Make money for your local party/SAO with the new online Christmas Draw

Since 1995, the Liberal Democrat Christmas Draw has been an annual fundraiser for hundreds of Lib Dem local parties, SAOs and other groups.

The Lib Dem Christmas Draw has been run by a team of volunteers since 1995 and in that time, we have raised well over half a million pounds for local parties and central Lib Dem funds. Along the way over 800 fantastic prizes have been won by our members and supporters, their families and friends.

The tradition of picking up books of tickets at conference and then sending and selling them to members and supporters across the area, receiving back the ticket stubs and sending them off to the draw organisers has become almost as much part of the festive season for some (cough) as the moment of happiness in January when a cheque arrived for your commission on the sale of the tickets.

But time moves on, and the magic of Christmas was fading. Fewer and fewer books were being sold, and less local parties taking part as the, and this is a technical term, “faff” of getting, posting out and handling tickets seemed to increasingly outweigh the potential returns.

Also, some of the key organisers – all volunteers – were set on stepping away. It’s fair to say the Draw would have folded many years ago without the efforts of people like Gwen Backhurst and Jonathan Gainey-Brown. By 2017 it became clear that this was to be their last year managing the Draw, and with no-one else prepared to take on the work they had put in, it looked set to be its last year.

But after some discussions at Federal Conference 2017, the organisers agreed that instead the Draw would move online. The benefits to Local Parties, SAOs and AOs taking part would remain the same – around 70% of the value of the tickets they sell – but by moving online and removing paper tickets from the Draw it becomes much easier to promote and sell by email, online, on Facebook and even on paper – and no collecting back tickets and loose change!

The brand new online Lib Dem Draw was launched at Federal Conference in Brighton. Already over 50 Local Parties are signed up to make money (and, incredibly for September, over £500 of tickets sold!). Having signed up, those participating organisations can start promoting ticket sales via the unique address they are given on registration, and will earn their “commission” on every ticket sold via that address.

This years draw will be made on 8th December (with one lucky winner scooping a £2,000 holiday voucher, and others winning a host of other prizes) so winners know in good time for Christmas. Tickets will remain on sale until one hour before the draw (or when £20,000 of tickets have been sold – the maximum this year – whichever is first!). 

It’s straightforward to get your Local Party (or SAO) signed up. First check that it hasn’t been done already here – if your Party is listed already, its already been done (so why not buy your tickets to celebrate!). If not, a local party organiser / officer needs to go here and complete the form there to participate. They will then receive a personalised link to “Buy Tickets” to pass on to your members and supporters – by email, post, Facebook,  website – however you like!

Members and supporters then buy their own tickets online via that address and pay for them using PayPal. You will receive commission on your sales at the end of the draw (by cheque, in January).

It costs NOTHING to take part, could raise hundreds for your Local Party, and your members might win a valuable prize. What’s not to like!?

The Lib Dem Draw is a straightforward and well tested way to raise money for your campaigns. If your Local Party is not already overloaded with income, we hope you’ll sign up and take part – the more, the merrier! And finally, can we be the very first to wish you a Very Happy Christmas!


* Linda Tapper is a member of the Lib Dem Christmas Draw team

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • David Becket 28th Sep '18 - 1:14pm

    As a local organiser who managed the draw for my local party I am sorry to see this go. Yes it did mean work in October/November, but it was a way of keeping in touch with members.
    I have one comment on the new system. I do not have a Pay Pal account, and I do not intend to open one. Can I contribute?

  • The Other One 28th Sep '18 - 5:39pm

    You can buy on behalf of any local party which has signed up to the scheme and you can pay with plastic rather than using paypal

  • frankie: is the website address

    David: nothing is going. It is just the format that it changing. You *still* need to keep in touch with your members and supporters, to let them know and to encourage them to take part.

    No, you do *not* need PayPal account; you can pay with a Credit or Debit card if you don’t have a PayPal account

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