Here’s a touchy subject.
From a fundraising perspective, I’m not a fan of teachers attending school fundraising auctions.
- They often attend the event for free, which hits the catering budget.
- They typically don’t purchase anything, as their lower salaries don’t allow for it. That means there is no donation to offset the ticket revenue loss.
- And — gosh, I don’t know how to say this any other way — if we have a loud group causing a distraction to bidding guests in the room, 99% of the time, it’s drunk teachers. (I’m being honest.)
Though a few teachers “get it” and behave with the utmost class by showing appreciation (even thanking!) the donors attending, many others don’t. Again and again and again among my clients, if there is a problem with a particular group or section of the room acting obnoxiously loud or distracting, it’s inebriated teachers. I can waive off the first two points easier than I can overlook the third.
(There are methods of involving teachers in auctions that I like, but that’s for another blog post.)
If I’m not a fan of having all your teachers attend the school auction, what *am* I a fan of?
Teacher-only raffles. Let’s reward teachers with raffle designed with them in mind.
Several of my school auction committees offer this concept, though they implement it in different ways.
- One school offers a “Teacher Getaway Raffle.” Tickets are $25 and sold online only. Anyone can purchase the tickets, and the winning teacher does not need not be present to win. “Give a teacher the opportunity to relax for a week at a waterfront home!” The prize is one week in a nice home, located about an hour away.
- Another school runs a “Faculty and Staff Raffle” (see photo for how it is described in the auction catalog). Anyone — parents, teachers, faculty — can buy tickets for the raffle, but the winner *must* be a faculty or staff member. The prize is a collection of gift cards. This raffle is sold onsite only, and the name of the designated winner is written on the back of the ticket. It’s $10 for one ticket or six for $50.
- A third school offers a low cost ($5 or $10 per ticket) “Teacher Raffle” that can only be purchased by teachers. The prize varies annually, from a technology gadget (Echo, tablet) to local weekend getaways.
Looking for other auction raffle ideas?
If raffles are legal in your area, here’s a resource with more ideas on raffle concepts, how to sell more tickets, strategies for upsells, etc.
You’ll even get bonuses. For instance, one of the templates is an entire page of “one liners” your ticket sellers can use to approach strangers. These are phrases my own staff uses to open the conversation with guests during the reception period.
(Volunteers often feel awkward when they are asked to interrupt your guests, trying to get them to buy a raffle ticket. These phrases make it easy for volunteers to become raffle sales pros.)
Check out Rockin’ Raffles: How to select, structure, and sell the most profitable raffles for your gala for the least amount of work.
Roger Devine says
If you are going to sell raffle tickets online, please check the state raffle laws first – in some jurisdictions, this can be considered online gambling. And in most, you are restricted in selling tickets only to people 18 or older, and who live in the state whose laws you are operating under – both of which are more difficult to enforce with online sales. There are ways to at least make purchasers affirm that they meet these requirements; just make sure you put those in place.
Sherry Truhlar says
Thanks for weighing in!