How to organise a safe and legal event

Make sure your event measures up

If you are organising your own fundraising event for Macmillan, it's really important that you and any other people taking part are safe, and that all money collected is handled correctly. Read through some of the practical things to consider, and contact our Supporter Care team on 0300 1000 200 or if you have any questions.

Some useful information on organising your own event can be found on the Fundraising Regulator, Institute of Fundraising and UK Government websites.

The Fundraising Regulator and the Institute of Fundraising have also issued guidance which aims to support charities and other fundraising organisations return to fundraising activities in a responsible way during the current pandemic. This can be found on the Institute of Fundraising website.

Cash handling

When handling cash, make sure that you have plans in place to keep it somewhere safe and secure. When collecting or taking payments, make sure that the cash is secure by using a cash box with a lock or a sealed collection bucket.

Wherever possible, have two people available to count or transport cash, and get it to the bank as soon as possible after the event. Choose busy and well-lit routes if you need to transport the cash and try to conceal it – don't carry it in a Macmillan bucket.

If you are ever confronted by someone demanding the cash, just hand over the money and do not put up a fight. This should then be reported to the police as soon as possible.


Public collections take place in a public space. Public collections are governed by strict legal requirements and must be licensed by the Local Authority. Before you approach your local authority for a licence, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0300 1000 200 or

We can provide collection materials, and confirm that we don't already have a Macmillan-organised collection or another supporter applying to collect at the same location. Some popular premises for public collections may require you to arrange public liability insurance. It's worth checking with your contact beforehand.

Private collections take place on private premises and do not need the permission of the local authority. If you're organising a private collection, for example inside a train station or at a supermarket, you need the permission of the owner of the premises.

House to House and Business to Business (including pub to pub) collections can also only be carried out under a licence. Due to increasing levels of concern and distrust from the public around these types of collections, Macmillan asks that supporters do not carry out house to house or business to business collections on our behalf. We would be happy to discuss alternative fundraising ideas with you – just give our Supporter Care team a call on 0300 1000 200.

Contractors and suppliers

If you use external suppliers for equipment or services, make sure you use a reputable company. Ask to see a copy of their Public Liability Insurance and risk assessment in advance. If anything looks unsafe on the day, stop the activity immediately.

Data protection

Make sure any electronic or paper record you keep about people involved in a fundraising event complies with data protection law. As a rule of thumb, don't keep information about people any longer than you have to, and don't share information or data about someone without their permission. More information can be found at the Information Commissioner's Office.

Event, alcohol and public entertainment licenses

If your event involves the sale of alcohol and/or live or recorded music, dancing, showing of a film or performance of a play, an indoor sporting event (including a boxing or wrestling match), or any entertainment of a similar nature, you may need a licence.

You can check whether your event will require a public entertainment or alcohol licence on the Government’s website. Your event venue may already hold a licence, but if not, you will need to apply for a ‘Temporary Events Notice’ (TEN) via your local authority. A TEN usually costs around £20 and you can begin the application process online.

First aid

You may need to have first aid provision at your event. This will depend on how many people are involved, the type of activity they are doing, and what first aid facilities are already available at the venue.

If you think you might need first aid support, check with an organisation such as St John’s Ambulance or the Red Cross. They will be able to advise you further and can also provide first aid support for your event.

Food hygiene

This is vitally important. Please take great care when handling food and work to basic rules for safe preparation, storage, display and cooking.

The Food Standards Agency provides guidelines for preparing, handling and cooking food. This section of their website is useful for people organising charity and community events involving food. If you are using a caterer, you will need to ensure that they have a food hygiene certificate and public liability insurance. Further information can be found on the NHS Choices website and from your local authority.

Health and safety and risk assessment

Follow the professional advice of equipment manufacturers and staff supervising any facilities. Events need to be adequately risk-assessed to find, reduce and control the risk to all those taking part and members of the public who may be attending. It is best practice to complete a risk assessment form to show that you have considered and mitigated any potential risks around your event, but it is not a legal requirement unless the organiser is an employer.

Macmillan cannot accept liability for any loss, damage or injury suffered by yourself or anyone else as a result of taking part in a fundraising event organised in aid of Macmillan.

Help for how to complete a risk assessment can be found at the Health and Safety Executive.

In addition to health and safety issues, please consider possible risks to Macmillan's reputation. If you are using third parties please check these are reputable organisations. If the nature of your event may be considered controversial by some, contact our Supporter Care team on 0300 1000 200 or email for advice on whether there could be any problems.


By organising your own fundraising event in aid of Macmillan, you are responsible for taking adequate steps to make sure that the event poses no risk to others. Check that any buildings or equipment that you hire are covered. Insurance is often included in the hire fee but not always.

You may need to consider arranging public liability cover for some events, which will protect you against claims made by third parties for injury or property damage as a result of negligence. In most cases, for public and/or hazardous events, you may need public liability cover in place. For private events this may not be necessary. Please seek advice if you are unsure.

Publicity materials

Please ensure that all materials promoting your event specify that it is ‘in aid of’ Macmillan (and any other charities you're supporting).

The easiest way to do this is to create posters, flyers etc on the be.macmillan website. All materials on this site carry our logo and include our charity numbers.

Raffles, lotteries and prize draws

There are strict legal requirements about the organisation of raffles, lotteries and prize draws. More information about these rules can be found at the Gambling Commission.

As a rule, if you are planning a raffle or other game of chance (such as a tombola or duck race) as part of an event, and tickets will only be sold at that event, you would not require a licence for this. If, however, you wish to sell tickets in advance, or to people not attending the event, this would require a licence, or an alternative such as a prize draw. It is not possible for supporters to use Macmillan’s raffle licence, and only a non-commercial organisation can apply for a lottery licence: this would be via your local authority if you qualify.

Please check with Macmillan's Supporter Care team on 0300 1000 200 before you plan your raffle. We'll be able to help you make sure you've thought of everything.

Safeguarding children

If there are children at your event, you should ensure that they have permission to take part and have someone to look after them. Adults looking after children should have carried out appropriate checks. See the Government's Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) information for more guidance.