How many tickets should you order for your fundraising raffle?
As simple as the question is the answer needs some careful consideration. The obvious comment is you don't want to run out of tickets and "leave money sitting on the table" (as the saying goes) and just as importantly you don't want a huge pile of tickets left unsold.
The best way to estimate how many tickets you need now is to look at what has been sold in your previous fundraising raffles. This should be a good guide for future results. It's also a great reason to note these details in the minutes of your meetings so everyone knows how many tickets were purchased and approx. how many sold along with any noteworthy comments which might explain higher or lower sales (like our event clashed with the Melbourne Cup and hence numbers were low).
Distributing books of tickets to be sold over a period of time
If you are handing out a book of tickets to each person in your school/club/etc and you have a few weeks to sell the tickets it's probably not that difficult to work out. Typically 1 book of usually 10 or 20 tickets for each person plus maybe 5% or 10% extra for the people who sell multiple books or for example ticket sales through meetings or a central office. Since time is on your side if you run low of raffle tickets just ask your raffle ticket printer to print extra tickets numbered from your first order (as a little sales pitch here at Budget Raffle Tickets we even offer a $27.50 discount for printing additional tickets*).
As an example if you have 180 families in your school and you want to distribute 1 book of 10 tickets to each family - that's 180 books (or 1,800 tickets), plus maybe 10 or 20 extra books to bring the total to 1,900 or 2,000 tickets.
Some people won't sell any tickets so it's a great idea to add to the letter or book cover to return any unsold tickets ASAP so they can be re-sold.
In general with historical results and knowing how many people will be selling tickets you should be able to closely estimate how many tickets you need.
Selling raffle tickets at a single event
Fundraising dinners or functions are probably the exception because you know how many people will attend and you could probably assume you'll sell on average at least 1 ticket to each person. You also don't usually have thousands of people attending so buying 800 or 1,000 tickets instead of 500 won't see a considerable increase in cost.
Fetes, markets or over social gatherings is where the real guess work comes in. Estimate how many ticket sellers you have and how many tickets each person can sell per hour. Generally if you are walking around asking people to buy tickets you may be able to sell 50 tickets per hour (assuming you have a big crowd of willing raffle ticket buyers). As an example if you have 8 people who are willing to sell tickets for 3 hours each, that is 24 hours of ticket sales multiplied by approx. 50 tickets per hour giving up to 1,200 tickets.
Before getting carried away with huge numbers - the best estimate of the future is to compare with the past. If you don't have any historical figures probably err on the conservative side (that's probably part of my personality!) and if all goes well document your results in your minutes and think bigger for your next event.