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How to Organize a Gift Basket Raffle Fundraiser

Sharon has been an online writer for over eight years. Her articles focus on everything from cooking recipes to money-making strategies.

Organizing a Gift Basket Raffle

Welcome! So, you're interested in holding a gift basket raffle. You've come to the right place. You will find everything you need to know (and then some) about organizing a successful gift basket raffle fundraiser. I’ve brainstormed some pretty creative ideas to share with you.

There are eight steps below—let’s get started.

Who wouldn't love to receive this gift basket?

Who wouldn't love to receive this gift basket?

Step One: Decisions

First, it's time to make some decisions.

  • Do you have the funds to purchase the baskets and their contents? Or will you be soliciting donations? You will make the most profit if you solicit donated items from local businesses. Businesses are often willing to donate as a way to advertise their products and services, and your baskets will be filled with brand-new items at no cost to the fundraiser.
  • Who will be doing all the work? Set up a team that will work together on this fundraiser. Determine set jobs for each member to ensure that everything that needs to be done gets done.
  • How much money do you wish to raise? This will help determine how many total baskets should be included in the raffle.
  • Who is your target audience that will likely purchase raffle tickets? This will give you an idea of which basket themes would be best.
  • How many total baskets will be created? If the target audience is a group that has 100 members, you may want to only create three baskets or so. If the audience is much larger, let’s say a well-attended carnival, create a dozen baskets to ensure a great profit.

Step Two: Choosing a Basket

To keep your costs low, you can find baskets at a thrift store for a minimal cost. You may also know people who are willing to donate unused baskets.

But, wait! The container does not actually have to be a basket. For example, let’s say you are creating a basket for a baby. Why not use an infant bathtub and then fill it with related items? Or, let’s say your basket theme is “kitchen.” Use a large soup pot as your basket and then fill it with kitchen items.

You will find many creative “basket” ideas in the chart below.

Hat Box

Picnic Basket

Garbage Can

Baby Bath Tub

Sewing Basket

Wash Bucket/Pail

Plastic Storage Container

Market Shopping Basket

Ice Bucket

Large Gift Bag

Large Soup Pot

Large Roasting Pan

Beach Bag


Plant/Flower Box

Tool Box

Lunch Box

Dog Bed

Cat Litter Box


Easter Basket

Step Three: Themes and Content Ideas

The key is to choose basket themes and content that will attract those that are likely to purchase raffle tickets. You want to make sure you have enough baskets to entice many different tastes.

I've created 24 different theme title ideas for your baskets, including ideas for what each themed basket might contain. Have fun with this and include your own unique ideas too.

Created by Sharyn's Slant

Created by Sharyn's Slant

Step Four: Gather Baskets and Contents

Now, it’s time to begin shopping and or soliciting. Collect all the baskets (containers) that are needed and their contents. Each basket should have at least one “big ticket” item that is the focal or selling point of its theme.

Step Five: Putting It All Together

Schedule a time when all members of the fundraising team are available to put the baskets together. Arrange the baskets as attractively as possible. Use tissue paper to line the bottom of the basket/container to add color. Use cellophane to seal the baskets and then decorate them with ribbon or a bow if desired (see video below).

Also, have a numbered container available for each basket to place the raffle tickets in. Number the container to coincide with the numbered basket. You may wish to paste the basket description to the container.

Step Six: Number and Describe Each Gift Basket

Type or write out a list including the basket theme and all of its contents. On this list, be sure to acknowledge the business names who donated items. Add an "estimated value" if you wish.

Number each corresponding basket, content list, and raffle ticket container.

Below is a Sample Basket Description Sheet.

Created by Sharyn's Slant

Created by Sharyn's Slant

Step Seven: Market Your Fundraiser! Advertise, Display Baskets and Sell Tickets

  • It is important to give yourself time to sell enough tickets to make a good profit. For example, sell these raffle tickets during a long-weekend carnival. You could sell tickets at “bingo night” for four weeks in a row, stating when exactly the winner will be announced.
  • Let people know up front if the winner needs to be present at the drawing. Obviously, chances are you will sell many more tickets if the winner does NOT need to be present.
  • Make posters to advertise the fundraiser. Advertise in a group newsletter or church bulletin, for example. Let people know what the proceeds will be used for.
  • Display baskets on clean tables with attractive tablecloths.
  • Consider offering a discount to those that purchase multiple tickets. For example: 1 ticket for $1, 6 tickets for $5, 13 tickets (baker’s dozen) for $10.
  • Allow ticket buyers to choose which basket they are trying to win. Have them place 1/2 of their ticket (with name and phone number) in the container that coincides with the basket(s) they are interested in winning. They will hold on to the other half of the ticket to show proof that they are a winner.

Step Eight: Announce Gift Basket Raffle Winners

Set an exact date and time when the winners will be announced. If this will take place at a large event, use a microphone and advertise that the raffle is coming to an end. “Hurry, come get your tickets now. There are only _____ minutes (or _____ hours) left until the winner is announced.”

Draw and announce the winners.

Have fun and be sure to thank everyone for their support.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: We want to sell two baskets of wine at a raffle. How much should we charge for the tickets?

Answer: Charge $1 for each ticket and six tickets for $5. If they are high-quality, expensive wine, try charging $5 each and five for $20.

Question: We have two large liquor baskets for our event, and were wondering what would be more profitable; raffle tickets, or silent auction?

Answer: I believe raffle tickets is the way to go!

Question: We want to give out two Valentine's baskets for a raffle. How much should we charge for the tickets?

Answer: The easiest and most popular would be $1 per ticket and six tickets for $5.

Or, you could do $2 per ticket and three tickets for $5.

Question: We are having a raffle drawing with 40+ baskets. What type of container or bag would you use for the tickets and should it include items in the basket?

Answer: You need a "container" for tickets for each basket. I've used paper bags taped to the item with the number written on the bag. I've also spray painted Folder's 1 pound plastic coffee containers and then used a stencil to paint paw prints for a dog rescue I volunteer for. I like this idea because you put the lit on and cut a slit in it, and therefore, no one can take tickets out.

Question: Raffling off a cruise gift themed gift basket- beach bag with other items and a gift certificate for 250.00 towards a cruise itself. 1.00 seems low per ticket but I don't want to turn people off. Pricing suggestions?

Answer: I don't feel you would turn people off if the prize is worth it. I would make sure people are aware of the value of the basket.

Try $5 each ticket or $5 tickets for $20. So if they can spend the $20, they will get an extra ticket.

OR $2 each ticket or 6 for $10.

Question: Is it illegal to do a fundraising basket just for family fun?

Answer: No of course not. Have fun!

Question: What places would be good to ask for donations to gift baskets? What places have you used for gift basket donations?

Answer: Well, just about anywhere! Where I live, I've gone to restaurants, of course, any mom & pop shops, veterinarians, bowling alley's, sports bars, pet stores, grocery stores, gas stations, ice cream shops, pizza parlors, exercise places, fast food restaurants, specialty shops, garden centers, auto repair shops, hair boutiques, nail salons, putt putt - summer fun places, and so many more. Take a chance even if you think it is a quirky idea. You never know who would be willing to donate, especially if their business gets advertised through your event.