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Safe and Legal Guidelines

When you’re raising money, your safety matters. It’s also important that you’ve got all the right permissions and protections in place in case anything does go wrong. Here are some of the key things to consider but take a look at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and Fundraising Regulator for more detailed advice.

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Assessing risks

During your activity it’s important to carry out a risk assessment to keep everyone safe from harm. You need to identify hazards, decide how serious the risk is, and take action to reduce or eliminate them. The Health and Safety Executive website has step-by-step guidance.


Bucket donations

Bucket shaking and approaching people at home or on the street can be off putting or even intimidating, even if it seems harmless. If you’re asking for donations for Practical Action in a public place, such as a town centre, think of ways you can make it a bucket donation with a difference. How about offering to wrap presents or bringing an interactive game that links to our work, such as creating a water filter system – take a look at our schools’ resources for some ideas.

You must have a licence from your local council to fundraise in a public place and you also need to be over 16 years old. Ask our team for a letter to show you are collecting in aid of Practical Action by emailing [email protected]. If you’re collecting on private premises, like a pub or cafe, please ask for written permission from the manager, and check if you need extra permission from the local authority too.


Film and photography

If you’d like to take and share photos and videos of your activity, make sure everyone taking part is aware and has the opportunity to say no to being included – a printed sign with your contact details is a good way to do this. You can also put a note about photography on any digital or printed materials you use to advertise your plans.


Food and drink

Make sure any food or drink you serve is safe to eat and labelled with any allergens. The Food Standards Agency has advice on everything from chilling and cooking, to cross contamination. If you want to serve or sell alcohol, you’ll need to complete a temporary event notice. Look for information on your local authority’s website.



Although you are raising money in aid of Practical Action, we can’t accept any responsibility for your activity or anyone who participates in it. Your activity will not be covered by our insurance if anything goes wrong.

For that reason, you may need to arrange Public Liability Insurance to protect yourself against any injuries or damage to property. It’s not a legal requirement but any time you’re interacting with the public you could be liable. An accident could be as simple as knocking a hot drink over a laptop, or somebody tripping over a wire.

Any equipment you borrow should be covered too, especially if it’s costly. Some venues have insurance included in the hiring fee so it’s worth checking with them first.



Some activities will require you to get a licence or permission before you go ahead, such as playing music in public, putting on entertainment and serving alcohol. Your local authority will have more information to help you decide what you need.



If you’re raising money through a raffle, sweepstake or an auction, you may need a licence from your local authority as there are strict laws around any form of gambling – even if it is for a very good cause. Consider whether your prizes can be enjoyed by everyone; for example, if you’re giving away items such as bottles of alcohol, your tickets must be only for 18s and over.



Make sure you have permission from a parent or guardian if children and young people are attending or taking part. You’ll also want to make sure you have helpers on hand to support any vulnerable adults or people with additional needs.


Wording when supporting Practical Action

When you’re talking about your activity, it’s important that you use the right wording to explain your relationship with Practical Action.

Please say

I’m fundraising in support of or in aid of Practical Action.

Please don’t say

I’m fundraising for or on behalf of Practical Action

This is to explain that you are organising fundraising activities as an independent supporter of Practical Action, rather than suggesting you’re employed by Practical Action or that the activity has been organised by us.