Sweetwater Episcopal Academy (SEA) provides an exceptional education for elementary school children in Orlando, Florida. SEA combines top notch academics with a caring environment that leaves a lasting impression in their students’ lives. The school’s nickname is the “Kind Zone”. Many graduates visit years later, sometimes as parent themselves, to share how much they benefited from their time at SEA.
The school hosts an annual fundraiser, Spring Fling, which includes a silent and a live auction. This year, SEA received a $5000 Disney Dollar donation. The donation acts as a credit to be used for a Disney vacation which typically includes a dining plan and accommodation at a Disney Resort hotel.
In order to maximize fundraising opportunities, the Spring Fling Committee decided to create a fundraising raffle for this one, high-priced item. The thinking behind this decision was that the dollar amount of the Disney Vacation credit would not be recovered in the auction which already had a couple of high ticket auction items. The Committee believed that a raffle would have a better chance at generating more money. They were correct. In the end, the raffle raised just under $8,000 for the Disney Dollar Donation.
Julia Miller, Director of Technology at SEA, believes that the cost of the tickets and the duration of the ticket sales contributed to the raffle’s success. Prices were set at $50 per ticket or three tickets for $100. The two price points gave parents and school partners great incentive to pay $100. In fact, the school sold very few $50 tickets—they sold many more for three for $100. Tickets were on sale for three weeks which gave people plenty of time to hear about the raffle and to purchase their tickets.
For next year’s Spring Fling fundraising event, Ms. Miller believes adding an online donations mechanism to their school website would increase activity and funds for their event. This would allow parents and SEA contributors to formally make a donation of any size regardless of raffle cost. Furthermore, for those constituents who aren’t able to attend the event, a raffle donation mechanism would facilitate their participation.