For the wonderful projects taking part in The National Lottery #ThanksToYou week this 3-9 December, we've pulled together some FAQs to help answer any questions you might have about taking part in this year's campaign. If there's anything we haven't covered, please ask us in the comments below.
What is #ThanksToYou?
It’s a chance for any organisation, large or small, to say ‘thank you’ to National Lottery players for the funding you’ve received. After all, if it wasn’t for National Lottery players buying the tickets, we wouldn’t have this funding (£30 million a week) to distribute to Good Causes all over the UK. We ask that you make the ‘thank you’ as significant as you can. Last year, the most popular offers were free entry offers (either to a whole venue or a paid-for exhibition), but we appreciate not everyone will be in a position to do this.
Who can take part?
Any project, large or small, in the UK that has received National Lottery funding is invited to take part.
Why should I take part?
As a recipient of National Lottery funding, it’s a chance to say thank you and remind people where their money has been spent. Research shows people are more likely to buy a National Lottery ticket if they know about funding and how it is used for good causes – and that means more money for great projects in the future. You are also likely to see greater footfall and attract a more diverse range of visitors than you normally do – this has been the experience of the projects that took part last year. It’s also a great opportunity for publicity in local media and The National Lottery is looking to run a centralised marketing campaign, promoting the #ThanksToYou week and driving visitors to find out more about the places taking part, so you should benefit from this additional activity.
How does it work?
We’ve created a digital toolkit that explains how it works and provides you with all the information you’ll need to take part in the campaign. It includes a template press release, sample terms and conditions, a step-by-step guide and social media assets (coming soon). See the toolkit page on our website for more information.
What sort of free offer can I make to visitors?
That’s up to you. We advise free entry if you are a paid-for attraction; this is an easy message in publicity material and should help attract people who might not normally visit. But if you are already free to visit, you might like to offer something else, eg: a behind-the-scenes or guided tour or a goody bag for the first 25 visitors to arrive with a National Lottery ticket. It’s up to you, just be sure to clearly specify on your website and in any promotion materials what you are offering to avoid disappointing any visitors.
How can I make sure my offer is a success?
It’s all about the strength of your offer and how well you publicise it. Last year, the attractions that promoted their offer online, on social media and in the local press did really well.
What sort of National Lottery ticket can we accept?
We’d suggest all National Lottery games qualify for free entry, including tickets for any National Lottery draw-based game (Lotto, Euromillions, Thunderball and HotPicks) or National Lottery Scratchcard. Proof of ticket can be paper or digital. Date of draw/purchase is not relevant (unless you want to make it so). It's up to you, just be sure to clearly specify on your website and in any promotion materials what you will accept to avoid disappointing any visitors.
Can someone get in for free if they don't have a National Lottery ticket?
This promotion is only available to people who can provide a National Lottery ticket (paper or electronic) as a means of gaining free entry (or a free tour, access to an exhibition, etc). In the unlikely event that you should encounter any reluctance from people to purchasing a Lottery ticket in order to gain entry, the resolution of this is at your own discretion.
Should I worry that we will overwhelmed with visitors?
That wasn’t the experience of any of the 425 attractions that took part last year. Some reported a big increase in footfall at a normally quiet time of year, but no-one was overwhelmed by visitors.
Can I put a limit on the number of visitors who receive the free offer?
Yes, that’s entirely up to you. If you’re concerned about numbers, you could make the offer available to the first 50 people to arrive with a National Lottery ticket, for example. Just be sure to clearly specify on your website and in any promotion materials what the limits are to avoid disappointing any visitors.
Will we have to check the holders of proof of National Lottery purchases are over 16?
No, it is the responsibility of the retailer selling the National Lottery ticket to ensure the player is over 16, therefore venues will not be required to check ages.
Do I need a set of Terms and Conditions to take part in this promotion?
Yes you do, but these don't need to be long or convoluted. We've included a sample set of Ts&Cs in the digital toolkit. If you're really unsure, The National Lottery's Legal Team are happy to review your suggested Ts & Cs, just email Shelley.Morrell@CamelotGroup.co.uk and Jenny.Scott@CamelotGroup.co.uk.
Please also note, your Ts&Cs will need to be published somewhere people can find, if they're interested in the small print. The best place for this is on your website. You must send us a link to your Ts&Cs when asked to do so on the Registration Form (coming your way in October) so we can officially register you as taking part in the promotion.
Will we be reimbursed for any monies lost via ticket sales/giveaways through the promotion?
We are inviting projects that have received National Lottery funding to take part as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the players who helped raise this funding. We are not able to provide any reimbursement for the activity.
Do I have to make this offer for the whole week?
No – again, this is up to you. You might like to make the offer available for the whole week, part of the week, or maybe just a single day, morning or evening. Just make sure you specify this information on your website and in your own media outreach
I’d like to run this offer, but December doesn’t work for us. Can I do this at another time?
We would like as many places as possible to participate during the week commencing 3 December, as this will be the focus of all our marketing activity. However, there is nothing stopping you running a free offer for National Lottery players at another time if this suits you better.
When should I start promoting my free offer event?
You can do this as soon as you want – there is no embargo. However, the main focus of our communications activity will be over a fortnight, starting Monday 26 November, the week before the offers begin.
Will you want to know how it went?
Yes! We will send you a link to a survey so you can tell us about your experience, how successful it was and whether any lessons can be learnt. Please can you also remember to take lots of photos (clearly showing your visitor attractions’ identity) during your offer and post them on social media using #ThanksToYou.
Have we missed anything? If you've got any further questions, please ask us in the comments below. Otherwise, register your interest and download the toolkit to get started planning your free offer.