It is important to stay on the right side of the law when fundraising.

Public Collections

It is illegal to collect money on a public highway or street without a valid local authority licence, and these are usually only allocated to registered charities (and even then for specific days of the year). You should find details about your Local Authority’s requirements on their own website.

Lotteries, Raffles and Competitions

As regards Lotteries and Raffles, a Lottery is a game of chance in which tickets are sold enabling the holder to qualify for money. If an element of skill is introduced, such as a tie-breaker, then it becomes a competition and there are fewer restrictions. If you are planning a lottery (such as a raffle, tombola or sweepstake), you should be aware that there are strict laws and rules about what you can do. The Gambling Commission publishes useful guidance relevant to Great Britain on their website. The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action publishes separate guidance applicable only to Northern Ireland on their website and has produced a specific leaflet about raffles.

Small raffles can be held as part of a larger event, but you must follow these guidelines:

  • The ticket sales and announcing of the results must be held during the event.
  • No more than £500 can be spent on buying prizes.
  • No cash prizes can be given.
  • All tickets must be sold at the same price and no discounts are allowed on bulk buys (for example, five for the price of four).
  • Tickets should not be bought or sold by young people under 16.
  • Check the relevant website above for additional guidance.

Children and Fundraising

If children (under 16) are involved in fundraising in any way, please make sure they have permission from their parent or guardian, and are supervised by a responsible adult. Children should never approach strangers about fundraising. It is illegal for children under 16 years of age (or under 18 years in London) to participate in public collections. Never leave children unsupervised during an event or fundraising activity.


ME Research UK’s Insurance cover does not extend to fundraisers, their events or third parties connected thereto. Please make sure you have suitable insurance cover; these are some of the considerations you may need to think about:

  • Public Liability cover
  • Damage to property owned, hired or borrowed
  • Event Cancellation Insurance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cover to meet any contractual conditions

Those supporters who undertake fundraising for our benefit act independently of the charity and ought not to consider themselves under our direction or control. ME Research UK accepts no responsibility for any liability caused by the acts or ommissions of those raising awareness of, or fundraising in support of, ME Research UK.

Equal access for all

Consider issues of equal access for all, even if an event is being targeted at a specific group of people. Further information is available from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Health and Safety

  • Ensure that your event is organised efficiently and safely.
  • Conduct a risk assessment to ensure that you have proper plans for the safety of participants. The Health and Safety Executive website has further information on how to risk assess your event. Make sure you have a copy of your risk assessment with you on the day of your event.

Please be legal! While we really appreciate your support, ME Research UK is not responsible for organising, supervising or hosting your fundraising activity, and all activities and participation are at the organisers’ and participants’ own risk. ME Research UK does not accept responsibility or liability for any loss or damage or for any personal injury arising out of any fundraising activity, including liability as a result of negligence (except such as may be caused by ME Research UK’s negligence).

Of course, you are welcome to say that the event is “in aid of ME Research UK”, but we cannot authorise you to act as an agent for or on behalf of ME Research UK, and your fundraising materials should not suggest that you represent us. You are responsible for organising all aspects of your fundraising and we will not accept any liability relating to your event.