Sunday, July 01, 2007

raffle quandry

Bonnie's beautiful raffle quilt has me thinking again about my problems with raffles. When I joined my guild in about 1986, we sold our tickets 1 for $1.00, 6 for $5.00. Here, over 20 years later, that is still the price and people still buy just one or 6. Costs of making the quilts have gone up, so our take is yielding less and less of a proportion to the effort and financial commitment.
These photos are of a quilt I made for a raffle at my church, and the raffle was handled by someone who was savy in the way of fundraising, and not from the quilting community. When I told her the traditional quilt raffle prices, she said, no way. This was to raise money for a good cause and the quilt was the bait. She set prices at $25.00 each and, and encouraged most buyers to buy in $100.00 lots. The take on this quilt, tickets sold only within the congregation, came to over $6000.00!
The beautiful quilt I assembled for my guild raffle in 2006 brought in less than $3000.00. Part of the problem is it is not for "a good cause" to non quilters (for the guild) but it also has a lot has to do with our pricing. People continue to buy just one ticket.
Any ideas on how we as quilters can structure it differently? Will people pay more for a ticket from a guild?

This quilt was commemorating the Rouse Simmons, one of the legendary Great Lakes Christmas tree ships, which went down on Lake Michigan in 1912.
Its title, Morgenrot, is German for red sky at morning, as in the phrase "Sailors take warning".


dot said...

Your right on the price of the ticket. One quandry is will people pay the higher price, but I guess you have answered that question. Good thought.

Libby said...

I have no experience with raffles, but I do know that that is a gorgeous quilt!! Really beautiful

Sharon said...

I agree totally with your thoughts and comments on raffle prices. I've made a few in the last year for raffles, and I've seen it go both ways. One that was taken to auction at a cancer research fund raising event (where people had deep pockets) couldn't even get the reserve price on it, yet people were going ga-ga for $10.00 per 1 ticket for a WEEK lease on a new car.

I think overall we've been hurt, too by the price of the imported quilts - people just don't understand the value of the quilt.

The most recent one I've got on my blog was originally requested to be king size (for another cancer related benefit), but when I told them that the reserve price had to be $600, they didn't think they could raise more than $250 per item.

Me, on the other hand, when I go to a benefit, knowing they are raising money for a cause, I have deep pockets and I try to empty them with that in mind. Don't think that happens much, though.

Love the quilt!

Go figure - it's a dilemma for sure!

Mary said...

I have paid up to $10 for one ticket for other causes such as Habitat for Humanity. I guess I would pay $5 for a ticket but I'd buy fewer of them and in the end probably wouldn't spend any more money. So instead of buying 20 tickets I'd buy 4.