Charity bag collections

Charity bags are a common way for charities to fundraise. The money raised from charity bags is an important source of income for many organisations, which helps them carry out their vital work. For some members of the public, charity bags are an easy way to support causes, but for others they may be an unwelcome intrusion.

Charity bag collections are usually carried out by companies, known as third-party fundraisers, or more specifically working as commercial participators.

I want to go straight to the code and read what it says about clothing bag collections

Read the Code

I want to go straight to the code and read what it says about clothing bag collections

I have a concern about a collection

Make a complaint

I have a concern about a collection

For fundraisers

Charity bags must not be delivered to properties with a sign indicating that the householder doesn't want to receive it. You can find more information in standard 8.4.9 of the code.

If you are working with a third party or commercial participator, you need to make sure that the appropriate agreements are in place. Bags must always state the proportion of the proceeds that your charity will receive from the collection. There is also other information that charity bags must show. You can find information on this in standard 8.2.6 and section 9.2 of the code.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has also published guidance on collection bags, aimed at ensuring charity bags and collection materials provide adequate information for the public.

You should also read our detailed guidance on charity bags for fundraisers here.

For the public

Charity bags offer you a chance to clear out unwanted items in a responsible way while supporting charities. This may be more convenient for you than taking items to a charity shop.

Although charities will sometimes independently distribute and collect charity bags themselves, this work is more often carried out by a company on behalf of the charity. This can be a more cost-effective and resource-friendly way of distributing the bags than the charity doing it themselves.  

On the charity bag, you can expect to find information about the proportion of the proceeds that will go to the charity, and the proportion that will go to the delivery company. 

If you do not want to receive clothing bags, you can put a sign or sticker on your front door saying ‘no charity bags’ or ‘no clothing bags’.

You can find out more information about charity bags, and what to do if you receive unwanted bags, in our guidance here.

Charity bag collections resources


Charity bags: guidance for fundraisers

This guidance is intended to support charities and the companies they work with to understand the legal requirements and regulatory standards expected of them when distributing and collecting charity ...
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Charity bags: advice for the public

This advice sets out what you need to know if you receive a charity bag and want to donate in this way. We also set out what you can do make it clear you do not wish to receive charity bags.
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