The Scoop on Raffles

The Scoop on Raffles

By Bobbi Yeo, Canon for Administration & Finance

Does your church or ministry want to have a raffle in the near future?  In California, raffles are considered gambling and are regulated under Penal Code section 320.5 - failure to comply is a misdemeanor.

The Good News:

The good news is that any “eligible private, tax-exempt nonprofit groups qualified to conduct business in California for at least one year prior to conducting the raffle may conduct raffles to raise funds for the organization and charitable or beneficial purposes in California.

Eligible organizations are charities and religious or other organizations that have been exempted from state taxation by the Franchise Tax Board…”

Even Better News:

Even better news is that section 320.5(h)(8) exempts religious organizations from registration and reporting requirements that apply to other nonprofits. However, the 90/10 rule applies to all raffles. This means that 90% of the proceeds must be used for a charitable purpose.

To get the full scoop please click here to obtain a copy of the code section. It is short and easy to read.


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