For donors, bucket collections are a chance to engage with charities. Also, giving a one-off cash donation is an opportunity to make a contribution without the requirement for longer-term donations, such as direct debits.
I want to go straight to the code and read what it says about public collections.
Read the codeI want to go straight to the code and read what it says about public collections.
I have a concern about a particular cash collection
Make a complaintI have a concern about a particular cash collection
Charities can collect cash on private property, such as supermarkets or railway stations, as long as they have permission from the owner or manager. For public sites, such as the street, you need the permission of the local authority or, in London, the Metropolitan Police. For more information about bucket collections, see section 8 collecting money or other property. Depending how you administer your fundraising, you may need to consult code sections regarding working with volunteers and children, or third parties, and the payment of fundraisers.
If you are fundraising on the street or a private site to sign donors up to regular gifts, such as direct debits, you should make sure you adhere to the street fundraising and private site rulebooks.
For information on claiming GiftAid on cash donations, see the Institute of Fundraising’s guidance.
Some private site owners, such as Transport for London, only allow collections by organisations who are registered with the Fundraising Regulator. Find out more about registration on our website.
Whenever you are carrying out fundraising activities, you should make sure that you are familiar with the key principles and behaviours set out in the code and considerations about the handling of donations.
For the public
Collectors must have an ID badge including details of their licence to collect. Any containers for collecting cash must be sealed and not damaged. Any fundraising materials they hand out should include the charity name and number, as well as a landline contact number.
There are also rules about how the buckets should be opened and the money counted.
For more information about bucket collections, see section 8 collecting money or other property. If you suspect that an appeal is not legitimate, contact the charity to see if they are collecting in that area and the local authority (or in London the metropolitan police) to check licenses are in place. If the appeal is not legitimate, report it to the police.