Do you need donations for your nonprofit or charitable organization? With the holidays in full swing, ’tis the season to run a holiday raffle fundraiser.

You won’t just be raising much-needed funds. You’ll be making many spirits bright. 

  • Every participant feels like a winner because they support a great cause - whether they take home the grand prize or not. 
  • Your organization gets the financial support it needs, and 
  • You get to make a greater impact.

You could call that a win-win-win. 

But where do you start? How does a holiday raffle fundraiser work? 

This blog post covers the basics, including important information regarding state laws. You’ll also learn to use Braid Pools to collect donations quickly and conveniently. Finally, you’ll get 13 Christmas raffle ideas to entice participants to buy many raffle tickets. 

By the end of this article, you’ll feel confident running a holiday raffle. And with all the funds you raise, you’ll be able to carry on your mission and good work next year.


  • How do raffle fundraisers work?
  • How do I sell raffle tickets for a fundraiser?
  • 3 holiday raffle tips to sell more entry tickets
  • 13 winning holiday raffle ideas
  • Is it legal to run a holiday raffle fundraiser?
  • How to use Braid Pools to collect money for raffle fundraisers 

How do raffle fundraisers work?

Raffles make fundraising fun and engaging for organizations and donors alike. With holiday raffles, you raise much-needed funds and a lucky winner (or two) takes home a fantastic prize, like a turkey or ham. (Keep reading for more enticing prize ideas!) 

Plus, raffles pair wonderfully with other fundraising efforts, like spaghetti dinners or baked good sales, to increase donations even more. 

Raffles are simple. You choose a couple of tantalizing prizes. Then, participants purchase numbered tickets for a chance to win one. And at a specified time, a ticket is drawn randomly, and the holder of the matching number wins. The funds you raise support your nonprofit organization.

Traditionally, raffles are in-person events, but you can also host an online raffle if it's permitted in your state. 

How do I sell raffle tickets for a fundraiser?

Cash probably seems like the simplest way to sell raffle tickets, but Braid makes it even easier. With Braid, you don’t need to worry about cash boxes or cash going missing.

With Braid, participants only need your Pool Link to make cash-free payments and enter to win prizes.

Every money pool has a Pool Link you customize to say precisely what you want. That way, contributors know exactly what the link is for and will feel comfortable clicking on it and buying raffle tickets. 

Pool Links can go anywhere. You can share them via text, email, websites, social media, QR codes, and more. 

If you’re offering one grand prize, followed by a second and third prize, you can create a money pool for each one. Then, you can generate a QR code for each of your three Pool Links. 

Place the corresponding QR codes in front of each prize and invite people to scan the code. From there, they can purchase raffle entries by contributing to the pool. 

They can contribute by debit card for free or by credit card for a 3% fee.

Because Pool Links are quick and convenient to use, people are more likely to purchase entries, and you’re more likely to reach your fundraiser goal.

Why you’ll enjoy selling raffle tickets with Pool Links:

  • You can say goodbye to clunky cash boxes 
  • Every contribution is safe in your Braid Pool
  • Every donation stays separate from your bank account
  • You can turn on instant notifications to see contributions in real-time
  • You can track the pool balance at any time from the app 

How to run a successful online raffle fundraiser

There are so many perks to running an online raffle fundraiser. For one thing, it’s a smart way to keep your overhead costs down. 

It’s also a great way to increase donations. Online fundraisers can have far more participation than in-person events. During the busy holiday season, no one has to carve out time to attend events. They can do everything online. 

Wherever you decide to host your raffle online, collect raffle entry payments with your Pool Link.  Remember, it’s easy to share; anyone can share it and help you expand your outreach and increase donations. 

Don’t forget to check your state and local laws if you intend to use Braid to sell raffle tickets online or at live events. Braid reserves the right to shut down a pool if it violates our terms and conditions.

Ready to start a Braid Pool for your holiday raffle fundraiser? Click here to get started.

3 holiday raffle tips to sell more entry tickets

Now that you know how to use Pool Links to accept payments for raffle tickets, here are three savvy tips to increase donations and reach your fundraising goal. 

1. Know the difference between entry and raffle tickets 

Entries and tickets are different. One entry gives participants one chance to win a prize. 

For example, if one entry costs $10, a $10 raffle ticket is one chance to win, and a $50 raffle ticket gives you five chances to win. Some fundraiser organizers find that offering more entries per ticket positively impacts sales. 

On the other hand, a ticket can be redeemed for raffle entries as well as food and beverages. 

Your organization might accept raffle entry payments in one money pool and food and drink payments in another. 

