Calling all volunteer fundraisers! Don’t we love a good raffle? They’re easy to run, and can bring in lots of extra money for your cause. Here is our quick reference guide for all you need to know: from planning a raffle, to getting a gambling license, asking for prize donations, and how to announce the winners.
Permissions you might need
The definition of a lottery is a game where you pay to enter, with at least one prize, and where winning that prize is based on chance. Generally, you need a license if you are going to sell tickets to members of the public over an extended period of time.
Broadly there are two types of raffle:
Lotteries that do require a license or registration
Lotteries that don’t require a license or registration
We will only look at the specific rules for Small Society Lotteries and Incidental Lotteries, because that is the most likely to suit your needs as a volunteer fundraiser.
Small Society Lotteries
It’s likely that if you are reading this you will want to run a society lottery, selling tickets to the general public over a extended period of time – we will go into these in more detail below. The Gambling Commission website states that, ‘If your society lottery has proceeds which exceed £20,000 for a single draw or aggregated proceeds exceed £250,000 in a calendar year then you need to apply for a licence from us’.
Small or society lotteries must be promoted as being for charitable gain or to enable participation in sport or cultural activity, and any non-commercial purpose other then that of private gain.
Again the Gambling Commission explains it, ‘Small society lotteries do not require a licence but must be registered with the local authority in the area where the principal office of the society is located. Details of registration requirements and procedures should be available from the licensing department of the relevant local authority’.
Some lotteries don’t need to be registered at all, for example incidental lotteries where all the tickets are sold on the night when the prize will be announced.
An incidental lottery must
To read the full set of rules please look here and here.
How to ask businesses to donate prizes
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