Is the BBB Picking on the National Wheelchair Basketball Association?


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



Categories : Just the Tips

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