Raffles are some of the most engaging and fun fundraisers out there. The chance of winning an appealing grand prize combined with the ability to support a good cause often attracts a wide audience, allowing your nonprofit to bring in significant fundraising revenue. Plus, they’re fairly simple to organize and can be paired with many other events and campaigns.
The key to a successful raffle is procuring prizes that supporters are excited to win, and gift baskets are a top option. Bundling multiple related items in an attractive-looking basket makes your prizes much more valuable, allowing you to sell more raffle tickets at higher prices.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about creating top-quality raffle baskets, including:
- What Makes a Good Raffle Basket?
- Our Top Raffle Basket Ideas
- Exploring Raffle Prize Ideas With Winspire
Depending on the baskets’ value and your audience’s preferences, raffle baskets can either supplement a more valuable grand prize like exclusive concert tickets or a bucket-list vacation package, or they can serve as the grand prize themselves. No matter which approach you take, the Event Fundraising Specialists at Winspire are here to help your organization build a slate of raffle prizes that will put you on track to reach your fundraising goals. Let’s get started!
What Makes a Good Raffle Basket?
Putting together gift baskets that will make your supporters want to buy raffle tickets requires a balance of thoughtful planning and creativity. As you curate your baskets, keep these tips in mind:
- Choose a different theme for each basket. This helps your baskets appear cohesive and resonate more strongly with certain segments of your audience.
- Procure items for free or at reduced prices. Take advantage of nonprofit discounts, solicit in-kind donations from individual supporters and corporate sponsors, and work with dedicated providers of fundraising raffle prizes. Keeping your upfront costs low allows more of your fundraising total to go toward your mission.
- Ensure the items’ value is compatible with the raffle ticket price. Participants should feel like they’re getting a good deal by purchasing multiple tickets, even if they don’t end up winning the raffle.
- Consider the basket’s visual presentation. Make the basket appear full—if your items aren’t large enough to fill the basket on their own, fill the gaps with tissue paper. Arrange the items so they are all easily visible, use clear cellophane wrap to keep the basket together, and add ribbons or other fun decorations to complete the look.
A quick word of caution: The laws around hosting and registering raffles vary by state. Make sure raffles are legal in your state, your organization meets any eligibility requirements, and you secure necessary permits or licenses before you start advertising your raffle and procuring prizes.
Our Top Raffle Basket Ideas
Now that you know what goes into creating a standout gift basket, here are more than 20 ideas for themes and items to include. We’ve divided them into four categories for easy browsing.
Food and Beverage Raffle Basket Ideas
High-quality food and drinks coordinate well in a gift basket, and you can appeal to your supporters’ diverse tastes with raffle basket themes like:
- Chocolate Spectacular. Help your supporters celebrate all things chocolate with a basket containing a variety of gourmet chocolates, hot cocoa mixes, and chocolate-covered snacks like pretzels or dried fruit.
- Wine and Cheese Night. Curate a selection of red and white wines, cheeses, crackers and other complements, and a wooden charcuterie board. To increase this basket’s value, you could add a wine-tasting experience at a nearby vineyard. (Just make sure the basket’s winner is 21 or older.)
- Craft Beer Connoisseur. Chances are that for every supporter who prefers a nice glass of wine, there’s another one who enjoys a good beer. Put together a sampler of craft beers and hard ciders and include some salty snacks to go with the drinks. An optional value-add for this basket could be a tour of a local brewery.
- The At-Home Barista. Coffee lovers will rejoice at the opportunity to win a basket full of assorted high-quality coffees, mugs, and cookies to enjoy on the side. Add a coffee maker, French press, or espresso machine to make this basket even more appealing.
- Culinary Starter Kit. For the amateur chefs among your supporter base, fill a basket with essential kitchen utensils and small appliances, as well as a certificate for cooking lessons for a higher-value prize.
These items are also fairly easy to procure by working with local vendors. Make sure to thank each sponsor who contributes items to your raffle and feature their logos in your fundraiser’s marketing materials to make your partnership mutually beneficial.
Family-Friendly Raffle Baskets
If your supporter base includes parents or grandparents, consider choosing raffle basket themes that cater to the whole family, such as:
- Family Game Night. Include a variety of card and board games for all ages, along with snacks to enjoy while playing. For a higher-value prize, add a gaming system and some video games to the basket.
- Kids’ Baking Party. In this basket, combine premade cookie dough and baking mixes with cookie cutters, frosting, sprinkles, and child-sized aprons. Additionally, consider asking a local bakery to donate an experience to this basket where kids can take a tour and decorate their own sweets.
- Birthday Party Starter Pack. A partnership with a bakery is also helpful for this basket since they can contribute a certificate for a custom cake. Round out the prize with a pizza delivery gift card, party hats and decorations, and fun group games or craft kits.
- Fur Baby Fun. For supporters with four-legged family members, create two raffle baskets: one geared toward dog owners and one for cat owners. Include toys, treats, pet-specific supplies like a dog leash and cat scratching post, and a gift certificate for pet-sitting or grooming services.
- Holiday-Themed Raffle Baskets. Consider curating a basket for an upcoming holiday that families can enjoy together. For instance, you could combine pumpkin-carving supplies and a gift certificate to a costume shop for Halloween, or bundle heart-themed craft kits and candies for Valentine’s Day.
To effectively engage your supporters in your raffle, think about what demographic groups your organization attracts. If that includes families with young children or grandchildren, make sure to have options available for them—not only to sell more raffle tickets but also to make younger generations aware of your nonprofit as they enjoy the prizes their parents won for them.
