Charity raffles are a popular and engaging way to raise money for your organization. Charity raffles fall under specific federal and state regulatory requirements that govern their use, however, so you'll want to ensure that you can legally run a raffle before creating your campaign.
This article provides a brief overview of raffle regulation in the US. The organization that's running the raffle is responsible for raffle compliance, and we strongly advise getting guidance from your legal counsel or state attorney general if you're not sure of the raffle regulations for your location.
U.S. Federal Law:
The federal government allows only registered 501(c)(3) organizations to run charity raffles. To comply with IRS rules, we are unable to approve U.S. raffles that do not meet this requirement.
U.S. State Laws:
State, county and local raffle laws vary widely by jurisdiction and can change frequently. We recommend starting with a Google search of the raffle laws in your area, and then consulting your legal counsel to check the legality for your specific needs.
Several states prohibit online charity raffles entirely. If your organization is domiciled in one of the following states, you won't be able to run your raffle online:
Please consult your legal counsel before publishing and running your campaign to ensure your raffle is compliant with all local laws and regulations.
Sweepstakes are similar to raffles in that people can donate for a chance to win a prize or prizes, but a few key differences make it legal to run them nationally. See our article "Raffles and sweepstakes: What’s the difference?
here" to learn about the differences between sweepstakes and raffles.