How Much Lottery Money Goes to Charity?

Since the launch of the National Lottery in 1994, its operator, Camelot, has promised that its founding principle was to raise money, and donate to good causes and projects in the UK. But recently the National Lottery has been under scrutiny, as a report by the NAO public spending watchdog said Camelot’s profits rose 122 per cent, or £39 million, between 2009-’17, to £71 million. However over the same period, the amount it gave to good causes rose just 2% and fell by 15% in the last financial year.

For every £1 the national Lottery receives, through lottery tickets, scratchcards and online interactive games, 24p of that is said to go to ‘good causes’. The National Lottery’s distributing bodies, the Big Lottery Fund, and the Heritage Lottery Fund are then in charge of allocating where exactly that 24p should go. But how much lottery money goes to charity, and where exactly does it end up?

Where it Goes…

Last year the distribution was as follows…

  • Health, education, environment and charitable causes – 40%
  • Sport – 20%
  • Arts – 20%
  • Heritage – 20%

This may sound great, but how can you, the National Lottery player, influence exactly where in the country it’s spent? Can you ensure your part of the country isn’t being neglected, or misrepresented? The fact is, you can’t.

PPS | Prize Provision Services | How much lottery money goes to charity? | External Lottery Manager

Where Does National Lottery Money Go?

It may, or may not be a surprise, that out of the hundreds of areas in the UK, the top five regions that receive the most funding from the National Lottery Good Cause fund are all in London. From available data the area that received the most funding in 2011 was Poplar & Limehouse (Canary Wharf, London), which received a massive £34,450,465. In comparison, the lowest award went to Rayleigh & Wickford, Essex, which had just a £3,488 donation. If you lived in that constituency and played the national lottery, assuming that lottery funding would make a considerable change to your community, you may feel a little bit short-changed.

This is why many lottery fans have fell out of love with the National Lottery, and are now playing small society lotteries, which make a massive impact on charities and causes much closer to home.

What are Small Society Lotteries?

A small society lottery, such as those administered by The Weather Lottery, or The Sports Club Lottery, are a lot more charity and society-focused. Their fundamental principle is that half of all entry fees goes directly to the cause, compared to the 24% the National Lottery gives. This is why hundreds of small to medium sized societies, charities, sports clubs, trusts, schools and hospitals have launched their own Weather Lotteries and Sports Club Lotteries. They may have felt they were being left behind regarding National Lottery funding, and wanted a fun, reliable and sustainable way to raise uncapped funds.

When you play a society lottery, you can rest assured that the money goes directly to the cause you want to support. You can be confident that if want to support a local hospital, the money won’t be spent on an art gallery 2000 miles from your community. Not only this, your supported cause will receive 50p of every pound, regardless of profit margins.

If you want to start your own society lottery, or play one now, contact us today.

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