Charity Buys Raffle Ticket

Today TaxMama hears from Jim in Missouri who’s come up with a winner. “I am on the board of directors for a Lutheran school. We wish to enter a raffle for a prize (car, jewelry, etc.), then offer whatever what is won at our annual dinner/silent auction night. If we win one of the items from the raffle, will we need to claim the value of the item on the school’s income tax return before we offer it at our own auction?”

Dear Jim

What an unusual question.

And so optimistic! What makes you think you’ll win the prize?

Please don’t tell me the raffle is rigged! (just kidding.)

OK, on to the tax consideration.

Basically donations to the school are non-taxable. Most likely, the tuition you receive is non-taxable.

But a raffle prize is not a gift. You buy raffle tickets.

So if the school wins the prize, I suspect that it will be taxable income.

However, if the organization from whom you hope to win this prize was able to get it donated to them, why doesn’t your school simply get in touch with the contributors and ask them to donate something to your school’s auction, too?

What do you think? Would that work?

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions about unusual situations and other tax information, free. Where? At

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