The Government has been urged to take advantage of a forthcoming Consultation to boost the amount of money going to good causes.
Charities have made this call in the wake of a new report to be launched in Parliament today (26th February). The report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), ‘What have we got to lose? How Society Lotteries could do even more for good causes’, encourages Ministers to build on the success of the lottery model for charity fundraising by relaxing present restrictions.
However, the report also cautions that such lottery funding could be cut in half – a loss of almost £90 million – if the Government goes ahead with current proposals to tighten regulatory controls on the operations of society lotteries.
The report was commissioned by the Lotteries Council and the Institute of Fundraising ahead of a forthcoming consultation into society lotteries by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Society lotteries are operated by many of the UK’s best known charities, such as Macmillan and Scope, as well as hundreds of local charities such as hospices. Spanning a breadth of sectors such as health, children, animals and the armed services, the money they raise often provides the core funding to operate vital local and national services which do not receive statutory funding.
The DCMS consultation is expected to consider imposing tighter restrictions on the society lottery sector, despite it raising £155 million for good causes in 2012/13, which the report notes is “a figure which has increased in every year since the financial crisis, over which time personal giving has faltered” and National Lottery sales have soared.
To capitalise on the growing popularity of Society Lotteries, Cebr suggests that were the Consultation instead to consider a relaxation of the present limits on individual prize draws and turnover limits, this could boost the amount of money raised for good causes.
Cebr also notes that partial deregulation of the sector would not have an impact on National Lottery sales, noting that the overall impact is likely to be an increase in total proceeds available for good causes.
Clive Mollett, the Chairman of the Lotteries Council, said: “We are delighted by the success and growing popularity of Society Lotteries. We would love to be able to do more to support the vast number of good causes we help fund across the length and breadth of Britain. We appeal to the Government to look at our constructive proposals to create a win-win situation.”
Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising, and joint sponsors of the report, said: “It’s clear that playing a lottery supporting a specific good cause is a popular way for the public to give money to charity, so we should do what we can to encourage it. We can do more to make it easier for charities to raise funds in this way and I hope Ministers will read this report very carefully and act on its recommendations.”
Scott Corfe, Managing Economist, Cebr said: “Our research shows that proposed regulatory changes to the society lotteries sector, while well-intentioned, could lead to a significant loss of money going to good causes. Tighter regulation would make some lotteries unviable, forcing their closure. Further, new regulation may discourage the formation of new society lotteries. Policymakers should instead be looking to deregulate the society lotteries sector, encouraging new lotteries to open and enabling existing lotteries to give more to good causes.”