Collections at supermarkets are a relatively simple way to raise funds and awareness, but they do require a little planning – before, during and after the event.
Forward Planning – Where & When
In approaching a supermarket for permission to collect on their property you’ll need to know which particular store to approach, how to apply and when you want to do a collection.
You can probably think of stores in your own locality to approach, but each supermarket has different rules. Some ask that applications are made to the local store itself but others ask you to send a letter to their head office for permission. The specific requirements of any store can be found by searching on-line, but there’s no harm in asking your local store for advice. We’ve listed a few of the most useful sites at the bottom of this page.
Supermarkets receive a large number of requests to hold collections and dates fill up very quickly. It is best to plan ahead and select a date wisely. Some dates are reserved for the store’s chosen charity, other dates (e.g. around Remembrance Day) are commonly allocated to appropriate national charities. ME Awareness Week (normally the week encompassing 12th May) would be a good time to request as it is a well-recognised time for collections for ME charities. Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular dates for collections as supermarkets are busier, and dates at the beginning of the month are also popular as wages are normally paid at the end or beginning of the month.
How we can help
- ME Research UK will be happy to provide a letter of support for your application should the supermarket request/require one. Please provide us with contact details for the stores involved.
- We have produced a sample enquiry letter to be used to write to supermarkets.
Contact us for details
Planning a Successful Day
Once you have been allocated a collection date at a specific supermarket, it is worthwhile contacting the store to check where you will be placed, how many collectors they will allow and also if seats and/or a table are provided or allowed. If there’s to be a table then it’s the perfect opportunity to raise awareness with a selection of Breakthrough magazines and leaflets. Improve the look of the table with a plain table cloth and a bowl of sweets – it really helps!
Collectors normally use collection buckets, or even ordinary buckets which are available cheaply from various e-bay sellers.
Most supermarkets will ask you to stand at the entrance/exit of the store. It may be dry but it might be cold in winter so dress appropriately. It also means that you’ll be seen by shoppers when they enter and leave the store and so you are ideally placed to collect donations.
Most people collect as part of a team as you’ll be in store for a number of hours. If there’s a few of you involved, it allows regular breaks to be taken and also more opportunity to talk with and thank those who approach you.
Remember to take the letter or e-mail from the supermarket allowing you to do the collection on the day of the event as the staff may wish to check timings and arrangements.
Ask if you can take a photograph of the collection as this can be used later on our Facebook page and for awareness-raising opportunities.
After the event
It is very important to contact the store as quickly as possible after your collection date to thank the company for allowing you to collect on their premises and to thank the staff for their help and assistance. This will help should you apply in the future to hold a collection.
Hopefully your collecting tins or buckets will have lots of coins in them and these will need to be banked. This ought to be done as soon as possible after the collection as best to avoid having too much cash at home.
Banks will happily supply plastic money bags into which coins, sorted into the same denominations, should be placed. The bags are printed with the value of coins which are to be placed in them e.g. 50p coins to value of £10. Do not mix coins in the same bag as this creates difficulties for the bank. There will probably be coins which do not amount to the values stated on the bags. Place these coins (still of the same denomination together with a note of the amount) in money bags. Please double check the amounts.
At the bank they may ask that you complete a pay-in form which will ask you to note separately the amounts being paid in. This is £ Small (i.e. £2 and £1 coins), Silver (50, 20 10 and 5 p) and Bronze (2 & 1p). The money is to be paid into our account – ME Research UK, Account number 50419466 Sort Code 82 67 09 at Clydesdale Bank 158/162 High Street, Perth, PH1 5UH.
Please let us know how the collection went, how much was raised and when the funds were banked so we can spot it on our bank statement.
Major supermarket Collection Authorisation requirements
Aldi – Applications to hold a collection are made in store to the store manager.
Asda – Ask to speak to the Events Co-ordinator at the Customer Services Desk in store.
Lidl – Applications can be made in writing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to: Customer Services Lidl UK, Tailend Farm, Deans Road, Livingstone EH54 8SE. You will need a letter of authorisation from ME Research UK. Contact us us to arrange this. You will receive a reply from Lidl head office. If you are successful, you will need to take this reply and a copy of the letter of authorisation with you to the store.
Marks and Spencer – Applications to collect are made in store to the charity events manager.
Morrisons – Applications to collect are made in store to the store manager.
Sainsbury’s – Telephone your local store for information.
Tesco – Extra and Superstores – via an on-line form.
Tesco – Express, Metro and other stores – Application to be made in store to the store manager.