I have long been an advocate of using sweepstakes (or raffles) to raise money. We had a very successful sweeps while I was at Thirteen and here at CBA, we’ve helped KQED run their very successful raffle for quite some time.
Sweeps got a bunch of bad press in the 90s as some of them (not ones that non-profits ran) were seen as deceptive, especially to the elderly. As a result, many non-profits let theirs fall to the wayside (including Thirteen unfortunately).
That’s too bad, as sweeps can be very profitable because they give donors another way to give. Some donors like a premium for their gift, others like to go to events — and some want a chance to win something! When done right, sweeps can also extend the brand of the organization running — it doesn’t have to be bad.
This week, The NonProfit Times published an article which I hope will usher in a new wave of non-profits trying sweeps out. It features our own Brooke Coneys who helps manage KQED’s program and also former CBA employee George Whelan (also a colleague of mine at Thirteen). It also features another former Thirteener, Fred Brown and sweeps consultant Marla Altberg, who both ran the day-to-day sweeps operation there. I can’t think of a better group of experts to speak about the benefits of a sweeps program.