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9 trends that’ll enrich your charity’s weekly lottery and raffle fundraising

You’ll probably know prize-led fundraising as ‘gaming’ including your charity raffle and weekly lottery. It may also be called added-value fundraising, “give-and-get" fundrasising or incentivised giving. Whatever you call it, it is a different yet fantastic way to generate additional income for your charity whilst re-engaging your current supporters and attracting new ones.

This is, quite simply, because your charity’s supporters have the chance to receive something in return for their donations. What’s more, it’s great fun to play, and gives your charity the chance to lead with positive stories about your work!

Lotteries and raffles are perhaps the most well-known prize-led fundraising initiatives out there, next to free prize draws and scratch cards – and they’ve certainly gained a good bit of traction over the last few years!

For example, Mintel found that consumer spending on lottery games reached a record £4.1bn during 2020/21, and this is forecast to reach £4.6bn by 2027. What’s more, a third more players have been found to play a charity's lottery game in 2021 compared to 2020.

While there are multiple ways you can make your charity lottery stand out from the crowd or ensure your raffle is as enticing as possible, one of the best ways you can elevate your prize-led fundraising initiatives is by learning, understanding and implementing the most up-to-date prize-led charity fundraising trends.

As a a leading supplier of managed raffles and weekly lotteries to the UK charity sector, we pride ourselves on keeping our finger on the pulse of the latest trends, facts, stats and figures in the charity fundraising industry here at Woods Valldata, and have supported numerous charities over the years with insights such as these.

Read on to discover nine of the most essential ones, and to find out how you should capitalise on them to bolster the success of your own campaigns!

9 prize-led charity fundraising trends to consider for your weekly lottery campaigns:

1. Weekly lottery players tend to be aged 55+

They also earn around £15-£40k income and are homeowners.

What’s more, the latest Mintel report found that 35-54-year-olds are just as likely to play a weekly lottery as the 55+ age group, although this was more likely to be online.

How should your charity make the most of this trend?

Be sure to include those in your supporter base who fit these demographics into any acquisition strategies, and tailor your messaging to suit them.

We have a Raffle and Lottery Player Personas eBook available which you can read for more insights into typical players.

A senior woman celebrating as she wins an online lottery, representing prize-led charity fundraising trends.

2. One of the top reasons people buy weekly lottery tickets is impulsivity

In a Mintel survey, 29% of people surveyed reported that they often buy lottery tickets on impulse; and 17% agreed that the fact that lotteries support good causes influences their decision to play.

How should your charity make the most of this trend?

Give your current and potential new supporters every possible opportunity to play – whether that’s through your website, telephone calls, DRTV, social media channels or email, and make it as easy as possible to do so, reiterating the impact that playing can have on your charity and its cause.

3. 70% of people who play a weekly lottery say they’re in it for the money

As mentioned by one player, “I don’t put much thought into gambling, I just like the idea of winning big, even if it is a long shot.”

How should your charity make the most of this trend?

You should put careful consideration into the prizes you put on offer as part of your lottery, including an irresistible top prize to really draw in your supporters, and a number of smaller prizes so that players feel that their chance of winning is greater.

4. The majority of weekly lottery direct debit cancellations happen within the first three months

We’ve also found in our research that this usually happens before the first payment has been taken.

How should your charity make the most of this trend?

Knowing that a sign-up to your lottery doesn’t mean a guaranteed play, you should make the most of the opportunity to build a positive relationship with your supporters.

Start by thanking them, either by post or by email, such as a welcome pack, before the first payment is taken, and keep them warm with continued communications, such as personalised email newsletters.

3 prize-led charity fundraising trends to consider for your raffle campaigns

1. Raffle players tend to be aged 66+

They also earn around £20-£80k income, are well-educated, and are homeowners. You can learn more about typical raffle players in this blog.

How should your charity make the most of this trend?

As with weekly lottery player demographics, you should aim to target these particular groups of people, as well as tailoring your messaging to suit them.

2. 50% of raffle players play more than once over three years

What’s more, on average, 50% of people only play the raffle once.

How should your charity make the most of this trend?

Give your supporters the opportunity to play as often as you can – and make it as easy as possible!

While you’ll have a number of times per year to run a raffle that works best for your charity (Christmas campaigns tend to see the highest response rates and average gift!), be sure to keep in mind any other fundraising endeavours you have going on so that your supporters don’t feel overwhelmed.

To give your players the highest chance for replay, we’d highly recommend that your charity operates at least two raffles a year, and up to four. However, you could run more raffles to carefully chosen segments of your player base for additional income.

3. Raffle acquisition works best by post

Direct mail has been found to engage people of all ages, and overall, it has an engagement rate of 94%!

Plus, The Impact of COVID-19 on Individual Giving: Planning for the Future webinar we held saw representatives from leading UK fundraisers citing Direct Mail as the most successful income generator for fundraising.

How should your charity make the most of this trend?

Enhance your supporters’ direct mail experience as much as you can! Create on-brand, enticing designs, use personalisation, and let your players know the incredible impact that their donations as part of playing the raffle could have for your charity’s cause.

However, supporters still very much expect raffle to have a digital presence, so be sure to invest in your online provision as well for a truly impactful multi-channel strategy.A woman holding a piece of paper displaying bar charts and graphs, representing prize-led charity fundraising trends.

2 general prize-led charity fundraising trends to consider for your campaigns:

1. 7.5% of people play a charity weekly lottery or raffle online

According to the Gambling Commission, online gambling as a whole has increased year-on-year, with older and female audiences increasingly playing online more; very likely, as a result of the pandemic.

How should your charity make the most of this trend?

Invest some time and planning into your online player acquisition! From social media (including paid and organic posts and instant messaging) to email and more.

Talk with your media agency or External Lottery Manager about recent cost per acquisition benchmarks and maybe chat about the best strategy for your charity. Woods Valldata is more than happy to work with you on your programme strategy planning.

The trick is to make it as easy for your players to sign up and play as possible!

2. The future of prize-led fundraising is brighter than ever!

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 10.7% increase on raffle and lottery sales in 2021 compared to 2020 – a total of £831 million, £367 million of which went to good causes.

And, with most of YouGov’s top 24 most popular UK charities running raffle and lottery initiatives, that number will only continue to rise!

How should your charity make the most of this trend?

In short, this means that, if you’ve been thinking about running a charity raffle or weekly lottery for your charity, there’s no better time to get started than now...

Ready to put these prize-led fundraising trends into action?

Here at Woods Valldata, there’s little-to-nothing that we don’t know about creating successful prize-led fundraising campaigns.

But don’t just take our word for it; take a look at our case studies to see how we have supported charities in the past; from RNIB’s weekly lottery setup to RSPB’s raffle innovation, The Air Ambulance’s new strategic direction and more.

If you would like to witness the same success for your charity with a weekly lottery or raffle initiative, or improve upon the programmes you already have in place, be sure to get in touch with us for your free consultation today.

We’ll also be glad to chat with you about our additional services, such as response handling and direct debit, in order to help you push your success even further!

If you’d like to discover more trends to fuel your fundraising initiatives, be sure to tune in to our Prize-led Fundraising Benchmarking and Trends webinar, which will be airing on 27th April 2022 at 11.00 until 12.30!

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