Are you considering a raffle as a fundraiser for your non-profit organization? You may want to re-think that option. While they can bring in a good profit, raffles can bring controversy that you should know about before you start one.
Raffles May Be Illegal
Many organizations host raffles without looking into the legality of it. However, many states have laws that govern gaming (gambling), and at its very basic level, a raffle is a form of gambling.
Consider this: the IRS defines gaming as “including Bingo, beano, raffles, lotteries, pull-tabs, scratch-offs, pari-mutuel betting, Calcutta wagering, pickle jars, punchboards, tip boards, tip jars, certain video games and other games of chance.” This wide-sweeping definition includes many common fundraising activities, but clearly lists raffles as a form of gaming. In many states, any form of gambling, including a raffle, requires registration or a license. Before you host one, make sure you research the laws in your state.
Raffles May Be Offensive to Some Donors
Gambling is often something certain religions frown upon. Some consider it a wasteful use of money, or even sinful. A raffle may be viewed by some of your organization members as something they cannot participate in, for religious reasons.
Thus, by hosting a raffle you could hurt your fundraising efforts. Those who may have been interested in donating to your cause, but who see raffles as gambling, may choose not to donate at all. Your organization’s reputation is damaged in the eyes of these individuals.
Car Magnets — Benefits Without Controversy
If you are looking to set up a fundraiser that encourages donations by requiring only a small amount of money to be donated, then consider a car magnet fundraiser. Because of the affordability of car magnets, you can offer the same low donation point — just a few dollars — but instead of selling the chance to win a big prize, everyone walks away with something in their hands. They can use the car magnet to show off their support of your organization.
Because you are not selling a chance in a raffle, you won’t have to get any special permits or worry about your state’s laws when you use car magnets. And, because your donors will display the magnets on their cars, refrigerators or lockers, your branding efforts improve. People can show their school spirit, promote awareness for your cause or show their support of your organization easily and affordably, offering a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Car magnets for a good cause are something people want. They are affordable and can bring in excellent funds for your organization. The next time you are thinking about a raffle, set up a car magnet sale instead.