Fundraising and the law

Fundraising and the law

Fundraising is definitely about having fun and raising some money but it’s also about being safe. Please take some time to read the information below:

Food hygiene – if you are providing food (selling or for donations) you must hold a food hygiene certificate from your local council. If you are using a catering supplier you will need to ensure that they are licensed. Get the latest food hygiene regulations at

Public liability insurance – When you organise a fundraising event, you’re responsible for making sure it poses no risk to others. That’s why we’d recommend you take out public liability cover for events such as a sponsored walk or sports event. Unfortunately, Medical Detection Dog’s own policy won’t cover you but we can advise you about the kind of cover you need. Resources that you may use for some events, such as burger vans, bouncy castles and ice cream vans, should all come with their own public liability insurance. Ask to see copies of these before agreeing for them to come along to your event.

Data protection – be aware of data protection if gathering contact details or taking photographs. Ensure that you have permission to use photographs.

Restricted Funds – Please note we are unable to allocate any funding to the costs of an assistance dog for a specific individual that is part of a public, fundraising campaign, where funds have been received from a large number of different sources.  In the event that an assistance partnership is not successful, for any reason, fundraising of this nature is not viable due to the complications of attempting to return donations.

Raffles and lotteries – Raffles, lotteries and prize draws are all governed by legislation – so before holding one and spending money on getting tickets printed, please check out the rules at Also, be aware that lottery laws cover any events which are purely down to luck or chance, such as duck or balloon races even.

Licenses – Contact your local authority to find out whether you need to obtain any special licenses (e.g public entertainment, collection or alcohol licenses) If you are holding an event in a public place you must have permission from the council or landowner.

It is Illegal to carry out house-to-house or public street collections without a license. 
If you want to do a collection on private property e.g train station, supermarket etc. you must get permission from the manager.

Why not download our leaflet on how to arrange a street or store collection

Risk Assessments
Identify and hazards and risks at your activity and assess what you will need to consider.  Ensure you have adequate first aid available for the size of your event.  If you are not sure, check with your local council for advice.

Help for completing a risk assessment can be found at

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