Fundraising guidance

This guidance aims to highlight the key aspects that you need to consider to make sure that your Secret Santa event meets legal requirements and that all those attending your event are kept safe.  Please note that this is guidance and does not constitute formal advice.  If you need to, you can find an independent legal advisor via the Law Society.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

During these unprecedented times you must ensure that your fundraising activity is in line with government safety guidance.  This is changing frequently and you can find the most up to date guidance on the government website.

Data Protection

Make sure that any electronic or paper record you keep about people attending/ involved with your fundraising event complies with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR 25th May 2018) – visit the ICO website for further information and guidance.  You must not share personal information you have gathered during the organisation of your Secret Santa event with any third party other than Action for Children.

Media Permission

If you are planning to take photographs, video or recordings during your event for use to publicise, promote, or market your fundraising activities, you must have the written permission of the individuals featured.  It’s a good idea to get participants to sign a Media Consent Form before the event.


If your event involves the public, you will need to have Public Liability Insurance.  If your event is taking place on private property, check with the venue first as they may already have insurance that covers your event.  You can also contact your local authority for more information or ask an insurance provider to discuss your activity and the coverage they offer.

As this event is not organised or controlled by Action for Children, the charity cannot accept liability for any loss, damage or injury suffered by you or anyone else arising as a result of organising or participating in a Secret Santa fundraising activity.

Permissions and licences

Speak to the local authority and/or landowner to obtain written permission for use of the land/property.  Contact your local authority to find out what licences may apply to your activity, for example licenses may be needed if you are:

  • doing a public money collection
  • holding a raffle, lottery or auction
  • providing entertainment (including recorded music)

First aid

You can get advice from a professional medical company such as St John’s Ambulance about what type of first aid to have at your event.  The level of first aid cover you need depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • type of event and risk involved
  • the number of people
  • the age and type of people attending
  • location
  • length of the event
  • how near the venue is to local medical facilities

Food hygiene

If you are planning to use a caterer at your event you should ensure that they hold a Food Hygiene Certificate and have Public Liability Insurance in place.  You can also visit the Foods Standards Agency website for guidelines on preparing, handling and cooking food.

Handling money

If you are going to be accepting any money e.g. sponsorship on the day, here are some tips:

  • Have two people present when money is being handled and counted
  • Use a secure container such as a lockable cash box or sealed container
  • It might be wise to provide receipts for payments received
  • Always use a safe route and always be with someone or carry a personal alarm
  • Bank the money as soon as possible
  • Stay safe! If you are confronted by someone demanding the money hand it to them straight away, do not put up a fight. Report the matter to the police

Participant and volunteer briefings

If you are organising a participation event e.g. a walk or run, it would be wise to brief your volunteers and participants to ensure they are fully prepared for the day.  For example, you could remind them about the importance of drinking enough water during the event, any event rules or the lost child/person process.

Using our logo

If you would like to use the Action for Children logo then please let us know so we can ensure that you have the best logo to use.  You can get in touch with your Action for Children staff contact. Alternatively, contact our Supporter Care team by email or call them on 0300 123 2112.

Risk assessment

A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people. The purpose is to enable you to weigh up whether adequate precautions are in place to protect people, or if more needs to be done to prevent harm occurring.   By carrying out a risk assessment you will be looking at what could cause you, volunteers or participants harm and checking that the necessary precautions to prevent these things from happening have been taken.

Once a risk assessment has been completed it provides:

  • A list of control measures to eliminate or reduce risk
  • Vital information for those at risk and others who play a role in controlling risk
  • A written record of what has been done to control risk which can be used to demonstrate to any enforcing authority that you have carried out a risk assessment and put in place effective controls and/or as evidence in a court of law in both civil and criminal proceedings
  • It also provides you with a means of tracking actions to improve safety by reviewing risk assessments and action plans at appropriate intervals i.e. if the weather changes during an event

We have enclosed a risk assessment template and guidance document that you can download and use.

Download risk assessment template and guidance PDF

You can also find out more information about event safety on the Health and Safety Executive website.

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