Health And Wealth Raffle Shifts Focus To Good Deeds Instead Of Big Prizes

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 3:54pm
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You know the lottery, maybe you’ve even played in hopes of winning the big prize. But in Arizona there’s another way to try your luck for lots of money. 

"Play to win … play to heal … play for a million dollars."

The Health and Wealth Raffle started in 2003 to benefit the Barrow Neurological Foundation. So rather than a state-run lottery, it’s run by the nonprofit to raise funds.

Why a raffle?

Well, it’s the same logic as the lottery. People want to win. So it’s a different way for Barrow to raise money by incentivizing people to donate. Tickets are $100 each, and raffle director Erik Stauber says it packs a double-punch by also getting the word out about the nonprofit.

"This year we kind of changed up a little bit on strategy and focus. In the fall we primarily focused on returning players and just more of a retention kind of raffle. We want to reward loyal players. And then in the spring we were going to do this very broad market campaign," Stauber said.

That spring raffle just wrapped up. The grand prize winner of a million dollars will be announced this morning.

As you heard Stauber say, they tried to reach a broader base, and it worked. Ticket sales went up, and he says they got players from around the state. But something else really interesting here is that they changed the tone a little in the ads this year, moving from focusing on these big prizes, to focusing on the “good deed” side of it.

That’s why we decided to reach out to Shena Ashley to find out whether it’s part of a trend. She is director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.

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