Contests and Sweepstakes menu

Everything you need to know

Contests and Sweepstakes are a great way to get your community even more engaged with your campaign and cause. Whether you want to leverage a t-shirt or an experiential prize, our team is ready to administer your contest or sweepstakes from start to finish and help you raise even more.


Contests and Sweepstakes Menu

The menu below displays the 6 different “method of entry” options as well as a note about what situations work best with that particular method of entry.

  1. The top # of fundraisers to raise the most will win
  2. Raise at least $X to be entered for a chance to win
  3. Get at least # of donations for a chance to win
  4. Every $X raised is an entry for a chance to win
  5. Every $X donated is an entry for a chance to win
  6. Donate at least $X to be entered for a chance to win

Options #1 - #4 are great methods of entry if you want your supporters to raise money

Options #5 - #6 are great methods of entry if you want your supporters to donate money


Contest and sweepstakes process

The contest and sweepstakes process is designed to work quickly and easily to ensure your contest / sweepstakes is administered correctly and legally. The steps are below - any actions that you need to take are listed in bold; actions our team will take are listed in black.

Please note: if you are purchasing a contest or sweepstakes as an add-on, our team will work with you to complete the appropriate order form/billing paperwork before these steps begin.

(1) You’ll share the details of your specific contest or sweepstakes with your Success Specialist. This will either happen via a Google Form or via an email.

(2) Our team will then prepare the Official Rules for your contest or sweepstakes. It takes 7 days for the official rules to be completed. Once written, your Success Specialist will email the rules back to you for review and approval.

(3) Once the Official Rules have been reviewed and approved (must have approval in writing via email), you’ll then be sent either a Prize Provider Agreement or an Incentive Agreement outlining each of our roles and responsibilities. The agreement will be sent via SignNow. Both the Official Rules and Prize Provider Agreement must be approved before the Contest or Sweepstakes can go live.

(4) Once steps 1-3 are complete, you’ll be ready for the launch of the contest or sweepstakes. On the morning of the start date, our team will post your contest or sweepstakes and Official Rules to your CrowdRise campaign page.

(5) Your contest or sweepstakes will run (seems like an obvious step in the process, but still worth mentioning since it’s so exciting). We hope it helps you raise so much for your amazing cause.

(6) Once your contest or sweepstakes ends, our team will determine the winner(s) and verify their eligibility to participate and win. Your Success Specialist will send you the winner(s)’ information via email. If the prize is $600+, we require a signed affidavit from the winner(s). Your Success Specialist will share with you the necessary paperwork.

(7) You’ll reach out to the winners of your contest or sweepstakes to tell them the great news. Awesome.


Are contests and sweepstakes included in my plan?

CrowdRise helps you design the best contest / sweepstakes for your nonprofit to help you raise the greatest amount of money possible in a short period of time, increase awareness and expand your donor base. Running contests and sweepstakes requires knowledge of this rapidly changing field of law and you can rely on us to create an awesome contest / sweepstakes, follow best practices and the law and maximize your success. Every nonprofit, corporation, or endurance event with an account on CrowdRise can run a contest or sweepstakes. Here are the details…

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Enterprise & Enterprise Plus

Unlimited implementation of contests and sweepstakes from the menu included in the subscription. Need a customized option? A fully, custom contest or sweepstakes and support (beyond use of pre-approved menu) may be available upon request.


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Implementation of one contest or sweepstakes from the menu per campaign is included in the subscription. Additional contests or sweepstakes per campaign are available at an add-on purchase cost. One contest/sweepstakes is defined as one “method of entry” - even though multiple sweepstakes can sometimes be combined into one set of rules to be displayed on a campaign, the administration is separate so it’s a separate add on cost.


Fundraising minimums


$500 one time fee per contest, sweepstakes, or some giveaways

Nonprofits can purchase any contest or sweepstakes from the menu (or admin for a giveaway with a prize valued over $500) as an add-on to a single, one-time campaign. This is the only option for nonprofits on Essential, but also open to nonprofits on Premium, as well as corporations and endurance events.

The one time fee ($500) is per contest or sweepstakes not per set of rules. Sometimes multiple sweepstakes for the same campaign can be combined into one set of rules but the administration of each sweepstakes is separate so it’s a separate additional charge. Think of it like this: each time there is an additional method of entry and prize, there is also an additional add on charge.


Important information

Your Responsibilities

Official Rules must be displayed prominently in any advertising or marketing of any contest or sweepstakes (including social media). There are generally short-form rules required that appear as follows (and we can provide you with more specific copy at your request):

Only open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 18+ (or the age of majority in your state, whichever is greater) at time of entry. Starts on MM/DD/YY at HH:MM:SSpm ET and ends MM/DD/YY at HH:MM:SSpm ET. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Click Here for the Official Rules.

