Holding a Raffle for Fairtrade

Whether it’s at an event in your group, school or workplace, or on its own, a raffle is a fun and popular way to bump up your fundraising. But where do you start for all the tips, tricks and other bits? Right here, of course. But first…

What is a raffle?

A raffle, also known as a lottery, is a form of gambling and comes under Gambling Commission rules. A typical small-scale lottery is where players buy a numbered ticket to enter a competition and there is always at least one prize that is awarded to the person who holds a matching ticket.  

Raffle

Are there rules to running a raffle?

There are different types of lottery with different rules. For example, sometimes you need to register your lottery or get a licence, so that your raffle meets the legal requirements – and is a massive hit! In other cases you do not need permission. Please read the Gambling Commission guidelines to make sure your raffle is legal, as well as the brief overview below.

Do I need permission for my raffle?

If you hold a raffle as part of an existing Fairtrade event, it is known as an ‘incidental lottery’ and doesn’t need a licence or registration as long as it is for a charitable cause. It could be part of your coffee morning, fete or bake sale, for example. You can design your own tickets or buy them ready-made for the occasion. Your raffle will need to tick the following boxes:

  • Tickets can only be sold where your raffle is being held and while the event is taking place. If the same event is being held over more than one day, tickets can be sold on more than one day. You cannot sell tickets in advance for this kind of raffle.
  • The winners can be drawn at the event or once it has finished. It’s a good idea to let people know when the winners will be drawn.
  • Expenses (i.e. tickets and equipment hire, for example) taken from the raffle proceeds cannot total more than £100.
  • £500 is the limit for how much money can be taken out of the proceeds to pay for the prizes – but there’s no limit on donated prizes!
  • There cannot be a rollover of prizes from one lottery to another.
  • The raffle shouldn’t be for private gain but for a purpose e.g. raising money for a ‘good cause’, such as Fairtrade!
  • Cash prizes must not be offered.
  • Tickets can only be bought or sold by people over 16.
  • Each ticket must be sold for the same amount.

After you’ve said a big thank you, let everyone know about your event and raffle. You could put together some leaflets and get friends to spread the word. See if you can get it in a newsletter. And don’t forget, social media is a good place to invite people along.

You may also consider a private society lottery, organised by authorised members of a private society or club where a lottery ticket may be sold to a member of that society or club in order to promote a good cause. There are restrictions on advertising and promoting this kind of lottery.

For more information on incidental lotteries or a private society lottery, read the Gambling Commission’s guidance.

After you’ve said a big thank you, let everyone know about your event and raffle. You could put together some leaflets and get friends to spread the word. See if you can get it in a newsletter. And don’t forget, social media is a good place to invite people along.

You may also consider a private society lottery, organised by authorised members of a private society or club where a lottery ticket may be sold to a member of that society or club in order to promote a good cause. There are restrictions on advertising and promoting this kind of lottery.

For more information on incidental lotteries or a private society lottery, read the Gambling Commission’s guidance.

What if I’m not holding an event?

If you’re just holding a raffle without an event, it’s known as a ‘society lottery’. Society lotteries are broken down into small and large society lotteries and requires permission. A small society lottery is promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society, or charity such as Fairtrade, where the value of the tickets do not exceed £20,000 and the total proceeds from all your lotteries per year isn’t above £250,000. If you’re raising more than this, you’ll need a Gambling Commission licence. If you’re not, you won’t need one, but you will need to register your raffle with your licensing department at your local authority.

You can sell tickets in advance for your raffle, and to the general public. Your raffle will need to tick the following boxes:

  • A person will need to be registered as the ‘promoter’. This will be the person or group responsible for the raffle and not The Fairtrade Foundation.
  • The following will need to be printed on the tickets: The society name on whose behalf the lottery is being promoted – The Fairtrade Foundation, registered charity number 1043886. The ticket price, the promoter’s name and address and the draw date.

There are certain restrictions for promoting your raffle as a society lottery, so before you start advertising and selling tickets, make sure to read the Gambling Commission guidance, or contact them directly to find out more on organising, running and promoting society lotteries.

What if I’d rather not hold a raffle?

You could organise a prize competition or free draw instead as these do not require licences. Read the quick guide from the Gambling Commission, or contact them directly.

What about the prizes?

It’s worth taking a moment to think about what sort of prizes will have your guests queueing up for your tickets. You could hit your local supermarket and buy as many Fairtrade goodies as you can – but remember, if you’re planning on taking the cost out of the raffle proceeds, the cost cannot be more than £500. Better still, get your prizes donated so that all of your fundraising goes towards helping farmers fight for a fair deal. You could speak to shops, businesses, cafes and restaurants near you – particularly the ones that sell or serve Fairtrade – and see if they’ll donate something. Remember that alcohol can only be given as a prize to those aged over 18! See if friends or family can contribute anything too. The bigger the selection, the better!

If you need to use our logo for an event, please contact us at fundraising@fairtrade.org.uk to get permission.

All that’s left is to say best of luck and thanks a latte!