Five Steps to a Successful Tricky Tray

Ultimate Donations: five steps to a successful tricky tray www.UltimateDonations.orgYou’re organization needs to raise some funds and you’ve decided to do a tricky tray. Now what?

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Tricky trays, sometimes also known as “Chinese” auctions or Pick-a-Prize Raffles, are fundraisers that require attendees to purchase raffle tickets and drop them into receptacles for a chance at winning a specific prize. Participants can put as many tickets as they wish in the receptacle in order to increase their chances of winning. Tricky trays can be a stand-alone event, or they can be part of a larger silent auction, gala or other event. Either way, they are a great fundraiser!

So you and your organization have decided you would like to host one. Well, before you get started, here are a few things to consider.

1- Do pick a venue and date that works FOR your organization, not against it.
Is your organization closely related to a school or religious group? If so, think about using their space to host your event. Church halls and school gymnasiums work well because they can accommodate large groups of people. Is your organization supporting a Little League team? Make sure your event is at a kid friendly time so parents don’t have to worry about babysitters. If you have some flexibility with the date, check out our article about how to select the best date for your organization. It gives pros and cons based on all four seasons!

2- Do make sure your attendees know what’s going on.
Think about how you are going to convey information. Will you have access to a sound system to make announcements? Will you hand out a pamphlet with important information like who the fundraiser is benefiting, instructions on how to participate, and when/how winners will be announced? Can you use colorful posters to draw attention to things of interest? The last thing you want is for someone to leave confused and without supporting your cause.

3- Do actively solicit for your items.
DON’T wait for people to come to you! Have your committee members go out and solicit local business for donations. Be sure to have a letter to leave behind so that your organization won’t be forgotten as soon as you leave. If you have a Tax ID number, it may be helpful to include it. And DON’T forget to play up the exposure your donor will receive. Maybe their name will be published in your program, or a stack of business cards will be placed in front of their donations. Businesses love knowing that their donation will ultimately help out their own business, as well as your organization.

Another avenue you should think about trying is soliciting for donations online. This works especially well if you are “short-staffed” or timid about cold-calling and in-person asks. Use to help you find the right items for your fundraiser, and manage the solicitation process. You’ll have access to over 2000 companies that donate to causes just like yours! If you are looking for item donations for your tricky tray or fundraising event, don’t forget to sign up for an account with Select any of our plans Bronze (free), Silver, or Gold. Once you have selected your plan that’s it. There is no risk, no additional costs, and no hidden fees. Also, if at all possible, don’t ask your organization members to buy items to donate. The more they spend buying those items to be raffled off, the less they will spend at the actual event which is where you are making your money.

4- Shout it from the rooftops.
DON’T be afraid to advertise to get people to your event! Tell your family, friends, and neighbors. Put up road signs (make sure you check with your town first!), hang flyers at supermarkets, libraries, and local retailers. Utilize your organization’s website and email list. If you don’t have one, create one! You can usually create one for little or no cost. Post to community web forums and pages, put a blurb in a community newsletter or church bulletin. There are even websites out there that post links to Tricky Trays for people! The possibilities are endless. Be creative!

5- Now show me the money!
Take some time to think about how you will maximize your profits. Will  you charge attendance or ask for donations at the door? Can you sell baked goods or drinks? Will you seek local sponsors to help off-set costs (think accountants, doctors, or electricians)? Also, think about selling your tickets as part of a package. People are more inclined to spend a little more if they feel like they are getting a deal. Don’t want to reduce your prices? Include participants in a raffle if they spend a certain amount.

Looking for an easy way to deal with tickets? These tickets {affiliate link} are specifically designed for tricky trays and silent auctions. Each sheet includes a Keep This Ticket for the participant, as well as a Door Prize ticket and 25 raffle tickets per sheet, all using the same number which makes it much easier for participants to figure out if they are winners! We highly recommend you give them a try {affiliate link}!

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!

Hosting a fundraising event and looking for product donations?? Let help you solicit more product donations in less time. Click here to set up your free account today!


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