All it takes is a lot of PR, take a lot of rejection and be persistent. Just make sure you collect money the right way and do the right acquittals of the money so that the donors can be sure what they give is actually going to the right purpose. A lot of people are crowdfunding and if they are doing that for a charitable purpose, they need to be doing it under the banner of a licensed charity, it is as simple as that.
Donors and collectors have been warned that they need to know the laws around charitable fundraising after a number of recent cases where things went wrong. Charity licensing exists for a purpose and that is to protect people who are putting money in. The law and the licensing system is there to make sure that when a donor gives money there is somebody who has oversight to make sure that the money is spent on what it was collected for.
You might be personally touched by a charity or moved to collect money for a charitable cause but you are not necessarily going to have the expertise to do all the book work. In these circumstances, you should approach an existing charity to ask them if you can use their license.
Getting donations is not easy. The hardest part is persuading someone to give and the last thing you want is for the practical process of giving to let you down so that your efforts are wasted.
We’d like to reach a wider section of the public. Can we just go to the high street and rattle a tin?
You’ve probably noticed a lot of charitable fundraising going on in the street but there are certain regulatory hoops that need to be jumped through before you start. These will vary depending on what your charity wants to do, and where. If you are collecting cash donations in public, or want to sell things to benefit of your charity, you will need to comply with a licensing regime dating from 1916 for street collections and from 1939 for house to house collections.
What happens if a fundraiser breaks the rules?
It is a criminal offence if a professional fundraiser fails to make an appropriate fundraising statement. The only available defence – and a very narrow one – is if they can show that they had essentially taken all reasonable steps to make the statement. If a professional fundraiser operates without a written agreement with a charity, any obligation on your charity will be unenforceable and the fundraiser will have no right to payment for its fundraising work, unless a court orders otherwise. If a court is of the view that a professional fundraiser has broken or may break the law, it also has the power to issue an order to stop it from doing any more fundraising.
Now you know that if you work as a charity collector, you should obtain a copy of the license of your employer.