THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS AND COMMONSENSE PRACTICE RELATING TO THE USE OF COLLECTING BOXES GENERALY
Legal Requirements for Public Collections:
- Guidelines (“Model Regulations”) for street collections contained in a schedule to the Charitable Collections (Transitional Provision) order 1974 have been adopted, with minor variations, by the Metropolitan and City districts of London, and all other District Councils. The House-to-House Collections Act, 1939, and the House-to- House Regulations, 1947, apply nationally, with some variations in Scotland. Copies of relevant laws and regulations should be available from the respective authorities above, and fundraiser’s are advised to be familiar with them.
Applications for permission to hold street and house-to-house* collections should be made to the local Town Hall; or in the Metropolitan district of London to the Metropolitan Police.
*National charities may apply to the Home Office for exemption
- The guidelines require inter alia that for public collections all boxes shall be properly labeled, numbered and sealed.
- All boxes shall display prominently the title of the charity or fund which it is to benefit, and bear a number held in a register by the promoters licensed to hold the collection.
- No person may assist or take part in any collection unless in possession of a written authority signed on behalf of the chief promoter. Any person authorised as above shall produce such authority forthwith for inspection on being requested to do so by a police officer.
# following the 1993 Charities Act new Regulations may apply in due course
- Boxes not used as above (e.g. those left in shops, pubs, hospitals, schools, clubs etc.) should still comply with (2) and (3) above. In addition, a contact telephone number (at least) should be shown of an office authorised to arrange the prompt emptying of the box. Boxes should be emptied regularly, at least every six months, and preferably in the presence of the boxholder. Authority and identification should be shown, and the boxholder given a receipt.
- Boxes used in public places should be made of a suitable, durable material and be tamper-evident.
- Boxes specifically designed for home use should not be used in public places
- Security chains can be fitted to most collection boxes, models and devices and may be obtained from us.
- Box seals should be checked and any sign of tampering should be reported to the authorised promoters of the collection. On no account should any attempt be made to re-use the seals.
IT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR A FUND TO BE REGISTERED AS A CHARITY IN ORDER LEGALLY TO RAISE MONEY BY ANY OF THE ABOVE METHODS, AS LONG AS THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS ARE MET.
Further information and guidance can be obtained from the institute of fundraising and THE CHARITY COMMISSION