No Raffle Ticket Targets – Don’t bother!

“We can’t set parents targets” Roger said firmly as we planned our first online school raffle. “Since we are asking for their help, it would be rude to tell them how many tickets to sell” he went on to say. He felt strongly about this and it didn’t take long to get the majority of committee members on side. We ended up voting to run the raffle without targets and left in the hands of our parents to decide their level of contribution. It was the wrong decision and our raffle wasn’t the success we had hoped for. How bad was it? I’ll fill you in a bit later.

Why targets are always a good idea

Zig Ziglar put it this way:

“You can’t hit a target you cannot see, and you cannot see a target you do not have”

In any sales process, targets are important to let sellers know what is expected of them and what they should strive for. Targets can motivate your best sellers and be used to make others accountable for their effort and results. Raffles are no exception and work best when everyone knows what they need to achieve and are well led to achieve it.

Did you know? Providing targets and making progress visible, typically results in performance increasing by 25% or more.

How to set your effective targets

SMART is an acronym used to guide effective target setting. The concept was first introduced by George T Doran in 1981.

 It suggests targets should be:






Learn more about SMART targets.

Ok, let’s apply this to raffles…..

It is vital that you set your ticket sellers a target, regardless of which raffle type and the ticket pricing method you’ve chosen.


Set a target that is clear, explicit and unambiguous. Ticket sellers must know what is expected of them and what they need to aim for. Set the target as number of tickets or amount of funds to be raised. Sellers will know exactly what they need to achieve. It is black and white and needs little explanation.


Make targets quantifiable, so progress can be accurately tracked all the way through to accomplishment. Both tickets and funds targets are easy to measure and track when it comes to raffles.

Tracking performance is half the job. Make it visible to promote diligence and a feeling of achievement. It feels good to achieve an outcome, whether it’s completing your to-do list, meeting your step count for the day or selling your quota of raffle tickets. For this reason, a good online raffle platform should have leaderboards and other visuals, that display individual results and the overall progress of your campaign.

If incentives are being linked to performance, it is even more important to ensure targets are measurable. It needs to be clear when certain levels of achievement have been met.

If your raffle incorporates bonus tickets (ie 1 ticket for $5 or 3 for $10), set the Individual Target in funds to be raised. A target based on tickets sales, will give you variable results when it comes to the actual amount of funds you raise.

Ensure targets are ACHIEVABLE 

A good target should be challenging but achievable. Sellers must believe they can reach their target, or it will impact their motivation to do so.

As a starting point, individual targets can be calculated by dividing your fundraising goal by the number of sellers you have.

Example: Fixed price of $5 per raffle ticket (no bonus tickets)

Fundraising Goal: 2000 Tickets or $10,000

Divided by

Number of Ticket Sellers: 100


Individual Target: 20 Tickets or $100 each

Be realistic about the number of ticket sellers you have available. Overstating sellers will result in Individual Targets that are too low to ensure the accomplishment of your Fundraising Goal. If you have been realistic about the number of sellers you have, but theirtarget is too high, the only way to make it more achievable is by reducing your Fundraising Goal.

 Set identical targets for every seller. Although you may feel some people can sell more ticket than others, this is normally subjective and shouldn’t be considered when target setting. Instead, encourage your sellers to exceed their targets by focusing on competition, recognition and incentives.

Keep targets RELEVANT

Individual Targets should always support your overarching goal. As such, they should be directly related to achieving the Fundraising Goal for your raffle.

Your Fundraising Goal is the figure you want to raise PLUS an extra amount to cover all costs associated with your raffle such as prizes, printing or online platform fees. If all your sellers reach their Individual Target, you will invariably reach your Fundraising Goal. A great way of keeping costs down is to seek donated prizes.

Top Tip: You will get greater buy-in from your sellers by helping them understand how important reaching their Individual Target is to achieving the overall Fundraising Goal. Use communications such as “We are counting on our 300 generous school families to each raise $100. With everyone’s help, we’ll reach our goal of $30000 in no time”.

Targets must be TIME-BOUND 

Set a draw date for your raffle that allows enough time for your sellers to achieve their target. Timing that is too short could impact the profitability of your raffle. Too long and it is hard to maintain enthusiasm and momentum.

So, how did we end up doing in our school raffle? Our goal was to raise $10,000 and we ended up raising $4150. By the time we recovered the $800 we spent on the prizes, we were left with $3350 (less platform fees). We worked hard but found it difficult to engage the support of our school families. Although we were disappointed, it was an experience that we learnt a lot from.\

The lesson is quite simple really! We like to know what is expected of us, whether it be at work, in our relationships and most other aspects of life. It’s no different when it comes to raffles. Use the SMART methodology to set expectations for your ticket sellers and you’re well on your way to achieving superior raffle results. It’s also important to avoid these 10 common raffle mistakes if you really want to knock it out of the park!




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