A fundraiser is a great way to way raise money for charities or non-profits. Although, running a successful fundraiser is easier said than done. No matter how big or small the event, there’s one thing we can always attribute to their successes: proper planning! For example, when we ask hosts ”How much money would you like to raise?” most realize they haven’t given it any thought. Key steps like setting revenue goals are a crucial part of the planning process. Another important factor is to determine what tables are legal to use in your state. For example in the state of CA, games such as roulette, blackjack, banking or percentage games, and dice games, when offered for play for anything of value, are prohibited by Penal Code section 330. These games are prohibited as they are not controlled games, and therefore cannot lawfully be offered at charitable fundraising events –https://oag.ca.gov/gambling/charitable, for more information. Every state is different so it is imperative to check with your local legislative to see what is acceptable at your fundraising event.
Calculating Revenue & Setting Ticket Prices
Having a realistic goal of how much money you would like to raise is the key starting point. It determines ticket pricing and the limit of your expenses. Ask the following questions:
- How much money do you want to make? =Net Profit
- What’s the max number of tickets you expect to sell? =Tickets
- What is the total amount of projected expenses? =Expenses
- What is the total of my net profit plus all my expenses? =Gross
Net Profit+ Expenses= Gross
Gross / Tickets = Ticket Price
For Example, say you want to raise$3500 at your fundraiser. You aim to sell200tickets and your total expenses are projected to be $1500. To determine what pricing your tickets should be, add $3500 to $1500 which equals $5000 then divide this by the total number of tickets you aim to sell. $5000 divided by 200 is $25 per ticket sold. Once you have calculated the price per ticket, ask yourself if this amount will support your revenue goals. It is possible you may not be able to sell your proposed quantity of tickets at this price. For example, if I sell 175 tickets at a rate of $25 per ticket sold that means I’ve earned $4375 from my event. With my expenses estimated at $1500, I would net only $2875 from the fundraiser which is under my target. To account for this, ask yourself if you are undercharging guests. It is possible you will not sell as many tickets as you expect to.
Let’s take the previous example. Your fundraiser sold 175 tickets but, instead of $25 per ticket, you charged guests $30 per ticket which is a 20% raise. At this amount, if you sold the same amount of tickets, you would earn $5250. Subtract from this your total expenses ($1500) and your net profit would be $3750 which is $250 over your target amount.
When pricing tickets you want to choose an amount that ensures you will meet your goals but will not discourage guests from attending. If you are worried about ticket sales, remember there are other ways to generate revenue at a fundraiser.
When generating revenue, casino fundraisers do not need to be restricted to ticket sales only. One or more of the following channels can generate revenue:
Table sponsorship is an excellent strategy to distribute the total cost of the event and reduce the overall amount you payout. Hosts can organize sponsors into different levels giving each business or individual a chance of participating in the fundraiser. For example, a High Roller sponsorship would sponsor a table for $200 and in return would receive $500 in starting chips instead of the normal $100 that guests receive at the start of the event. The non-profit organization is giving the individual additional casino chips which cost it nothing and in essence are cashing in on an advanced re-buy from the guest. The sponsor gets more chips to play with and advertising. Plus the donation is a tax write-off for them since the organization would be a registered non-profit. In the end, table sponsorship gives businesses and individuals an amazing opportunity to get public recognition and benefits the non-profit’s cause.
Re-buys can be a huge part of casino fundraisers. When guests run out of playing chips they have the ability to purchase more from the host organization. This increases the total revenue and gives players another chance at the casino tables. There are many factors that affect re-buys, such as the affluence of guests, but if done correctly, they can count for a large amount of revenue. One of the key factors is to make sure guests don’t start with a high amount of chips or else re-buys will never occur. Every fundraiser is different but we recommend guests don’t start off with more than $100-$200 each. The only setback to re-buys is that they never guaranteed. Think of them as a nice bonus for your casino fundraiser.
If you are going to give guests the full Vegas Casino experience, then offering them drinks is a must? Adding beverages to the mix is a great way to liven up the party. Also, don’t expect every person at your fundraiser to be playing at the tables. Plan for them to be walking around and socializing with one another.
Having food at any party is a must and party hosts have a lot of options in this area. You can charge guests for the dinner and earn revenue from this which ultimately adds to the event’s total profit. You can include dinner for every guest and charge per plate instead of per person. You can cater the event. In the end, when it comes to food at your fundraiser, the goal is to use it as a way of increasing your total revenue and thus, your total profit.
Auctions are something that can be fun for anyone attending your event. This gives guests an alternative activity to playing at the casino table and another opportunity to engage in the festivities.