Fundraising procedure

What you need to know when fundraising for Girlguiding or other charities as part of a Girlguiding activity.

Approved: December 2023

Find out what changed and why in our most recent updates to this procedure.

By raising money for Girlguiding, you're making an incredible investment in girls' futures.

For ideas and resources to help get you started, take a look at our fundraising toolkit.

Fundraising is a regulated industry, which means there are rules and regulations you need to follow. These apply if you’re fundraising for Girlguiding at a local or national level, or if you’re fundraising for other charities as part of a Girlguiding activity. We have a fundraising promise which outlines our commitment to our supporters.

Fundraising regulations protect both the public and the fundraiser. This procedure explains what you need to do to follow our fundraising policy, but if you need any further support, get in touch with our HQ fundraising team.

In this procedure you’ll find the following information:

Before you start fundraising

If you plan to fundraise for a specific purpose, such as a trip or a project, there’s a chance you might raise more money than you need, or you might not raise enough money to go ahead as planned. You can keep any extra or unused funds within Girlguiding. You’ll need to think about how these funds will be used and let your donors know.

For example, if you’re fundraising for a unit trip, you could say: ‘We’re fundraising for [insert unit name]’s trip to [destination]. If we raise any extra funds beyond the cost of the trip, or we don’t raise enough funds for the trip to go ahead, any excess or unused funds will be donated to support the ongoing running of [insert unit name].’

If you didn’t have an agreement in place with your donors and you’ve raised too much, too little, or you can’t go ahead as planned, get in touch with your donors to let them know and suggest another use for the funds. For further guidance, follow our donation acceptance procedure.

You must keep a record of all money you make through fundraising. For guidance on how to record donations, including gifts in kind, take a look at our donation acceptance procedure.

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Fundraising with young members and age restrictions

Young members under 16 mustn’t have overall responsibility for handling or counting money when fundraising.

You must keep to any relevant age limits set by law when involving young members in fundraising activities. Age limits depend on the type of fundraising activity and the location. You can find out more about these in the Code of Fundraising Practice.

You can only sell tickets to young members under 16 for certain types of raffles and lotteries. You can find more information on our raffles and lotteries page and on the Gambling Commission website.

When involving young members in fundraising activities, make sure you follow our guidance for events outside of the usual unit meeting place, including relevant adult to child ratios and getting permission from parents and carers.

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When you may need a permit or licence

The law on collecting money varies depending on the location and the type of collection. In most cases, you’ll need a licence or permission.

If you want to collect money in a public place where the general public have unrestricted access, such as a street, you’ll need to apply for a licence from your local authority. The time it takes to review an application will vary for each local authority, so make sure to allow plenty of time. You can find more information in the Code of Fundraising Practice.

If you want to raise funds on private property, such as a supermarket bucket collection or collecting in a shopping centre, you must get permission from the property owner or manager. You can find out more information in the Code of Fundraising Practice.

You may need to register your raffle or lottery with your local authority. You can find more information about when you need a licence and the rules you need to follow on our raffles and lotteries page and on the Gambling Commission website.

You can host games nights without needing a licence. Depending on the types of prizes you’re offering, you may need to follow rules around maximum participation fees.

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Charity numbers

You must only use Girlguiding’s national charity number (306016) if you’re fundraising for Girlguiding UK. Money raised using this number has to be used for projects to benefit girls in guiding across the UK. If you’re fundraising for Girlguiding at a local level, you may not have a charity number. If you need one for a fundraising or grant application, you can get a certificate of charitable status by emailing us at [email protected]. You’ll just need to let us know the details of the signatories for your unit bank account. 

You can also get in touch with your local country or region office for advice on using other local charity numbers. 

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Online fundraising

You can register to raise money on online fundraising platforms. Most will ask you to provide a charity number or a Gift Aid number to register. Unless you’re fundraising for Girlguiding UK, you must not use Girlguiding’s national charity number (306016). Check out our advice on how to use online platforms or get in touch with our HQ fundraising team for help.

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Applying for grants from trusts and foundations

Read our guidance on grants from trusts and foundations for help on where you can look for grants and how to apply. Trusts may need copies of Girlguiding’s policies to support your application. You can find all our policies on our website and they cover all levels of Girlguiding throughout the UK.

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Data protection and GDPR

Data protection regulations apply when you’re emailing people about fundraising activities. You should only email people who’ve opted in to receive emails from you and make sure you blind copy (BCC) people into your email. Read our managing information policy for more guidance, or you can email our data protection team at [email protected].

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Gift Aid

Registering for Gift Aid can help you to maximise your fundraising total. You can find out more about how to register your unit for Gift Aid on our Gift Aid page. Donors must fill out a Gift Aid declaration form, however you may be able to claim Gift Aid on small cash donations of less than £30 without a Gift Aid declaration from the donor.

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Fundraising for other charities

If you wish to fundraise for another charity, there are 3 key things to consider:

  1. Check the charity’s aims our consistent with ours
    You can have a look on their website to see whether their values are similar to ours. Think about how volunteers, girls and parents or carers might react if you decide to fundraise for them. 

  2. Get their permission
    You need to get permission from the charity before you start fundraising for them.

  3. Be open with your donors
    You must let your donors know where the funds raised are going. For example, if you’re raising funds for more than one charity, explain what proportion of funding will go to each charity.

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How to get in touch with our HQ fundraising team

We want you to be able to fundraise with confidence. If you need any guidance, the HQ fundraising team are here to help. 

For general fundraising enquiries, including how to start fundraising for Girlguiding, information on fundraising regulations, online giving platforms and charity challenges, email [email protected].  

For advice on claiming Gift Aid on donations, email [email protected]. 

For help with researching trusts and making applications, email [email protected]. 

For advice on working with companies, trusts, foundations, major donors and other charities, email [email protected] 

For support and ideas from other guiding members, join our Girlguiding fundraising network on Facebook. 

If you think you’ve done something that breaks fundraising regulations, it’s good that you now know it’s non-compliant so you can avoid it in the future. Email us at [email protected] so that we can help you with next steps. 

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