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I am looking for a church position regarding fundraising, specifically doing raffles. We wanted to have a grocery card raffle. I've done a pretty careful search and haven't found anything that amounts to an official position. Have you found a statement? If so, how is it determined? 

I'm also wondering if anyone has a statement regarding accountability of church funds...bookeeping...etc?? I'm trying to encourage that we get a system set-up so there is accountability. 

Thanks for your help. 


I can't help you on the church's position, but I would suggest a legal caution.  Depending on your state, a raffle may constitute gambling, which may be disallowed or require a permit (again, depending on the state's laws).

As a practical matter, a small, one-time grocery raffle may never come to the attention of anyone having the responsibility of doing anything about it, but if repeated enough, or if the event was "big enough" or publicized enough, it might.

Hi Jim,

Following are a few standard definitions:

Raffle: a lottery in which the prize is won by one of numerous persons buying chances.

Gamble: to play a game for money or property; to bet on an uncertain outcome; to stake something on a contingency.

To the extent that raffles seem to fall squarely within a standard dictionary definition of gambling, the CRCNA position on gambling seems apropos:

Pastors and church councils are urged to expose all destructive influences on people's lives that seek to trivialize or render irrelevant the providence of God. They must also caution against the impact of materialism, take decisive action to combat the evil of gambling, and minister compassionately to persons addicted to or victimized by lotteries.

That statement and some synodical history can be found here:

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