Rec and Leisure Raffle Basket Ideas
Your supporters likely spend their downtime in a variety of ways. With this in mind, here are some recreation-themed baskets to appeal to raffle participants’ different interests:
- Date Night. Give away a gift card to a high-end restaurant, two tickets to a play or concert, and a bottle of wine that the winning couple can enjoy when they get home from their evening out.
- Movie Magic. Fill this basket with popcorn, boxed candy, a cozy blanket, and a gift card to a popular streaming service for a movie night in, plus two tickets to a local theater for a change of pace. If your organization is located in an area where several hit movies have been filmed, see if you can add a tour of nearby filming locations or a movie studio to make this basket more valuable.
- At-Home Spa Day. Help your supporters unwind with a basket featuring bath bombs, loofahs, facial masks, scented lotion, pedicure supplies, and a gift certificate for a professional massage.
- The Great Outdoors. To make this basket visually appealing, consider using a tent as the container and filling it with outdoor equipment like a camping chair, a sleeping bag, a backpack, and s’mores supplies. Instead of including hiking boots or outdoor clothing, provide a gift certificate so the winner can choose their preferred size and style.
- Book Lover’s Paradise. For the avid readers in your audience, fill a basket with best-selling novels, fun bookmarks, a mug with a book-related design, and tea for the winner to drink as they read. Boost the basket’s value with an e-reader or tickets to an author event at a local bookstore.
- Sports Fan. Put together a basket of merchandise and memorabilia for a popular college or professional sports team in your area, as well as game day essentials like a stadium chair and can cooler sleeves. Season tickets or prime seating for a championship game would work perfectly as a value-add.
- Ultimate Music Experience. Consider creating a few of these baskets, each themed around a different artist or genre, so supporters can choose which prize to enter the drawing for based on their music tastes. In each basket, include a vinyl record and record player, a band t-shirt or poster, high-quality headphones, a gift card for a music streaming service, and tickets to an upcoming concert.
If you’re including tickets to an event as a value-add item in any of these baskets, remember to look for nonprofit discounts or work with dedicated providers to get the best prices on the most appealing seats. The better seats you can get, the more raffle tickets supporters will want to buy, and the more money you’ll raise for your cause.
Travel-Related Raffle Baskets
Travel-related items tend to be the most popular at nonprofit fundraisers such as raffles. They appeal to a broad audience and provide a unique experience for the winner. Here are some of our favorite raffle basket ideas centered around travel:
- Air Travel Essentials. Consider packaging this basket in a carry-on suitcase for visual appeal. In the suitcase, include a neck pillow, earbuds, luggage tag, passport holder, TSA-approved toiletry containers, and an airline gift certificate.
- Road Trip Survival Kit. A trunk organizer or cooler makes the perfect container for this basket, which you can fill with car games, car phone chargers, reusable water bottles, travel snacks, a tire repair kit, and a gas station gift card.
- Beach Day. Pack this basket with beach towels, sand toys and games, sunscreen, an umbrella, and tropical drink mixes for a fun day at the beach. A large tote bag makes an excellent container, and you can include a gift certificate for a popular brand of swimwear or sunglasses as well.
- City Spotlight. Highlight a popular travel destination with a basket of food, merchandise, and experiences related to a particular city. Your destination could be a specific city in the United States like New York or Los Angeles, or it could be a vacation spot abroad, like Paris or Tokyo.
Oftentimes, the biggest and most appealing value-add item you could include in a travel-themed raffle basket is a vacation to a relevant destination. However, travel packages are known for being some of the most difficult items to procure for fundraising purposes. That’s where consignment travel providers like Winspire come in.
Exploring Raffle Prize Ideas With Winspire
Winspire curates a variety of bucket-list Experiences specifically for use in raffles and other nonprofit fundraisers. Depending on how you want to structure your raffle, you can combine these packages with a related gift basket, or you can use a Winspire Experience as the grand prize and offer lower-value baskets as extra prizes.
Your nonprofit can get started with Winspire in four easy steps:
- Select the Experiences you want. Add the unique vacation packages that would appeal most to your raffle participants to your Suitcase (cart). If you have questions about which Experiences to choose, Winspire’s Event Fundraising Consultants are happy to help.
- Promote them to your supporters. Winspire will provide images and descriptions of each package to include in the marketing materials for your raffle. This gives supporters a better idea of what they could win and helps encourage them to enter the drawing.
- Offer them at your fundraiser. You can draw more than one raffle winner for each Winspire Experience you select if you’d like, and every dollar you raise above the Nonprofit Cost (list price) goes directly to your mission.
- Winners redeem their packages. Once you report which raffle participants won which Experiences and provide their contact information, the winners will receive vouchers to book their vacations through Winspire with no additional work required on your organization’s end.
Winspire’s vacation packages are a no-risk option since you only pay for what you sell during your fundraiser. If you end up being unable to raffle off any of the Experiences you choose for whatever reason, you won’t be charged for it.
While the gift basket ideas in this guide are a strong starting point, make sure to curate your raffle prizes to your nonprofit’s unique audience. Additionally, no matter what theme you choose, consider what high-value item you can add to boost the basket’s overall appeal—whether that’s a unique product, a gift certificate, tickets to an event, or a vacation package from Winspire.
For more information about procuring items for nonprofit fundraisers, explore these additional resources:
- 14 Raffle Prize Ideas to Raise Money for Charity. Discover more ideas for popular raffle prizes to supplement your gift baskets and appeal to your supporters.
- 30+ Silent Auction Basket Ideas for Nonprofit Fundraisers. Many of our raffle basket ideas will also work for silent auction fundraising events and vice versa—check out this list for even more inspiration.
- How to Procure Auction Items: The Complete Nonprofit Guide. The item procurement process for raffles and auctions is also similar—dive deeper into what it entails in this guide.