The great thing about Braid? You can create as many pools as you need for your raffle.

2. Offer several big prizes

Raffles are fun, but people especially like to participate when they feel they can increase their chances of winning.

Do you want to know how you can give them that feeling? Offer at least two raffle prizes: grand and first prizes. 

Or take it one step further and offer three prizes: a grand prize, a first prize, and a second prize.

Not only does this incentivize participants to purchase more entry tickets, but it also gives them more opportunities to win. 

When curating raffle items, ensure they’re significant enough that you can sell entry tickets for at least $5 each. 

3. Ask people to donate prizes

What do you put in a Christmas raffle? It’s an important question. The better the prizes, the greater the participation. 

But don’t worry. You don’t have to look far. Ask organization members, fundraiser volunteers, local retailers, and artists to donate raffle prizes. 

This way, you can keep your overhead costs down and show off local talent to your raffle attendees.

13 winning holiday raffle ideas

Here are some raffle prize ideas to entice participants and raise money for your organization this holiday season. 

  1. Ham, turkey, or tofurkey are delicious prizes to win and serve over the holidays.
  2. Gift certificates appeal to just about everyone. Whether you offer one high-value gift card or curate a selection of enviable gift cards, this is a fantastic way to increase participation.
  3. A Braid Pool with a generous sum makes a great grand prize. The winner gets to spend their winnings however and wherever they want. 
  4. Smart home devices are popular raffle items because they can make everyday routines simpler, smarter, and more convenient. 
  5. Professional photography sessions aren’t just for engagements and weddings. One lucky winner can have an updated family portrait, pet portrait, or whatever they’d like to capture with the help of a local photographer.
  6. Autographed sports memorabilia are fantastic prizes if you expect a lot of avid sports fans at your raffle. 
  7. Mouthwatering baked goods from a popular nearby bakery make a tantalizing prize and something anyone would be happy to take home with them.
  8. Gym membership or personal trainer sessions might be less attractive than a basket brimming with pain au chocolat. However, this prize can help the winner make more significant headway with their health and fitness resolutions in the New Year. 
  9. Cooking classes are a fun way to learn from seasoned chefs and bring home insider tips, insights, and fresh inspiration for future menus. 
  10. Flatscreen TVs take Monday Night Football, movie nights, and workouts to the next level. Consider this as a top prize. 
  11. Escape Room gift cards are perfect for participants who like to solve puzzles under pressure. Offer them as a prize to enjoy with friends, family, or both. 
  12. Flower subscription services make the lucky winner feel like a florist with regular bouquets of fresh flowers delivered to their door. 

Holiday raffle fundraisers are a fun way to bring people together and raise much-needed funds for nonprofit or charitable organizations. 

Braid does not provide legal advice, but we want to give you a head’s up about raffle fundraisers and state laws. 

Federal regulations allow 501(c)(3) nonprofits to run raffles as long as profits go directly to the legally registered nonprofit or charitable organization. 

But each state has different gaming and lottery regulations, varying by city and county. For example, California does not allow fundraising raffles - even for registered nonprofits. In some states, online raffles are prohibited. 

In some states, any income generated by the raffle may be considered taxable, and others may require you to keep the proceeds in a separate bank account.

Before planning your fundraiser, research your state’s laws and consult your attorney general’s office or local regulatory agency so you can fundraise without any trouble. 

Click here to learn how to start a free Braid Pool for your holiday raffle fundraiser.

How to use Braid Pools to collect money for raffle fundraisers

You checked your state laws and can legally run a holiday raffle fundraiser. Hooray! Now, let’s show you how to use Braid Pools to collect donations.

What are Braid Money Pools?

A Braid Money Pool is a sleek alternative to clunky cash boxes and an innovative way to collect payments for raffle tickets. Participants can purchase tickets directly from their phones. (We’ll show you how that works below, so keep reading.)

But it’s so much more than a quick and easy payment app. 

Braid Pools are also a brilliant place to manage and spend donations with fellow organization members during and after the fundraiser.   

Once you start your pool, you can invite other organization members to join. After downloading Braid, they can accept your invitation and become pool members with you. 

Based on the permissions you set, they can share pool tasks with you, like:

  • Spend pool funds
  • Invite others to become pool members
  • Use instant notifications to see whenever someone contributes to the pool
  • Transfer funds out of the pool

Braid is also an expedient choice. You can have your Braid Pool up and running in five minutes or less, which is precisely what you need during the busy holiday season. 

Use Braid to collect raffle ticket payments easily and manage raffle proceeds seamlessly with other organization members. 

Holiday Raffle Fundraisers Made Easy with Braid Pools

Click here to get started