Virtual fundraising events such as raffles and sweepstakes are a fun and exciting way to raise money for a cause. For many nonprofits, the pandemic was a key catalyst in the adoption of gaming-based fundraising events. Other prime contributing factors are evolving donor behavior patterns, increased penetration of the internet and mobile devices, and technological advances.
Getting started with organizing and implementing an online charity raffle involves many tasks that need to be accomplished simultaneously. In this article, you will learn all about setting up an online raffle like 50/50 or Catch the Ace in a stepwise, easy-to-understand way.
Steps to set up an online raffle
1. Check regulatory requirements
Charitable raffles and lotteries are regulated events in most jurisdictions across the United States and Canada, which means you must apply for a license to be able to run them. In the U.S., many states allow online raffles in some form, with a couple of states such as Utah and Hawaii having strict laws. Rules and requirements vary by state; you can check with your state’s Attorney General's office for the latest regulations. In Canada, it is illegal to run a raffle without a license and only religious or charitable organizations can apply for one. Rules vary by province; the provincial Alcohol and Gaming Commission websites are good starting points for research on the rules, regulations, and application process.
Before you submit your application for a license, you should have definitive information on the type of raffle you intend to run (such as 50/50 or Catch the Ace), the price of the ticket, prize to be awarded to the winner, raffle schedule, and the technology solutions provider.
2. Find a raffle solutions provider
Depending on how involved you want to be in the raffle implementation and execution, a solutions provider like Ascend Fundraising Solutions (versus a technology supplier) might be a better fit. Ascend provides a world-class platform and technology solution along with full-lifecycle service offerings (such as marketing, promotions, licensing, analytics, and much more) and end-to-end program execution for online charitable gaming events such as 50/50, Catch the Ace and Sweepstakes.
For those that need even more help, Ascend can help with running the entire programs end-to-end as a fully outsourced partner. Ascend is the only provider with the ability to provide a full turnkey solution for any nonprofit, charity or foundation looking to run an online raffle or lottery.