How St. Ignatius H.S. Doubled Online Contributions To Scholarship Drive













Saint Ignatius High School is a private, Catholic school in Cleveland, OH.  Its annual scholarship drive is a big deal; it raises hundreds of thousands of dollars and engages support from those who might not otherwise make an outright donation to the school.

Here’s how it works.  Raffle tickets are sold for $5 each.  At the end of the drive, prizes are drawn: $50,000 Grand Prize, $10,000 2nd prize, $5,000 3rd prize.  Students are responsible for selling tickets to family and friends.  Throughout the drive, individual students, homerooms, and classes complete with one another for prizes awarded for the greatest number of tickets sold.

As you can imagine, a great deal of administration is required to ensure that the drive runs smoothly.  Daily progress reports must be generated  for individual students, homerooms and classes.  Ticket stubs and cash from offline sales must be accounted for and tracked.   Online ticket sales also have to be accounted for and ticket stubs must be generated for addition to the hopper.  To produce the stubs for online tickets, staff configured and printed labels and then manually afixed them to ticket stubs.  Not only that, but the online sales process was so cumbersome and confusing, that many buyers ended up calling the office with questions, or to purchase over the phone.  At an annual workshop, staff expressed frustration with the process and the administration agreed to allocate resources to identify a solution.

Big River provided a cloud-based raffle ticket sales solution that integrated seamlessly with the school’s website.  Each student was supplied with a personalized URL (PURL) to share with friends and family. When used, it pre-populated the online form with that student’s data so purchased tickets were appropriately allocated to him.

Buyers approaching the website without a PURL could search for a student designee or could leave their tickets undesignated. Purchase was finalized with a credit card or ACH transaction and tickets were delivered to the buyer as a .pdf attached to the receipt email. To minimize risk of chargebacks, transactions appeared on credit cards and bank statements with ST IGNATIUS identified as the vendor.

An easy, one-page online purchase process made buying tickets easy and eliminated complaints and phone calls. Those who purchased online avoided the hassle of manually filling out ticket stubs and/or running the risk of losing a physical ticket. They could simply save the receipt email and refer to it when time came for the prize drawing.

Staff easily exported online sales data in batches and print ticketed stubs for addition to the hopper, eliminating the need for labels entirely. Roll up reports by student, homeroom and class made it easy to share results with the student body and keep progress reports current. Due to the simplification of back end administration, St. Ignatius was able to keep online sales open for several days longer than in previous years. This resulted in over $8500 in last-minute ticket sales.


The final result:
• Over $45,000 raised in online ticket sales. 2x previous year’s sales.

• Clear, easy online experience for buyers eliminated phone calls and emails and freed up staff to work on other things.

• Simple reporting eliminated manual data entry saving time & money.


“Big River not only provided a software solution… they proved to be a valuable partner, working alongside our staff to ensure the success of the drive.  Ultimately, new efficiencies made managing the campaign so easy…We are already looking forward to implementing additional solutions with Big River and anticipate a long and fruitful relationship with them.” – John Morbeto, VP of Institutional Advancement, Saint Ignatius H.S.


Have a unique fundraising challenge?  CONTACT US >>   We’d love to be part of the solution.