Tuesday, January 17, 2012

They've Made a Raffle Impossible

So I had a great idea. I would raffle off an autographed copy of a Stephen King book to help raise money for my best friend's cancer treatment.

Except that when I went to put the information out there to other websites, the girl running the book club site told me about Paypal shutting down people's accounts when they had used them for this type of thing. Apparently, Paypal doesn't want you to collect donations unless you are a registered nonprofit entity and, of course, I'm not. So no donations through Paypal.

So then I checked into getting a post office box to give out for people to mail checks to. But that won't work because of the pesky problem of raffles being "gambling" and the gambling laws are different in each state. Because this is the interweb, I would hopefully be getting checks from all over the place...including states that maybe don't allow this kind of thing. My state is cool with raffles, as long as you don't make more than $40,000, but other states aren't as easy going. So the post office box is out.

Then Justin had a great idea. We would sell "special limited edition" wristbands and if people bought a wristband, they would be entered to win a chance at the book. This would work with a paypal purchase button. Except I went to the wristband site and they wanted $73 for 200 wristbands. Why are these wristbands so expensive???? Aren't these people supposed to be helping us fundraise? I have already purchased the book and I am out of cash. Unless some nice person was willing to donate the wristbands for me to sell, my raffle is finished.

As Carrie suggested in her comment on my previous blog post, I checked out Google Checkout. No deal there either. They only allow you to use their service to purchase a product. Again, I have one product and I want to sell chances to win it. So unless I sell a book to each person, no Google Checkout.

I'm completely stumped. I have no money to pay a lawyer to figure out how to get around these rules and laws follow these rules and laws, and still make money for my friend's medical expenses. In the meantime, she is spending vast amounts of money she doesn't have for treatment which could not wait.

If anyone has any other ideas on how I could do this raffle or if some kind soul has an extra $73 in their wallet and wants to provide the wristbands so I have a product to sell along with the chance to win the book, please contact me. Otherwise, I am out of ideas. And I have failed to help my friend. Again.


6 comments:

  1. Okay, so a few ideas. There are a few companies online that act as your fundraising agent such as SkyRaise (http://www.skyraise.com/) but they charge a fee per donation. I suggest reading TOS carefully as one I looked at said they don't guarantee the donator's funds go to their charity of choice.

    Another idea - Sell something you've made, or someone else had made and donated. What if you're charging for a poem, one about breast cancer? It can be sent in an electronic file to keep costs down, or you can print them off. Is that enough to be following the rules? I was thinking that idea went along the same lines as bracelets, but with lower overhead.

    If you ask for other ideas on Google+, I'll share the post for you and get my hubby to as well. Just let me know. There's something out there, someone with an answer, it just has to be found. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Carrie,

    So I talked to someone at Paypal and they told me that I cannot in any way attach chances to win a prize to anything I sell. Which means I cannot even do an online store with a purchase button to raise money with buying something like the wristbands and providing the purchaser with a chance to win. It has something to do with the laws for raffles being different in each state.

    At this point,I am overwhelmed and very discouraged. I am going to take a step back today and see if anyone with some extra cash can come up with an idea and whether anyone can come up with an idea on how to legally raffle the book.

    This has been an overwhelming week for me that started with on Saturday!

    Thank you for your suggestions and I will look into the site you mentioned. I looked into one of those sites last night and they charge a 7% fee! Everyone wants to make money.

    Hugs,
    Chelle

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is going to sound really simple....and maybe naive....but couldn't you just sell the tickets? They are "limited edition, numbered tickets."

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know, Tina, that sounds so easy, right? That's exactly what I would be doing! But the paypal guy said no because you have to actually sell a product, not a "chance to win." It falls under gambling and is against their acceptable usage policy. It's a stupid rule and they need to change it.

    It makes so much sense to just "sell the tickets." So stupid that I can't! I can do a raffle here in Virginia, but I can't take payment online; it would have to be cash or checks.

    Hugs,
    Chelle

    ReplyDelete
  5. I cannot thinK of the site but I know there is one that will let you take donations up to 500 dollars. Use that and buy many wrist bands. I will look for it tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If you find it, please let me know. Paypal really ticked me off because they wouldn't let me do the donation button for the raffle and now it's hard to sell tickets. Something about interstate gambling laws and who wants to go looking into THAT?

    Thanks for checking for me. You can email me if you find it.

    Hugs,
    Chelle

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to tag back to your blog in the body of your message. Comments are my favorite!