Health, safety and legal advice for fundraising events

In this section:      Fundraising ideas      Fundraising materials      How your fundraising helps      Preparing for the big day

Prep and planning is what separates the great fundraisers from the good. Before you get stuck in to organising your big day, there are a few health, safety and legal considerations to take note of. 

Don’t worry, you won’t have to navigate any of this on your own, we’re here to help. If you have questions about the information on this page, just give us a call. You can chat to us on 0300 330 9257 or email us [email protected]  

Or, if you want to find out more about Sense fundraising events then our Events team would be happy to hear from you! You can call 020 3833 0526 or email [email protected]  

Getting the right permissions 

Planning on setting up your fundraising extravaganza in a public space? Great! The more the merrier, right? Just don’t forget to give the local authorities or private property owners a heads-up first. It’s important that you have permission from them to use the space. Reach out as easy as possible, before you get too stuck in to planning. 

By dropping them an email or a calling in advance, you can be confident that your activity will run all day, safe from any party poopers or bubble-bursting fines. 

  • Letters of authority

    Some of you might find that to host your activity when, where and how you’d like to, you need a letter of authority from Sense. This is proof that your fundraising efforts are legitimate, and that your proceeds are indeed intended for charity.

    If you’re thinking of organising a raffle and want to ask local businesses to contribute prizes, or if you need permission to use a certain space for your event, you’ll find a letter of authority helpful.

    The Community and Events Fundraising team can sort this all out for you, so just give us a nudge and we’ll get on the case.

Insurance and risk assessments

If your event involves the general public, like a cake stand, car boot sale or open coffee morning, then you should make sure that you’re covered by Public Liability Insurance.  

Usually, the venue you’re using will already have this set up and you can rest easy knowing that your activity is covered. Just don’t leave it too late to check. Ask well ahead of your big day so you can get your own cover in place if necessary. 

It’s not uncommon for insurers to ask for a risk assessment of your event. Even if they don’t, completing one is a really good way of helping you dodge any disasters on the day! All it takes is a brainstorm on any potential pitfalls and hazards that might interrupt the fun of your activity. You’ll then be able to note down how you plan to avoid those situations and take action before your event begins. 

Here’s an example of a risk assessment for you to review and use. 

  • First aid

    First aid might not feel like your first priority, but people’s safety is a big part of any event – put it high on your organising checklist, especially when the public are involved. If you’re not sure what kind of first aid is right for your event, reach out to expert providers for guidance. They’ll be able to assess the risk and requirements of your activity and advise you on what support to have in place.

    If you’re thinking about doing something big and expect to draw crowds, then let us be your first port of call. We can advise you on how to safeguard your gathering.

    Call us on 0300 330 9257 or email [email protected]



Some of the most rewarding moments of fundraising come from interactions with your supporters. You’ll find that people want to hear your story and find out more about the charity you’re supporting. Collections are a great way to get those engagements and tell people about Sense! 

The legal bit: One golden rule to keep in mind is that you’re not allowed to approach people directly. During your collection, let people who want to make a donation or hear more about Sense come to you. 

Whether you’re setting up a stall or shaking donation buckets in the street, remember to engage with the landowner too. From local parks to highstreets, you’ll need to get the go-ahead from local councils and private landowners before collecting money on their property. 

Some venues have certain processes for booking collection runs, handling money and communicating your fundraising total. So long as you keep everyone in the loop, everything should go to plan! 

Handling money 

As exciting as it is to watch the donations fly in, it can be daunting when the day is over and you’re left with a pile of cash to deal with. We want to make sure that you feel comfortable in the moment and confident that you know what to do next. 

Here are some suggestions and tips on how best to handle cash from collections: 

  • Don’t do a collection on your own. There really is safety in numbers, so invite someone along with you. Not only will you have each other’s backs, but you can double-up on your fundraising efforts and have more fun along the way! 
  • Always tell someone where you are. On your collection day, you might find yourself wanting to change tack and try collecting in a different part of town. As you explore, keep a nominated person or group updated on your location.  
  • Use Sense-labelled, secure and sealed containers, such as collection tins or buckets. This is a legal requirement, so talk to us ahead of time and we’ll be able to help you get what you need. 
  • Count your donations in a secure environment. Before you even start fundraising, decide where you’re going to be taking your donations at the end of the day. It should be somewhere safe and secure, and you should always have at least one other person with you when you tot up the total. 
  • Get all your donations to the bank as soon as possible. Don’t dilly or dally in this last important step! Take your money in to the bank at the earliest opportunity. They can help verify your total and move the money into the account you’ll be using to pay-in your donations to Sense

Food and drink

It’s not a legal requirement for your event to have a food hygiene certificate, but good a food hygiene is just good manners! Whether you’re slicing fresh bakes or serving chilled snacks, bad food prep will leave a bad taste in the mouth. Have a review of these best practice recommendations before you plate up:  

  • When preparing any food or drink items, wash your hands regularly and keep your preparation area clean. 
  • Always wash fresh fruit and vegetables. 
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods separate. 
  • Do not use food that is past its use-by date. 
  • Keep food out of the fridge for the shortest time possible. 
  • Ensure any food is properly cooked before serving. 
  • Avoid handling or serving food with bare hands. Bring tongs or cake slices with you on the day and use one utensil for each dish. 
  • Label your foods to let people know what ingredients each dish contains, and to highlight vegan and gluten-free options. Some of the main allergens people may want to check on are nuts, sesame, diary eggs, gluten and shellfish/fish.  

If you need more advice about food preparation, transportation and sale, then visit the Food Standards Agency’s guidance for charity events

  • Orange coins

    Lotteries, raffles and tombolas

    You might be surprised to learn that all these events are classed as forms of gambling by regulators! But don’t worry, running everything smoothly and legitimately isn’t overly complex.

    There’s lots of guidance available from the Gambling Commission on how to run a charity lottery or raffle. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the Sense Community Fundraising Team to discuss this.

    Call us on 0300 330 9257 or email [email protected]


Data collection and photo permissions 

As you interact with your supporters, you might find that you end up collecting personal data. Sponsorship forms, for instance, might ask for email addresses and postcodes. Once you’ve got this data, you have a responsibility to keep it safe. 

Do not share it and only keep it for as long as you practically need to. 

When you use Sense sponsorship forms, you can be confident that you’re only collecting essential information, minimising the amount of personal data you’ll be holding. 

We love to see photos from your events and share them when we are able. If you are taking pictures on the day make sure you make people aware of this and only share on online or in publications if you hae had permission for this.

Got a question? 

If you want to know more about setting up your own fundraising activity, then call us for a chat on 0300 330 9257 or email us [email protected] 

Or, if you want to find out more about Sense fundraising events then our Events team would be happy to hear from you! You can call 020 3833 0526 or email [email protected]  

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