The best way to draw players in to your bingo night is to offer attractive prizes. Whilst your players will just play for fun and to donate to a good cause, having something nice to offer to the winners will add another layer of excitement!
Traditionally, bingo winners are awarded cash prizes. However, as you likely don’t have a gambling licence and you’re trying to make money not spend it, then you should look to go down a different route.
Remember any prizes you are offering on the night must be advertised ahead of time, and must not be dependent on the number of players that turn up on the night. Otherwise, you will be in breach of the law. Here’s a few options for prizes you can award to keep the costs low whilst still getting your players excited.
You can ask your players or people in the local community to donate prizes. You can also ask local businesses to donate gift certificates that can be exchanged for goods/services that they provide. This allows you to save money from your budget and offers publicity to local businesses.
A prize hamper is a collection of gifts in a big basket. The good thing about a prize hamper is that lots of little donations make up one big prize!
You could set a theme for donations before the fundraiser and ask people to donate over a period of time, then you can make up the hampers to show off on the day.
One of the top prizes you could offer is a cash prize. This is obviously easy to organise and doesn't take much effort, but is still an attractive offering. Just remember that the amount you are offering as a cash prize cannot depend on how much you make on the night, as this will make you no longer compliant with the law.
If you want some more unique prizes that will get people excited, why not speak to local businesses and ask them to provide prizes to support the event in exchange for advertisement?
As the business is providing a prize for your fundraiser, it’s only fair that you feature the business’s logo, name and maybe a short slogan in all your promotional materials.
You could shout the business out on your facebook event, include their logo and contact information on the bingo cards or even hang up a banner to advertise the business’ services too.
To really stress how important this donation is to the fundraiser, you could request that a business representative hands the award out on the night as a guest of honour.
This gesture allows you to thank the business on the night and makes the whole thing feel more personal - it also allows the representative to directly talk to any potential customers.
If you are adamant that you want to buy prizes out of the money you raise from your event, then you need to set a budget for prizes and stick to it!
You don’t want to raise a load of money for a good cause only to find you spent it all on expensive prizes. To work out how much money you can realistically put aside for your prizes you need to work out how much your bingo night will cost.
From there, you can work out roughly how much you plan to make from ticket sales and other fundraising activities. When you work out how much money you think your event will raise, it’s time to set your budget and choose your prizes!
Remember that the maximum value of the prizes you award is £600, though if your bingo night takes place over multiple days your prize pot can be £900 instead! Be sure to read up on the legalities of running a bingo night.
Now that you have your prizes planned and you have all the equipment you need, it is time to start promoting your bingo night and selling tickets!