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Opinion: raffle the Arachnids to raise money for non-profit?

How can I raise more money?

  • No need to raise money. Enjoy the wheels

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Supporting Member
Sep 16, 2016
San Jose
All, need some help on a good thought I have in mind - before I change my mind :).

I am getting the arachnid wheels due to 3 referrals. I didn't have to do much - the car is that good. So what Tesla is giving me as a thank you, I want to pay it forward.

I am getting trained to run a marathon and raise funds for Vibha, a non-profit org in silicon valley helping children to better education in India. It is a 20+yr old org and I believe in their work.

So I thought of the following for the wheels:
(1) keep the wheels for my car, enjoy the drive, and show off
(2) sell the wheels ($3K likely) and use corporate matching to get $6K to Vibha
(3) Raffle the wheels and raise (hopefully) more than $6K to Vibha.

Raffle rules (initial thoughts): Donate $50 to Vibha. You will be entered to win the wheels. The entrants will be listed in a google docs so everyone can see the transparency around this.

A lucky winner (need ideas on how best to pick a winner, random # generation, facebook live stream the raffle :), tweet Elon to pick a winner - lol) will be shipped the wheels. To keep shipping complexity minimal, raffle can be US contiguous states only.

Thoughts, please? Any legal issues anywhere? Don't want to get into trouble for trying to do something good. Do you think I can raise more money doing the raffle, than, just doing a sell & corporate match (~$6K)? Would love to hear your responses and also to fill the poll.

Legal issues? Absolutely. Raffles are a minefield and heavily dependent on state laws; they get even more wacky when you start wanting to sell tickets/chances out of state.

I could explain how it works in Texas for nonprofits but I am 100% certain that it would be different in any other state. FWIW the way you proposed to do it would not be permitted here. The nonprofit that you would like to benefit ought to know the rules for this sort of thing in your state. If they can do such a thing you would most likely simply have to give the wheels to them and have them run the drawing.

If you can get them $6k through sale+match that is probably the best thing anyway. I think it would be rather optimistic to be able to beat that through a raffle...
I can see legal issues coming into play if the charitable org was the one offering the wheels, but the OP is soliciting donations under his name for a charity event. IANAL, but the raffle mentioned in this thread isn't affiliated with Vidha, or any organization, it's property he owns and is willing to give away in a person to person transaction, in order to try to drum up more donations. This is akin to telling your friends "I'll buy anyone a beer who donates to my run", would this be illegal in this context as well?
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I don't think any reasonable person would consider @phaduman's intentions to be anything other than noble, but that doesn't mean that it is allowed just because you can make some kind of case for it. Most states consider raffles to be an illegal gambling game, so the ability to run one depends on what kind of exceptions (which for the most part allow nonprofits to conduct raffles) may be allowed by state law. Again, I am neither a lawyer nor an accountant, but if this is in California I know that their rules are pretty strict and include a blanket prohibition of online promotion and sales for a raffle, even one run properly by a nonprofit.

Back to basics though, even assuming that the legal question of the raffle is solvable and anyone can enter he's still gonna have to gather more than 120 $50 donations to come out ahead of the simple method of selling the wheels and donating the cash with a matching gift. And we haven't even gotten into discussion about how the taxes work on all of this which could be another non-optimal scenario that's solved by simply selling the wheels and giving the money away. IMO that's the way to go - the low hanging fruit is the corporate matching gift. Leveraging that up to its limit is gonna be the best thing to do first.
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@gork , @DukeofURL , thank you guys for reading this thread and providing insightful info.

It looks like even though I am running this raffle myself, and nothing to do with Vibha, at the minimum there is tax implication for the winner - and that varies from state to state. Also, I might have obligation to report to some entity about the winner - so paperwork involved too.

Of corse, I need to get 120 minimum contributors to break-even with my first option - corporate match.

Hhmmmm - choices....I am still intrigued by the raffle thing, while I am also finding a buyer - we will need to see where this lands. I do appreciate the idea if someone wants to work with me on the raffle idea - if not for anything but to get some experience and knowing there is something good happening with this effort.
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