Fundraising safely and legally

If you’re thinking about organising your own fundraising event, then thank you!  We are hugely grateful for the time, energy, and commitment that you are giving to help beat sight loss faster.

Please be aware that by organising your own fundraising event or activity in support of Sight Research UK, you are responsible for making sure that your activities are safe and legal for everyone involved. Sight Research UK cannot accept any liability for your event or activity. We can, however, offer some pointers to help keep your activity safe, and within the law. Please take some time to look at the list below, and if you have any questions, do get in touch and we’ll help you in any way we can.


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Please ensure that any buildings or equipment that you use for your event are covered by insurance. This will often be included in the hire fee, but not always, so be sure to double check.

If you are organising an event that  involves the public in any way, you will need to make sure that you or the venue have appropriate public liability insurance.

Risk assessment

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Think about any potential hazards, risks, accidents or legal issues for your event. The best way to do this is to complete a risk assessment. If you’ve never done one before, have a look at the Health and Safety Executive website for general guidance and a free template.


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If your event is being held on private property, you will need to get permission from the owner or manager of the property. If your event is being held in a public place (e.g. a high street or park), you will need permission from the local city council.

If children are helping at your event, you will need to get their parents’ permission and ensure they are appropriately supervised throughout.

If you take photos at your event, make sure you have permission from each person before publishing them on social media or your website. If there are children in the photos you will need their parents’ permission as well.


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If your event involves the sale of alcohol, showing a film or play, live or recorded music, dancing, indoor sports or other similar entertainment, you may require a licence. Your event venue may already hold a licence, but not always so be sure to check. 

Ask your local authority whether you need to obtain any special licences for your event. 

If you are holding a collection in a public place (e.g. a high street) you will also need a licence from your local authority.

First aid

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Depending on the size of your event, the type of activity and the first aid facilities already at the venue, you may need to have first aid provision at your event.

If you have any questions regarding first aid provision, get in touch with St John’s Ambulance for advice and support.


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Small raffles are a great way to raise extra funds at a larger event. If you want to hold a raffle without needing a raffle licence be aware of the following points:

  • The raffle must be held as part of a larger event.
  • Tickets must only be sold during the event, at the place where the event is taking place (this can be over more than one day if the event is over a number of days).
  • The draw must take place during the event.
  • No cash prizes.
  • All tickets must be sold at the same price and no discounts are allowed for buying multiple tickets (e.g. 5 tickets for the price of 4).
  • Tickets cannot be bought or sold by anyone under the age of 16.

If you want to sell tickets for your raffle in advance, or to people who are not at the event, there are strict and complex rules you must follow, and you must have a licence. For more information visit the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s advice on raffles and lotteries.

If you are organising an event that  involves the public in any way, you will need to make sure that you or the venue have appropriate public liability insurance.

Food hygiene

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If food is available at your event (for sale or not), you will need to comply with food safety regulations and follow good food hygiene procedures. Make sure your venue has suitable facilities and be careful when preparing, cooking, storing, displaying, and serving food.

We recommend that you state that you cannot guarantee that any food is free of allergens (e.g. nuts, gluten, etc.).

If you are using an external caterer for your event, you will need to make sure they have a food hygiene certificate and public liability insurance.

Contact your local authority for food hygiene regulations at events or see the Food Standards Agency’s website.


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Public Collections:

These are collections which take place in a public space (e.g. on a high street) and have strict legal requirements. To hold a public collection, you must have a licence from your local authority and carry proof of this on you throughout the collection. Some public premises may require you to have public liability insurance for a collection as well.

Private collections:

These are collections on private property (e.g. at a supermarket). If you are organising a private collection you do not need a licence but you will need the permission of the owner or manager of the property. Keep evidence of this permission on you throughout the collection.

The Fundraising Regulator has detailed guidance, which you should refer to if you want to collect money on the street, private land, bookable private sites, or if you want to set up a static collection. The guidance can be found here, but please do get in touch with us if you have any questions.


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If you use external suppliers for equipment or services, make sure they are a reputable company with public liability insurance. If anything seems unsafe at the event, stop the activity immediately.

Data protection

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Do not keep information about people involved in your fundraising event any longer than you have to, and do not share their data without their permission.

For more information on ensuring your event complies with data protection law, visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

Promotional materials

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When advertising your fundraising event, please make sure that all promotional materials state that is ‘in aid of Sight Research UK’ (and any other charities you are supporting).

Please also make sure you include our Registered Charity number: 1156134.

Cash handling

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If you are planning to handle cash at your event make a plan of how you will keep it, and yourself, safe. Please take a moment to read the guidance on processing cash donations in the Fundraising Regulator’s Code, which has been designed to help you comply with all legal requirements. The main points are summarised below, but please be aware that Scotland has additional fundraising standards that you need to adhere to, which can also be found in the same guidance.

When handling cash payments:

  • Do not leave unsecured cash unattended.
  • Keep all cash secure using a cash box with a lock or a sealed collection bucket.
  • Count the total cash raised, in a secure place, with another person present and have them verify the amount.
  • You must make sure the promoter of the collection and one other responsible person or an official of a bank are present when you examine and open collecting boxes for licensed collections in a public place.
  • For collections on private land, if it is not practical for you to open and count collecting boxes, you must have effective procedures and instructions for the person who owns or manages the site to count, record and bank or deliver the money in the boxes.
  • If possible, have two people transport the cash, try to conceal it from view, and choose busy and well-lit routes.
  • Bank all cash as soon as possible after the event.
  • Ask people who are making a cheque to make it out directly to Sight Research UK, and not to you personally.

If you are ever confronted by someone demanding the cash, keep yourself safe and just hand it over. This should then be reported to the police and to Sight Research UK as soon as possible.