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Jun
24

A Successful House Raffle

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Hello All,

I spoke to the National Wheel Chair Basketball Association and they successfully completed their house raffle with a grand prize winner of the home. In other words, they successfully sold enough tickets to award the grand prize. My congratulations to them–yeah!

I also took some time to check out their house raffle website and it was very well done. The viewer could easily click on a variety of topics to get all their questions answered. And all the rules were available for ticket buyers to read. In my opinion, the Better Business Bureau was over the top picky with this nonprofit. It was obvious that the BBB does not know the basics of a house raffle. If they had known the basics,  they would not have complained that the grand prize might not be awarded.

Basics of a house raffle: Nonprofit sells tickets to raise money for their cause and out of the proceeds, they will pay the owner of the grand prize home, for the home. In the contract between the nonprofit and the homeowner it will state that if not enough tickets are sold, they will not purchase the home, and the ticket buyers will get their money refunded.

OR , they may have an alternative action which is to split the money that came in with the winner. This is normal, basic 101 house raffle stuff. So  for the BBB to complain that the prize might not be awarded  is absurd.

In some instances, a homeowner will donate their home to the nonprofit–that is an exception.  In some instances, the nonprofit has enough funds to purchase the home outright before the start of ticket sales–that is an exception.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

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Jun
10

Is the BBB Picking on the National Wheelchair Basketball Association?

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Hello All,

This weekend I spent most of the time hiding from the sun. We’re in a terrible drought, and the temperature has been in the high nineties. I hope everyone is staying cool.

I recently blogged about a charity by the name of National Wheelchair Basketball Association that has the BBB on their case. It’s a shame because publicity is king, and negative publicity can be so detrimental to ticket sales. I can’t tell whether the BBB is just picking on them, or if their concerns are legit.

In an article by the BBB, regarding this raffle in St. Louis, Missouri., the BBB outlines a laundry list of things the BBB suggests that a ticket buyer look out for when purchasing a house raffle ticket: (My opinion is in parenthesis.)

1. Go to a charity’s website and read about its work. (Okay, if you’ve never heard of the charity, that would be wise. )

2. Spend only what you can afford to lose.  (Well, sure, a raffle is a form of gambling, so don’t use your rent money to purchase a ticket.)

3. Ask whether the charity is using a professional fundraiser to assist in the raffle.  (Charities exist by fundraising, so they have someone in charge of fundraising. But why is the BBB insinuating that it is necessary that they hire a professional fundraiser? This is where the BBB is picking on them.)

4. Ask how much of the ticket price will actually go to the charity for its programs. (Well, the charity should be able to state a percentage of the ticket purchase price that they anticipate going to their programs. BUT, until the raffle drawing happens, the charity won’t know exactly how much they will need to spend on the marketing and other expenses of the raffle. And just because the BBB is picking on them, this charity will most likely, have to spend more on marketing in order to get the tickets sold. )

5. Know your odds of winning.  The charity should be able to tell you the chances of winning any individual prize. (Yes, the odds are calculated by the number of total tickets the charity has agreed to sell. The raffle rules should state how many tickets can be sold. This is the BBB picking on them again.)

6. Find out when the winners will be announced and make sure the drawing is held at that time. (This should all be stated in the rules. However, most house raffle rules indicate that they can extend the date of the drawing if they need more time to get tickets sold. The rules should indicate how they will notify ticket buyers of the extended drawing date should that become necessary.)

In the article, the BBB complains that postcards were sent out asking people to participate in the raffle but that the rules were not printed on the postcard. (Give me a break, the rules are several pages long, and cannot be on a post card–picky picky).

7. If you are interested in ensuring that the charity gets the largest percentage of your money, it is always best to make a direct contribution to avoid fundraising expenses. (Sure, you can do that, but then you have no chance of winning a wonderful grand prize as you would if you purchased a ticket to the house raffle! And you will never completely avoid fundraising expenses because the charity will most likely pay their director of fundraising a yearly salary–that money will come out of donations–a nonprofit survives on donations and fundraising. The only way to avoid some of your money going to fundraising expenses is to purchase an item that the charity needs, and then donate that item to the charity.)

So if the National Wheelchair Basketball Association is a legitimate charity, my good wishes are with them, and I hope, despite the BBB picking on them, they bring their raffle to a successful conclusion.
To your success!
Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

 

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May
31

BBB May Harm Charity House Raffle

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Hello All,

We’re dying for rain here in New Mexico as forest fires rage through the Sandia Mountains. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer weather.

