The United States Postal Service (USPS) is strictly enforcing regulations on mailing raffle tickets. If you plan to mail raffle tickets for a fundraiser, you must meet USPS requirements or they could legally refuse to accept your mail.
It is legal to include advertising for a raffle. Including a raffle or lottery ticket in a mailing is strictly prohibited unless you follow USPS guidelines.
Raffles are considered lotteries if they incorporate three elements: prize, chance and consideration (fee to enter). Tickets for such raffles are considered unlawful mail and therefore are not mailable. However, when one or more of the three elements are eliminated from a raffle, it no longer constitutes a lottery for postal purposes. For instance, consideration can be eliminated if a person may enter the drawing without paying a fee.
A nonprofit organization that designs a ticket for a raffle where it is clear that a donation is not required to enter may use the mail to distribute the tickets.
To avoid potential problems the USPS requires the ticket makes clear that no payment is required to enter a raffle.
The following elements should appear on each ticket in a mailing:
Use the wording “suggested donation” before the price of the ticket.
Use the wording “no donation required to enter” or add a check box “Please enter my name in the drawing. I do not wish to make a donation at this time.”
One alternative is to not include a ticket in the mailing. It is legal to advertise a raffle by mail, but you should still use the phrase “suggested donation” if you list the price of a ticket on the mail piece.
Send us a pdf or sample of any raffle ticket before you print and we will alert you to any potential problems. Contact us today. We are glad to help!