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Society lotteries raise record £208m raised for good causes in 2015/16

Society lotteries raise record £208m raised for good causes in 2015/16

Society gave £20m more to good causes in 2015/16 than in the previous financial year, donating a record total of £208m, according to the Gambling Commission’s Industry Statistics Report.

The money was raised by Britain’s 492 lottery operators and 38 external lottery managers. Overall, 43.3% of total revenues from society lotteries went to good causes in 2015/16, while operational expenses as a proportion of total revenues saw a 1.7% drop. Society lottery revenue given to good causes has more than doubled since 2009/10.

The Lotteries Council has proposed a number of changes to existing legislation to help increase the income good causes receive from society lotteries, which are currently undergoing review by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

These include an increase in the permissible amount of ticket sales for a single draw from £4 million to £10 million, as well as an increase in the annual income cap on any society lottery from £10 million to £100 million, an increase in prize values from £25,000 to £100,000 and from 10% of the proceeds to 50%, and the aggregation of the present 20% statutory contribution to good causes over three years for new society lotteries.

Jo Bucci, the recently elected chair of the Lotteries Council, said:

“It’s testament to the drive and dedication of our members that the society lottery sector continues to deliver ever increasing returns to good causes. However, continued success and growth in the sector is by no means guaranteed.

“The Lotteries Council has been working hard over the last five years to secure progressive changes to the regulations governing the operations of society lotteries. Specifically, our members want to see increased fundraising and prize limits and shifting the requirement of meeting the 20% minimum contribution over an extended period for new lotteries entering the market. These measures will help grow the sector and ensure the maximum amount possible is being raised for good causes.”

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Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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