Thursday, May 21, 2015

Home made raffle tickets

I tend to think people who sew can turn their hand to pretty much anything - and turn their sewing machine to pretty much anything too.... like creating perforations in raffle tickets.

I used the online TicketMaker programme to create the tickets. One word of advice - it's much easier to remove fields from the template than to add them, so try to make your data fit in the existing template rather than muck around with it too much.

Once printed (8 per A4 size), I ran the pages of tickets through the sewing machine (about 6 pages at a time - how many you can perforate depends on the strength of your sewing machine), before cutting and collating.

A book of 5 tickets was sent home with each family at the school, with the request that they buy or sell the tickets at $1 each ($5 for the book of tickets), or return the tickets. Naturally most families just sent back the cash and the ticket stubs, and waited for their number to be drawn.

Usually we would only sell tickets on the night of our markets, and maybe make $100. We made over $500 on this raffle.

There are always local laws pertaining to the running of raffles - licenses are usually required unless the raffle is limited in scope (eg just run within a community group), limited in time (just sold at one venue on one night) or limited in prize value. We kept our prize value below the local gaming law $200 ceiling that enabled us to run the raffle over a week and beyond our local community.

Compare and Contrast - a review of three online ticketing sites in Australia

School disco action.
This is for Australian readers of my blog who may be involved in organisations that have to run events for fundraising - or just run ticketed events, or any event where you have to keep track of who has paid and how much money you have made. Updated in 2017 to reflect a change in Sticky Ticket's pricing policy.

Having been involved in a few functions for my school's P&C, I think that one of the most labour intensive parts of any function is ticketing, where you can't just directly sell tickets but have to send home information about how to purchase tickets remotely. From the flyer (designing, printing, sorting, distributing) to the tickets (designing, printing, colating, cutting) to receipt of cash and completed forms (money getting lost on way, wrongly completed forms with illegible names etc), or matching forms to bank deposits (snore!), then distributing tickets (cross matching deposits and cash with names, physically distributing ticket) to getting tickets from children into parents' hands ("Hello, we paid, but don't have tickets? What do we do?"), to depositing cash at the bank... it's a hassle.

Using an online site, it will cost a little bit of money on top of the ticket price, but when you are in a situation where volunteers with time to do the ticketing function are short on the ground, it's a way of equitably sharing the "cost" (in $ rather than time). 

There are 3 online ticketing sites I have investigated:

1. Eventbrite
2. StickyTickets and
3. TryBooking

Each site will allow credit card payments, and will tabulate ticket purchase details, including details of purchaser (so you can have a contact name for each ticket sold). (As I typed all this I wished I knew Excel and I could plug all the figures into a spreadsheet which would calculate the on-costs of any price ticket....)

Here are the prices for comparison:

Eventbrite charges 2.5% of the ticket price plus AU$0.99 per ticket, plus a 3.5% payment processing fee in Australian dollars. Pay with Visa, Mastercard or PayPal. Can absorb or pass on costs (although can't absorb PayPal costs) or chose to absorb some and pass on some.

A $10 ticket will therefore cost $10 x 2.5% = $10.25 + 99c = $11.24 + ($11.24 x 3.5% = 39c) = $11.63 (or, if you absorb the costs, the organiser collects only $8.37).
(Calculations for $20 ticket - $20 x 2.5% = $20.50 + 99c = 21.49 + (21.49 x 3.5% = .75c) = $22.24 [Or organiser collects $17.76 if they absorb all the costs.])

There's a suggestion that not for profit organisations could get it for less -  "If your organization is recognized by the government as a nonprofit, you can apply for lowers fees on your events." -

but the terms "non profit" and "charitable" are used interchangeably - and they are not the same thing - so it is not entirely clear which organisations will qualify (eg our P&C is a not-for-profit organisation, not a charitable organisation).


The site offers a flat fee of $1 for ticket sales up to $9.99 and $1.50  for tickets up to $24.99 (you can see the full fee structure as well as a calculator of fees on the link above.) You can decide whether to absorb this cost in your ticket pricing or pass it on to the purchaser. The site accepts Visa and Mastercard, but charges more for AMEX. No PayPal.

So for a ticket up to $10, you could charge an extra $1 to the ticket price to cover the booking fee, or you could absorb the fee in your ticket price. 

(A $20 ticket - $21.50)

In addition, they offer a 10% rebate of fees charged for "not for profits", as well as rebates for educational institutions, not for profit/community groups and 20% rebates for charities and events held in order to fundraise for registered charities. (


Different structure again - 30c per ticket cost for purchasers (which the organiser could absorb by dropping the ticket price by 30c), then organisers get charged a percentage fee plus a fee per transaction - not per ticket! So may work out more cost effective:

For a $10 ticket, the purchaser will pay $10.30 ($10 + 30c). The organiser is charged 2.1% of $10 = 21c + 50c per transaction - so the organiser collects ($10 - 71c) $9.29. Only Visa and Mastercard credit card payments; Amex attracts extra fees.

(For a $20 ticket, organiser collects $20 - [2.1% of $20 = 42c + 50c] = $19.08.)

Any way you dice it, TryBooking would seem to be the most cost effective site. Interestingly, it is used by two public schools in Perth - both Perth Modern School and John Curtin Senior High School - for ticket sales to their performances, so the site must be safe and secure.

Always be upfront, though, about whether you are passing on booking fees or not. I hate to see event advertised at "$25" but then once booking fees are added it's closer to a $30 ticket price!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Shoes for a Hunger Games fan

Thomas had seen an art show on TV in which they personalised plain canvas sneakers. Then we were in Target and saw this (Cue "Mu-umm?!?"):

Next, images were printed from the internet and stencils were cut from Contact adhesive plastic (good for stencils as it sticks to fabric and helps prevent bleeding a little).

 Stick on the stencil, mask the rest of the shoe.

Spray paint. Or sponge on fabric paint. Whatever you have.
Embellish with "puffy paint" (and touch up with a black marker).

Wear with pride.