I’ve received quite a lot of feedback on my raffle attempt dilemma. Many good suggestions and a lot of people confused about why I’m not allowed to do this. Basically the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is the agency responsible for enforcing these rules, approving and issuing licenses, etc.
This is their definition of “Raffle”:
26. “Raffle” means a lottery in which each participant buys a ticket for a chance at a prize with the winner determined by a random method and the winner is not required to be present to win. “Raffle” does not include a slot machine.
Basically if someone gives you money for a chance to receive something in return, it is a raffle, even if you call the money receipt a “donation”. According to their rules you must have a gaming license to have a raffle AND you must be a non-profit organization to obtain a license. Some of the wording in their “rulebook” is confusing and I would probably need an attorney to figure it all out.
So, this is what I have decided so far: I am going to design a commemorative shawl pattern which I will sell to anyone who wishes to purchase it. I will then be donating the proceeds, less expenses, to an organization offering assistance to those affected by the NE Iowa tornadoes – tentatively this will be the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.
I will be posting updates here regarding the pattern progress, when it will be available, etc. So bookmark this page!