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What if an extra ten minutes spent setting up your raffle could bring in $30,000 in additional donations, just for that one raffle? Although it sounds too good to be true that’s exactly what Aimee Winegarden, Director of Advancement at the Alberta SPCA did (and you can too).

Looking to maximize their fundraising, in the winter of 2023 the Alberta SPCA moved their fundraising to Trellis so that they could add donation upsells. They loved how natural the donation ask was in the raffle checkout process and that it only took ten minutes to set up. “It integrates so well with the fundraising page that it just looks like a natural piece, it doesn’t look awkward and it doesn’t feel awkward,” noted Aimee.

“Adding the donation upsell was super easy… click of a button and we raised $50k more! Glad we made the move to Trellis” – Aimee Winegarden, Director of Advancement at Alberta SPCA

The Alberta SPCA runs a Christmas cash lottery, ending in mid-December, this was their first time using donation upsells for their raffle. “I definitely had some preconceived notions going in on what our donations [with our lottery] would look like,” said Aimee, “I wasn’t expecting [the donations] to raise a lot.” 

Aimee, reminded of when she first started to watch the donations grow, speaks to her experience; “I can still remember the day that our database coordinator was showing me the Trellis reports and I asked her “What’s this line? What is this $16,000?” and I was like “No, no, no, there’s some mistake, that can’t be donations, we’re only seven weeks into this lottery, there’s no way.” But it was true, just halfway through their lottery at the seven-week mark the Alberta SPCA had raised an incredible $16,000 in donations, they were blown away.

The Alberta SPCA had historically budgeted to receive around $1,000 in donations for a lottery and in their first lottery with donation upsells they raised a total of just over $30,000 in donations!

“I’ve been doing lotteries wrong this whole time and [Trellis has] figured out something out here” – Aimee Winegarden, Director of Advancement at Alberta SPCA

When it came to the next raffle, a four-week long New Years 50/50, Aimee wasn’t sure whether the donation upsell would have the same effect. She wondered, “Is this a one-time anomaly and people saw this donation button and thought they should give a one-time gift and then they’re never going to give again.” In that second raffle, they raised another $20,000 in donations, proving any concern they had was wrong.

Overall, adding donation upsells to these two raffles gained the Alberta SPCA $50,000 in additional donations, which is unrestricted funds that the Alberta SPCA can use to continue their mission of animal welfare.

In addition to the donation upsell the other reason the Alberta SPCA moved to Trellis was the insights they could gain using our integration with Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge. Their past fundraising software didn’t integrate with Raiser’s Edge, and as Aimee notes, without those insights all in one place, it’s hard to get the whole picture. With the Raiser’s Edge integration, Aimee can now identify which raffle purchasers added a donation during checkout. This added information allows the Alberta SPCA to foster and create relationships that lead to long-term donors from their raffle purchasers, making a substantial difference in their donor database. Aimee adds that, “The ability to integrate the two is just so helpful for me.”

Although it’s easy for professional fundraisers to get in the habit of categorizing donors into buckets, we need to remember that although it’s important to have information on donors we can’t limit them to a box. As Aimee says, “Donors are out there everywhere and they are lottery purchasers and they will choose to make a donation if we give them the opportunity.” 

“If you’re running a raffle don’t be afraid to add a donation option” – Aimee Winegarden, Director of Advancement at Alberta SPCA

If you’re interested in spending 10 minutes to raise an extra $50,000 for your organization, connect with our team today.

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Interested to learn more about the experience that the Alberta SPCA had with Trellis? Check out our case study video here!