3 step guide to running a Tombola


Step 1: Prizes

The prizes on offer are what can make and break a tombola. You want a good selection of different items that will entice a crowed of varying ages and tastes. Sourcing the products is also important as you want to make the best profit margin possible to ensure your fundraising idea is a success.

If you are running the tombola for a few hours you are going to need around 30+ prizes and considerably more, the large your event is

Ideally, you would want a tombola fully stocked with donated gifts as this will give you better profit margins. You should approach local businesses, friends, family and work colleagues and persuade them to donate prizes for a charitable cause.

If the donated prizes aren't highly desirable then it is worth buying some prizes to draw in the crowds. You can make your tombola more attractive by having a good mix of donated and brought gifts. It should be noted that you don't want to splash out too much on buying products as this may jeopardise the whole tombola and end up with you operating at a loss.


Step 2: Tombola Drums

Once you have sourced the prizes the next step is finding something people can draw tickets from. If it is a very, low key even then a bucket or box will do the job, but only to a certain extent.

An authentic tombola drum adds excitement to the event and gives it a level of authenticity. It is more fun for the children as they can turn the drum themselves before reaching in to draw out a ticket. A unique tombola drum will draw in passers-by, it also reassures players that the ticket was picked at random as there is no way you can peak inside before the ticket is drawn.

If you don't want to buy a tombola drum, ask around, you may be able to find someone you can borrow it from. It is also worth speaking to manufacturers or suppliers and asking if they will donate the tombola drum, free-of-charge in return for free advertising at the event.


Step 3: Ticket Prices and Odds

Now that you have the prizes and a brand spanking new tombola drum, the next step is to decide on prices and odds. The price of the ticket should represent the prizes on offer and the odds of winning. You should also take into account how much you need to raise in order to be profitable and what people who are attending the event are likely to be prepared to spend.

It's a good idea to have the ticket prices set low enough for people to have a go several times and also be in with a reasonable chance of winning a prize. Repeat buyers are a great way to increase profits on the day.

You will need to decide on what the odds of winning a prize is going to be, the better the odds the more tickets you will sell. However, if you have lots of self purchased prizes then it's worth increasing the odds to make sure you make enough money on the day. If you set the odds to high then you will put people off entering, set the odds that offer great value for both you and the participants.

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