How to Host an Online Raffle

By Qyou Stoval

Updated September 22, 2017

Raffles can be an effective fundraiser for charities.
i raffle tickets image by Alison Bowden from

Raffles might generate larger profit when hosted online because the fundraiser will reach more people. Most raffles generally are structured to have individuals buy one or more tickets in hopes that the entry will lead to obtaining a particular product or service. Regulations for hosting an online raffle vary by state, so research what laws apply before hosting one to avoid legal issues.

First, does your state require a gambling license to host a raffle? Raffles are considered gambling in some states and might be illegal. Contact your state's Department of Revenue or Secretary of State to verify whether any licenses are required to host an online raffle.

Design a website for the raffle. If you don't know how, hire a freelance web designer from sites such as, or Or, use a website templates found at a site such as to design it. Website templates allow you to oversee the content and images.

Open a merchant account at a bank. Merchant accounts often are subject to credit approval and require an additional business or personal checking account.

Ask an organization to join your site as a raffle sponsor. Speak churches, community centers or other nonprofit organizations for assistance. Having a website formed can drive the incentive for a group or organization to get involved.

Generate traffic for your raffle. Use forums and social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to draw traffic. Emphasize the raffle's cause to help encourage people to participate.