‘No purchase necessary to enter or win’ must link to the AMOE form for all sweepstakes.

You are responsible for fulfilling the prize(s) to each winner and providing any tax information.

“No Purchase Necessary to Enter or Win”

Every sweepstakes requires a free, alternative method of entry (AMOE). Our free method of entry is an entry via email. The free method must be highly visible in the rules, on the site, and in all messaging and advertising. No Exceptions. And, the free method must be treated the same as any other method, meaning we’ll post both prominently, allow the same access to enter and allow the same number of entries. We typically cap entries at 50 and participants can enter by either method (donate/fundraise or for free) or a combination thereof.

Approximate Retail Value:

If the aggregate of your prizes in a sweepstakes is over $5,000, your sweepstakes may need to be registered and bonded in some states. If you are required to register, registration generally must occur up to four (4) weeks in advance of marketing for the sweepstakes and requires fees. It costs money to secure a bond, too. That said, if a registered not-for-profit is the sponsor of the sweepstakes, and if the purpose of the sweepstakes is entirely charitable, that registration and bonding requirement may be waived. If your prizes are of high value, please consult with us to see if we can move forward with your sweepstakes.

In cases where the prize is worth $600+, CrowdRise will reach out to the winners requesting any necessary paperwork (i.e. Affidavit, W9) as part of the contests and sweepstakes process.

No Changes to Any Contest / Sweepstakes Once Launched

We cannot cancel, change or extend any contest / sweepstakes once it’s advertised. No Exceptions. Once published, the contest / sweepstakes must continue as planned.

No Lotteries

An illegal lottery is a contest / sweepstakes that has three elements: (1) chance, (2) prize and (3) consideration (meaning, effort or money). Sweepstakes are not illegal lotteries because there is a free alternative method of entry (i.e. no consideration required).

Age and Geographical Location:

By default, our contests and sweepstakes are only open to entrants that are legal residents of the US, age 18 or older, if older, they must be the age of the majority in their jurisdiction at the time of entry.

When You Have Unlimited Prizes to Give Away to Your Donors

If you have an unlimited number of prizes to give away to donors to incentivize them to support your cause, you may advertise this through your campaign on your own in these circumstances:

  • Your prizes are tangible goods (ex. T-shirts); not experiences (ex. Meet and Greet with a local celebrity)
  • Your prizes are for donors only; not offering prizes for fundraisers
  • You post necessary disclaimers, after consulting your legal and tax advisors (ex. adding “first-come, first-serve, while supplies last”; the dates you are offering these prizes; the locations where you will ship prizes to winners, etc.)
  • You seek our prior written consent, follow our Terms & Conditions in full, and post: “CrowdRise does not sponsor, endorse or administer the Promotion”.




What is the difference between a contest and a sweepstakes?

A contest is a game of skill; a sweepstakes has an element of chance (i.e. winner is picked in a random drawing). Sweepstakes must always include a free alternative method of entry.

What if I’d like to run my own contest / sweepstakes?

Per our Terms of Use, you are not permitted to host or mention a contest / sweepstakes on your CrowdRise campaign page that was not administered by our team. We’ve designed our official sweepstakes and contest rules to comply with all federal and state laws (which can be complicated to follow), so not only do they protect CrowdRise, they protect you, too. Running a sweepstakes or contest that violates any state laws can have serious consequences.

For this reason, we advise that you use a template contest / sweepstakes administered by our team. We’ve structured these templates based on what we know from experience are successful contests and sweepstakes to run as part of CrowdRise campaigns. Our team is the best of the best, and is here to help you manage all details of your contest / sweepstakes from start to finish.

Where exactly do you post the rules?

We’ll post an abbreviated version of the rules directly on your campaign page in the story section, where they’re highly visible and of adequate font size. To advertise the free method of entry on the site, we will also include “No Purchase Necessary to Enter or Win” language in the same spot.

We’ll also include a hyperlink to the Official Rules and add the start and end dates and times. Important: This same language needs to be posted everywhere the contest / sweepstakes is posted on your nonprofit or event website, in any email messaging, on any social media posts, etc.

Do offline donations count?

Offline donations do not count. Only donations made online during the promotional period and through your specific campaign will count for your contest / sweepstakes.

Why do we need an AMOE for our sweepstakes?

By law, we’re required to offer a free, alternative method of entry (AMOE) for every sweepstakes. Our free method of entry is an entry via email (click here for an example). The free method must be highly visible in the rules, on the site, and in all messaging and advertising.