Charities and good causes could benefit from donations of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year with the launch of Tonbridge & Malling Borough’s community lottery.
Known as Hive Lotto, the online venture features a weekly £25,000 prize for six correct figures, with a further £25,000 donated to a cause chosen by the winner.
Adrian Stanfield, the borough’s Director of Central Services, explained that by developing the project as a web-based lottery with its own external manager has helped keep administrative costs down.
Online tickets for the lottery, which starts on September 2, are £1 each. Players’ chosen charities will receive 50p from every ticket, with the remaining 50p costs being split between the lottery manager (12p), prize fund (20p) and a further 18p in every pound going towards a central charity pot to be administered by the council.
Under its terms, if a player does not have a specific good cause in mind then the amount paid into the central pot will be 68p.
Residents can nominate potential causes, or charities can also register as potential beneficiaries of the lottery and will be screened for suitability.
Mr Stanfield said: “We wanted to create a name for the lottery that really showed that it was supporting the community, so Hive seemed like a good name.
“Community groups and charities have had their funding reduced in the past few years and this is about being able to help them in a straightforward way.
“We did not want to be too prescriptive about causes, but they will have to meet criteria that we will set out.
“For example, we would consider uniformed groups such as Scouts and Guides as being acceptable, but the good causes who can benefit do not necessarily have to be registered charities.”
Councillor Maria Heslop, the borough’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, added: “The launch of Hive Lotto on September 2 represents the beginning of an important opportunity for voluntary and community groups to raise money for their good causes, without the overheads and responsibilities of traditional fundraising methods.”