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How to do raffle tickets online?

Raffles are a great way to raise money for a cause or organization. They provide an easy and fun way for participants to support your fundraising goals. In the past, raffle tickets were sold through paper tickets. But today, technology provides us with easy online options to sell raffle tickets and collect payments.

Selling raffle tickets online has many advantages:

– Reach a wider audience beyond your local community
– Allows supporters to buy tickets anytime from anywhere
– Save time and resources spent on manual ticket sales
– Easily track sales and manage customer data
– Provide supporters with a quick and secure checkout process

With the right tools, it’s easy to set up and manage an online raffle fundraiser. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the entire process step-by-step.

Is it Legal to Sell Raffle Tickets Online?

The first question that comes up is whether it’s legal to sell raffle tickets online. The answer is yes – in most cases, it is perfectly legal to sell raffle tickets online if you follow applicable state laws.

Laws and regulations for raffles vary by state. Some key factors that impact the legality include:

– Requirement for a license or permit
– Limits on prize amounts
– Restrictions on who can participate

You must check the raffle laws in your specific state. Most states allow raffles for nonprofits and charities. Many states also let individuals and for-profit businesses run small raffles.

As long as your online raffle follows the regulations in your state, it is legal to sell tickets online. The internet simply acts as a convenient platform to publicize and process sales.

Typical State Raffle Laws

To give you an idea of typical raffle laws, here are some common regulations:

– Must register and obtain permit/license for larger raffles above a specific prize amount (e.g. $5,000)
– Caps on maximum prize amounts (often $100,000 – $1 million)
– Prohibits online sales across state borders
– Requires a portion of proceeds to go to charity (for private raffles)
– Limit ticket sales period to maximum 90 or 180 days
– Restrictions on number of raffles per year
– Minimum age requirements for participants

Consult an attorney if you have concerns about compliance. But rest assured that when done properly, online raffle ticket sales are legal and allowed.

Choosing an Online Raffle Platform

An online raffle platform will provide you with the website, tools and services you need to manage the entire raffle process online. Here are key features to look for when choosing a platform:

Custom Branded Raffle Website

A custom raffle website that matches your brand provides a professional appearance. Make sure the platform offers custom templates to tailor the pages with your logo, images and messaging.

Sell Tickets Online

At its core, you need to be able to easily set up and sell raffle tickets online through the platform. Look for options to collect contact info and sell individual tickets or bundles.

Payment Processing

Seamless payment collection is essential. The platform should integrate a secure payment processor to collect credit cards and e-payments online.

Automatic Number Generation

You want unique ticket numbers to be automatically generated for each participant. This prevents duplicate numbers in the raffle bucket.

Track Sales and Manage Data

Robust reporting and CRM features help you track real-time sales, manage customer data, and export reports.

Random Drawing & Winner Selection

A key component is the ability to automatically generate a fair random winner selection. Some platforms provide additional options like displaying results on your website.

Mobile Responsiveness

Since most traffic today is mobile, it’s important that the raffle platform and ticket sales pages are mobile-friendly. This ensures a smooth experience for visitors.

Some other helpful capabilities:

– Email and text ticket reminders
– Social sharing to promote raffle
– Coupon codes and discounts
– Support for selling physical tickets
– Automated email notifications

Popular online raffle platforms include RaffleCopter, GiveSmart and Rafflepress. Compare all options to find one that best fits your needs.

Obtaining Necessary Permits/Licenses

In some states, you may need to obtain a permit or license from the municipality or state agency that regulates games of chance and charitable gaming. This is required for larger raffles or when prize amounts exceed a certain threshold.

Here are some tips for obtaining necessary raffle permits:

– Research requirements – Each state has specific rules around licensing. Common thresholds are raffles with prizes over $5,000 or $25,000. Rules also depend on the sponsoring organization type.

– Apply early – The application process can take 4-6 weeks. Plan enough time to obtain your permit before your desired raffle start date.

– Submit necessary information – Applications typically require details on sponsoring organization, raffle specifics (dates, price, prizes) and charitable purpose.

– Pay fees – Fees are usually based on the size of the raffle. Could range from $25 for small raffles up to $300-$500 for large raffles.

– Display license – In some states, you must display the license number or “notice of license” on raffle promotions and website.

– Report results – Most states require reporting of raffle results, distribution of proceeds and other financial data after the drawing is held.

– Renew – Permits are valid for 6-12 months and need to be renewed for ongoing raffles.

Common Raffle License Types

– Charitable Gaming License – For nonprofit organizations conducting raffles for fundraising. Rules vary by state.

– Organization License – For churches, veterans groups, fraternal societies and other qualified entities running small raffles.

– Single Event Licenses – One-time license for an individual raffle campaign, valid for set number of days.

When in doubt, check your state gaming commission website for raffle and charitable gaming licensing information.

Setting Up the Raffle Website

Your online raffle platform will provide a custom website for you to sell tickets, promote the raffle, and display rules. Follow these steps to set up your raffle website:

Select Platform and Template

Based on features needed, choose an online raffle platform and template design. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly.

Add Branding and Images

Customize the template with your organization logo, colors, fonts and banner images to match your brand.

Set Up Raffle Details

Configure key details including raffle name, ticket pricing, sale start & end dates, drawing date, prizes and benefiting organization.

Create Raffle Rules and FAQs Page

Have clear rules and FAQs to explain how the raffle works, eligibility, how winners are selected and how prizes are awarded.

Setup Online Payment Processing

Connect a payment gateway like Stripe or PayPal to accept online payments seamlessly.

