Society lotteries raise £163million for good causes

Money raised for good causes through society lotteries grew seven percent to a record £163million between October 2012 and September 2013, according to mid-year figures released by the Gambling Commission.

However growth over the 12 month period has slowed compared to the previous year. Money going to good causes rose by 42 percent in the previous year, from £107million between October 2010 and September 2011, to £152million in the same period in 2011/12.

Part of this increase is likely to be due to the creation of the Health Lottery, which began in 2011, and states that it has raised £40million for good causes in the first two years.

Currently, unlike any other fundraising format it the UK, there are limits imposed on how much they can generate for good causes. Society lotteries are required to donate 20 percent of their proceedings to good causes.

A report, commission by the Lotteries Council and the Institute of Fundraising, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, recommended a relaxation on individual prize, draw and turnover limits, in order to help grow the amount raised for good causes by society lotteries. It highlighted that if heavier restrictions were to be imposed this could cost good causes almost £90million in support each year.

The research was commissioned in response to an announcement in December 2012 that the Department for Culture Media and Sport would consult on increasing the minimum contribution made by society lotteries to good causes.