UNTIL LAST SPRING, THE BOISE-BASED BUILDING CONTRACTORS Association of Southwest Idaho (BCASWI) had never charged admission to its Parade of Homes. But when expenses exceeded available dollars for promoting and hosting the 2004 tour, the group put a $10 price tag on visiting the 40 homes—and pledged to donate $1 of each ticket sale to the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

To facilitate ticket purchases, the BCASWI contracted with an independent ticket broker to manage sales through several area retailers and online (including a hot link from the chapter's Web site). Tickets could then be exchanged at the door of a Parade home (regardless of which one a ticket holder visited first) for a special punch ticket. The punch ticket granted and tracked access to every home on the tour and provided five “reentry” opportunities of the holder's choice.

TICKET MASTER: La Casa Bella by Destiny Homes was among the best of show according to online voting by visitors to the spring 2004 Parade of Homes in and around Boise, Idaho. The local chapter of the state contractors association donated a portion of ticket sales to the area's Habitat for Humanity chapter.
TICKET MASTER: La Casa Bella by Destiny Homes was among the best of show according to online voting by visitors to the spring 2004 Parade of Homes in and around Boise, Idaho. The local chapter of the state contractors association donated a portion of ticket sales to the area's Habitat for Humanity chapter.

Though sales were slightly lower than hoped, the association sold nearly 6,100 tickets to the two-week–long event, garnering a like amount of dollars for Habitat. “Even if we'd lost money, we were donating [$1 per ticket] to Habitat,” says Autumn Blume, the BCASWI's community projects director. The dollars will pay for about one-tenth of a new house, based on the local Habitat chapter's $60,000-per-house construction estimate. Habitat also hopes to have one of its homes on a future tour to increase awareness of the low-income housing group.

Campaign Details Program: Ticket sales (with charitable pledge); Organization: Building Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho, Boise, Idaho; Cost: $2,500 (printing and ticket broker fees)

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Boise City, ID.