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Operationalising the contribution to grassroots sport: the “Grassroots Share” by the Norwegian Lotte



It is now well known that the Lottery-Members of the European Lotteries Association (EL) have been the traditional partners of grassroots sport and a sustainable pillar of financing for grassroots sport. Indeed, EL Members have been securing every year a funding of more than 2 bn EUR for sport – the biggest part of which is allocated to grassroots sport - and according to a recent study this funding has a further impact to economy and employment, with more than 40,000 jobs per year secured thanks to this funding.

The way each EL Member contributes to grassroots sport is different from country to country. An interesting approach is the one followed by the state Lottery of Norway, Norsk Tipping. Norsk Tipping connects directly the contribution to sport with its operations, providing its customers with the possibility to directly select the grassroots sport club/organisation they would like to support, by allocating 5% of the stake to it.

Under this system, called “The Grassroots share”, the charities that the players can choose among (over 30,000 different entities) are based on a national register of voluntary and humanitarian organisations that are formally independent from Norsk Tipping. This is important in order to ensure that Norsk Tipping has nothing to do with regards to the decision of who receives the “Grassroots share”. It is also important to be noted that the funds that the local charity/clubs receive through the “grassroots share” come with a very low level of administration and bureaucracy, so they can be easily used by the beneficiary-organisations as they see fit.

Thanks to this “operational” and “democratic” system of contribution to grassroots sport, around 50 million Euros allocated to grassroots sport clubs/organisations per year in Norway. In 2016 over 1 million customers selected “their personal receiver”. This is basically half of Norsk Tipping’s player base and 25% of the adult population of Norway. Only in 2016, thanks to the “Grassroots share” Norsk Tipping transferred almost 52 million Euros to over 30.000 different local receivers. Indeed, the « grassroot share » is considered so successful and popular that the Ministry of Culture and Sport (the formal owner of Norsk Tipping) has decided to increase the share from 5 % to 7 %, most likely with effect from 2018.

This innovative method is only one of the approaches within the general tradition of EL Members actively supporting sport in Europe. The funding to grassroots sport by Lotteries is indispensable for its viability and this is why it is imperative that, as also recommended by the Report of the High Level Group Grassroots Sport, states make their best efforts to safeguard this sustainable lottery funding.

Links:

  • Click here to visit the website of Norsk Tipping

  • Click here to visit the website of the European Lotteries Association (EL)

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