Lar da Meni­na: Blessed Bee­tle’ raffle

Exhibited by
João Paulo (JP) Vergueiro
March 31, 2022
Medium of Communication
Video, online
Target Audience
All donors
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

A group of nuns working for a small charity in the Brazilian city of Tubarão decided to advertise their lockdown fundraising raffle in a slightly unusual way. They released a hugely funny video that immediately went viral and propelled them to fame around the country. The fact that they raffled off their prized 1981 Volkswagen Beetle only drew more attention and led to them raising $55,000 while keeping their costs to just $3,000. But crucially, they didn’t focus on the ask. Instead, they highlighted what they could do for the donor. This is a funny, uplifting and simple campaign.

Summary / objectives

To make up for a lack of fundraising opportunities following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Lar da Menina’s staff of nuns decided to hold a raffle with a difference.

Creator / originator

Lar da Menina


In summer 2020, Lar da Menina, a small educational organisation in Tubarão run by nuns, was no longer able to hold events due to the pandemic. So, they had to think outside the box. Luckily, they owned a mint-condition 1981 Volkswagen Beetle. In Brazil, Beetles are hugely popular and iconic cars and nuns are known for their warmth and humour. It was a match made in heaven.

Special characteristics

The nuns created a very funny video, which you can see below. In it, they joke about how if a woman’s car is renowned for being tidy, you can imagine how tidy a nun’s car would be. The car was going to be raffled off to raise money for the organisation and the video focused on the great condition of the car, the short timeframe for bids and how donors could submit their bids with a QR (quick response) code.

On top of the video, Lar da Menina used WhatsApp for promotion, which is possibly the most popular communications platform in Brazil. Everyone uses WhatsApp – for example my mother never calls me, she uses WhatsApp instead. This helped the video spread.


In addition to the very simple but funny video, this campaign is notable because the nuns raffled off something that they clearly cared about. As I said, Volkswagen Beetle cars are very important in Brazil, so the fact that the nuns were willing to sell theirs you can see why people connected so much with this campaign. 

Influence / impact

It was unexpected for the nuns to raffle off a car rather than hold a baking event or a bingo night, but that was down to the impact of the pandemic. So, the video stood out. Remarkably, they didn’t talk about the childcare work Lar da Menina does in Santa Catarina but instead focused on producing this very funny video that made people want to give to them just because it was so different. 


In five days, they sold 3,000 tickets! For a very small, little-known organisation in a southern state of Brazil to sell tickets across the country is remarkable. The video went viral and was soon featured on both local and national TV and in the country’s newspapers. They eventually ran out of tickets, so people started donating directly to the charity. For an investment of $3,000 in the campaign, the nuns got $55,000 in donations. They also got two or three awards in Brazil for the campaign.

Other relevant information

You can watch JP’s complete seven minute presentation from I Wish I’d Thought of That (IWITOT): The Americas edition 2021, complete with the fantastic video here:

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Lar da Menina is a small educational charity for children in the city of Tubarão.
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The nuns decided to raffle off their well-maintained VW Beetle, an iconic car in Brazil.
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They created a hugely funny little video to promote the campaign, and it promptly went viral.
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Donors could use a QR (quick response) code to donate and the campaign eventually raised $55,000.