Because of gaming and tax laws and because raffles may require a license, Thrivent does not encourage chapters to conduct raffles.
A raffle is an activity in which a participant is asked to purchase a ticket(s) for a specified price for a chance to win any item, regardless of value. Examples include selling tickets for chances to win items such as baskets of goodies, a quilt, etc.; bucket raffles with various prizes where people buy tickets and then place the tickets in whatever bucket has prizes they'd like to win; and selling tickets with multiple prizes over a period of time, with a predetermined prize-drawing date.
As an option, we suggest that chapter service teams consider conducting silent auctions. There are no laws governing silent auctions because they are not considered a gaming activity.
We do not encourage chapters to conduct raffles. If your chapter is considering a charitable raffle as a fund-raising activity, keep in mind that raffles are considered gaming activities, and certain prizes require recipients to pay taxes.
Rules for conducting charitable raffles vary widely by state. If you plan to hold a raffle, contact your state gaming commission to determine whether your state allows such raffles, and if so, what procedures are required for obtaining a license. Other requirements, such as reporting the information after the raffle is conducted, also may apply in your state.
There may be situations when a chapter service team co-hosts a fund-raiser, which includes a raffle, with another organization that owns a raffle license. Reporting raffle-generated income in these situations would indicate that the chapter has a valid raffle license and conducted the raffle. Therefore, if a chapter service team is doing a raffle with another organization that has the raffle license:
- The chapter cannot report any gross or net income raised from the raffle.
- If the fund-raiser includes multiple activities, with a raffle being one of them, the chapter should not report or deposit any of the funds raised from the raffle when reporting net income from the fund-raiser.
- The service team may not apply for supplemental funding for the amount raised that is attributable to the raffle.
Chapters (including service teams of a chapter) must adhere to the following regulatory guidelines, if the chapter is conducting the raffle. Note: If another organization holds the license and is conducting the raffle, they are responsible for satisfying regulatory requirements.
For winners of raffle items with a fair market value (FMV) of $600 or more, a W-9 form with a letter explaining the W-9 must be given to each winner. The W-9 form is printable from the IRS website (Link opens in new window).
The W-9 requests the winner's name, address, Social Security number and signature. It is used by Thrivent to generate a W2-G in January of the following year. The FMV of the prize is considered taxable income to the winner.
The recipient should be asked to complete and sign the W-9 when the prize is picked up, to ensure it's completed.
A letter should be provided to the recipient. Suggested wording:
Dear prize winner:
Congratulations on winning the [prize description] that was awarded in the raffle hosted by [name of chapter] Chapter of Thrivent Financial. Because the [prize description] is valued at [$value of prize], the prize winnings are considered taxable income to you. We need to report your name, address, Social Security number and signature, along with the fair market value of the prize to the IRS on Form W2-G. Therefore, please complete the enclosed W-9 and return it to me in the envelope I've provided. We will pass the information on to the IRS when we've received it.
After being forwarded to the chapter's financial director, the W-9 should be sent to Member Connection Center Processing, F222, Thrivent Financial, 4321 N. Ballard Rd., Appleton, WI 54919.
If a chapter does not obtain the W-9, the chapter will be subject to paying tax withholding at a rate of 38.88% of the fair market value of the prize.
Note: If there is a value on the ticket, the printed value determines the need for a W-9.
If the raffle includes a prize valued at $5,000 or more, taxes must be collected from the winner at the time of delivery, as well as obtaining the W-9.
- The recipient should issue a check, made payable to Thrivent Financial, for an amount equal to 25% of the fair market value of the prize he or she won. The chapter should send the check, along with the W-9, to Member Connection Center Processing, F222, Thrivent Financial, 4321 N. Ballard Rd., Appleton, WI 54919-0001.
- If the chapter does not wish to have the recipient pay the taxes, the chapter will be responsible for paying the taxes out of the proceeds of the event. The tax rate in this situation is 33.33% as the taxes paid on behalf of the winner become part of the taxable winnings. The chapter then should issue a check, payable to Thrivent Financial for the taxes and send to Member Connection Center Processing, F222, Thrivent Financial, 4321 N. Ballard Rd., Appleton, WI 54919-0001.
- If the chapter doesn't collect taxes from the recipient, the chapter will be deemed responsible at the rate of 33.33% if it acquired a W-9 from the recipient and at a rate of 38.88% if it didn't collect a W-9 from the recipient.
- The tax rates listed are Federal rates only. The chapter should contact its state taxing authority for any applicable state rates.
The contact person of the activity should contact a representative of the Member Connection Center at 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836), say "fraternal" or email email@example.com before the activity to ensure that the process is understood and followed.
If you receive prize donations toward your raffle or event, all donations with a value of $250 or more must be tracked using the Donation Form (Link opens in new window) (PDF, 228K).
Fundraising Ticket Guidelines
Tickets used to raise funds for a helping activity should include an attached stub for the contributor to keep. The stub should include:
- Contributor's name.
- Contributor's address.
- Amount of contribution.
- Name and date of benefit.
- Sponsored by Chapter Name (i.e., sponsored by ABC County Chapter of Thrivent).
Tickets may be used for admittance to chapter-hosted activities or for door-prize drawings. In these cases, the chapter should retain these stubs or prepare a list of donors and the amount contributed in order to verify any contribution.
If you have questions about raffles, contact the Member Connection Center at 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836) and say "fraternal" when prompted.
Note: We are not able to advise on licensing requirements. You must contact your state gaming commission before calling us.