Interview Jamie Archibald, Co-Founder, VP Engineering, Rafflebox
Rafflebox is an online fundraising platform, based in Calgary, Canada, which allows nonprofits and charities to run and manage online raffles and 50/50 fundraisers.
Why and how did you get involved with Rafflebox? How do you know the other members?
The creation of Rafflebox started about 20 years ago when I met Matt (CEO) and Mike (Product Manager) over ICQ. We were interested in the same music and started trading records. I can still remember my ICQ number 20+ years later and that famous “Uh Oh!” sound from my 16-bit sound card. Eventually we rented out a house and lived together during our time in University. They let me have the smallest bedroom in the apartment (it was really a den). Back then I was taking Engineering, Matt was doing planning/design and Mike was in sales. This was before the era of smart phones and wide adoption of the internet. Fast forward to 2013 and I moved to Calgary where Matt and Simon (COO) were living. Simon and I played soccer together in Halifax and I didn’t know he had moved to Calgary!
In 2016 Matt came up with the idea of Rafflebox and we brought more people onto the team (Dave Cheung) to bring the concept to life. Our company does everything by the book; meaning, we comply with local, provincial and federal laws and regulations. As such, we had to wait a couple years before we were approved to operate online Raffle sales. I would have laughed if someone told me 20 years ago our small group of friends would create a tech company for raising money to help charities and non-profits.
Are there any stories that stand out to you involving Rafflebox?
The first big Raffle we did was in 2019. It was for Seaside FM which is a small radio station in my home town of Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. It was really amazing to see how easy it was for the Rafflebox platform to scale up to a larger audience and most importantly, help Seaside FM gain more support and funds. More than 3800 people purchased tickets which helped them with their operational expenses.
Having built something that helps local charities/non-profits in your home town really is an amazing feeling.
What is the most satisfying part of the process for you?
Being able to work with my friends has been incredibly rewarding experience. To be honest it doesn’t really feel like work.
What is in your opinion, the most successful story of Rafflebox and why? How has Covid-19 affected Rafflebox?
Covid-19 has really damaged the world economy including the mental health of everyone impacted. I’m really proud that our team at Rafflebox has been able to reduce some of these problems and help many charities avoid bankruptcy. When we hear stories on how Rafflebox has changed people’s lives it really hits home.
Are there any charities or causes that are close to your heart? Why?
I think the Nova Scotia Fire Department’s Weekly 50/50 Raffle is the one that strikes a chord with me. Every week they run a 50/50 Cash Raffle which you can purchase tickets online to support your local Volunteer Fire Department. The money raised goes directly to the fire department of your choice. Several fire departments have shared on Social Media that without this weekly Raffle they would not have been able to replace their much needed worn out equipment. This has helped increase the safety of the volunteer fire fighters and local communities. Seeing the impact this has had on the winners also strikes home. I was born and raised in Nova Scotia, and like most families, disposable income is not very common. Hearing stores such as “I was finally able to buy that house I couldn’t afford” and “I can help out my friends and family with this money” is really gratifying.
If you’re a non-profit or a charity looking to run an online 50/50 or raffle please visit us at www.rafflebox.ca for more information. Happy fundraising!