CalNonprofits Articles

CalNonprofits is opposed to Senate Bill 549, a bill that seeks to selectively expand charitable raffles, because SB 549 lets professional sports teams and their foundations play by different rules than the rest of us. Please sign on to our letter of opposition.

Before 2001, nonprofits could not legally conduct raffles at all. CalNonprofits participated in a multi-stakeholder process that changed state law through a voter-approved initiative, which allowed nonprofits (and only nonprofits) to conduct raffles as long as 90 percent of the gross receipts from a raffle are directed to "beneficial and charitable purposes." This “90/10” raffle provision has allowed all charities to hold raffles and raise much-needed funds to support their mission-based activities. 

But SB 549 would create a carve-out with special rules for an exclusive set of nonprofit organizations: nonprofit affiliates of nine major sports leagues (such as the NFL, NBA and MLB) that are named in the bill -- and onlythese organizations -- would be authorized to conduct raffles where 50 percent of raffle receipts can be awarded to a winner. All other nonprofits – school bands, symphonies, humane societies, rotary clubs and food banks, and all the rest of us – would be limited to the current 90/10 rules, whether they prefer it or not. And that’s not fair.

We’re on record – joined by CalNonprofits members like Housing California, the Napa Valley Community Foundation, the Center for Human Services, the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, Meals on Wheels San Francisco and the Santa Barbara Community College Foundation – in opposition to SB 549. 

See our letter of opposition here. If you share our concerns and wish to add your organization's name, please contact our Policy Director Nancy Berlin to let her know by Friday, August 21st at 5 pm PST that you would like to join the growing number of California nonprofits that oppose the bill. 

You can read more about this bill and others that CalNonprofits is weighing in on here at the CalNonprofits Bill Tracker.

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