Charity Collections

To carry out charity collections, either door to door or on the street you need to apply for a licence.

There are two main types of charity collections:

  • House to House: Door to door collections for cash and/or goods, including envelope collections and clothing, need permission. The Home Office licenses National Collections and the District Council regulates smaller collections.
  • Street Collections: To collect money or sell articles for the benefit of charitable or other purposes in East Herts you require a street collection licence from us.

Ideally, applications should be submitted at least one month prior to the first collection date. These licences are free for charities and typically issued for each charitable event. For House to House collections, you will need to apply for an official house to house collection badge.  This will be a small charge and further details will be provided after you have made an application and you receive a certificate from us

It is particularly important to leave enough time to order and receive the necessary prescribed badges and certificates of authority from Her Majesty's Stationary Office.

When organising your collection you need to ensure that:

  • every collector wears a standard badge and carries a certificate of authority, both obtained from Her Majesty's Stationary Office
  • collectors produce their badge on demand to the occupant of any house or any police officer
  • if collection boxes are used, they are sealed and consecutively numbered
  • if money or goods are collected by another means, a receipt is issued to the donor and the donation entered in a receipt book
  • collectors do not cause annoyance or nuisance to occupants
  • collectors are not under 16 years

After a collection:

  • collecting tins should be opened in the presence of a promoter and a witness or, if unopened, delivered to a bank to be opened and counted by an official
  • when opened, the contents of each tin should be entered on a list and certified by those present
  • a return must be made to the Council showing: the total amount of monies collected, amounts from each tin, and a list of collectors, or the resale value of the goods collected
  • ensure that all certificates of authority and badges are destroyed at the end of the collection period
  • at least 85% of collected funds must be donated to the named charity - a maximum of 15% can go towards expenses

No promoter, or anyone associated with the collection, can receive payment from the collection, unless approved by the Council.

To carry our a Charity Collection, you should submit an application online:

Within three months of the collection, a return form showing details of the monies collected must be completed and returned to the licensing authority. Please fill in the following Charity Collections - Returns Form

You apply for your badges to the Stationary Office with the certificate we will send you. They will charge you for this service.

Collection on behalf of a Charity

If you or your organisation is collecting on behalf of another Charity, please could you provide with your application written proof of agreement from the charity to benefit.

Reasons for Refusal

The Council can refuse or revoke licences for various reasons these include:

  • to limit the number of collections
  • if too high a proportion of the proceeds is likely to be spent on expenses
  • if incorrect information was provided on the licence application; if the promoter or any other person involved has been convicted of certain criminal offences e.g. burglary, blackmail or fraud

Direct Debit Collections

East Herts Council has entered into a site management agreement with the PFRA (Public Fundraising Regulatory Association) to deal with Direct Debit applications. The agreement limits the numbers of collectors, when and where they can be. To carry out a direct debit collection please contact the Institute of Fundraising for more information.

If you have a complaint regarding a direct debit collection then this should be addressed to the PFRA as East Herts Council has no regulatory powers with regard to this type of collection.

Monitoring of Collections

The Council will make any enquiries it sees fit to confirm the integrity of an organisation's collecting activities. Unfortunately, there has been an increasing need, in view of the incidences of bogus organisations, to monitor collection activities.


We would always recommend contacting the charity in question directly in the first instance as they may not be aware of the behaviour of their collectors. Failing this then please email