I noticed an article titled:

Dream House May Not Be Awarded In Charity Raffle, BBB Warns

I think this is unnecessary harmful publicity for the charity, the “National Wheelchair Basketball Association”  in St. Louis, Missouri. Most charity raffles have a contingency rule that if not enough tickets are sold, the prize may not be awarded. Of course, if there is no drawing, then the ticket buyers would get their money back.

This particular raffle states:

  • The grand prize winner will have the opportunity to choose between the house and the $1.3 million cash prize only if the charity sells at least 45,000 tickets by May 24. If 45,000 tickets are not sold, the house will not be offered as an option, and the winner will be awarded 50 percent of the net proceeds of the raffle.

Okay, so if 45,000 tickets are not sold, the winner will be awarded 50% of the net proceeds. So why is the Better Business Bureau making a fuss over this particular raffle? I can’t understand the purpose for that, but this type of publicity will only hurt ticket sales. I haven’t seen raffle rules that do not contain a contingency plan if not enough tickets are sold.

A) Ticket buyers get their money back

B) Ticket buyers get a cash award

Actually, prefer A) because it makes the charity work harder to get all the tickets sold.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

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May
03

Can a Villa be a Grand Prize in a House Raffle?

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Hello All,

This week I received an email from a homeowner interested in raffling their villa in another country. I see no reason why a nonprofit could not have a villa outside of the United States as their grand prize. I would start by talking to the gaming board in the state in which the nonprofit is located to be sure that the gaming board will approve the grand prize. The main concern for the gaming board is that it wants to be sure the prize can be awarded to the prize winner. Therefore, the villa owner will need to prove ownership, and the ability to transfer title.

Lastly, I think it would be important for the villa owner to connect with a well-known nonprofit organization. I think a beautiful villa could be a fabulous prize for someone to win, and an exciting fundraising event for the right nonprofit.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

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Apr
09

Are House Raffles No Longer Viable?

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Hello All,

This week a caller from Florida asked me if house raffles were still viable as the housing market improves. My response is simple: When the housing market does a complete flip, and homeowners don’t need to look for a creative way to get their homes sold, house raffles will still be viable. The reason for this is that as long as people still want to own houses, and nonprofits still need to raise funds, house raffles will always be viable. Winning a home or cash will always be a good thing–and homeowners will continue to help  their favorite charity by providing the grand prize!

House raffles are a win/win for everyone–the charity gets cash, the winner gets a house or cash, and the owner of the home gets their home sold, or a substantial holding fee, and the homeowner gets to help a charity in a big way. I believe this win/win  formula will always be popular.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

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Apr
01

Is Your Home Big Enough to Raffle?

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Hello All,

I enjoyed the weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Every time I go there, I feel like I’m in a different world. The quaint streets and shops, and the wonderful restaurants–yumm.  I hope you did something fun to welcome spring.

Many house raffles occur in California by large charities such as The Ocean Institute, The Special Olympics, and Ronald McDonald House Charities with multi-million dollar prize  homes. But don’t let that fact make you think that your home only valued at $300,000 would not make for a good grand prize.

Your ticket price will be less, and the number of tickets you need to sell will be less– all good odds for the ticket buyer. The charity you find will also be a smaller charity, with less resources, but they can still pull in $100,000 for their cause you can get your house sold through a raffle.

So don’t be discouraged by the BIG house raffles out there.

To your success,

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

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Mar
17

Raffle Your Home and Help Your Favorite Cause!

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“An undercover video that showed California cows struggling to stand as they were prodded to slaughter by forklifts led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history. In Vermont, a video of veal calves skinned alive and tossed like sacks of potatoes ended with the plant’s closure and criminal convictions.

Now in a push-back led by the meat and poultry industries, state legislators across the country are introducing laws making it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety cases.” By : Tracie Cone, The Associated Press, March 17, 2013

I urge everyone to let their elected officials know that we want stronger laws AGAINST cruelty to animals. Must they live a life of torture in order to feed humanity?

___________________________

My first house raffle benefited the largest no-kill animal shelter in New Mexico. I hope everyone who chooses to raffle their home will search out a charity whose cause they are passionate about and give this charity a big boost.  There are so many worthy causes out there that it should not be difficult to find one that matches with your core beliefs.

Recently, a prospective client had just inherited a beautiful home from his father.  He wanted to sell the home through a raffle and benefit the charity that his father supported during his lifetime. I think that’s a great idea.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

 

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Mar
04

Age Limit for House Raffle Ticket Buyers

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Hello All,

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Our weather here in New Mexico warmed up — Sunday was glorious. BUT, today it’s windy windy.

