Keeping your SPANA fundraising safe and legal

A lady wearing a SPANA t-shirt stands next to a sign stating 'Charity Plant Sale Today'.

Fundraising should be fun, but it’s important that everything is safe and legal for everyone involved. Our lovely team here at SPANA are always on hand to help if you need any advice, but the responsibility for keeping your fundraising activities safe and legal ultimately lies with you. So, before you begin your fundraising, here are some things you should consider:

Health and safety 

The health and the safety of all our supporters is a priority – we want you to be safe whilst planning your fundraising event. Please be mindful of health and safety of all concerned when planning any fundraising events or activities, and refer to public health guidance as necessary.


If you’re holding an event in a public place, you must get permission first, either from the local authority or the property owner.


If you plan to take photos at your event, we’d recommend putting up a sign informing attendees that they may be photographed. Ask people to let you know if they don’t want their photograph taken. Remember that you will need parental consent if you wish to publish any images of children.

First aid

If you’re holding an event involving many people, make sure that you have appropriate first aid support in place. You can get advice from St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross. As a basic guide, there should always be someone on hand to help for smaller events, but for larger events involving around 500 people, there should be a minimum of two qualified first-aiders on site.


As your event is not organised or controlled by SPANA it will not be covered by SPANA’s insurance.

Please remember you are responsible for the activity and SPANA cannot accept liability for any loss, damage or injury suffered by you or anyone else arising as a result of organising or participating in your event. If your event involves the general public, it’s important to have Public Liability Insurance in place, which can be obtained from any insurer. If you are holding the event in a venue such as a village hall or pub, check they have the appropriate insurance and that it covers your activity (as will often be the case). If you’re holding an event at home or on private property, check your insurance covers this too.

Food and drink

If you plan to have food available at your event then you’ll need to ensure it’s safe. Check out the Food Standards Agency for guidelines on handling, preparing and storing food. If you are using a caterer you need to make sure they have a Food Hygiene Certificate and Public Liability Insurance. If you are selling alcohol then it is likely that you will need a licence.


You may need to contact your local authority to check whether you need a licence if, for example, you’re planning to:

  • hold a raffle, lottery or auction
  • provide alcohol
  • collect money publicly

In addition to public collections and lotteries, some other things require a licence too, such as using recorded music, putting banners or placing signs in public spaces, etc. Please contact the local authority to find out which licences you need for your fundraising.

Handling money

It is important to be extremely careful when handling money at your event, to avoid losing donations.

  • Make sure two people are present when any money is being handled or counted
  • Use a lock box or a secure container to keep all money in
  • Bank the money as soon as possible
  • Store donations separately from your own money
  • Make sure cheque donations are payable to ‘SPANA’ and not to you personally
  • Keep track of whether the money is being given as only a donation or to purchase something. If it is only a donation, be sure to encourage the donor to fill out one of our gift-aid forms


  • Public collections take place in a public space. Public collections are governed by strict legal requirements and must be licensed by the Local Authority. Before you approach your local authority for a licence, please contact our Community Fundraising team on 020 7831 3999 or
  • Private collections take place on private premises and do not need the permission of the local authority. If you’re organising a private collection, for example inside a train station or at a supermarket, you need the permission of the owner of the premises.
  • House to House and Business to Business collections must only be carried out under a licence. SPANA asks that supporters do not carry out house to house or business to business collections on our behalf. We would be happy to discuss alternative fundraising ideas with you – just give our Community Fundraising team a call on 020 7831 3999.

Data protection

Only collect the information you need. Keep it safe, do not share it and only keep it for as long as you need. You can find information about how we protect and use personal data in our privacy policy which is on our website.

If you are under 18

If you’re aged under 18, you must have your parent or guardian’s permission to fundraise.

Use of SPANA logo

If you would like to use the SPANA logo then please let us know so we can ensure that you have the best logo to use and use it properly. Please contact us at or on 020 7831 3999.

Useful resources

Government guidance on organising a voluntary event: Organising a voluntary event

Guidance on running an event safely from the Health and Safety Executive: Event safety – Running an event safely (

Safety Advisory Groups: Event safety – Local authority Safety Advisory Group (

Risk assessment template and guidance: Risk assessment: Template and examples – HSE

If you have any questions regarding your fundraising and the legal requirements, please call us on 020 7831 3999. We’ll be more than happy to help out.