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Keeping your activities legal and safe

It's essential that you have a clear understanding of how to keep your fundraising legal and safe.

‘In aid of’ versus ‘on behalf of’ fundraising

Fundraising ‘on behalf of’ your MS Society group is where a volunteer or member organises an activity or event on your group’s behalf. When other people get together and raise money for your group, this is ‘in aid of’ fundraising. The difference is important as it affects your legal and health and safety obligations.

‘On behalf of’ fundraising

  • You have control over how you fundraise and how much you raise
  • You can organise a specific, high-profile event to raise money
  • You can access free fundraising materials to support your activities
  • You can use our web to print system to produce posters and leaflets
  1. Find out more about free MS Society fundraising materials
  2. Learn more about using Web to Print

‘In aid of’ fundraising

  • The fundraiser organises their own activities
  • They have liability for their own safety
  • They have to make sure their activity is insured, not your MS Society group
  • You don’t get involved in organising the activity, but you might provide fundraising materials

Insurance and risk management

Whenever you organise a fundraising event 'on behalf of' the MS Society, you need to make sure your event is covered by our central insurance, or arrange separate cover. You must also complete the appropriate risk assessment or guidance document.

  1. Find out what's covered by our central insurance
  2. Learn how to use our risk management system


You’re likely to need a licence if you’re:

  • Providing alcohol or entertainment (including recorded music)
  • Holding a raffle or lottery
  • Doing any sort of collection in a public place
  • Putting up banners or signs in public areas

Contact your local authority licensing department for advice.

Cash collections

We have to protect the MS Society from fraud, theft and embezzlement, and we need to assure supporters that their donations are used for the purpose for which they were given.

Therefore, when carrying out a cash collection, it’s essential you:

  • Only use official MS Society collection tins and buckets
  • Make sure each tin or bucket is sealed
  • Number all tins and buckets consecutively
  • Keep a log of where each tin or bucket is located
  • For countertop collections - regularly empty the contents or make sure the site holder returns the contents on a regular basis
  • Ensure collectors are over 16 years of age
  • Make sure all collectors have an Authorised Collector card (available from our Online Shop)
  1. Find out more about our branded fundraising materials
  2. Learn about Using our Online Shop
  3. See the Fundraising Regulator's Code of Fundraising Practice

School events

School events must be confirmed in writing by the lead teacher and communicated to children and their parents. You can only come into contact with children in or near school premises if you have the prior knowledge and consent of a teacher.

To photograph children at an event, you’ll need approval in writing from their teacher and parents.

  1. Download a personal information consent form


To make sure we use our funds wisely and don’t put people with MS in danger, all research funded by the MS Society needs to go through the formal application system run by our Research Team. If you are approached to fund a research project, you must contact the Research Team for advice.

Back to our fundraising standards