Giving through charitable gaming

The Sue Ryder lottery; innovation and growth for over 10 years


The Sue Ryder lottery; innovation and growth for over 10 years

How the Sue Ryder charity started a lottery from scratch and turned it into a major source of fundraising income.


To build a new lottery which would minimise risk, optimise financial return and offer flexibility to evolve in response to lottery growth



Innovating their fundraising lottery for over a decade



5000+ players transitioned smoothly to a new standalone lottery

From concept to reality

  • Built the Sue Ryder lottery from scratch using Sterling’s Unity platform to host one single lottery that allowed supporters to nominate the care centre they wished to support
  • Identified the appropriate point of transition from the Unity platform to a standalone Vanguard lottery
  • Worked with Sue Ryder to communicate the change to their players, highlighting the benefits for the charity
  • Transitioned into a standalone lottery with a 100% success rate

The Sue Ryder and Sterling partnership

During a partnership spanning over a decade, we’ve worked alongside Sue Ryder to develop their exciting lottery programme; growing from a collection of hospices using the Unity platform, to the highly successful standalone lottery that it is today. Never afraid of a challenge and always striving for the next big thing, working with the Sue Ryder team has proved them to be drivers of innovation through their lottery.

“We initially chose the Unity platform to give us the time to gradually build our player base to a stage where we could launch our own standalone lottery, with Sterling working with us every step of the way.”

“The Unity platform was a fantastic risk-free way for Sue Ryder to start our lottery. When we began, we didn't have the budget, player numbers or internal support to launch our own standalone lottery. By using the Unity platform, we didn't have to worry about minimum contributions or prize money. We gained a regular income stream, more supporters and as such, we also gained the confidence from senior management that we were doing the right thing.

In 2015 we were given an ambitious target to grow the lottery and Sterling were there for us every step of the way. They helped us work with multiple F2F agencies and migrate our lottery over to current bespoke lottery.

In 2018, Sterling were so passionate in their support when we launched our bespoke Lucky Dip single chance software through our retail EPOS network. The development Sterling put into this system enabled us to create a system that issues, checks and redeems Lucky Dip tickets to our game. Their support, patience and expertise were essential to make this innovation possible.

Above all things, Sterling have run our lottery with professionalism and expertise, without over complicating what is a very regulated sector.”


Ross Wiggan, Lottery Manager, Sue Ryder


Lottery Beginnings

Back when lottery was first introduced as a fundraising mechanism for the charity, Sue Ryder gave Sterling the brief; an entry-level lottery to raise funds for the individual Sue Ryder hospices. At the time, the Unity platform offered a very simple way to do this; an entry-level lottery with no ongoing fees, and therefore no risk to the charity. Simple! Sue Ryder used this time to grow their lottery organically and at a steady pace until they were ready to take it one step further.

Making the move to a standalone lottery

In 2015, with a loyal community of over 5000 players on the Sterling Unity platform, the Sue Ryder team decided to propel their fundraising to a whole new level with a standalone lottery.

Working closely with the Sterling client management and marketing team, an engagement plan for the transition to the new lottery was put in place to reassure players and promote the benefits of a standalone lottery. This programme of effective and informative communication resulted in a completely seamless transition to our Vanguard platform. Today, the Sue Ryder lottery continues to go from strength to strength!

The right solution

Making the move to Vanguard: the bespoke lottery created for your charity

Thinking about moving your lottery to a standalone platform? It’s all about timing. We’ll help you identify the point at which standalone is right for your charity; factoring in player experience, risk management and financial viability, so that you can have confidence in your lottery journey.

Looking to change your lottery platform?

We will provide a seamless transition from a community platform to a standalone lottery or vice versa. Let us know what you’re thinking.

Telephone: 01229 871380
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