1,000 or more!
Alternatives: This raffle can also be done for Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter or Mother’s Day with fantastic results!