Door-to-Door fundraising

Door-to-Door collections are a vital source of funds for many organisations. They must be carried out efficiently and in conformity with the law.

Collections can involve cash, direct debit committments and goods and may be carried out my volunteers, charity officers, professional fundraisers and commercial participators.

Door-to-Door collections

  • offer a positive opportunity for the general public to participate actively in supporting charities within their own community
  • enable supporters to raise funds for all sorts of charities in an ethical and secure manner
  • provide an important mechanism for information exchange between charities and their donors


Different types of collection can bring different benefits and risks. Fundraising organisations need to decide which type of collection will best meet their objectives and can be achieved with the available resources.

It is important to make sure the correct permissions are in place before carrying out collections. The relevant licensing authority is usually the local authority and/or the police.

According to the House-to-House Collections Act 1993, a house includes a business so fundraising pub crawls are covered by the same legislation.

Some charities are lucky enough to have Exemption Orders which means they do not need licences to collect. Exemption Orders are issued by the Cabinet Office. More information is available from the Office of the Third Sector.

Find out more about Exemption Orders


Code of Fundraising Practice and Guidance

The Public Collections section of the Code and House-to-House Collections guidance set out the law and best practice in the UK.


Other sections of the Code and guidance may also need to be consulted, depending on the nature of the collection. In particular, the Face-to-Face Activity and Handling of Cash and other Financial Donations guidance may be particularly relevant.


Institute Information

The Institute has produced a briefing that describes the different types of goods collections that occur and the different parties that may be involved in collections. The briefing also contains information about bogus goods collctions and how to avoid them.

Read the Clothing Collections Guidance (PDF)

Information for donors about the legitimacy of collections and how to identify scams can be found on the Charity Bag Crime page.


Regulatory Changes

The Charities Act 2006 (in England and Wales) and the Charity and Trustees Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 contain provisions for new fundraising regulations. These have not yet been implemented.

The Institute of Fundraising will publish information about the new fundraising regulations via our website.