Running A Charity Giveaway Or Sweepstakes

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A charity giveaway is a great way to bring new people and donations to your non-profit organization. Legit charity giveaways are defined as those being run by a tax-exempt organization, such as a school, a church and various groups that solicit donations for animals, social services. Even the NRA (National Rifle Association) and AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) are both legal charities that can solicit for donations.

Best thing about a charity sweepstakes is that it’s legal to solicit visitors who would like to enter your sweepstakes for donations to enter. It’s important to be certain that your charity is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit under IRS law. Raffles for donated merchandise is of great interest to those who enter sweepstakes and contests. Your charity giveaway can even be listed at various sweepstakes sites where sweepstakers look for new contests and giveaways. Once you have listed your contest, you and can even ask for a donation on your entry page. It’s legal, and sometimes people who enter sweepstakes and contests make a donation when they visit. You can compel them to do so or not. As a legal nonprofit, this is your choice.

Entering a charity giveaway

You don’t see that many charity giveaways or sweepstakes, but they’re out there for people to enter and win. It is illegal in the US to charge to enter sweepstakes and contests, so if you see the sweepstakes administration asking for money to enter for a prize or to receive one — keep moving. The exception is a charity giveaway. They can and do ask for donations, although very often you can simply enter without making a donation.

Charity giveaway

Charity giveaway

This applies to online sweepstakes you see at sweepstakes sites, and those you mail in. Charitable organizations that know you may send you raffle tickets in the mail, requesting a donation. This is common practice at public television stations and museums. It’s perfectly okay to enter yourself and not make a donation (although the charity may not send you raffle tickets again next year).

Even though a sweepstakes is treated like a moneymaking business, even for a nonprofit, the sweepstakes administration, also called a judging agency, cannot favor an entrant who made a donation over someone who didn’t. So don’t hesitate to enter sweepstakes and contests for charity if you like the prize and you aren’t sending them any money.

Sweepstakes vs. raffle

As stated above, it’s perfectly legal for a nonprofit to charge you to enter charity giveaways. You may be wondering what the deal is if you would like to run a raffle and you’re not a charity. You need to obtain the services of an attorney and partner up with a legal 501(c)(3) to legally run your raffle. There would be a contract which stipulates that a portion of the prize money goes to the nonprofit, making it a legal charity giveaway.

This is a situation that is complex and more bureaucratic that most people care for. Under these circumstances, most people who run charity giveaways raffle off large value prizes, such as their house or boat. Running a charity raffle has been a lifesaving solution for many people who were unable to sell their property in the conventional way.

Don’t be shy to enter charity giveaways if you like to enter sweepstakes and contests. Making a donation is a nice thing to do, but it’s strictly up to you.

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