Preview and Launch

Preview the raffle website and make final tweaks. Go live when ready to open up ticket sales.

Promoting and Marketing Your Online Raffle

To drive traffic and boost ticket sales, you need to spread the word about your raffle. Here are proven strategies for promoting online raffles:

Leverage Social Media

Promote the raffle across your social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Post images, videos and text about the prizes, cause and how to buy tickets.

Email Marketing

Send dedicated raffle emails to your subscriber list with a link to your raffle website. Give them reminders as the deadline nears.

Add to Your Website

Feature the raffle prominently on your organization’s website. Add images, countdown timer and link to the raffle site.

Partner With Local Businesses

Get exposure by having local shops, restaurants and offices sell tickets on your behalf, both online and offline.

PR Outreach

Pitch the raffle story to local media outlets. Landing news coverage extends your reach in the community.

Leverage Influencers

Recruit relevant influencers and bloggers to help spread the word about your raffle to their engaged audience.

Paid Ads

Invest in Facebook, Instagram and Google ads targeted to your fundraising demographic. Drive traffic straight to the raffle site.

Organize Prize Previews

Generate excitement by organizing public previews where people can see prized like cars, trips and jewelry up close before the drawing.

Collecting Payments Online

A key benefit of running an online raffle is the ability to securely collect payments and donations digitally. Here are tips for processing raffle ticket payments:

Choose a Payment Gateway

Popular options include Stripe, PayPal, Square and Evaluate features, pricing and integration options.

Minimize Fees

Look for a provider that offers competitive rates, especially for nonprofit transactions. This avoids eating into your proceeds.

Accept Major Card Types

At minimum accept Visa, Mastercard, AmEx and Discover cards to maximize convenience for ticket buyers.

Enable One-Click Checkout

Save payment details during checkout to allow supporters to quickly purchase more tickets in one click.

Accept Apple & Google Pay

In addition to cards, accept mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay at checkout.

Allow Guest Checkout

Don’t require creating an account to checkout. Allow guest checkout with just email and payment details.

Send Confirmation Email

Automatically email ticket purchase confirmations with details and receipts.

Accept Offline Payments

For in-person sales, use Square readers to accept chip, tap or swipe payments.

Managing Raffle Ticket Sales

When your raffle goes live, you need to closely track and manage ticket sales. Your raffle platform and payment provider will equip you with data and tools to stay organized:

Real-Time Sales Dashboard

View key metrics like tickets sold, revenue, top referrers, popular prizes and more.

Sales and Payment History

See full details on every ticket sold, orders, payment status and checkout abandonment.

CRM and Contact Management

Store supporter contact details andticket history. Segment and email groups based on activity.

Customizable Reporting

Run reports on sales trends, top sellers, campaign ROI and other insights. Export as CSV or PDF.

Refund Processing

Easily refund purchase if needed right from your dashboard. Avoid manual bank transfers.

Fraud Monitoring

Provider fraud tools to monitor for suspicious payments and chargebacks.

Email & Text Reminders

Schedule automated reminders to contacts close to raffle deadline to boost last minute sales.

Daily Reconciliation

Reconcile ticket inventory, proceeds and transfers daily to have accurate accounting.

Staying on top of these management tasks will ensure smooth operations until your drawing date.

Selecting and Announcing Raffle Winners

Once ticket sales end, it’s time for the fun part – picking winners! Here is the process for drawing and announcing raffle winners:

Confirm Final Ticket Sales

Finalize your ticket sales data and print or export the final sales report for record keeping.

Schedule Public Drawing

For transparency, conduct the drawing during a public event and/or broadcast it online.

Random Selection Process

Use automated software or paper ticket drawing with neutral overseer to randomly select winners.

Verify Eligibility

Confirm selected entries meet any eligibility rules related to location, minimum age etc. Rerun if invalid.

Announce Winners

Notify winners directly by phone, email or mail. Post names publicly on website and social media.

Collect W2-G Tax Forms

For large raffle prizes over $600, collect IRS W2-G forms from winners for tax reporting.

Award Prizes

Hand out prizes in person or coordinate delivery/shipping. Have winners sign proof of receipt.

Report Results

Submit any required post-raffle financial reports to your state gaming commission.

Wrapping Up Raffle Operations

After winners are announced and prizes distributed, finish up these closing tasks:

Send Appreciation Notes

Thank everyone who bought tickets or volunteered to help with your raffle.

Conduct Donor Outreach

Engage raffle supporters to encourage ongoing donations and repeat participation.

Pay Applicable Taxes

File any required gaming taxes on raffle proceeds to the IRS and state.

Distribute Profits

Allocate net raffle profits to your cause or charitable beneficiaries.

Evaluate and Assess

Analyze data to identify successes, areas for improvement and learnings for future raffles.

Post Photos & Videos

Share photos from draw party, winner notifications and prize awards on website and social channels.

Announce Total Raised

Promote the total amount raised to showcase the raffle’s success at benefiting your mission.

Handling these end tasks promptly will wrap up your raffle on a high note and pave the way for your next online fundraiser.


While running an online raffle requires attention to compliance and planning, technology and automation makes the process much more convenient for modern fundraisers.

The ability to sell tickets 24/7, seamlessly collect payments, manage data and randomly draw winners provides significant advantages over traditional manual raffle processes.

By following the steps covered in this guide, you can successfully manage an online raffle from start to finish – and raise more funds for your organization along the way. Leverage the reach of the internet to take your raffle fundraising to the next level.