Fast, fun, profitable – THE GOLDEN PADDLE Raffle

A top question I’m asked is, “How can we raise more money?” This is often followed by, “What about adding some revenue games at our fundraising auction?” Extra revenue generators can become a profitable and cherished part of your fundraising auction event. The best part is, they exponentially increase the fun factor too.

At many fundraising events, there’s often a wide socioeconomic mix. Many guests who attend don’t want, don’t need, or can’t afford to bid on a big-ticket auction item. But they do want to contribute and participate, and to have fun, too. By strategically placing a few carefully selected additional revenue activities into the event, an organization can engage everyone at a all levels.

That’s why I love The Golden Paddle. Here’s how it works.


The Golden Paddle energizes your audience, is a lot of fun, and gives a winning guest an immediate cash allowance that inspires lots of excitement, fun and increased bidding.

The winner has up to $10,000 in credit that must be used during the live auction and/or fund-a-need. The organization keeps the cash.

It’s a raffle. For Golden Paddle, a limited number of tickets are sold. Most commonly, 100 tickets are sold at $100 apiece, for a total of $10,000. The winner is drawn immediately before the Live Auction with great golden excitement and a drum roll of course.

Create a special big “golden paddle” that golden volunteers bring to the winner. Each time your winner waves that golden paddle, your room erupts with excited increased bidding! Coach your auctioneer to have fun too.

Volunteers sell Golden Paddle tickets during the cocktail hour. The key to success if recruiting and training the RIGHT volunteers who are gregarious, love to sell and love your mission. The goal is to promote and sell all 100 tickets during this very short period of the cocktail reception so that you achieve the $10,000 mark before the live auction. (If you don’t sell all 100 tickets, you offer a credit of what amount you raised. There is some magic to offering $10,000.)

The benefit of the Golden Paddle is that your winning ticket holder is given a credit for the amount sold in Golden Paddle, which to be used in the live auction, fund-a-need, or both. That way you as the organization keep the cash and the winner has the credit to use in the live auction and fund a need.

Important note: The Golden Paddle is a raffle. Be sure to check your state raffle laws and always secure a raffle or gaming permit.

The Kathy Kingston Disclaimer: Less is More!

Be strategic and preserve your guests’ energy and generosity for your main fundraising—your live auction and fund-a-need. As you think about additional income producing activities, pick just one or two for your next event. After you use them, let them rest and try a few new ones. By rotating revenue-generating activities each year, you can keep things fresh. Then these interactive activities will continue to grab your guests’ attention and produce significant additional revenue year after year.

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