People, sometimes, need a little push to contribute to charity. One popular initiative to prompt more donations or increase fundraising towards a worthy cause is through online charitable gaming.
As in-person activities and events came to a halt due to the pandemic, many nonprofits turned to a virtual environment and set up to continue their fundraising efforts and retain donors.
Since the generosity of the public is the blood of charity, using engaging and interesting mediums such as online lottery, raffles, and sweepstakes gives people an incentive to donate. That move can not only help with revenue generation but can also be a catalyst in meeting and exceeding your fundraising goals.
Due to the nature of the games and the regulations governing each of these events, often the terms, “lottery”, “raffles”, and “gambling” may seem confusing. Let's take a deeper look into the definitions and differentiating factors for each of these event types.
What is an online charity lottery?
A charity lottery is a game of chance where players usually win a percentage of the total ticket sales or a fixed pre-decided amount. Most states/provinces in North America require organizations to have a valid license to run a lottery in any jurisdiction. Online lottery, with the primary purpose of fundraising funds for charity, is a fully digital version of the classic lottery. They are an effective way to reach audiences who don’t generally donate but like the idea of winning a prize as they support a cause.
Lotteries are very similar to raffles in the way they are executed: tickets are sold and winning numbers are drawn. Individual(s) with a ticket that match the numbers drawn win a prize. In lotteries, there is a good chance that the winning ticket may not be sold. This is not the case with raffles, where the organizers ensure that only the tickets sold are entered in the draw, thus providing better odds of winning.
What is an online charity raffle?
An online charity raffle is a virtual event where a draw is held to raise money and prizes are awarded to the winner(s). Online raffles (also known as electronic raffles) use computers/technology for the sale of tickets, winner selection, and prize distribution.
Popular raffles such as the 50/50 and Catch the Ace are commonly held to raise funds for charities. People obtain digital numbered tickets, each of which has a chance of winning a cash prize. Similar to lotteries, the winnings are usually a percentage of the total funds collected through sale of tickets. The remaining amount goes to the nonprofit organizing the event. One of the main reasons that makes online charity raffles so attractive is that donors get a chance to win money while supporting a cause.
An online raffle is held virtually by setting up a dedicated webpage and online payment options for purchase of tickets. Online raffles can run for a single day or weeks or months, thus providing ample time and opportunity for the organization to raise funds.
Similar to lotteries, raffles are a form of gambling and are regulated in most U.S. states and Canadian provinces; some states/provinces consider them to be illegal. Usually, to run a raffle, a state or province-issued license is required.
Raffles might be the right option for you if your fundraising strategy and goals are focused on a specific geography such as a state or province.
What is gambling?
Gambling can be defined as a game or mutual bet according to set rules where participants seeking monetary gain voluntarily undertake a risk of losing money. In gambling, winners and losers are determined by chance, by an event, or by the result of a competition. Players usually compete individually against the gambling operator. Similar to lotteries and raffles, gambling can be conducted in-person or online. Casino games such as slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, etc. and sports betting are ideal examples of gambling. Profits and revenue generated from gambling generally don’t support nonprofit causes.
Compared to lotteries and raffles, the outcome is not solely based on luck, but other factors involving skill and knowledge come into play to ensure your victory.