Club Auctions, Drawings and Raffles
by Lee Wiese
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There are three types of club activities that normally take place at any
general meeting or competition hunt. These activities are auctions,
drawings, and raffles and they may have many variations. This article will
review in some depth each of these activities and who is qualified to
The table below provides a visual description of what will be covered in the
article. On the left side of the table are three categories (auctions,
) with various different types of activities within each of
the categories. Listed across the top of the table are the event types
(general meeting, competition hunt
) and who should be allow to participant
(visitors, members, public
) in the activities. Take some time before reading
the article and study the table, it provides a very good pictorial of the
Auctions. An auction is the sale of merchandise sold to the highest bidder.
The items auctioned may or may not have a minimum bid requirement. A minimum
bid is where the auction price must go above a set amount before there can
be a winning bidder.
are usually for a very
and the prize is usually
funded by the club. The club should not have an expectation of getting the
full purchase value of the merchandise back from this type of auction. This
auction is usually a club good will auction for its members and is normally
for hobby related merchandise such as a metal detector purchased from the
club's treasury funds. Generally, this type of activity is only available to
the club's membership since the funds in the club treasury are the result of
membership dues and other club activities.
Another type of club auction may be for a fund raiser
used to increase the
club's treasury. This type of auction
can have a large variety of auction items that may be non-related hobby
merchandise. It would be hoped that in this type of auction many of the
items would be donated by club members and local retailers. A fund raiser
auction should be open to visitors, club members and the general public.
Before holding this type of auction
there should be a major drive to get the public's attention and their
participation in the auction. The greater the participation the greater the
financial gain from the auction.
Club drawings are usually held for very nice club funded prizes or
in some cases the item may be donated. The prizes can vary from a silver
coin to a very expensive item like a metal detector or other hobby related
are usually held at the club's general meeting and are a
good ice breaker for starting the meeting. Everyone likes a chance to win
something. The typical prize for a membership drawing is a silver coin. The
coin denomination will depend on the club's size and allocated funds for the
activity. For fairness, the prize should always be consistent from meeting
to meeting in denomination and valve.
One very important component at any club meeting is the visiting public.
Shortly after the start of the meeting there should be a visitors
introduction period and a visitors drawing
. Each visitor attending the
meeting should sign-in and at sign-in time a ticket be awarded to the
visitor for the visitors only drawing. This special drawing can be a great
catalysis for bringing new members into the club as this drawing provides
the visitor a chance to win something at their first visit and may be an
incentive to join. Always remember to provide recognition to visitors.
Another drawing activity may be for a specific prize
which can be a nice and
sometimes expensive item like a metal detector. This type of drawing is
usually funded by the club and may not require any of the participants to
buy tickets. In this type of drawing activity only the club's membership are
participants. This activity can be held at special monthly meetings and
competition hunts. Each member should be awarded one ticket for the drawing.
Show and Tell Drawings
are for rewarding the members who choose to discuss
their previous months finds with the members. This drawing can take many
forms with drawing prizes for the top finds in a number of different
categories or the drawing may be just for anyone that participates in the
activity. Funds for this drawing comes from the club's treasury and only
club members should be allow to participant.
Raffles. Club raffles are like a lottery, tickets are sold and the prizes
can be merchandize, silver coins, silver bullion (rounds or bars), and gold
coins / nuggets. Raffles are a major activity in most all metal detecting
and prospecting club general meetings. Raffles can also be a major activity
at a club's competition hunt or other club sponsored activity.
Before getting into the different raffle activities a discussion on raffled
coin prizes is in order.
Coins for a raffle can be silver, gold and new clad coins, however
silver coins are most often used.
Professionally Grade Coin (PGC)
. PGC graded coins are worth more and will
result in costing the club more to purchase. Given that the coin cost is
higher there will be fewer coins available for the raffle but the quality or
grade of these coins can be very high.
Dealer Graded Coins
are coins that usually have been graded by the dealer
who is selling the coin or graded by someone that sold the coin to the
dealer. In this case the coin will be of higher valve than spot market metal
priced coins but less them a PCG graded coin. Keep in mind that the dealer
must make a profit on any coin they sell and therefore there may be a
conflict of interest with the coin grading process. (dealer graded could be
graded higher than the coin deserves which increases the coin cost
Coins Valued at Scrap Metal Spot Price
. Silver and Gold coins that do not
have a numismatic value other that
the value of the coin's metal content are a good choice for raffles. This
type of coin will provide for many more
can also be used as a prize for club raffles. Many clubs offer
silver rounds and bars as raffle prizes and occasionally a gold nugget.
Bullion is usually priced at spot market metal price.
