Community lotteries are becoming increasingly popular. The idea is to make a positive difference to communities, passing as much money as possible on to good causes while allowing people to choose where their money goes. For local authorities a lottery can be used to raise funds to cover expenditure on local community projects, arts centres or parks and leisure facilities.
Historically, local authorities have awarded grants to support voluntary organisations, but funding has been reduced following central government cuts and the lottery provides the means for community groups to help themselves fundraise using their page on the community lottery website.
Locally, there are currently 4 community lotteries in operation: Guildford, Surrey Heath and Rushmoor are run by the lottery operator Gatherwell, and an independently operated lottery in Tandridge. The success of others around the UK suggests that this is an idea that will be adopted by more local authorities trying to bridge the gap between services and funding.
How does it work?
For groups in Surrey Heath, once a voluntary organisation has met the criteria and been accepted for the lottery, they are given their own Surrey Heath Lottery page which can be shared with their supporters and used to generate ticket sales. Groups keep 50% of all ticket sales made on their page and the funds are paid to them directly each month.
The draw for the Surrey Heath Lottery takes place every Saturday night with results posted on the lottery website, Facebook and Twitter. 60% of ticket sales go to good causes – 50% to the voluntary group’s own cause and 10% to a fund supporting all good causes in Surrey Heath.
There is no fee but your organisation must provide services benefiting residents, have a constitution and bank account and have no restriction on membership. See the terms and conditions here.
Interesting to note that by comparison the National Lottery contributes 28% of ticket sales to good causes while the Health Lottery contributes just 20%