In the United States, each state has its own regulations and statutes that outline the parameters for conducting a raffle. These laws dictate what is classified as a raffle, which organizations are eligible to host one, and the legal requirements for hosting such an event.
Hosting a raffle can be time-consuming and somewhat perplexing for beginners. However, the effort and dedication invested are well worth it. Raffles have proven to be highly successful fundraisers, generating substantial amounts of money for nonprofit organizations. Furthermore, integrating raffles into your fundraising campaign offers a fresh twist and can help attract new donors to your cause.
To simplify the process of setting up a raffle on Zeffy, we are here to guide you step by step. We also have several tips on creating successful charity raffles and lotteries. Let’s dive in and get started.
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Who Can Organize a Raffle in Texas?
In Texas, hosting a raffle is relatively straightforward. However, before we proceed, it is crucial to understand the definition of a raffle according to the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act (CREA).
To qualify as a raffle host in Texas, you must be a nonprofit organization falling within one of the following categories:
- A qualified religious society operating in Texas for at least a decade.
- A qualified volunteer fire department that provides firefighting services, operates firefighting equipment, and remunerates its members with nominal compensation only.
- A qualified volunteer emergency medical service that compensates its members with nominal compensation only.
- A qualified 501(c) tax-exempt nonprofit organization with a minimum of three years of existence.
How Does a Nonprofit Register for a Raffle in Texas?
In Texas, unlike many other states, you are not required to register, obtain a license, or acquire a permit to host a raffle. This exemption makes things significantly easier. However, you still need to meet the criterion of being a qualified nonprofit organization, as mentioned in the previous section.
Despite the lack of registration or follow-up forms, a few rules must be adhered to:
- Depending on whether you refer to CREA or this summary, a nonprofit organization is typically allowed to host a maximum of two (2) to four (4) raffles per calendar year. Importantly, only one raffle can be conducted at any given time. In Texas, a calendar year spans from January 1 to December 31.
- It is crucial to establish the draw date before selling or offering raffle tickets. In the event that you cannot award a prize on the initially scheduled date, an alternate date must be set no later than 30 days after the original date. Alternatively, you can choose to refund the amount paid by each participant.
- Promoting your raffle using mass communication channels, such as television, radio, or newspapers, is not allowed. However, you are permitted to promote the raffle on your organization’s website, existing newsletters, emails, and social media accounts, specifically targeting current members.
Can Nonprofit Raffle Tickets Be Sold Online in Texas Using Zeffy’s Ticketing Forms?
To be frank, selling nonprofit raffle tickets online in Texas falls into a rather ambiguous area. According to CREA, an organization is prohibited from “selling or offering to sell tickets for a raffle statewide.” The term “statewide” is generally interpreted to include the internet, but this interpretation is not entirely clear.
Mandatory Information on Nonprofit Raffle Tickets in Texas
Raffle tickets in the state of Texas must include the following information in a clear and conspicuous manner:
- The name of your organization
- The address of your organization or the address of a designated officer
- The ticket price
- A brief description of each prize valued at more than $10
- The date on which the raffle prize(s) will be awarded
Including a ticket number and the purchaser’s information on the ticket is also wise. This allows you to contact winners after the draw has taken place. Here’s an example to give you a clearer understanding:
Registering for a Lottery: Does It Incur Any Costs?
No, there are no costs associated with registering a lottery for nonprofit organizations in Texas.
For more information on raffles and further details about organizing a raffle in Texas, please visit 5 WS.