Raffles are an excellent way to keep all of your guests involved in the evening and can be successful fundraisers without a flashy, expensive prize.
Check your selection of items that have already been donated - raffles can be an excellent way to ensure that you meet or exceed the Fair Market Value on an item that otherwise might not be the subject of a bidding frenzy.
For instance, At the auction for my kid’s school this year, the raffle prize was a class visit from the local Mad Science team. This is a group that offers fun in-class, hands-on science presentations, and they are a reliable donor for our auction. It’s always an item that the community is glad to see, but for some reason, never gets more than a handful of bids. So this year, we charged $10/ticket for a chance to win the Mad Science In-Class Field Trip for any class the winner chose (presumably, one of the classes they have a kid in.) With a FMV of $129, we only had to sell 13 tickets in order to cover the FMV, and we wound up selling over 50 tickets.
Another variation is a “Hat” auction. Instead of a single flashy prize, display 5-10 appealing, but not necessarily expensive prizes on a table, with a hat, fishbowl or container in front of each. Sell 10 chances/tickets for $10 and let each buyer place their ticket(s) in the container(s) for the prizes they are interested in. Winners are drawn from each container.