Charity Digital – Topics – What is a mobile lottery?

Learn how to make your mobile lottery a success

There are lots of different types of lotteries: national, postcode, tombola, and raffle, to name but a few. Now, get ready for the latest innovation in fundraising – the mobile lottery.

Mobile lotteries are weekly lotteries that charity supporters can enter by simply using their phone number. In making it as easy as possible for people to enter, charities can hopefully generate more regular income for their organization to help their beneficiaries in the future.

According to digital fundraising experts Donr, it is four times easier for supporters to enter a mobile lottery than one using Direct Debit, based on the fewer number of steps they need to take.

All entrants need to do to enter a mobile lottery is complete a short form, including name, how many tickets, confirmation that they are over 18 years of age and a resident of the England, Scotland, or Wales, whether they would like to hear more from the charity, and finally, their mobile phone number.

The cost of entry is then added to the supporters’ next phone bill or deducted from their Pay-As-You-Go credit, depending on how they currently pay for their phone use.

With 70% of web traffic now taking place on a mobile device, a mobile-first lottery makes sense for charities looking to diversify their fundraising. They are quick and simple to set up, with Donr having taken care of regulatory issues, and they allow charity supporters to win up to £10,000 while donating to their chosen charity. It’s a win-win for everyone.

What are the benefits of mobile lotteries?

More than £300 million is raised for good causes each year through society lotteries, with lottery participation continuing to grow. The National Lottery is entered by an estimated 70% of over-18s in the UK, showing that there is a real appetite for them, even 28 years after its launch.

The benefits of lotteries for charities are regular income (that is generally unrestricted) and an incentive that encourages participation among supporters. For every £2 ticket sold, charities will receive £1.02. The remaining 98 pence is used to cover the costs of running the lottery, including the prizes, transaction fees, taxes, licensing fees and other administrative costs.

The added benefit of mobile lotteries is that it can help charities reach new audiences beyond those who usually enter them.

Gen Z (those born between 1995 and 2010) was identified in 2021 as the generation most likely to give to charity, followed by millennials (born between 1980 and 1994). When it comes to society lotteries, however, they are most likely to be entered by people in the Boomer generation (1940-59) or Gen X (1960-79).

Donr attributes this to the traditional direct debit entry method. With the simplicity of entering mobile lotteries – and the younger generations’ familiarity with mobile technology – charities can hope to reach new and different audiences just as easily and at little cost to themselves.

“Charities in our community explained that they were concerned about rising running costs. Furthermore, many are concerned about income as supporters are affected by the rising cost-of-living,” explained Chris Newell, Chief Executive at Donr.

“We therefore worked with charities to develop a solution which would generate a stable source of regular income. Meanwhile, the potential to win a prize gives supporters something in return for their generosity, which feels particularly important in the current climate.”

How are charities fundraising with mobile lotteries?

Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter launched the very first charity mobile lottery in April 2022. The idea of ​​using a new fundraising solution that could both create ongoing revenues and reward donors was very appealing, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the rise in cost-of-living.

The shorter sign-up form and the fact that all entrants need is their mobile number at hand – not their bank details – also means that the charity can combine the new lottery with their existing mobile-friendly content.

“We are active on social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, many supporters access our content on their mobile phones. We needed a quick and effective method to encourage those supporters to make a regular donation, which is why we chose to go with Mobile Lotteries,” said Chris Bray, Chief Executive of Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter.

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