Rubber duck race
Rubber Duck Race
This is a very cute fundraising idea that is great at engaging kids as well as adults!
The Rubber Duck Race is just that, a race between a large amount of rubber ducks. The raffle involves participants buying a numbered rubber duck to represent them in the race. The rubber ducks are then let out at the top of a river and the first to reach the finish line is the winner.
It is an easy raffle to sell tickets for because it is novel and fun while still drawing on the fundamentals of why raffles are so successful.
Unless you are close to a river, it may need to be held as a stand alone event or after or before a club event.
It’s such a unique event and if promoted well, you may find the local media will pick up the story.
Why Rubber Duck Race?
Rubber Duck Race is a great fundraiser to use for all ages and when you want to engage the community (and potentially even the media). It is a fun, engaging, creative way to run a raffle and can make for a really great day out.
This fundraiser can work for all sports clubs, especially clubs with large junior programs and in both city and country clubs.
When should I hold this fundraiser?
The Rubber Duck Race is an outdoor fundraiser and shouldn’t be held during extreme heat or cold weather. It is also important to consider the flow of whichever river you are using to ensure water levels are high enough. It can be held at anytime during the season and may allow for other activities to happen on the day at the same location, for example a family picnic or training camp.
Targeted at club members and surrounding public, this event will be quite a spectacle and therefore timing the execution of the event well is very important!
These are the tasks you will need to consider assign to volunteers at our club:
Before the day
- Decide the date of the Rubber Duck Race and whether it will be in conjunction with any other events.
- Advertise the raffle and make sure it is on all advertising for the day if it is in conjunction with another event.
- Source affordable rubber ducks.
- Sell raffle tickets/rubber ducks.
- Organise your location and safety information (as there is water involved)
- Communicate the timing well to participants.
On The Day
- Set up the finish line and race river.
- Ensure water safety is taken into account.
- Prepare the numbered Rubber Ducks.
- Run event
- Present the winner with the prize
After the day
- Publicly thank everyone involved
- Announce the amount of money raised and the winner
Who can help?
It is important to engage your members to help in the running of your fundraiser.
For a Rubber Duck Race you could approach them to help:
- Promote and sell the tickets
- Secure prizes
- Source a location and rubber ducks
- Help logistically on the day
You could also approach current club Sponsors for prizes.
Recruiting your people
It is important to create a culture of volunteering at your club to help not only with fundraising but also across the day to day running of your club. For more on how to create this at your club, click here.
Using technology to make it easier
You may like to consider using technology to reduce the workload on your volunteers and increase your fundraising dollars.
For a Rubber Duck Race you may like to sell tickets online. An example of a website that allows clubs to do this is trybooking.com. This takes care of a great deal of the work usually left to volunteers and automates the ticket selling process.
This allows for sales to be made to people external to your club, including past members or family and friends of members who don’t live in the area. It also makes the event easily shareable for your members and supporters.
Your club may then also like to use social media, email newsletters and your club website to promote the event.
On the day your club could then live stream the event on social media for those who bought tickets but couldn’t be there on the day.
Potential profit this event can generate can be anywhere from $200 to $10000. Revenue raised relates directly to ticket prices and sales. The revenue can vary depending on two things, the sale price and number of rubber ducks. Priced at anywhere from $2 per rubber duck to $45 and the number of rubber ducks is only limited by the amount you choose to sell (and can fit in the river). The cash prize will determine the regulations for gambling licensing.
The upfront investment for this event will revolve around the rubber ducks, promotion, ticketing, licensing, and insurance.
Ensure you create a budget for the event and identify how much cash you will need before the day. For a Rubber Duck Race there will generally only be minor purchases before ticket sales begin, including prizes (if not already donated) and rubber ducks.
Promote your Rubber Duck Race using traditional club resources such as the club website, newsletter and social media pages. If the raffle is part of a larger event, ensure it is also on all of the event’s advertising. Also don’t forget to call on your members to spread the word and make contact with the local media to see if they would like to cover the event.
You may also choose to promote and sell the ducks online! This makes it even easier for your members, friends and family to share the raffle with people who may like to purchase a duck but can’t get down to the club.
As a Rubber Duck Race is essentially a raffle, the winner doesn’t necessarily have to be there on the day. This opens up options for selling tickets via social media and to a wider audience than just your members and supporters. This way people anywhere in the world can buy a raffle ticket which allows for funds to be raised from sources external to the club.
Use social media to sell tickets and live stream the event on the day!
What can go wrong? (Risk Management)
There are obvious financial risks if enough tickets aren’t sold and the prizes and setup costs more than is made.
The weather can make the day difficult to run should their be extreme heat or extreme rain. Alternative arrangements should be discussed and decided on prior to the day should they be necessary.
Crowd and Water Safety
The health and wellbeing of your crowd should be a focus at all times. It is important that your club takes time to consider all possible risks and how to minimise these.
The safety of your participants is paramount and as there is a water danger at this fundraiser it is your club’s responsibility to put in place safety procedures. Among other things, this may include barriers, lifeguards and safety announcements.
The event takes too long or doesn’t work
You may wish to put a time limit on the event so that if the stream isn’t running hard enough on the day and none of the rubber ducks are making their way down the river within this time, you will draw a number out of a hat to find the winner.
Licenses and Permits
It is important for clubs to take the responsibility and check their state or territory’s gambling regulations to make sure their Rubber Duck Race fundraiser is a legal event.
Additional Revenue Opportunities
The Rubber Duck Race is an event that can be run before or after other events or as a stand alone event. You could also hold it in conjunction with another event at the same river side location.
This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.
Salary cap discussions expose an ethical leadership dilemma for clubs
In a previous life I had the honour and pleasure of being the CEO of the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League (MPNFL). At the time, 2007 -2008, the MPNFL was...
By Steve Pallas
Gambling on grassroots sports must be avoided at all costs
The Australian Gambling Research Centre which is a part of the federal government’s Australian Institute of Family Studies published in early November 2014, a report titled “Sports Betting and Advertising”....
By Steve Pallas