The other day, a friend called and told me about an upcoming Charity Fundraising Event in our town which was being held by a very well-known Outdoor or Conservation Charity. He told me it was a “Crab Feast” and that they were going to have a lot of guns there as well as a lot of other items on their auction. He said they were only selling about 150 tickets so it won’t be crowded.
If you’re not from the Delmarva area, then you wouldn’t understand what a “Crab Feast” is but you can most likely tell just from the name – Steamed Maryland Crabs piled up ready to be devoured. There is nothing like a cold beer with steamed crabs…an absolute Maryland Tradition.
I asked him “So Jerry, what kinds of guns are they giving away” because if they don’t have great guns, I’m not going to go!!! Plus I asked how many guns were they giving away, because I won’t go if they are only giving away ten (10). WRONG!!! I didn’t ask any of these questions and neither do people attending events!!! I want to go to the Crab Feast because my friends are going, eat, drink and win a few things…that’s all. I have a gun safe FILLED with guns from these events. I bet I have won 20 guns…my son has won 5 of them. We love it!!!
But the statement that they were going to give away guns wasn’t questioned or even talked about – Guns is all he had to say. Yes, I am a Hunter and Outdoorsmen and I believe in our right to bear arms. With that being said…I bought two tickets for my wife and I.
Over my 18 years of experience hosting and being involved in the planning of 1,000’s of Charity Fundraisers, BW Unlimited got its humble start with hosting Outdoor Charity Fundraisers. Since that time, I have heard so many excuses for failure or reasons for overspending that it would take too long to list them all. But the one aspect that I hear all the time is simply this – “We have to have a lot of Good Guns.” What this means is this…we want to have expensive guns at our Fundraiser.
When you look one of the planners of these types of events in the eye and question them about it, they will always say that people only come to their event because they give away great guns. This is 100% false!!! They are lying to themselves, lying to the committee and hurting the charity they are trying to help.
I know, if you don’t agree with me, you’re going to say that I don’t know what I’m talking about – ok. But let’s look at these facts. I have been awarded and noticed as the #1 Fundraiser in North America for two different Outdoor Charities. One of these Charities was for an animal which does not exist anywhere near Maryland (where I am from). For this animal, I was able to direct a fundraiser to raise close to $100,000.00 net (profit) in 4 hours. Due to direct management, I was able to turn nearly 18 Chapters of this same organization from floundering fundraisers to record setting Charity Auctions. For another charity, the first event I assisted with was the most successful charity event in their history – it was founded in 1933. I have met with CEO’s and their Vice Presidents of these organizations to educate them on my successful strategies.
The question is and seriously ask yourself this: Why do you have to give away expensive firearms? I can bet that is what you want to win OR that is what your firearms dealer wants you to do. I would bet my house on this. Firearms Dealers ALWAYS want Charities to take expensive guns. Of course people would love to win an expensive gun – that’s obvious.
But here is the route of the issue – you are hosting a Charity Fundraiser. Are you hosting a giveaway party? If you are and you don’t care about raising money or profiting, go ahead and get all the high end guns. But if you want to make the most amount of profit, look at this example:
“John comes to your banquet to eat, drink and enjoy himself with his friends. He also wants to win items and get a chance to bid on a lot of great items. John buys a raffle ticket for $10.00 from someone working a raffle to win a gun there. When John’s raffle ticket number is called, he claims his price for which he only paid $10.00 for.”
Now – if John wins a $1,500.00 Benelli Black Eagle 2, he raises his hands and yells “Woohoo I won a gun!!!” If John wins a $350.00 Mossberg Pump Shotgun…guess what he does? He doesn’t say “Oh no, I won a Mossberg” not at all, he says “Woohoo I won a gun!!!” But the Charity just profited $1,150.00. Did you read that? Do you understand that? The difference in price is – $1,150.00.
I already know that there is a section of you out there who believe that you have to have expensive guns at your charity events. But the truth is, depending on the amount of people at your event – let’s say 150 to 300 people, there should only be two “Mid-Range” guns there. The net profit on the raffling or sale of the gun should be greater than 65%. The national norm for what dictates a successful Charity Event is 60 to 65% net to gross profit. What does this mean to you? For every gun that is sold or raffled, the profit should “AT LEAST” be 65%. Putting it in these terms while looking at this example:
$1,500.00 purchase price for a Firearm
65% of $1,500.00 is $975.00
$1,500.00 plus $975 is $2,475.00
248 ten dollar ($10.00) raffle tickets must be sold
Your Profit for the sale or Raffling of the High End MUST be at least:
$975.00 in order for it to be successful!!!
~ As a reverse ~
$350.00 purchase price for a Firearm
65% of $350.00 is $227.50
$350.00 plus $227.50 is $577.50
58 ten dollar ($10.00) raffle tickets must be sold
$227.50 in order for it to be successful!!!
If you are able to sell 248 $10.00 Raffle Tickets, your profit for Option #2 would be $2,247.50. People at your event will be just as happy to win Option #2 as they are in Option #1. But you will be even happier than the winner!!!
At these events, people like to win. Whether it’s a high or expensive gun or a boat paddle, they like to win. People ONLY SEE stocks and barrels!!! For my events, I will only have two expensive guns and these are strategically placed in areas which will yield a very high profit. The others (less expensive) guns normally in the area of $150.00 to $350.00 at the absolute most, will be placed in various raffles along with donated or less expensive products.
Now, lets talk about the age old question – how many firearms should we have at our Charity Fundraiser?
Keep in mind, the absolute most expensive item you will have at your event are Guns!!! So acquiring the firearms should be planned. Also, do not let anyone change your opinion when choosing them. Lets answer the question asked above, how many firearms should we have? The answer is in the amount of people there. There are many out there who believe 1 gun for every ten people – but then they are not me….I like to be successful so here is what I do each and every time:
100 to 150 people – 8 guns
150 to 250 people – 10 guns
250 to 350 people – 12 guns
Competition to win the guns is the key. If you are giving out gun after gun, the competition fades which means profit goes down.
Now, the next issue is this….how many times do you like watching a repeat TV Show? I bet not often. So using that thought, how many times do you think you should use the exact same raffle? Part of the success of a raffle is the “Fun” experience. I know one Charity who does the same raffle over and over and over again – Card Raffle. How this works is simple – sell 52 cards for $10 or $20. There are many issues at repeating this same raffle at the same event but the real problem is…the crowd gets bored. Why not change the raffle, do something different. Make it a game or otherwise instead of a repeated TV show.
When you have a very large crowd, there is a strategy to get more pre event raffles sold…but the key is in lower priced guns in bulk.
This is my opinion…but the question you have to ask yourself is – do you want to profit or just give money away?