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How to Use Charitable Lotteries to Raise Funds in Hard Economic Times

I don’t think I need to tell anyone reading this that we’re in challenging economic times.


Some effects of the downturn have been eased by direct government support, but now that’s starting to be pulled back. This means that people will have less money and will start to have to make cuts. Often, the first thing to go from people’s budgets is donations to charity.


While writing this, I did some research to find out what effect the global financial crisis (GFC) had on donations. I found some interesting stats from the USA: donations dropped by 7.2% in 2008 and another 8.0% in 2009. Although the reasons for this downturn are different, there’s no doubt that charities are going to struggle to maintain donations, so what can you do?


Why Charitable Lotteries Could Help


There are only a few things that tend not to be affected in a recession or downturn in the economy. These are things that usually help people to escape or give people hope, such as flower sales, chocolate sales, movie streaming, lingerie, lotteries/charitable lotteries to name a few.


With a charitable lottery, you’re giving your supporters hope of winning something that could improve their lives. This means that they can still feel good by supporting their charity but in return for their generosity, you can help them to have the great feeling associated with the hope of winning a prize. I like to call it a “Donation with a Dream”.


The prizes can vary and could include cars, houses, gold bullion, cash, holidays and lifestyle packages to name a few. This is attractive, even in a struggling economy.


What Makes a Good Charitable Lottery Campaign?

Charities have been using lotteries to raise funds for many years. At Thomas Direct, we’ve been supporting charities with their telemarketing for their lotteries for over 30 years.


We’ve been involved with some of the largest charitable lotteries in the country and know they can get results, regardless of the state of the economy. There are a lot of criteria to setting up a good charitable lottery campaign. Some of the key things are listed below:


1 – Obviously, it starts with having an attractive prize. How much you invest in that prize is key, and that depends on how many tickets you think you can sell. Usually, the better the prize, the more tickets you can sell, but of course you need a good return on your investment.


2- Given that, lotteries are best suited for charities who already have a large database of supporters. It’s a lot easier to sell tickets to your supporters, past or present, than it is to find new supporters. You could work on building supporters, but the cost and risks are higher.


3 – The next important step to a good charitable lottery is your marketing. The best marketing strategy for your lottery is an integrated one with multiple communication channels. This should include direct sales, direct mail and digital marketing as well as telemarketing.


Next Step

Now might be a good time to look at a lottery for your charity. Perhaps you’ve done one in the past and it’s time to look at it again, or you want to look at starting a new one.


We work together with a number of consultants who can help you design your campaign, or we can work directly with you by providing telemarketing for your lottery. There are over 200 staff at Thomas Direct, many of whom have been with the company for over 25 years providing a great experience to our client, not only offering tickets to your clients over the phone but great brand protection too, which is often overlooked. The culture at Thomas Direct is very special and our charities have recognised this and know that this doesn’t happen overnight.


Either way, please give us a call and we can discuss your situation to see if and how a lottery might be able to help you.