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Fundraising Idea of the Month:
Stick Lotto

by Doug Nash


Here is a quick, easy, inexpensive and highly adaptable fund-raiser. All you need is a tray of sand, 100 sticks and some way of colouring the tips of the sticks either by paint or marker pen. How it works is really simple, take a few sticks and mark them as prize winning. Then stick them into the sand, marked ends in the sand. People then pay to remove a stick to see if they have won and if they have what their prize is. Easy!

There are many ways to individualize this event to your needs. First what kind of sticks you use can range from tree sticks to popsicle sticks to toothpicks. As long as they can be marked to meet your needs then they will do. You can use 10 sticks or 100 sticks. Instead of sand you can use dirt, jelly, marbles or any other material you can think of as long as the sticks stay upright and the winning sticks are not visible.

The marking of the sticks can be colour coded, have pieces of coloured paper or small pictures stuck to them or marked by pen - whatever you can think of that is appropriate to you or will add a bit of fun to the activity.

The amount you want to raise or where you run this activity will determine what you charge per go and how much you will give in prizes. You can either try to have prizes donated to give to winners or simply return a percentage of money raised. For example if you use 100 sticks at a dollar per go then you can expect to have $100 to draw winnings from. From this you may offer thirty dollars in prize money leaving you seventy dollars profit. This thirty dollars can be offered by having the following sticks...

    1 stick for $15 = $15
    5 sticks for $2 = $10
    5 sticks for $1 = $5

    TOTAL 11 chances $30

To add to the fun try having a few sticks marked "try again". To ensure that you raise the full amount you either do not replace the sticks that have won or replace them with non-winning sticks Make sure that you advertise this fact so all players know what you are doing and by so doing avoid the accusation of cheating. If you replace the winning sticks then you run the chance of these sticks being pulled in succession. This is an activity that contains a risk element - be aware of this. It is really the luck of the draw.

A good promotional idea is to have a winners list placed near the game. People love reading about winners and will be encouraged to play. If it's good for the real lottos to advertise then it should also be good for you. If you remove the winning sticks then have them displayed somewhere with the winners name beside them.

Stick lotto can be run as a one day event or as an on-going activity over a period of days, weeks or months. It is up to you to judge what is best in your circumstance. You can also run several games at once for differing ammonites to play and of course to win.

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About the Author:

Doug Nash lives in Logan City in Queensland, Australia. He has graciously consented to share a fundraising idea with us every month. Although many of the ideas aren't new, each of them has a unique flair that comes from being developed and refined half a world away from ours. Visit his web site at http://www.home.gil.com.au/~dnash/ for more fundraising ideas.



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