Raffolux - Are Online Raffle Games Suitable for Everyone?’

Are Online Raffle Games Suitable for Everyone?’

Are Online Raffle Games Suitable for Everyone?’

In the age of technology, the fundraising field has seen a significant shift from traditional in-person event auctions to a more hybrid approach. One noteworthy trend is the rise of online raffles, a unique and stress-free fundraising method for nonprofit organizations. Here, we delve into the intricacies of online raffles, exploring their legality, implementation, and suitability for all.

Understanding Online Raffles

The concept of an online raffle revolves around accumulating funds by selling tickets online, with the winners, selected randomly post-sale, receiving various prizes. This method offers nonprofits an innovative way to differentiate themselves and collect money without the added pressure of conducting in-person, auction-style events.

Legal Aspects of Online Raffles

Before leaping into the world of online raffles, nonprofits must take into account the legal implications. Each state has different laws and regulations concerning online raffles, thus it is crucial for organizations to understand what is required and incorporate that into their plans.

Legal Requirements

The first and foremost step is to understand the legalities involved. Online raffles are governed by state laws, with each state having its own set of rules and regulations. To ensure compliance, organizations must familiarize themselves with these laws, possibly through consultation with a legal representative. As a starting point, this article provides some insight into the legal considerations of online raffles.

Eligible Organizations

Not every organization can hold a raffle. The right to hold such events is exclusive to nonprofit entities such as veterans, church or religious, fraternal or fraternal benefit society, educational or charitable, civic or service club. For-profit entities or individuals cannot hold a raffle for themselves or a nonprofit. Additionally, the nonprofit organization must have been actively functioning as a nonprofit in the respective state for at least two years.

The Prize Selection Process

The success of an online raffle largely depends on the appeal of its prizes. These prizes can range from big-ticket items like vacation getaways or sporting event season tickets, to a collection of smaller to mid-sized prizes. Some ideas for prizes can include:

  • Themed gift baskets
  • Electronics (i.e., TVs, AirPods, etc.)
  • Vacation getaways
  • Watercrafts
  • Vehicles
  • Golf packages
  • Winery tours
  • Dinner party
  • Celebrity meet-and-greet

Secure Prizes for Raffle

The above list might sound attractive but attaining these items might be a challenge. A recommended starting point is to approach board members or prominent members of the organization who might be willing to donate items. Subsequently, organizations can reach out to local businesses or large corporations. A detailed request specifying the nature of the task and the recipient should be crafted. This could be followed by a series of phone call follow-ups to ensure personal interaction.

Determining the Winners

Clarity regarding the selection of winners is a crucial aspect of online raffles. Nonprofits can opt for an automatic selection process through a software system or choose another method. Communication of the winners can be done through various platforms like:

  • Social media posts
  • Live video (Facebook, Instagram)
  • Email
  • Home page of your website

Setting Up the Ticket Sales Page

For streamlined operations, nonprofits should collaborate with a provider to host their online raffle ticket sales, process payments, and ensure donations are received directly. The ticket sales page should be designed attractively and contain all necessary information about the raffle. It should not only explain the 'why' behind the raffle but also motivate donors to buy tickets. The allure of winning an exciting prize serves as an added incentive.

Enhancing Raffles with Additional Strategies

Online raffles present opportunities for further engagement and fundraising. Here are some bonus ideas from Heartland Dental Foundation and SMART Moms on how they effectively promoted online raffles.

Case Study: Heartland Dental Foundation

In partnership with 4aGoodCause client Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, Heartland Dental Foundation managed to raise over $50,000 through an online raffle. Their success was largely attributed to their consistent communication and email outreach. They also offered online donation options for those not interested in raffle tickets, increasing their fundraising potential.

Case Study: SMART Moms

SMART Moms conducted a raffle to raise funds for their ministry that supports single mothers. They managed to raise over $3,000 online by raffling Disneyland tickets. The winning family donated their tickets back, providing SMART Moms with another opportunity to raise funds through a second-chance raffle.

Engage Volunteers in Promotion

The power of social media can be leveraged to spread the word about online raffles. Board members, volunteers, committee members, and staff can share customized social media images or posts on the organization's behalf. A friendly competition can be set up to see who can sell the most raffle tickets, with a prize for the winner.

With less geographical limitation, online raffles offer a fun and innovative way to build momentum around a nonprofit and engage people at both a local and national level. If you're a nonprofit looking to set up online raffle ticket sales, contact us for more information.


In conclusion, while online raffles present an exciting fundraising opportunity, it's important to remember that they're not suitable for everyone. From legal considerations to the resources required for prize procurement and promotion, nonprofits must carefully consider whether online raffles align with their capabilities and objectives.