What are charity lotteries and the benefits?

Good cause lotteries are lotteries where most or all of the proceeds are donated to good causes. These lotteries aim to raise money for philanthropic and social causes, such as charities, charitable organisations and non-profit organisations.

Charity lotteries support good causes. Participants have a chance to win a cash prize by buying lottery tickets. Part of the amount they pay for lottery tickets goes to a charity. Partly due to the mostly large contribution from charity lotteries, charities can be more decisive and carry out more projects.

How are charitable donations organised?

There are major national charities asking for donations. Every year, they create a class schedule together with the Collecteplan Foundation so that each charity has its own collection week. All national charities asking for donations are accredited by CBF Charities. The CBF approves the collection schedule.

What is the government’s position on charity lotteries?

For charities, the role of the government is very important. Governments are increasingly leaving care for people, animals, the environment and nature to society itself. Therefore, the role of charities has become increasingly important.

Many organisations regularly consult with governments about what they want to achieve, for example in the field of nature conservation or funding scientific health research. In some cases, the government subsidises the work of charities or certain projects. This situation is expected to become less and less in the future. The government’s role is also important because it sets the rules for organisations if they want to benefit from tax breaks. This is especially true for so-called ANBI.

What are well-known charity lotteries?

Some well-known international charity lotteries

Deutsche Fernsehlotterie

This is a German lottery that uses its proceeds to fund social projects and charities, especially in the areas of care for the elderly and disabled.

People’s Postcode Lottery (United Kingdom)

This UK lottery donates a large proportion of its proceeds to charities in the UK and abroad, with a focus on environmental, health and community projects.


This Swiss lottery contributes to various social and cultural projects in Switzerland.

Lotterywest (Australia)

Lotterywest in Australia is committed to funding community projects and charities in Western Australia, including sports, arts and charities.

California State Lottery (United States)

Although not exclusively a charity lottery, part of the proceeds of the California State Lottery contribute to education in the state of California.

Dutch charity lotteries

At the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, proceeds are distributed to various charities, with a focus on projects in the areas of nature conservation, the environment, human rights and poverty alleviation. The State Lottery in the Netherlands supports various charities in the fields of sports, culture, health and welfare.

How do you know if the lottery money you donate is actually used for good causes?

There are several ways to check that the money received is well spent. First, an annual audit is carried out to determine whether the accounts are correct. In addition, since 1 January 2016, a standard for quality, accountability and monitoring has emerged: the Charity Accreditation Scheme. Accredited charities meet strict quality requirements and must provide annual income and expenditure data. You can assume the charity contributes to a better world, handle every euro carefully, be accountable and be audited. It is administered by the independent regulator CBF. For non-accredited charities, it is up to the donor to decide whether the donation is well spent.