Face-to-face fundraising

Face to Face Fundraising
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Introduction to face-to-face fundraising

Face-to-face fundraising activity enables charities and other voluntary organisations to engage with the public in an effective and compelling way to reach new supporters. It can take place in a public place (such as a shopping high street) as well as private sites (e.g, a supermarket), although there are different processes and procedures to follow for each. It’s also important to be aware of the relevant regulations in different nations – there are different rules in Scotland than in England and Wales.

Organisations will need to apply for a licence (either from the local authority or the police) to cover the fundraising activity. For all face-to-face fundraising activity, all fundraising has to comply with all legislation and regulatory requirements as set out in the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice.

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising works with many local authorities and Business Improvement Districts to control where and when fundraising can take place within those areas through agreeing Site Management Agreements. Where a Site Management Agreement exists, fundraisers must follow the terms of that agreement.

What is meant by a 'public place'

England and Wales

A public place means any place where members of the public generally go even if they have no legal right to do so, or any place where they are invited to go. For the purpose of this guidance it should be treated as including such spaces as station forecourts, shopping malls and supermarket car parks. It does not include any place to which members of the public are only permitted if they have made a payment or purchased a ticket as a condition of access; or any place to which members of the public are only permitted for the purposes of the activity in question.

In England and Wales, a public place will be:


A public place means any place (whether a thoroughfare or not) to which the public have unrestricted access and includes:

Planning face-to-face fundraising

As well as following all the rules around permission and licensing for public fundraising, before deciding to carry out public fundraising or a face-to-face campaign it’s a good idea to think about: 

Conduct of fundraisers

It is important that any and all face-to-face fundraising is carried out to a high standard, that is in line with the values of the organisation, follows all the rules in place, and delivers a good experience for the public.  

Examples of behaviours that are not acceptable for fundraisers:

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