Fundraising: Keeping it legal and safe

We want you to stay safe and follow all the legal guidelines when you're fundraising for Oxfam.

We've pulled together some straightforward information on what to look out for and what to avoid, including a few rules and regulations you may not be aware of.

Raffles and lotteries

  • For simple raffles all you need to remember is to charge a standard price for each ticket and to draw the name of the winner before the evening is over.
  • If you plan to run your lottery over a longer period of time or sell tickets at more than one venue, you will need to purchase a local lottery license from your council.
  • If you want to know more about organising a raffle or lottery consult your local council or visit the Institute of Fundraising website

Collections

  • If you are collecting on private property such as a pub or supermarket, all you must do is get written permission from the owner or manager. Keep this with you when collecting.
  • You can also ask Oxfam for a letter of authority before you start collecting. You can do this by contacting us at fundraising@oxfam.org.uk or 0300 200 1300.
  • State that you're a volunteer when collecting - if you request a letter of authority it will do this for you.
  • To collect funds in the street, in any public place, or house-to-house you will need a license from your local council. Most councils have details of how to apply for a license on their website. After applying it can take up to two months before your receive your license, so plan ahead!
  • Finally, remember that anyone collecting money in public must be over 16.

Events

At home or with friends

If you are hosting an event at home, with a small group of friends or in the pub, take the time to consider whether your event is legal and safe for all those involved.

Events in public areas or involving more than 50 people

When holding a large or public event we recommend that you:

  • Contact your local council for any necessary permissions, licensing, trading standards, and health and safety issues.

  • Think about First Aid and fire safety. You could contact your local St John Ambulance and your local fire station for advice.

  • If the event is going to obstruct traffic then you should let your local police know.

  • To make sure the event is safe for everyone concerned consult the Health and Safety Executive and check the 'Five steps to a risk assessment' before hosting any event.

  • If you're holding an event at work or with volunteers, you should make sure it complies with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Staying safe

Lastly, if you're carrying money you should always consider your personal security.

  • Use safe routes 

  • Stick to well-lit areas

  • Try to avoid walking on your own, or carry a personal alarm

More resources

Order or download fundraising materials

Send us your photos and we could feature you in the fundraiser showcase!

Contact us

fundraising@oxfam.org.uk 
0300 200 1300