How to Organise a School Fundraiser

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How to Organise a School Fundraiser

Organising a school fundraising raffle is one of the easiest ways to fundraise and to get members of your community involved in a cause. In addition, the amount of effort required to organise a raffle is relatively small compared to planning other kinds of fundraising events.

Despite raffle fundraising being easy, there are specific State Regulations and best practices school administrators need to understand before conducting a School Fundraiser. 

Here is the most essential information you will need when planning a successful raffle fundraiser.

Legal Considerations for School Raffle Fundraising

Before moving on to the actual steps of planning a School Raffle Fundraiser, let’s take a quick look at the legislative framework across Australia.

A raffle can only be conducted to raise funds for a not-for-profit organisation. A not-for-profit organisation is a body of persons that is not formed for private gain – e.g. charities, schools, sporting clubs, social clubs, registered clubs, political parties, trade unions and incorporated associations.

If more than one prize is being offered in the raffle, the major prize must be drawn first and the other prizes then drawn in descending order of number and value.

Listed below are the most important things to keep in mind before conducting a raffle:

  • Queensland: A permit is not required for total gross proceeds of more than $2,000 but not more than $50,000 (total ticket sales). General gaming records need to be kept for a period of five years unless a shorter period is approved by the chief executive.
  • New South Wales: A permit is not required for total prizes valued up to $30,000. Ticket-butts and draw documents must be kept for at least 3 months after the date of the draw.
  • ACT: A permit is required for total prizes greater than $2,500. Ticket-butts and draw documents must be kept for at least 3 months after the date of the draw.
  • South Australia: A permit is not required for total prizes valued up to $5,000. Ticket-butts and draw documents must be kept for at least 3 months after the date of the draw.
  • Tasmania: A permit is required where the retail value of the prizes exceed $5,000. 
  • Victoria: A permit is not required if the total prize value is less than $5,000. All not-for-profit organisation must apply for a declaration status. General gaming records shall be kept for a period of three years. Winners details must be advertised is a form of publication i.e. newspaper, website, newsletter.
  • Western Australia: A permit is required to conduct a raffle. (Permit is not required if prize value is under $1,000). General gaming records must be kept for one year after the permit has expired. Winners details must be advertised is a form of publication ie. newspaper, website, newsletter.

Planning a School Raffle Fundraiser

Once you’re familiar with the regulatory requirements, it’s time to start the actual work of planning a raffle fundraiser.  

Planning involves an initial three steps to ensure transparency and fundraising success.

Firstly, establish a clearly defined purpose for the event. Fundraisers are not only held to gather funds but can also serve to raise awareness, charity or create a cooperative atmosphere in the community.

Secondly, goal setting is another important aspect of school raffle fundraising. Once raffle goals are determined and clearly defined;  it helps structure the planning process towards achievable outcomes and inspires motivation across the school, community and benefactors.

Thirdly, you should identify your target audience. Are you targeting groups or individuals? Who are participants and who are benefactors? Knowing who you’re targeting will help decide the type of event you should conduct.

Once purpose, goals and target audiences are established.  More specific questions should be considered in your planning.

  • Will a large general raffle or a more targeted event be appropriate?
  • What raffle package will be selected and what package will be the most suitable? 
  • What are the costs involved and what do you need to do to get setup and started? 
  • How will you promote the Raffle Fundraiser (word of mouth, social media, school posters, a publication in a local media outlet)?
  • Do you require extra prizes in the raffle draw with prize details included on the raffle ticket?
  • When and where will the raffle draw be held?
  • How soon will you distribute tickets among students and how will you encourage their sale?

If you are targeting a more general audience, professionally printed raffle books and materials including promotional posters should be provided to every family for distribution. In the second instance, targeted raffles can be used to support specific activities or generate funds for one purpose (providing sports teams with the right equipment, enabling the school to compete in an international event, ensuring scholarships for underprivileged children, etc).

Next, you will need to determine the number of tickets that will potentially be sold in the raffle. This is a very important preliminary step because it more or less determines the fundraising potential of the entire event. It is generally recommended that one ticket book is supplied to each family. You also need to consider how many ticket books you need to sell to cover the fundraising costs and to ensure your School Raffle Fundraiser is a great success. 

Where to Sell and Promote your School Raffle Tickets 

Promoting your school fundraiser effectively requires the right mix of event, people, location and marketing. Here are some popular promotional ideas for creating awareness of your School Raffle.

  • Assign books to families 
  • Fetes/school events
  • Sporting clubs 
  • Shopping centres
  • Word of mouth 
  • School events
  • Social media
  • School newsletter

Keep in mind planning a fundraising event requires hard work and a clear track to achieve goals. The scope of fundraising ideas are endless but choosing those that create school and community buy in are the most successful and memorable. Here are  our 50 best fundraising ideas you can explore for your upcoming school fundraising event.


January 29, 2020

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