Contest Mama

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Among the joys of coordinating fundraising our non-profit is dealing
with raffles. My team is a great set of hustlers. They canvassed the
local business community for prizes for our annual dance and raffle
and got forty, count them, forty prizes. They range in value from a cup
of coffee daily for a week to a three-day weekend at a vacation cabin.
The bad news is that we now have only fifteen days to run the raffle.
Our goal is to raise awareness of the organization and raising
attendance at the upcoming fundraiser: a summer formal ball we hold
under the full moon. One good thing: because one of our board
members owns the local FM station, we get lots of free airtime. How
can I use the donations well?

Contest Mama

Dear Contest Mama:

My gut says divide the prizes into two sections: some for the publicity
and others for the event. Rank them in value. Use the lesser half for
the publicity. Ask the radio station to announce the contest for a few
days first: entry free to all. I don’t know the per person cost of the
fundraiser dance, but consider having anyone who the radio contest
entered into a special drawing for a free pair of tickets to the dance.
Be sure each ad for the drawing and each pull of a name mentions the
name of the non-profit, its mission, info about the big event, plus your

The radio contest can be answer a trivia question about your
community or organization, a simple pull the name out of a hat for
people who email in, or the __th caller after the announcer says dial,
with the prizes awarded one or two times a day starting now. Three
days before the event have a drawing for tickets, with participants
(other than call-in winners) having to enter on your website. Then give
the dance tix away with fanfare. The rest of the donations you can do
at a silent or live auction, or as a door prize pulling names out of a