Tuesday, January 8

High school 50/50 raffle faces scrutiny

The Lafayette School Corporation has suspended its 50/50 fundraising raffles after a parent of a Jefferson High School basketball player reported the raffles to the Lafayette (Ind.) Police Department.

The school district since has ceased all raffles at athletic events until a permit is given from the Indiana Gaming Commission. Other area schools The Star Press that they face similar pressure.

"I stay as far away from that Gaming Commission as I can because they're not real flexible people," [New Castle Chrysler High School Principal Bruce] Gaylor said. "Most of the people that win the 50/50 go ahead and give it back to the school as a donation. For crying out loud, schools are just hustling to find dollars now, and they keep trying to take 'em away from us. Every time we find a way to make a buck, they try to take 'em away from us, it seems like."
For crying out loud indeed. While it may be hard to believe that a parent actually ratted them out to the police... the truth of the matter is, many donors are outraged when they hear that a nonprofit's fundraising program keeps only 50 cents of every dollar raised... why should a raffle be judged any differently?

In fact, a friend of mine in California emailed me to say the California Penal Code (Section 320.5), bans such raffles "because less than 90% of the overall earnings are offered to the high school or charitable cause."


Anonymous said...

Hey, if you don't like 50/50 raffles, don't buy a ticket! Those who DO buy tickets to such raffles have made a personal decision to do so. As long as it's made clear to them prior to purchasing a ticket that this is, in fact, a 50/50 raffle, what's the problem?

"a fundraiser" said...

Oh - don't get me wrong Rothoman... personally, I love 50/50 raffles... and I'm shocked that it was a parent who tattled to the police.

I'm just pointing out the hypocritical opinion that so many people complain about the percentage that goes to fundraising costs... yet they are willing to ignore 50/50 raffles if THEY are the ones who have a chance to win that overhead expense.