Fundraising and the lawPiggy bank

However you decide to fundraise, you need to make sure that you are open and honest about your activity.

Be clear to your sponsors or donors about how much money will reach the BHF. For example if some of the money raised is going to cover your costs, such as flights and accommodation on a World Experience, make sure they know that.

Use materials provided by us and be safe in the knowledge that we’ve included all the information that’s needed to keep in line with the law.

Using our materials can also help us raise as much money as possible – our sponsor forms include a column to collect Gift Aid which means that every £1 donated by UK tax payers, could be worth £1.25, at no extra cost to your supporters.


Auctions can be a great way to raise money and people are often willing to spend over the odds for items if they know the money is going to a good cause.

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Although you’ll want to encourage people to pay as much money as possible for your lots, it’s important not to miss-sell items. Be clear about the quality and value of the lots so that people know what they’re bidding for.

It’s helpful to come up with some terms and conditions before the auction. For example, what will you do if one of the lots is no longer available after someone has paid for it? What will happen if someone doesn’t pay up after their bid has been accepted?

You’ll also want to think about the reserve price that you want to set. In general, there is normally a 10% discretion on any reserve price.

In some cases, you might be able to Gift Aid the money you make from the auction but this will need a bit of planning in advance. Ring us on 0845 130 8663 to find out how you might be able to increase the value of your funds. 

Raffles, sweepstakes and competitions

The ever-popular raffle has always been a fundraising favourite but it’s important to make sure your raffle doesn’t break any gambling laws. There are different types of raffles, each of which is governed by different rules.

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To help you, we’ve outlined the different raffles below:

The simplest raffle to organise is at events you are staging to raise money for your event (for example a party or quiz). These types of raffle don’t need a licence, as long as you only sell tickets to people at the event and you draw the winner at the event too. If you’re using proceeds from the raffle to cover costs and pay for prizes, make sure you don’t use more than £100 on costs (such as tickets) and no more than £500 on prizes.

If you are planning to sell raffle tickets outside of an event that you are organising, please contact us on 0845 130 8663 for more information as you may need a licence from your local authority.

Another simple alternative is to run a free prize draw but ask for donations. Again, you wouldn’t need a licence for this but you would need to make sure that people could still enter, even if they didn’t give a donation. You could try this when organising a sweepstake at work too. If you ask for donations instead of charging a set price per person, you don’t have to follow as many rules when organising the competition.

Competitions and quizzes are another fun way to raise money. Don’t make the questions too easy, as there needs to be an element of skill involved but you can charge for entry to help you on your way towards your fundraising target.

Public collections

Public collections are a great way to increase your fundraising and also help raise awareness of the BHF. We can provide you with buckets, collection tins and stickers to help you organise your collection call us on 0845 130 8663.

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If you want to organise a collection in a public place, you will need to make sure that you have a licence. Collections on a private property don’t need a licence but you will need permission from the owner, for example, asking the store manager of your local supermarket, if you would like to collect in their store or car park.

You’ll obviously want to encourage as many people as possible to donate but remember not to obstruct people’s paths and please don’t do anything to obviously annoy the public.

It’s also sensible to think about how you will make sure your money is secure, both during and after the collection.

Poker nights

Raising money for charity by organising a poker night doesn’t need a licence, but you have to follow certain conditions.

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No matter how many games you run, each participant can’t make more than one payment and this payment can’t be more than £8. The total value of prizes at the event also can’t be more than £600. All of the proceeds have to be donated to charity.

Before you get started on organising your Poker Night, make sure you are familiar with the Gambling Commission’s Guidelines (full details are available at the Gambling Commission's website) so that you stick to their requirements.


If you’re organising an event of your own, you may need a licence (temporary event notice) from your local authority, to think about health and safety food allergies and insurance.

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This can include giving you the opportunity to sell alcohol at your event. Lots of venues already have licences which you can use, so check with the venue about whether you will need a special licence. You might also need a separate licence for playing music. It’s best to check with your local authority about what permissions and licences you need in advance.

As with any fundraising activity, it’s important to think about health and safety. Carrying out a risk assessment can help you identify any potential problems and how they can be avoided. You should also think about whether your event will be accessible to everyone. It’s generally up to the venue to take reasonable steps so that it is accessible but you want to make sure you choose a venue that all your guests can get to.

If you’re supplying food, think about what ingredients are used. Some people may have allergies to certain foodstuffs so you’ll need to be able to let them know if they need to avoid certain foods.

Unfortunately, the BHF can’t insure any of your events or other fundraising activities for you so it might be sensible to take out your own insurance (but this will partly depend on what you’re organising). Public liability insurance isn’t mandatory but it can be prudent, especially if your event is open to the public.