How a Wine Pull Event Can Elevate Your Fundraising Strategy

How a Wine Pull Event Can Elevate Your Fundraising Strategy

Fundraising events are often elegant affairs. From charity luncheons to gala dinners to a silent auction, guests often come expecting to participate in games and events that cater to the finer things in life. With this in mind, a wine pull fundraiser should definitely be on the short list of activity ideas you have planned for your next in-person or virtual fundraiser.

There’s just something classy about displaying wine bottles at a fundraising event. And if you have a lot of wine lovers or people who love fine dining, then the opportunity to take one of those bottles home with them can attract a lot of positive attention. Plus, with modern fundraising software, you can even host virtual wine pull events, expanding your reach to virtual fundraising audiences.

If you’re curious about how to host a wine pull event, read on. We’ll be covering all the details of this popular fundraising event, from what they are to how to procure desired bottles to how to use modern online technology to take wine pulls into the 21st century by hosting virtual wine pull fundraisers. We’ll also give you plenty of fun ideas to vary your wine pulls and make them fun events to hold for your supporters.

What are Wine Pull Fundraising Events?

A wine pull is a fundraising strategy that combines your guests’ love of wine with games of chance.

Basically, you’ll have a table or wall (known as a “wine wall”) set up with multiple bottles of wine. Each bottle will be covered by a bag or paper wrapping, keeping your guests from knowing what type of wine each package holds.

For the price of a ticket — usually around $25 — each of your guests will have the chance to choose one of the wine bottles at random and take that wine home with them. If they’re lucky, the wine bottle they chose will cost less than what they donated to participate in the wine pull.

And if they’re very lucky, they’ll discover they’re taking home an extremely desirable bottle of wine that would have cost them significantly more than the price of admission. Much like a raffle or a silent auction, the unexpected nature of a wine pull makes it a great way to raise revenue. By hosting a successful wine pull, you’ll be able to add a touch of elegance to your nonprofit’s community brand.  

However, for your wine pull to be without peer, you’ll want to follow certain event management guidelines when setting up this game.

How to Build a Wine Wall for In-Person or Virtual Fundraising Event

First things first — where will you find the bottles of wine needed for your fundraising event? We’ve found that local vineyards or wineries in your community can be quite generous in donating nice bottles of wine to your event, especially if you offer sponsorship opportunities. It’s also a good idea to approach a local grocery store if they have a nice selection of wine available.

Alternatively, you could collect wine bottles from your own network of donors and supporters. Simply hold another fundraising event before your wine pull and require each guest to bring a bottle of wine for your wine wall. Set price guidelines for the wine so you receive nice bottles without requiring your guests to break the bank.

How many wine bottles will you need? We’ve found that three bottles for every five guests is good for most events. Wine pulls are popular affairs, so don’t be surprised if you sell out of tickets early on (especially if you advertise some of the more popular wine bottles guests can win)!

To make sure your contributors get recognized for their donations, use PayBee’s online fundraising platform. Our system makes it easy for you to customize your fundraising event website so you can showcase the logos and names of all of your sponsors. This is particularly good for virtual fundraising events since you’ll be able to display these logos while your guests wait in the virtual lobby for the event to start.

You can also display your donor’s name or company on the wrapping around each bottle of wine so each winner knows who contributed the prizes. While there’s no need to go overboard, you’ll want to collect some nice wine brands and a few high-priced items appropriate for a fancy dinner in order to entice guests to participate.

Setting up your Wine Pull

Okay, now that you’ve procured some great bottles of wine for your wine wall, it’s time to set up your wine pull. Keep the following tips and ideas in mind:

Choose a nice venue

To keep with the elegant nature of wine pulls, choose an appropriate venue. Wine pulls are great activities to hold right before a fancy luncheon or dinner, so holding your wine pull at a nice restaurant or a center that can accommodate a catered event would be excellent. Donors can participate in your wine pull and then have their winning bottles be delivered to their table while they eat their meals.

Many local businesses and organizations can donate space if you have issues finding a good venue. Make sure the place you choose has a liquor license so you can serve wine to your guests.

Promote your event

Now you’ll need to set a date and time for your event. Most wine pulls are done in the evening, but if you find most of your guests need to arrive earlier, you can arrange for your wine pull to be held at a luncheon.

Promote your event on the social media channels your guests frequent the most. PayBee’s social sharing buttons can help with this by letting you immediately share your fundraising event on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other popular social media networks.

If you have an email newsletter, your wine pull — along with your overall fundraising event — should be shared with your subscribers months and weeks in advance. Be sure to promote any popular wine brands you managed to procure so guests will be motivated to buy tickets to your fundraising event.

Be aware that as you get donors to RSVP for your wine pull, you can also get them to subscribe to your email newsletter. This will be important moving forward as you use your e-newsletter to promote future fundraisers.

While you should focus on online marketing efforts, don’t discount ideas for offline promotion either. Having your sponsors promote your wine pull at their wineries, stores, or vineyards can attract plenty of wine enthusiasts to your fundraising event. Plus, by including local businesses, organizations, and other supporters into your marketing efforts, you can take advantage of their social networks by having them promote your fundraising event on their e-newsletters and social media posts.

