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Art Raffle Fundraiser

A fun way to raise funds is doing an art raffle fundraiser. Essentially, you host an event where local artists donate a sample of their work and your group sells a select number of high-dollar raffle tickets, usually the same number as donated art items. The tickets are then randomly drawn at a gallery-style event and each ticket holder selects their artwork right off the walls.

Getting started
To pull of this type of fundraising event, you'll need extensive contacts in the art community to get donated artwork, an upscale location for the event, and some good publicity to attract well-heeled art patrons.

While an art gallery would be a great location, it isn't absolutely essential. A corporate headquarters location, convention center, or community meeting place will also make good locations. You need a well-known location with plenty of parking and permission or permits to serve food and alcoholic beverages.

Getting art donated
Artists want exposure to large gatherings of potential buyers, but they don't want to work for free. You have to convince them that the exposure is well worth their donation.

One approach is to invite them to the event where they can mingle with the art patrons, describe their pieces, and make contacts for other sales.

Another approach is to prominently feature each artist's biography, along with pictures and descriptions of the type of work they do, and include their contact information in a booklet distributed to all event attendees.

Getting publicity
Your art raffle definitely needs publicity to succeed. Create a press release and get copies of it to every newspaper, radio station and television station in your market. Be sure to include full contact information for media interviews.

Also include links to your website where additional information can be found about the event, your cause, and further descriptions of participating artists and the artwork being offered.

A catchy name for your event definitely helps. Try something like "Off The Wall Fundraiser" or cause-related like "Art Against AIDS." Above all, make the name unique, relevant, and memorable.

Raffle ticket sales
To raise significant funds, you must price your raffle tickets high. Try to closely match the ticket price with the average selling price of the donated artwork while still offering a bargain.

If the average piece sells for 0, then price accordingly, but not so high you scare off potential buyers. In this instance, a ticket price in the 5 to 0 range is still a bargain. You have to remember that each ticket holder gets to select from only the artwork left on the walls when their number is drawn.

You can also consider offering two classes of tickets, with one being restricted to super premium pieces. However, one of the big draws of these events is the dream that their ticket gets drawn early and they get to grab a really expensive, highly desirable piece of art.

Event details
Make it a fun atmosphere with lots of time to mingle, offer wine and cheese tastings, provide a cash bar, have an interesting guest speaker, etc. By providing a buildup to the raffle drawing, you make it an event to remember and build a base for a repeat event next year.

Have a master of ceremonies do the actual drawing and include a drum roll sound effect for at least the first ticket drawn. Take pictures or video of each winner's mad dash to claim their coveted artwork.

Once people have made their selections, allow whatever swapping of artwork that people want. Have some sort of special prize drawing at the end to encourage people to stay for the whole event.

Wrap everything up at the stated hour and thank everyone for their support of your art raffle fundraiser!

About the Author: Kimberly Reynolds writes about fundraising and helpful tips on fundraisers for, charities and other non-profit groups.

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