Can Your Sweepstakes Prize be a Donation?

A non-profit sweepstakes is a sweepstakes in which the winner selects a charity to give the sweepstakes prize to. However, there are specific rules that you need to follow in order to ensure that your promotion is considered as a legal sweepstakes and not an illegal lottery or raffle.

Here is what you should know about using a donation as a sweepstakes prize.

List All Eligible Charities in Your Sweepstakes Official Rules

Prior to the start of your non-profit sweepstakes, you are required to list all of the eligible charities in your sweepstakes rules that you would be willing to donate the sweepstakes prize to. Once the sweepstakes ends, the sweepstakes winner will be required to select one of these charities to give the sweepstakes prize to.

Given that the charities are listed in the official rules, the charities may not be changed once the promotion begins. If there is a change to the charities, this is considered as a change to your official rules, which we strongly recommend against doing.

The Sweepstakes Prize Must Be Given Away

Every sweepstakes winner has a choice as to who they want to give the sweepstakes prize to. Sometimes winners choose to donate their sweepstakes prize to a certain charity that aligns with their personal beliefs. Regardless of the charity that is selected, one of the charities mentioned in the sweepstakes official rules will need to receive the sweepstakes prize.

The winner is not permitted to change the charity to one that is not listed in the official rules. Nor is the winner permitted to keep the sweepstakes prize. Not following the official rules during prize delivery is considered as a breach of the “sweepstakes agreement” between you and the sweepstakes entrants and could potentially open your promotion up to legal concerns.

Not Contingent on Sales or Donations

You may be tempted to entice people to enter your non-profit sweepstakes by stating that they can improve their odds of winning by donating or buying a product or service. By doing so, your promotion will be considered as an illegal lottery.

As with all other types of legal sweepstakes, you are required by law to include a “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY” (in this case, “no purchase or donation necessary”) clause in your non-profit sweepstakes official rules.

Final Tips

Yes, you can have your sweepstakes prize be a donation. However, you need to clearly define in your sweepstakes rules the charity that the sweepstakes prize will go to. Then just make sure to follow the official rules during your promotion to ensure your non-profit sweepstakes is legal and compliant with sweepstakes laws. If you’re not sure about what to include in non-profit official rules, contact us for a Sweeppea official rules review before your promotion goes live.

Need help with sweepstakes or contest management? Call 305-505-5393 or email us with your questions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email