Prepare the wine

As the date of your wine pull draws near, you’ll want to get your wine bottles ready. Acquire enough bags or wrapping paper to cover all your items. Make sure the wrappings are festive though — you want to communicate to your guests that they’re choosing some potentially great bottles of wine. You can also attach stickers or tags to the wrappings indicating which of your sponsors or nonprofit supporters donated each wine bottle.

You can display your wrapped wine bottles on a table or, if you have access to one, a wine wall. How you choose to showcase your offerings may depend on your venue’s accommodations, so be sure to scout out your location and decide how you want to arrange the wine. Whatever arrangement you choose to use, make sure people can move around easily around your display.

PayBee’s fundraising platform can help you not only build a ticketing campaign for your wine pull but also promote it. Guests can easily purchase tickets to the wine pull online, so don’t be surprised if you find this fundraising event selling out early! 

One more thing: be sure to designate a holding area to place the bottles of wine once every participant chooses their bottle. This saves your guests the trouble of carrying their wine bottles around and also makes it easier for you to serve the wine (more on that later).

Host your wine pull

If you’ve followed proper event management guidelines, hosting the actual wine pull event should be pretty easy. Simply let your guests line up by your wine wall or table. Each guest will present their ticket and be able to choose a wine bottle. After unwrapping their prize and learning what they won, each wine bottle can be labeled with the guest’s name and placed in the holding area to be picked up later.

Serve the wine

One of the best ideas to work your wine pull into a larger fundraiser is to arrange for the wine pull to be done before a charity luncheon or dinner. That way, guests who participated in your wine pull can be served a glass of the wine they selected during their meal.

To make sure everything goes smoothly, your staff and volunteers must be very clear on where all the guests are seated to ensure the right tables receive the proper bottles of wine. PayBee’s guest list management software helps make sure your charity luncheons and dinners are organized and your staff is well-informed of every guest’s profile and information.

Hosting a Virtual Wine Pull Fundraiser

Traditional wine pulls are great ways to raise money, but with today’s online fundraising software, there’s no reason why you need to limit yourself to an in-person crowd. A virtual fundraiser can draw in even larger crowds and increase your donation opportunities.

You can host a virtual wine pull in different ways. Here are some good ideas:

  • Instant-buy wine pull: With this option, you can combine your wine pull with another popular fundraising activity — the silent auction. Silent auctions are very easy to host using the PayBee system, which also allows you to offer a “Buy It Now” option. With this option, a bidder can simply choose to pay a price you set for one of your “mystery wine bottles.” Alternatively, you can offer your wine bottles as some of your auction items and let online users bid on them, allowing you to enjoy a higher price for each.
  • Online wine pull raffle: Raffles are fun fundraising activities, and even more fun when your guests learn they can win a mystery bottle of wine — or several bottles if you’re offering a grand prize. It’s also easy to build a raffle ticket campaign using PayBee and sell the tickets online. Your online guests can pick up their bottles at a designated location after the raffle or you can arrange to have the bottles delivered to them.
  • Livestream your wine pull: Here’s a more ambitious option that works particularly well if you’re hosting a hybrid fundraiser with a live in-person and online audience. PayBee lets you livestream your fundraisers on multiple popular platforms, such as Facebook or YouTube. Your virtual guests can purchase tickets online and choose their wine bottles via video chat or text. You can even unwrap the wine bottles live to show your guests what they won and then arrange for the bottles to either be picked up or delivered to the winners.   

Fun Variations on Your Wine Pull Fundraiser

While your basic wine pull may be a simple fundraising activity, there’s no reason you need to limit yourself to such a basic event. PayBee makes it easy for you to host fun variations of a traditional wine pull that can be held in place of or alongside a familiar wine pull fundraiser. Some of the best ideas include:

  • A Wine Collection Raffle: Why stop with only one bottle of wine? A fundraising raffle allows guests to purchase raffle tickets for entire collections of wine. Third place winners might take five bottles of wine home, second place might take ten, and your first place winner might take home twenty wine bottles — including one expensive prized bottle.
  • Spin the Wine Bottle: Have your guests stand in a circle and spin each covered bottle of wine in the center of the circle. Whoever each bottle points to takes home the mystery wine bottle.
  • Cork Pull: Write numbers on a series of wine corks and write corresponding numbers on the wrappings of your wine bottles. You can then have guests draw a cork from a basket and win the corresponding wine bottle.
  • Bonus Prize: Attach a sticker or coin under the base of one or more bottles of wine. Guests who find these stickers can be awarded an extra prize, like a gift card or extra wine bottle.

Hosting an in-person or virtual fundraiser

Modern digital fundraising tools allow you to host a wide variety of wine pull fundraisers that help make your fundraising events more profitable. You’ll also be able to gain more sponsorship opportunities by providing more ways to promote your sponsors on your online marketing materials and attract both traditional and virtual audiences to your events.

To make sure you have the right online tools to host a profitable wine pull, schedule a free demo of PayBee’s fundraising platform and learn how our system can make hosting fundraisers easier for your staff and volunteers. You’ll be able to ask all your technical questions to our team of experts and see how our platform can be used for other popular fundraising events like an online auction. Hosting a wine pull is best done with a reliable online fundraising system, so request a demo today!

Start Fundraising

I am a...

Looking for...

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Charity Fundraising
Nonprofit Fundraising
Nonprofit Tips
Michael Jung


Latest Articles