Running A Charity Raffle Giveaway

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If your organization is having funding problems, running a charity raffle could be a solution that will help your non-profit earn money to help itself and the community. Running charity raffles is legal in the USA for a non-profit organization — otherwise it’s illegal to charge for raffle tickets. This is totally separate from the laws governing for-profit companies, and any other group running sweepstakes. The IRS laws make it illegal in all 50 states and territories to charge to enter sweepstakes and contests being run by a for-profit.

The reasoning may be because the state governments already run raffles for pay in the form of lotteries, and don’t enjoy the competition. If you would like to run a sweepstakes, contest or giveaway, it’s fine in most places — as long as you don’t planning on charging to enter.

charity auctions

Charity auctions

There are far fewer problems or complications involved when a non-profit organization wants to run a kids charity or another kind of money-raising operation. The IRS laws deems that eligible charitable organizations must be designated as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to run a charity raffle.

Charity Fundraising Ideas

Religious organizations and other non-profits are obvious qualified candidates to run a charity raffle. Public schools dealing with cutbacks to student activities such as sports and music programs could consider running kids charities to help retain programs the children love but the schools can no longer pay for.

Charity Challenges

Now that it’s clear that your non-profit can run a legal charity, the biggest challenge can be assembling quality things to raffle off. The first thing to do is to find charity merchandise and cash for raffles if you’re lucky enough to have sponsors with deep pockets.

If you’re fortunate enough to have wealthy members in your organization, they may be willing to donate cash prizes to your charity raffle. Other times, local businesses that are looking for connections within the organizations may wish to donate cash and merchandise to the charity fundraising effort.

Charity Fundraising Ideas

Just because you’re representing a charity, it does not mean your charity raffle needs to be boring. Selling raffle tickets is the obvious way to run your paid raffle, but there are alternatives.

You could also organize a charity auction of donated merchandise. Another alternative is to have a penny social, otherwise known as a Chinese auction. This is run by gathering up charity merchandise from members and local businesses, selling a packet of numbered paper entries, and allowing participants to enter their raffle tickets in a cup. The trick to making this fun is to have lots of nice quality prizes, giving many people the opportunity to win.

Unlike a sweepstakes, a charity raffle can be a relatively easy way to raise money for charity. With good community outreach and helping hands, keeping important programs alive can be done legaly with charity raffles.

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