Raffle baskets are huge money makers for golf outings. By soliciting donations from individuals and local businesses, you can pack your tables with desirable items that your golfers will fork over cash for the opportunity to win.
But what baskets will entice golfers to buy the most raffle tickets? To help you and your volunteers come up with ideas, I’ve included a bunch of basket ideas below—some standard and some not-so-standard.
Before we get to those, we need to talk about what makes a good basket.
A good basket has three main elements:
A Theme: Make sure everything included in the basket revolves around one central theme. This will help your golfers quickly understand what they’ll win so they can zero in on the 2 or 3 baskets into which they want to dump their tickets.
A Cornerstone Item: Every basket should have a cornerstone prize. This is an item that will catch someone’s attention. For example, free rounds at the course you're playing, a signed jersey, or a nice bottle of bourbon.
Enhancement Items: Fill the basket with items that will enhance the experience of the cornerstone item. These things don’t have to be great prizes. They just need to make the winner feel like they got their raffle ticket’s worth.
In front of each basket, make sure to include a list of all the items included. Not everything may be visible in the basket itself, so including a list helps rafflers get a clear understanding of what they'll get if they win. This is also a good opportunity to call out the person or business responsible for donating the basket.
19 Gift Basket Ideas for Golf Outing Raffles
If you’re looking for golf outing raffle basket ideas, I’ve compiled the list of my favorites below. Use these as a starting point, and then have some fun with it.
Golf Basket: See if the golf course is willing to throw a free round in as a donation and then beef the basket up with golf balls, tees, a golf shirt, cooler, and other golf essentials. Courses may also be willing to throw in a gift certificate to the pro shop.
Sports Team Basket: Call the professional teams in your city and ask for donations. Most are more than willing to offer tickets and swag and probably already have a standard list of donation items.
Wine Basket: Get several nice bottles of wine and include some wine glasses, crackers and a cheese log of some sort.
Local Brewery Basket: Buy several six packs of beer from the local brewery and combine them in one basket.
Coffee Kick-Start Basket: Get a French press coffee maker, and fill the basket with different types of coffees, creamers, sugars, and a coffee mug or two.
Movie Night Basket: Get a DVD or BlueRay of CaddyShack to remind the winner they can stream the movie online, and then load the basket with instant popcorn, boxes of candy, potentially a blanket, and beer and/or bottle of wine.
Candy Basket: Buy an assortment of candies and load them into a box. In Cleveland, there is a store called B.A. Sweeties where you can buy pretty much any time of candy ever created, including chocolate-covered crickets. Have fun with this one. Here’s a preselected box of candy from Amazon.
Light Bulbs: One outing I attend has a donor that works for GE Lighting. So, he puts together a basket of light bulbs every year, and it’s the best. I’ve won it twice and use the bulbs all the time.
Whiskey Basket: Buy a bottle of the finest cheap whiskey or bourbon, glasses, cigar and cigar cutter, ice cube mold, and a bag of pretzels.
Gift Certificate Basket: Get a bunch of gift certificates to some big-name box stores, including Home Depot, Walmart, Home Goods, Tractor Supply, and others. Or better yet …
Local Business Basket: Go to local small businesses and solicit donations or gift certificates. Try restaurants, boutique stores, ice cream shops, and other non-franchised businesses to help support the community.
Season Decoration Items: Pack a basket full of seasonal decorations, like a fall decoration basket. My house didn’t have a lot of fall decorations, so I threw a raffle ticket in and won once. Crazy enough, my wife was pretty excited about this one.
Summer Fun: Build a basket that includes summer fun activities, including a blow up pool, inflatables, pool noodles, sun screen, sprinkler and the like. This is a good one for early summer outings. Parents with kids will jump on this one.
Spa Day: Give a gift certificate for a massage from a local massotherapy along with towels, lotions, smelly candles, and a bottle of wine.
6-Pack Basket: Grab six six-packs of your favorite beers and put them together with a pint glass or two. If your outing is later in the year, a fall beer basket full of Oktoberfests and pumpkin ales is always fun. Yes, this is a bit of a repeat from the one above, but multiple options give golfers more chances to win.
I’m Sorry for Golfing All Day Basket: Package a bottle of wine, glasses, bath salts, and Kenny G CD (merely symbolic since no one owns a CD player).
Mystery Basket: Instead of a basket, load the contents of this prize into a sealed box. If you have kids, you likely have heard of Ryan’s Toy Review. They make a fortune on these mystery boxes. The kids have no idea what's inside before buying and it's aways junk, but the surprise makes it fun.
Silent Auction Items
Sometimes your cornerstone gifts can generate more money if presented as a silent auction item. For example, if a Cleveland Browns basket included suite tickets to a Bengals game and a signed Jim Brown jersey, your attendees may fork over some serious cash to get it.
One of my favorite silent auction prizes was a Booze Wagon. It was a collapsible wagon filled with an assorted variety of hard liquors of booze. I didn’t win it because someone was willing to go $700+ to get it, but the event was the real winner. The winning bid more than covered the cost of the booze, which was donated anyway.
Make sure that those individuals and groups that donate get recognized in an event flier or next to their basket, especially if that basket was donated by a business.
Not everyone will want the praise, but some, especially the businesses, are donating specifically for the awareness. The more visibility you create, the more likely they’ll contribute again next year.