100 Charities call for lottery fundraising law change
The leaders of 100 British charities have called on the Government to scrap financial limits imposed on charity lotteries. The lotteries have a regulated annual sales limit of £50 million and are the only type of charity fundraising to face this restriction.Back to news
There are no such curbs on the National Lottery.
Now, in an open letter to Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan MP, the charities have urged the Government to remove the fundraising limit.
They also point out that the limits are depriving them of millions of pounds in desperately needed funding.
Clara Govier, Managing Director of People’s Postcode Lottery, Tracey Crouch MP, and Dame Laura Lee, Chief Executive of Maggie’s.
The letter also points out that the simple change in the law will come at NO COST to the Treasury. There is growing cross-party support for the removal of the limit, but no decision has yet been taken.
The charities involved include British Red Cross, Barnardo’s, The Royal Voluntary Service, Maggie’s, Cat’s Protection, WWF, The Wildlife Trusts, Lord’s Taverners, Breast Cancer Now, Magic Breakfast and homelessness charity Crisis.
Laura Lee, Chief Executive of Maggie’s, who run cancer centres across Britain, said: “Charity lotteries have been transformational for so many charities. That has certainly been the case for Maggie’s and it therefore makes no sense that they are stymied by Government red tape.
“In the current tough times growing the contribution charity lotteries make to our society will bring real benefits to more communities and causes in desperate need of this support.”
The pandemic and cost-of-living crisis has hit charities badly. In the letter they say they are facing a difficult fundraising environment and add: “In an economic climate where many of the charities we represent are having to respond to increasing charitable needs and where charity fundraising is increasingly challenging, we believe it is time to get rid of these fundraising limits once and for all.”
Clara Govier, Managing Director of People’s Postcode Lottery, who manage charity lotteries, said: “Our players make a huge difference to charities, large and small, right across Britain, however, we are forced to operate in an overly bureaucratic way because of the charity lottery sales limit. The limit has no benefit at all and, in many cases, restricts the funding which can be given to charities.
“With over 100 national charities calling on the Government to remove the limit it is time for Ministers to take action and remove this excessive red tape immediately. It is harmful and affecting lives and communities. There is no reason to delay.”
As well as leading to excessive bureaucracy round this type of fundraising the sales limits also mean some charities cannot see any increase in their funds from charity lotteries over time, despite increasing ticket sales.
The charities point out that: “31 charities supported by People’s Postcode Lottery players are funded from Trusts which are already up against the charity lottery annual sales limit of £50 million. This means that despite inflation, these charities can see no further increase in the funds they receive until the sales limits change.”
One of the charities affected is Magic Breakfast, which support breakfast provision in schools across the country.
Its Chief Executive, Lindsey MacDonald, commented: “At Magic Breakfast we are responding to vastly increased need, yet because of the charity lottery sales limits our funding from charity lotteries cannot increase. The Government must take action to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”
Joint charity letter and the list of charity signatories.
Dear Secretary of State
As a group of 103 charity leaders, whose organisations are involved in responding to a wide range of challenges, including environmental and human rights protection, poverty alleviation, protecting our culture and history, international development and supporting animal welfare, the work we undertake has benefitted hugely from charity lottery fundraising. It has allowed more families facing cancer to get the support they need; it has allowed more of our elderly get access to community services that enrich their lives and it has allowed children in war zones get vital life-saving support, and much, much more.
With our knowledge of the difference charity lottery funding makes, we write urging you to make a simple change to charity lottery law and remove the fundraising limits on charity lotteries without delay.
Charity lotteries have raised over £2.7 billion for good causes in Britain over the last decade. Yet they face a significant limit on their fundraising, when no other type of fundraising or indeed any other gambling product, has a similar limit.
In an economic climate where many of the charities we represent are having to respond to increasing charitable needs and where charity fundraising is increasingly challenging, we believe it is time to get rid of these fundraising limits once and for all.
At a time where demands on public funding are at a premium, this is a policy which would come at no cost to the Treasury or the taxpayer, yet which would benefit charities and the communities they support across the country.
The partial reforms the Government introduced in 2020 have helped to significantly increase funds to good causes, benefitting many of our charities, as well as many community charities across Britain.
However, the remaining sales limits still lead to unnecessary over-regulation, excessive red tape, and duplication of effort by charity lottery operators such as People’s Postcode Lottery.
Indeed 31 charities supported by People’s Postcode Lottery players are funded from Trusts which are already up against the charity lottery annual sales limit of £50 million. This means that despite inflation, these charities can see no further increase in the funds they receive until the sales limits change. Those affected include charities which are supporting our young people and our elderly, those tackling homelessness, providing school breakfast clubs, and supporting those living with cancer.
In the past charity lottery reform has sometimes been delayed because of a worry that it might in some way impact on the fundraising of the National Lottery. As many of our charities also receive National Lottery funding, we understand that that is something to be considered. However, this aspect of the debate has been subject to considerable scrutiny by regulators, by your department and most recently by Parliament’s DCMS Select Committee, and the consistent outcome is that charity lotteries complement the fundraising of the National Lottery, rather than competing against it. Gambling Commission statistics also consistently back up this finding.
The existing situation benefits nobody, and it could easily be solved by a simple change in Government policy. We appreciate that your Department has a demanding inbox of issues, but a simple Statutory Instrument is all that is required to make a huge difference to charities, communities and our country for decades to come.
Put simply, the current limit is blunting our ability to deliver the greatest impact – free from encumbrance – for those who need our help the most. We urge you to grasp this opportunity to change that outcome.
We look forward to hearing from you on this issue.
Action Against Hunger
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
Amref Health Africa UK
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
Book Aid International
Breast Cancer Now
British Red Cross
Canal & River Trust
Children North East
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Fauna & Flora International
Friends of the Earth, EWNI
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Helen Bamber Foundation Group
Human Rights Watch
Humanity & Inclusion UK
Keep Britain Tidy
Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
Liberty (Civil Liberties Trust)
Marine Conservation Society
Médecins Sans Frontières
Medical Detection Dogs
National Galleries of Scotland
National Museums Scotland
National Trust for Scotland
Ndlovu Care Group
Newcastle United Foundation
Riding for the Disabled Association
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Royal National Institute of Blind People
Royal Voluntary Service
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
Save the Children
Science Museum Group
Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance
The Conservation Volunteers
The Trussell Trust
The Wildlife Trusts
Thomson Reuters Foundation
V&A Museum of Design Dundee
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
Women for Women International
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust
Young Lives vs Cancer
Zoological Society of London