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 experience.
Note that raffles may be run by qualified organizations only. Raffles to benefit personal causes are not allowed on MemberHub under any circumstances.
This article provides a brief overview of raffle regulation in the US. The organization benefitting from a raffle is responsible for the raffle’s legal compliance, and we strongly advise getting guidance from your legal counsel or state attorney general’s office if you're not sure of the raffle regulations for your location.
Organizations in the US
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.
Every state, county, and locality may have its own raffle laws that 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:
- Montana* - Montana prohibits raffle ticket purchases by credit card, so Montana organizations are unable run raffles on MemberHub.
- New Jersey
- New York
- Tennessee* - Tennessee requires 501c3 organizations to submit an application for approval to TN Secretary of State for 1 raffle per year. If you have received this approval from Tennessee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with your raffle.
Organizations outside of the US
Please consult your legal counsel before publishing and running your raffle or lottery to ensure that it is compliant with all laws and regulations in your country and jurisdiction.
Sweepstakes are like 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?" to learn about the differences between sweepstakes and raffles.