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Cash collections

Bucket or cash collections allow charities to collect high volumes of smaller, one-off contributions and to raise awareness of their cause.
For donors, bucket collections are a chance to engage with charities. Also, giving a one-off cash donation is an opportunity to make a contribution without the requirement for longer-term donations, such as direct debits.


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I want to go straight to the code and read what it says about public collections.

Read the code

I want to go straight to the code and read what it says about public collections.

I have a concern about a particular cash collection

Make a complaint

I have a concern about a particular cash collection

For fundraisers

Charities can collect cash on private property, such as supermarkets or railway stations, as long as they have permission from the owner or manager. For public sites, such as the street, you need the permission of the local authority or, in London, the Metropolitan Police. For more information about bucket collections, see the public collections section of the code. Depending how you administer your fundraising, you may need to consult code sections regarding working with volunteers and children, or third parties, and the payment of fundraisers.

If you are fundraising on the street or a private site to sign donors up to regular gifts, such as direct debits, you should make sure you adhere to the street fundraising and private site rulebooks.

For information on claiming GiftAid on cash donations, see the Institute of Fundraising’s guidance.

Some private site owners, such as Transport for London, only allow collections by organisations who are registered with the Fundraising Regulator. Find out more about registration on our website.

Whenever you are carrying out fundraising activities, you should make sure that you are familiar with the key principles and behaviours set out in the code and considerations about the handling of donations.

For the public

Collectors must have an ID badge including details of their licence to collect. Any containers for collecting cash must be sealed and not damaged. Any fundraising materials they hand out should include the charity name and number, as well as a landline contact number.

There are also rules about how the buckets should be opened and the money counted.

For more information about bucket collections, see the public collections section of the code. If you suspect that an appeal is not legitimate, contact the charity to see if they are collecting in that area and the local authority (or in London the metropolitan police) to check licenses are in place. If the appeal is not legitimate, report it to the police.

Cash collection resources

Guidance

Safer giving advice

Advice for the public on safer giving and what to look out for.
Read more
Guidance

Questions to ask fundraisers

Six questions that all fundraisers should be able to answer to help you to give safely.
Read more

Related investigations

Investigation

A complaint about street fundraising: Mr E

Mr E told us that a fundraiser was fundraising on the street without the proper licence in place.
Read more
Investigation

A complaint about street fundraising: Mr F

Mr F complained about the behaviour of a charity street fundraiser, who he said was also blocking a public walkway.
Read more
Investigation

A complaint about street fundraising: Mr H

Mr H complained two charity fundraisers were pressurising members of the public to donate. He said they became aggressive when asked questions about the charity’s work, and wouldn’t confirm how much of the money being raised went to the charity.
Read more