Charitable collection licences

Charitable collections, now more than ever, are an important source of income for both local and national charities, assisting these organisations in their endeavours to help others in our community who require medical, social or emotional support.

  • If you wish to conduct a charitable collection, it is important that you have obtained the appropriate permission. This helps to ensure that collections are not carried out under false pretences or in fraudulent circumstances.
  • If you wish to conduct a charitable collection on public land then you will need to apply for a Street Collection Permit.
  • If you wish to conduct a collection by approaching members of the public at their homes then you will need a House to House Collection Permit.
  • If you intend to hold a raffle/lottery for charitable purposes and are planning to sell tickets in advance then you will need to register as a Non-Commercial Society.

Street collections

Chichester District Council Policy Guidelines limit the number of Street Collection Permits that can be issued for collections taking place in the City Centre of Chichester in any one year to 30.

If you wish to make an application for a Street Collection Permit in order to conduct a Charitable Collection in the City Centre of Chichester then this must be submitted to us before 30 November in the year preceding the date on which you wish to collect. We are currently receiving applications for Charitable Collections that are scheduled to take place in 2018.

If you wish to conduct a Charitable Collection elsewhere in the District then you must submit your application for a Street Collection Permit at least one month before the proposed collection date.

Please note there is no statutory requirement for you to obtain a Street Collection Permit if you are intending to collect on private land, such as a supermarket forecourt. However, we would strongly advise that you obtain the consent of the landowner, preferably in writing.

House to house collections

This particular form of charitable fundraising is governed by the House-to-House Collections Act 1939 ('Act') and the House-to-House Collection Regulations 1947 ('Regulations'), a copy of the Regulations can be found opposite.

If you are planning to conduct a door-to-door collection for either money or goods, (This includes envelope collections and pub-to-pub collections) within the District then you will need to obtain a House-to-House Collection Licence from Chichester District Council.

Please note that you are required to submit the application for a licence no later than the first day of the month preceding the date on which you intend to commence the collection. However, this authority would strongly recommend submitting the application as soon as the details of the collection have been confirmed.

So long as the application does not contravene the requirements set out under the 'Act' then the Licence will be granted. Please note that an application may be refused if this Authority believes that an insufficient proportion of the funds raised from the collection will be applied for charitable purposes. If you are not a member of the charity on whose behalf you are collecting, then please ensure that a written statement is provided with the application, confirming that the charity has consented to you conducting the collection in their name.

Once you receive the Licence you will need to obtain Badges and Certificates of Authority for each person participating in the collection. You can do this by forwarding a copy of the Licence to The Stationery Office (TSO) Limited, Post Cash Department, P.O. Box 29, Norwich, NR3 1GN.

Please note that if the Licence is issued in your name then you are responsible for promoting the collection in accordance with the Act and Regulations. Failure to do so could result in a fine and/or imprisonment. If you represent a Professional Fundraising Organisation and are intending to collect in the district for the first time then please contact Licensing.

Charity collection fraud

In recent times House-to-House Collections have become increasingly popular amongst charities as a way of raising money. The most common methods are to visit people at home with a view to obtaining a direct-debit donation or distribute charity bags in order to collect unwanted clothes and items. Both types of collection must be authorised by either an Exemption Order issued by the Home Office or a House-to-House Collection Licence issued by Chichester District Council.

The majority of collections are conducted in a professional manner and provide an important source of income to help fund a lot of the good work charities do, however, residents are sometimes concerned by the legitimacy of the collection or in extreme cases feel pressurised by the collector to donate.

Below is some general guidance that may be of assistance to you:

  • If you are met by a collector at your home, then ask to see their identity badge. This should show basic details, such as the charity's name and number and must be signed by the collector.
  • Some charities operate a hotline number that a member of the public can call in order to check the legitimacy of the collection.
  • Collectors are trained to treat residents in a courteous and respectful manner, as it is recognised that they represent the charity and any negative interaction with a resident will reflect badly upon the charitable organisation.
  • Never invite a collector into your home.
  • If the collector is employed by a Professional Fundraising Organisation (PFO) to collect on behalf of a charity, then the collector is required to explain what the financial relationship is between the PFO and the charity, so you know what proportion of your donation is going to the PFO and what proportion is going to the charity. A number of larger charities provide facilities on their website, which allow for you to donate directly to them and also claim gift aid on the donation.
  • If you do make a donation by direct debit, then there is always the ability for it to be cancelled through your bank.
  • If you have any doubts regarding the legitimacy of the collector then politely request that the conversation ceases. If this proves ineffective then there is always the option of closing the door.
  • If you believe that your safety has been jeopardised and there may be an imminent threat to other residents then please contact the police.

Charity Bags

The use of charity bags is also another form of collecting that is frequently used, but can occasionally be manipulated by fraudulent collectors with the intention of misleading the public into thinking charities will benefit, when in fact a large proportion of the proceeds will go to private individuals or companies. This can be done either by using details of a charity that does not exist, or replicating information of a genuine charity without permission.

Below is a brief guide on what to check for:

  • Check - Legitimate charity collection bags will clearly state what organisation(s) funds are being raised for and feature a registered charity number. Check these details on the Charity Commission website.
  • Look for the tick - As with any fundraising appeal, you can look for the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation and to industry standards.
  • Call - A legitimate collection should include a working landline telephone number for you to call. Call this number if you have any doubts regarding the legitimacy of the collection. If you still have concerns then feel free to contact the Licensing Team for further advice.
  • Report - After making these checks, if you think that a collection is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud   - UK's fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

The most effective way to donate is by taking your unwanted items to a local charity shop or alternatively a clothing bank, which can be found in a number of car parks across the district. If this is not practical for you to do yourself then a neighbour, friend or relative may be able to assist.