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9 questions to ask your charity lottery provider before you hire them

Red lottery ball with the number 45, representing charity lottery providers

Running a charity lottery is an incredible way to raise funds whilst giving something back to your supporters!

However, from the set up to processing direct debits and more, there’s a lot to take on board – and this is where teaming up with a charity lottery provider can be hugely beneficial!

Before you decide who to make your lottery partner, though, there are a few questions you should ask – and certain answers that you should expect to hear – to make sure they’ll meet your charity’s individual needs and requirements.

Read on to discover what these are...

1. What’s your experience of providing lottery services for other charities?

This likely goes without saying, but the more experience that a provider has of working with other charities, the more likely they will be able to meet your needs!

However, it’s also important to think about the quality of that experience as well, not just the quantity.

For example, one provider may have worked with numerous charities in the past, but those relationships may not have worked out well, or the charities they’ve worked with are too different from your own for the provider to be able to make the best decisions for your unique requirements.

On the other hand, a charity lottery provider who may have worked with a smaller number of charities may have worked with them for several years, have built good working relationships with them, and/or work with charities that more closely reflect the goals of your own.

Woods Valldata’s answer:

Here at Woods Valldata, we’ve supported a wide range of charities with their lottery initiatives – both big and small, established and growing – with our team’s 45 combined years of experience working in the sector.

2. How successful have the lotteries been for the charities you’ve worked with?

Once you’ve established the experience your prospective charity lottery provider has, you’ll want to find out just how successful they are – particularly with any charities that are similar to your own.

If you find yourself wowed by the facts, statistics and figures they place in front of you, then it’s a sure sign that they’re a good lottery provider to team up with!

Woods Valldata’s answer:  

Throughout our years working alongside charities, we’ve helped them to raise over £100 million in fundraising income, with much of that being attributed to our lottery provision! You can see a more specific example of this in our case study, where we partnered with Guide Dogs to successfully reinvent and accelerate their weekly lottery.

3. How will your lottery team act on our behalf – for example, in communication with our supporters?

This is a particularly important question to seek out an answer to; as an extension of your team, you’ll want to know that the people managing the communication with your lottery players will do so with the same care and attention as you do, in whatever format that takes!

Woods Valldata’s answer:

From the moment we begin working on your lottery, we’ll become an extension of your charity, emulating your charity's style and ethos as if they were our own to create an entirely seamless experience for you and your supporters.

This includes when we’re speaking in person to your lottery players through our in-house supporter services team, supporting your creative on acquisition and retention communications, or during any other aspect of your programme.A thought bubble with three question marks inside on a red background, representing questions to ask a charity lottery provider

4. How much involvement will you need from our team in the running of the lottery?

When teaming up with a charity lottery provider, it’s essential to find how much your provider will actually be doing on your behalf, and how much involvement you’ll be required to have, so that you can fit this alongside your other duties.

Preferably, your prospective partner should be offering to take on the operational management of your charity lottery, with you having the opportunity to oversee its progress as much or little as you like!

Woods Valldata’s answer:

We’ll manage the administrative aspects of your lottery. This includes a compliant player sign-up website or portal, payment processing, triggered player communications, draw management and communications.

Plus, we offer a full strategic review and insight package to help grow your supporter base, increase player value, establish effective supporter journeys, and maximise income for your organisation!

All this means that you can completely relax and focus on the fun bit: growing your supporter base!

5. What’s your understanding of the charity lottery market as it currently stands?

Having experience of supporting charities with their weekly lottery is one thing, but having an up-to-date understanding of what’s going on in the charity sector and lottery market is the key to knowing how to build a truly successful campaign!

Woods Valldata’s answer:

We’ve got our finger pressed firmly on the pulse of the charity sector and the latest news and updates around lotteries.

6. Will you keep us informed on how our lottery is performing?

You’ll not only want to hear a confident and resounding “yes!” in answer to this question, but also an explanation of the “how” and “when.” Ideally, in as easy to understand a format as possible, and as often as you require!

Woods Valldata’s answer:

We have an in-house Data Strategy and Insights team available to support your team in identifying and implementing the right data strategies, testing strategies and retention strategies for your programme!

Depending on the kind of lottery you choose to carry out with us (more on that below), you'll also have access to support from our experienced Account Management team, who’ll ensure your lottery is always at the top of its game.

7. How to do manage supporter data effectively and safely?

As with any fundraising endeavor, lotteries involve the collection and storage of a range of sensitive data . When working with a charity lottery provider, it’s therefore vital that you know how they will keep this data safe and secure.

Woods Valldata’s answer:

We have implemented a Compliance Management System (CMS) for our charity fundraising services, certified to the International Standard for Information Security Management Systems (ISO/IEC 27001:2013).

We also make sure that risk is mitigated by subjecting each submission to a series of both automated and human checks and measures.

What's more, in the unlikely event of our system failing, we have clear business continuity management in place, which ensures that payment and instruction files are still submitted. You can find out more about our data security on our direct debit services page.

8. What compliance certifications do you hold?

Similarly to data security measures, your chosen provider should also have relevant, up-to-date certifications and licenses in place to ensure you run your lottery compliantly. This includes adhering to UK-GDPR compliance measures, Gambling Commission ELM and RTS Compliance and PCI-DSS Compliance, among others.

Woods Valldata’s answer:

Fundraising compliance is at Woods Valldata’s very core! Data security, quality, and continuity of service are enshrined within everything we do, and we invest continuously in best-in-sector charity fundraising services compliance measures and practices. You can read more about this on our compliance page.

9. Do you have a lottery package that fits my charity’s specific needs?

Every charity is different, and while some will be able to succeed with more off-the-shelf solutions, others will need a more bespoke offering to meet their particular needs.

Woods Valldata’s answer:

From off-the-shelf to bespoke, Woods Valldata will have the perfect lottery package to suit you!

Affinity Lottery is our online weekly lottery that starts raising charity funds from the very first draw. It also includes a staggering £25,000 top prize, at no cost or risk to you!

Aspire Lottery is the lottery owned by you and managed by us. Including a £20,000 top prize, this one is quick and attractive to roll out, and will deliver exceptional results in just weeks.

Advantage Lottery is designed to meet your charity’s ambitions so you can think big and achieve even bigger! You’ll also have access to support from our team of experts every step of the way.

With the above questions and answers in your armoury, you can now go into your lottery provider consultations with the confidence to find your perfect partner.

Throughout this blog, we’ve shared the answers we’d give here at Woods Valldata to all the questions above. If you’d like to know more, be sure to get in touch with us – we'd be delighted chat through your requirements and ideas!

In the meantime, if you’re looking for ways to develop and grow your current weekly lottery, be sure to take a look at our webinar...



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