What Are You Doing During Summer Recess?

Photo credit: Alex Galt/USFWS

Traditionally, August is a time for members of Congress to head home and work in their district or state. This year because of the need for a fifth coronavirus relief package, those plans are in turmoil.

When your legislators are in the district or state, it is a perfect time to get them out to your refuge or hatchery to thank them for the recent passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. The Act boosts funding to reduce the maintenance backlogs on public lands and fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a tool to conserve landscapes and invest in parks and outdoor recreation.

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to discuss with your board and Service staff about inviting your members of Congress to your site. It’s an opportunity for you to show them why you give your time to your refuge/hatchery and why it is an asset to your community.

If you have never requested a meeting with your members of Congress then check out the advocacy webinars created by the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends.

The second webinar in the advocacy series addresses how to make and prepare for a meeting with legislators. Friends, check out the weinar and if you have questions or need advice let us know.

Resources:
Great American Outdoors Act https://bit.ly/3itPc9T

Land and Water Conservation Fund https://bit.ly/2FflNCf

Recording of webinar https://bit.ly/2DXGxxq

Raffling a Porsche Boxster Online: Missing the Bumps in the Road

Prior to COVID-19 had you ever attended a virtual fundraising event? I hadn’t. When the Nonprofit Association of Oregon offered a webinar on how the Dougy Center transitioned their largest in-person fundraising event to a virtual event, I registered.

My family became aware of the Dougy Center when we lived in Oregon. They provide support for children and young adults dealing with grief. A fantastic organization that has loads of community support. For 23 years one sponsor has made the raffle of a Porsche Boxster possible.

Taking that raffle online required navigating bumps in the road.

To buy a raffle ticket online, the purchaser had to check a box verifying that they were in the state of Oregon. Why?

Raffles are gambling. A raffle involves pay-to-play, a prize, and a random drawing. Gambling is illegal, however most states and localities allow nonprofits, 501(c)(3), to conduct raffles for fundraising purposes. The rules governing raffles are determined by the state and locality where the nonprofit is located.

Usually it is only legal to sell raffle tickets in the state the nonprofit is located in. So even though the Dougy Center is just across the Columbia River from Washington state, it is not legal to sell tickets in Washington. Selling tickets online can be problematic and some states ban it. Many nonprofits avoid it or do as the Dougy Center did and require the purchaser to verify that they are physically located in the same state as the nonprofit.

If you are considering holding a raffle and want to avoid the bumps in the road then here are some things to consider:

  • Raffle are not allowed on Service-managed property (633 FW4)
  • Adhere to the local and state laws
  • Acquire the necessary permits
  • Follow the IRS regulations on Charitable Gaming
  • Ensure proper records are kept
  • File appropriate taxes that might include: excise, UBIT, and withholding
  • Ensure proceeds are used according to state regulations

Understanding the rules your nonprofit has to operate within will make your raffle successful. For us, we’ll have to take a trip to Oregon to purchase a raffle ticket for the Porsche Boxster.

Resources for nonprofits on raffles:
National Council of Nonprofits
https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/games-of-chance-raffles-and-charity-auctions

Guide Through the Legal Jungle
https://www.guidethroughthelegaljungleblog.com/2013/04/why-your-non-profit-may-not-be-able-to-sell-raffle-tickets-online.html#:~:text=Raffle%20laws%20vary%20from%20state,raffle%20tickets%20across%20state%20lines

Fundraiser Help
https://www.fundraiserhelp.com/?s=raffle+rules