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‘Outdated’ lottery fundraising cap means charities miss out on millions, says report

‘Outdated’ lottery fundraising cap means charities miss out on millions, says report

People’s Postcode Lottery has only been able to fund three in ten applications from charities over the last two years due to lottery fundraising caps, a report has revealed, turning down applications that could have received £45 million.

The report, ‘Small Change: how charity lottery limits impact on small charities’ was carried out by nfpSynergy, and shows that while there has been a huge increase in applications from small charities to local trusts supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, legislation governing the sector has failed to keep up with increased charitable need.

Since 2012 the value of total applications to People’s Postcode Lottery has increased from £5.9 million to £58.3 million. However, because limits on the amount of money the trusts can raise mean over the last two years the three trusts, which award of up to £20,000 to small and local charities across Britain, have had to turn down 3,740 applications worth £45 million which would have qualified for awards.

According to the report, Manchester Central was the English constituency worst affected. It missed out on £573,727 of funding, while in Scotland the worst-hit was Edinburgh North East and Leith, which saw applications worth £528,024 rejected. In Wales it was Brecon and Radnorshire which missed out on £206,013.

While last year saw the UK Government say that their “preferred option” was to raise the charity lottery sales limit from £10 million to £100 million, the change has yet to be implemented.

Commenting on the report, Carolyn Harris, Labour MP for Swansea East and gambling reform campaigner, said:

This report highlights the significant impact the current outdated limits are having on small charities – one that should make every MP sit up and take notice because it is impacting on local charities and community groups in virtually every constituency.

“The Government has said a new £100 million limit is their ‘preferred option’. They must now implement it before more local charities and community groups lose out on vital funding.”

 Clara Govier, Managing Director of People’s Postcode Lottery, said:

“This report lays bare the massive prize for local charities and good causes across Britain from reforming the outdated charity lottery laws.

“The Government can unlock millions of pounds in extra funding at the stroke of pen by raising the current caps on charity lottery fundraising, which are which are holding back organisations from improving the lives of people up and down the country.

“We hope Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright and Charites Minister Mims Davies will see the enormous amount of good that can be done at no cost to the taxpayer and update the rules as soon as possible. Further delay will mean that more local charities lose out.”

Report author, Joe Saxton, of nfpSynergy, added:

“There is rarely such a good example of a change in the law which results in a ‘win/win/win’ solution. Raising the charity lottery limits is a win for funding for small and large charities, a win for reducing unnecessary costs and administration which the public so dislike, and a win for the people that charities exist to help.

“The current charity lottery limits are a regulatory straightjacket on charity fundraising. The lack of a government decision on raising the charity lottery limits is increasingly detrimental to charitable activities. The government is out of step with its own MPs and with the public if it doesn’t take measures forward to raise charity lottery sales limits.”

The £100 million annual sales limit was proposed by official regulator the Gambling Commission and has won widespread support in the charity sector, while polling by nfpSynergy also found public backing for the reform, with only 16% of people thinking charity lottery ticket sales should be capped. MPs have also backed the change in recent Parliamentary motions in both Westminster and the Scottish Parliament. Ministers are considering their response and promised a decision in the first half of 2019.

 

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

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 www.thepurplepim.com.

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