Next the article will center around a number of issues which need to be
explored associated with any coin raffle; coin grade, how much to spend,
raffle drawing sequence and the process of drawing the winning ticket
The coin grade of raffled coins
is extremely important because the coin
grade will have an impact on the number of participants. Using just PGC
grade coins for a raffle will limit the number of coins available for the
raffle, the result will probably be far fewer number of participants in the
raffle and dollars spend on raffle tickets. Club members want to get
something for their ticket purchases; by only having high quality coins (PGC
- coin) limits the opportunity to win. The result is there will be less
incentive to purchase raffle tickets or a large number of raffle tickets
purchased by the participants.
Using dealer graded coins
will result in lower quality coins. But this will
also lower the cost per raffled coin providing for more coins being
available and a greater chance to have a winning ticket. Thus, these coins
increase the incentive to purchase more raffle tickets.
Finally there are scarp metal spot price coins
, this type of coin offers the
maximum amount of coins for a raffle since the cost is the lowest for the
three types of coins. These coins will provide a much higher incentive to
purchase raffle tickets since the chance to have a winning ticket is
greater. Keep in mind these coins are usually lower quality, however by
picking through a dealers coin bin you may find some very nice coins. Or the
club can purchase this type of coin from the membership.
I have seen clubs go with the lowest grade of coin for 90% of the raffled
coins and sell many raffle tickets the result being very high membership
participation. On the opposite side, I have also seen clubs that use dealer
grade coins with very low participation. The club's officers can monitor the
membership participation by tracking the number of members that do not stay
for the club raffle and leave during the mid-meeting break.
Club coin raffles
usually take place at the end of the club's general
meeting. A major reason for this is to keep the membership involved in the
club's activities until the meeting is adjourned. However, the management
and definition of the coin raffle will impact the number of members that
decide to leave at the mid-meeting break.
The ideal raffle mix (definition) is to have one high grade silver coin, a
number of silver rounds / bars and at least one gold coin or nugget with the
remaining coins selected from spot market price coins. I would use the 80
/20 rule. With 20% of the raffle value in a gold coin / nugget and / or
silver rounds and bars. The remaining 80% in standard un-graded silver coins
valued at the market spot price. This raffle activity should only be
available to the club's membership.
A process recommended to for a coin raffle
is to set a dollar threshold for
the top prizes and draw those tickets first in order of prize value and
place the tickets beneath the prize. These high valued prize tickets will be
announced last in order of value with the highest value prize ticket
announced last. The suggestion is to put all grade coins in this category
plus all silver rounds / bars and any gold coin or nugget. The remaining
coins should be raffle one at a time with the ticket drawn just before the
winning ticket number is announced. The next raffle ticket should be drawn
by the previous winning ticket holder.
Raffle winner should walk up and retrieve their raffle prize and introduce
themselves to the membership and describe their prize. This process is
important when the club is gaining new members, since this is a very
important way for new and old members to get to know each other. This
technique should be practice for all types of raffles, auctions and
Finally, what to spend on a coin raffle?
The amount to spend on a coin
raffle should be determined by how much revenue was gained from the previous
months coin raffle. Never spend more then what is available from the
previous month's raffle. If the club follows this rule no funds will ever be
required from the club's treasury except for the initial dollar outlay for
the first coin raffle.
50 /50 raffles
are a good way for the club to have a small fund raiser at
each meeting. A club member who has purchased the winning ticket will easily
get their purchase money back plus much more. Raffles of their type should
be open to members and visitors. There may be variation on this type of
raffle i.e.: 50/25/25 raffle, 25/25/25/25 raffle, etc.
Specific Prize Raffle
is a type of raffle that should be used for a very
high value prize such as a metal detector. This type of raffle should be
well planned with sales of tickets spread out over at least a three month
period prior to the raffle. Tickets should also be sold to the public by the
club's membership and the winning ticket holder need not be present to win.
This type of raffle should be used as a fund raiser, keeping in mind that
the membership must support this type of raffle by selling and buying
Raffles on the Fly
are usually held between multiple competition hunts. This
is where a raffle is held during the waiting period before the start of a
competition hunt. Someone will usually go though the crowd of detectorist
selling tickets for a nice prize such as a gold coin, a larger silver round
or a silver bar. This type of raffle usually has a limited number of tickets
since the event sells just enough tickets to make a small profit . By
keeping the number of tickets sold to a small number provides an incentive
for participants to purchase tickets.
. Auctions, drawings and raffles are an important part of any club's
meeting and competition hunt. These type of activities generate interest in
the club and in some cases provide additional funds for the club's
operations. By using the table as a guide in this article you will be
consistent in your application of auctions, drawings, raffles in your club
and it should generate the highest participation possible.