Maximize profits with this fun and unique fundraising method.
Groups utilize scratch card fundraising to raise funds for a cause which can include covering general operating costs, purchasing books or equipment, paying for a field trip, and more. Scratch cards are a fun and engaging way to entice your donors to give again (or make their first donation!) to your school’s cause.
How Scratch Card Fundraising Works
Scratch cards are analogous to fundraising roulette. Each participant has a card that they take to multiple donors. There are 50 dots to be scratched off, each indicating a small dollar amount. The player will scratch off their chosen dot, donate the uncovered amount to the campaign, and receive a coupon sheet for local and national businesses.
Their savings will far outweigh their donations, and your school will receive the necessary capital. Every card yields $100 gross; the net profit is determined by how many cards you order upfront.
10 Creative Scratch Card Fundraising Ideas
We’ve devised ten creative ways to improve your campaign. Feel free to implement one or several ideas to differentiate your fundraiser and keep your donors engaged and giving.
1. Create Your Skit
Scratch-off cards are meant to be fun. Lean into this. Ask participants to develop a creative and witty skit to open the line of communication and ask the donor to play, catching the possible donor’s attention and reeling them in.
Why it works: This breaks the ice between the participant and the donor. In addition, it makes it sound like fun, which can be worth the small amount they will donate in exchange for playing.
2. Write A Captivating Story
After breaking the ice, you’ll want participants to tell your fundraising story, including who you are, what you do, why you are raising funds, and how the player’s donation will help you achieve your admirable goals. Get creative here, build suspense, and call forward an emotional response.
Why it works: People are likelier to give to an organization they know, trust, and feel aligned with. They want to build a relationship that starts with getting to know you.
3. Emphasize The Benefit to The Community
Benefiting local youth’s education benefits the community; however, scratch card fundraisers take it two steps further. The game creates interactions between community members and students, laying the foundation for relationships between youth and responsible, involved community members.
The fundraiser may also support local businesses that agree to provide discounts to participants.
Why it works: Most people inherently want to do good. If you can explain that their money will benefit a myriad of causes, they are more likely to give and more likely to give more.
4. Customize Your Card
Let your card help tell your story. Make your card unique to your school and your cause. Choose to use school colors, logos, and mascots. Incorporate themes where fitting, such as basketballs for a sports field trip.
Why it works: The first thing potential donors will see is the card, long before the student has had time to make it through their whole pitch. The card can explain who you are and why you request scratch card donations.
5. Double The Ante
Scratch cards can lead to a profit with many participants, but individual donations are small. Take the risk and ask for more. If they say yes, ensure students are ready with ways to accept additional donations.
Why it works: Some donors are willing to give more than the small donation amount uncovered in the game. By presenting this opportunity, your school can earn more capital sooner.
6. Broaden Your Market
Students are prominent participants and sellers. But you don’t have to stop there. Broaden your market by adding participants to the game. Consider parents, faculty, alum, volunteers, involved community members, and current donors.
Why it works: There are techniques and strategies for successful fundraising. However, part of it comes down to numbers. The more you ask, the more chances you have to receive. Diverse participants lead to broader market saturation and a higher number of asks.
7. Double Down with An Event
Use a fundraising event as an opportunity to approach donors with scratch cards, a fun mix that can lead to doubling down on profits.
Why it works: Students will be approaching current donors who have proven willing to give to your school’s causes. It is a quick way to add capital to a current campaign.
8. Launch a Kick-Off Party
Like hosting an event, you can launch a kick-off party. Invite community members, staff, and parents to a picnic or music night. You can make the entrance fee one play or set up stations for participants to play independently.
Why it works: This is a great way to celebrate your campaign and tell the community you are raising funds and need their generosity. Events like this lead to a large sum of donations at the start of your campaign and boost morale among students to encourage them to keep up the momentum.
9. Get Competitive
Incentivize participants with a bit of friendly competition—set goals to reach and offer a reward for accomplishing the goal in a certain period. Incentives can include prizes, a get-out-of-homework free pass, or a gift card to a local business.
Why it works: Giving students a goal will encourage them to try harder and discourage them from procrastinating.
10. Go Out With A Bang
Celebrate your wins and thank your donors. Show appreciation to both participants and players.
Why it works: This sets you up for your next campaign. Participants and players who feel they made a positive difference and were recognized are more likely to strive for success again.
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Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.