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How to run a charity raffle

Raffles are a great way to raise additional income for your charity or cause, and thousands upon thousands of organisations already run raffles, making millions for good causes in the UK every year. In fact 21% of all UK donors bought raffle tickets in 2014.

Here are some things to think about before you get started.

1

Get a licence

Raffles can either be run as part of a fundraising event, or as a dedicated fundraiser outside of an event. If your raffle is being held as part of an event, you don’t need a licence. However, if it’s a stand alone raffle, you will need one.

Unless you have huge ambitions (and budgets) you can easily get a licence from your local authority licencing office. A small society lottery licence costs £40 for the first year, and £20 for each further year. This will allow you to run multiple raffles in that year up to a cool £250,000 in proceeds. Each draw can have a top prize of £25,000 and maximum proceeds of £20,000 in ticket revenue.

This licence can also be used to run a lottery where players join a weekly or monthly draw and the prizes can roll over or have prizes up to a maximum of £25,000. For more information about licencing, visit this blog.  

2

Source your prizes

Donated prizes are great and very cost effective. When sourcing these, think about who will be buying your raffle tickets and the kind of prizes that will attract them. Often the more unusual the prize, the better. Asking corporate supporters or partners could be a good place to start. Cash prizes are also effective, however they are not quite so cost-effective. Take a look at this five-step guide to sourcing raffle prizes for your charity raffle. 

3

Plan ahead

Having a clear plan of goals, strategy and reporting will save you time and only improve your campaigns in the future. Accurately pricing your tickets is also key to reaching your fundraising goals. Have an idea of who you want to target, what you want to achieve and how, and you will be on your way to a successful campaign. Remember the 4 P's: Plan, Prize, Price and Promotion. 

4

Promote, promote, promote

Promoting your raffle is essential to having a successful campaign. It is important to include your raffle details in your marketing communications. If the raffle is being held online, simply input the URL into your email marketing communications, social media and website. 

5

Don't forget the legal stuff

Don’t forget that the legal requirement of your licence is that 20% of the total proceeds must be directly used to fund your work.

Once you have completed your raffle, a submission must be made to the local authority within three months of the draw. They’ll send you a template return which will ask for more information including:

  • details of the draw including when tickets were sold, the dates of any draw(s) and the arrangements for prizes (including any rollover)
  • the proceeds of the draw(s)
  • the amounts deducted in respect of the provision of prizes
  • the amounts deducted in respect of other costs incurred in organising the draw
  • any amount applied to a purpose for which the promoting society is conducted
  • expenses that were paid for other than by deduction from the proceed.

Further information

This how-to guide was written by Capen which provides charities, clubs and companies with tools to help you raise money through incentivised giving. Capen have recently launched Zaffo which allows charities and good causes raise money online through raffles. If you require further assistance or support, contact richard@capen.co.uk or take a look at Zaffo Blog.

If you are interested in the benefits of a lottery try the NCVO lottery Give and Win Voluntary for which NCVO has taken on the regulatory burden. It’s free to sign up and offers a top prize of £25,000 to the player and a matched £25,000 to the voluntary organisation they are supporting.

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Page last edited Apr 07, 2017 History

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