How to Run a Chinese Raffle

Things You'll Need

  • Baskets

  • Cellophane

  • Donations for raffle items

  • Door tickets

  • Raffle tickets

  • Refreshments

Image of raffle tickets on a studio background.
Image Credit: webking/iStock/Getty Images

Chinese raffles commonly are used to raise money for a charity or organization. Many people refer to them as basket auctions, silent auctions or Chinese auctions. If you know how to run a Chinese raffle, you have the potential of raising a large sum of funds.


Step 1

Gather volunteers to help prepare and run the Chinese raffle.

Step 2

Get three sets of tickets -- one for the entrance fee and door prize drawings, one for purchase at the basket auction and one for a 50/50 raffle.

Step 3

Post a request for items that can be raffled off at the basket auction. Notify members of the organization in question, local supporters, friends and family members. Ask for new items if possible. Use smaller items as door prizes. Reach out to local businesses, sports organizations and restaurants for donations. Offer businesses and organizations a space to advertise or list their sponsorships in your events program.

Step 4

Advertise the event online on as many community boards as possible. Call newspapers and community television stations, and advertise where you can afford. Post signs for your event on bulletin boards at stores throughout your community.

Step 5

Request food donations for refreshments at your event. Include a snack and beverage in the cost of the ticket. Reach out to a caterer to see if she will discount her services.

Step 6

Print programs for the event that include a thank you to those who donated and volunteered. Include a list of sponsors or advertisers and a list of items being auctioned.

Step 7

Put items together in baskets and number each basket. Items that are large enough to be auctioned off alone can just be numbered.

Running the Event

Step 1

Take tickets at the door. Keep a stub for each entrance ticket and use the stub to raffle off smaller items such as door prizes. Have one table at the entrance and a separate table to buy basket auction tickets and 50/50 tickets.

Step 2

Allow attendees an hour from entrance time to evaluate and put in tickets for prizes. Display each basket on a table with a brown paper bag in front of each. Purchased tickets go in the bags of choice.

Step 3

Make sure your venue has enough seating for the number of guests.

Step 4

Shake up each bag and draw one ticket out per bag. Call out the number and wait for someone to hold up the matching ticket. Have a volunteer at the event check the ticket to confirm a match, then give the basket to the winner. Repeat these steps until you are halfway through your items.

Step 5

Distribute food or refreshments to guests at the midway point of your Chinese raffle. Call door prizes during this time.

Step 6

Raffle off the rest of the baskets after people have had sufficient time to enjoy refreshments. Pull the 50/50 ticket last.


Events that are catered often are easier to run and you can charge the cost per head in the cost per ticket. For instance, if you are being charged $10 per head by the caterer and you sell your tickets for $20, you know you are covering tax gratuity while still making a profit on each entrance ticket.