Tau Xi Chapter
Georgia Southern University
Things You Need: raffle tickets, prizes (TBD), possibly posters, possibly raffle permit
With the Tau Xi chapter being a freshly chartered chapter, we needed to have a great campus breakout event. What better way to show the campus what Sigma Gamma Rho is about than by showing them one of our community service initiatives. To do this we paired with the brothers of the Lambda Upsilon chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (TKE) to execute what we named “The Sweetheart Raffle”. We partnered with this group of men because cross-council partnership is something the Tau Xi chapter was really interested in spearheading on our campus. They were also a smaller organization interested in expanding their image on campus, like us, so we figured that we could work together to reach our chapter goals and donate to a great cause. To begin the project, our chapter basileus sent an email to their chapter president extending an invitation for his chapter to work with us on a joint community service project, to which he enthusiastically responded and set up a time for a planning meeting.
Why the Sweetheart Raffle?
We began planning this event in January 2018. As a chapter we wanted an event we could implement successfully and quickly. Someone came up with the idea of a date auction, which we weren’t all in on. From there, the idea of a Valentine’s Day raffle emerged. Buying Valentine’s Day gifts can get expensive, because you want to show your significant other just how much they mean to you. That’s why we decided to raffle away possible Valentine’s Day gifts. The prizes were meant to function as an impromptu gift for someone to give their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.
The Planning Meeting
In attendance at the planning meeting were both chapters’ presidents as well as their community service chairs. At this meeting, we discussed the potential prizes for the raffle, necessary precautions, and advertisements.
Prizes and Prices
Both parties agreed to give away a total of four prizes to our college community. The second, third and fourth place winners received a teddy bear paired with a $50 Visa gift card. The gift card price was determined based on the relative cost of dinner and a movie for two. The first place winner received the grand prize which included a box of the finest chocolates from Z-Chocolats which were directly imported from France, an $85 value.
Prices and Money Collection
The total cost of all the prizes was just under $250. Since this was a joint service project, our chapters split the intended costs of these prizes equally. We also agreed to sell each raffle ticket for $5. Our goal was to sell 100 tickets, bringing in $500, leaving each chapter with at least $250 to donate to the March of Dimes. To collect money, we accepted cash, CashApp and Venmo. When planning events like this, it’s important to have multiple means of payment. I find that students usually pay with mobile banking like CashApp or Venmo, while adults favor cash.
Neither of us had the campus social media presence for our main advertising efforts to be pushed through social media. Because of this, we decided our primary advertising method would be to jointly table at a central location on campus. For us, this is what our campus calls “the Rotunda” as it’s where most organizations will host their tabling events or fundraisers, because it is a high traffic area for students heading to class.
We decided to table everyday from February 1 - 12. This time frame was chosen as it gave us time to have repeated and extensive exposure to the students on campus. The drawing was done on February 13, because the intention for the prizes were for them to function as Valentine’s day gifts. During this tabling period, our chapters each had a representative jointly table at the Rotunda during the weeks leading up to the drawing. Though this was our primary mode of advertising, we also created a flyer to share and promote through our chapter, personal and council accounts. Sidenote: You can also use tabling as a way to promote your social media. When participants purchase their ticket, invite them to watch the drawing on you social media then provide them with it.
Even though the presidents and service chairs were a part of the planning process, all chapter members were expected to contribute to its execution. We created a shared Google Sheet with TKE and had everyone sign up for shifts to table during the day. Each chapter member was also tasked with selling at least 5 tickets, through tabling or personal interactions. We calculated that if each chapter member sold at least 5 tickets, them we could easily reach our goal of 100 tickets. (Our chapter had 13 members; TKE had a little over 20)
We did the drawing on February 13, just in time for the winners to present their new gift to their Valentine! We broadcasted the drawing on each chapter’s Instagram Live, to build the suspense for the raffle participants. At the end, we thanked everyone for participating and announced that we had met our goal of raising over $500. Then we contacted the winners to set up a time for them to claim their prizes. At the times they claimed their prizes, we took pictures with them and posted the winners receiving their prizes on our social media.
Precautions and Things to Consider
Before you hold a raffle, check your local/state laws surrounding it. To hold a raffle in the State of Georgia, you need written permission from your county sheriff. This meant that we had to fill out a form stating our intent for the raffle and receive the signature of the county sheriff. The brothers of TKE handled this part of the preparation. According to them, this whole process took about 10 minutes as the sheriff’s office had all the paperwork they needed to fill out and was really helpful.
When people purchase raffle tickets, be sure to have them write their name and number on the back of their ticket so that you have a way to contact them if they win!
As a newly chartered chapter, this was the Tau Xi chapter’s breakout campus event. Tau Xi benefited from the collaboration in the following ways. It was an invaluable experience to be able to work closely with an older chapter on campus to see the process of how to implement a successful Greek, campus-oriented event. As a chapter, we knew that the Lambda Upsilon chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon had successfully held raffles before, and this was an event planning experience that we were eager to learn. We were also able to gain knowledge about the Interfraternity Council and Lambda Upsilon chapter’s operations which we in turn used to reflect on utilizing within our own chapter. With the history of Greek life being centered around friendship, through brotherhood and sisterhood, through the completion of this event, we definitely found newfound friends in each other.
Overall, this event was an amazing success as it allowed both organizations to heighten their on campus presences, learn from each other, and make friends in each other all while supporting an incredible charity organizations. The total amount raised was over $500, which we donated to the March of Dimes under our respective chapters and organizations.