Why must a person be at least 18 years old to purchase a house raffle ticket? You don’t have to be 18 to buy a home. All raffles are considered to be a game of chance, and, therefore, a form of gambling. So you must be at least 18 to buy a ticket for a chance to win a house.

The entry form should clearly state “You must be 18 years of age and have a valid Social Security number to purchase a ticket. Proof will be required upon claiming prize.” In-person ticket sellers should be made aware of this also because sometimes parents purchasing a house raffle ticket want to put the entry in the name of their under age child. Grandparents will want to do this too. The winner must be 18 or older.

To your success

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

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Feb
24

Don’t Raffle Your Home If . . .

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Hello All,

If you haven’t seen the movie, Lincoln, it’s well worth it. I think Tommy Lee Jones had the best part–perfect actor to portray the character of Thaddeus Stevens, a leader of the Radical Republicans in the House of Representatives. I hope the movie does well in the Oscar awards tonight.

I haven’t talked much about why you should NOT raffle your house, so here’s my advice on that subject:

  1. If you want a quick sale of your home, don’t raffle it.
  2. If you don’t want to  help a nonprofit, don’t raffle it.
  3. If you don’t want photos of your home on-line, in the news, and on posters, don’t raffle it.
  4. If you can easily, and quickly sell your home for the appraised value on the open market, don’t raffle it.
  5. If you don’t want someone to win  your home for the price of a raffle ticket, don’t raffle it.

But, if you want to help a nonprofit, and you’re struggling to get your asking price at the appraised value, and you don’t mind showing your home in the news, then go for it.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

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Feb
10

Help a Charity

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Hello All,

Okay, I admit it–I’m hooked on Downton Abbey on Sunday nights. Highclere Castle, the TV Downton Abbey, near London is the real home of Earl Carnarvon and his wife, the Countess. It was their friend, Julian Fellowes, who wrote this great Masterpiece of phenomenal characters. I just wonder how all the aristocrats stay so slim when they don’t even do the simplest of chores like combing their own hair!

Now back to house raffles and helping a charity. I’ve often said that the most important task of the homeowner is to choose the right organization to raffle the house. In the State of New Mexico, such an organization can be a school, a church, or a nonprofit. If the homeowner chooses to pick a nonprofit charity, it should be a charity with the right cause. Let me explain. A right cause would be one that is NOT controversial, and a cause that will tug at the heart strings of ticket buyers. People purchase tickets to win, but will reconcile not winning  as long as they are  helping a good cause that they believe in.

There are many many causes that tug at a person’s heart; here are a few that come to mind: Charities that help children, animals, veterans, the hungry, and the disabled. Although you may be an avid supporter of a charity with a controversial cause, I would not choose such a charity for your house raffle. You want the cause to have a universal appeal.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

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What Others Are Saying:

“The book really does take you through the entire process. I feel like Diane holds your hand from beginning to end from qualifying the grand prize home to what happens after the drawing. I’m a homeowner and I’ve had difficulty selling my beautiful home. Now I know what it takes to sell my home in a raffle. I know exactly what type of nonprofit I need to partner with on my house raffle and what to expect. I’m excited to get started.”

-Karen L. Furguson, Homeowner in Tucson, Arizona

"Consulting with Diane by phone has been invaluable. Her knowledge on the subject of house raffles is enormous, and she has really given us a better understanding of the process as we move forward with our house raffle. She has been more than willing to take the time needed in answering all of our questions. After consulting with Diane, we feel we have a much better chance of putting together a successful house raffle and are excited about making it happen."

Chip Thompson, homeowner in Rehoboth, Delaware

"'I Sold My House in a Raffle' is an excellent example of creative marketing. The best marketers think "out of the box" and Diane shows that you can really sell your house in a raffle!"

-Ali Pervex, International Best Selling Author, 'Get Your Black Belt in Marketing', www.blackbeltinmarketing.com

“What a great marketing tool! This is a hot new method to get a property sold. My clients love this idea—I already have my first raffle house lined up. I’ll use Diane’s process to get and sell more listings.”

Jack C. Rosemary – California Real Estate Broker, 26 years experience

“I attended Diane’s workshop on February 27th, and she’s got it all together. Not only does she know how to pull off a house raffle but you can tell that she was a teacher because she knows how to convey the information. She broke the process into bite-size pieces and gave us exercises to complete so we were involved. Before anyone attempts a house raffle, they should attend Diane’s workshop–there’s more to it than one could imagine.”

-Ron Thomas, Real Estate Investor for 20 years, Albuquerque, New Mexico