Auction or Raffle: Which is Right for Your Event?

Rhys Lawson @rhyslawson / December 29, 2022 • 5 min read

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When it comes to fundraising events, there are many fundraising options to choose from. Two popular options are auctions and raffles, but which one is right for your event?

First, let's define each.

What is a silent auction?

A silent auction is a type of auction where attendees bid on items or experiences. Depending on the style of silent auction, bids can be placed on a piece of paper, online or even through the organizations social media! The highest bidder at the end of the event wins the item.

What is a raffle?

A raffle, on the other hand, involves selling tickets with a chance to win a prize. Typically, the more tickets you buy, the more entries you get. The winner is chosen randomly through a drawing near the end of the event.

The main difference

One main difference between auctions and raffles is the level of participation required from attendees. With a silent auction, attendees have the opportunity to actively bid on items and potentially walk away with something they really want. This can be incredibly engaging throughout the time of the event, making it very fun for people participating!

Raffles, on the other hand, require a more passive form of participation. Attendees simply buy a ticket and hope to win the prize. This can be good if you're expecting low participation from your audience.

Which brings in more $$$?

Another difference is the potential for profit. Silent auctions can potentially generate more money for your organization because attendees are bidding against each other, driving up the price. Raffles, on the other hand, have a fixed price for tickets and the profit is determined by the number of tickets sold.

Auctions also offer more flexibility in terms of the types of items that can be auctioned off. From unique experiences to one-of-a-kind items, auctions allow for a wider range of options. Raffles, on the other hand, typically involve a single prize so there's a lower chance it will be something everyone wants.


Ultimately, the choice between an auction or raffle will depend on the goals of your event and the preferences of your attendees. Auctions may be a better fit for events with a more upscale atmosphere, while raffles may be a better fit for events with a more casual atmosphere. Consider the type of audience you will be hosting and the goals of your event when deciding between an auction or raffle.

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