Guide Charitable collections

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5. House to House Collections

House to house collections require a licence and the legislation provides both for the method of application and the manner in which they may be carried out, including the conduct of promoters and collectors. Legislation surrounding House to House collections for charitable purposes is set out by the House to House Collections Act 1939, together with the House to House Collections Regulations 1947 (as amended).  A licence is not required by the holder of a national exemption order.


Regulations have been made by the Secretary of State and they include the following provisions:

  1. Every promoter of a collection must exercise all due diligence to secure that persons authorised to act as collectors are fit and proper persons and secure compliance by collectors with the Regulations.
  2. No promoter shall permit any person to act as a collector unless he has issued to that person:
    1. a prescribed Certificate of Authority;
    2. a prescribed Badge; and
    3. if money is to be collected, a collecting box marked, or a receipt book (with receipts and counterfoils or duplicates consecutively numbered) marked on every receipt, with a general indication of the purpose of the collection, and a distinguishing number.
  3. In the case of a collection in respect of which a licence has been granted, every prescribed Certificate of Authority shall be given on a form obtained from The Stationery Office, and every prescribed Badge shall be so obtained.
  4. No person under the age of 16 shall act, or be authorised to act, as a collector of money.
  5. No collector shall importune any person to the annoyance of such person or remain in, or at the door of, any house if requested to leave by any occupant thereof.
  6. The promoter of a collection must provide an account of the collection to the Council within one month of the expiry of the licence. 


  • 'Charitable Purpose' means any charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purpose.
  • 'Collection' means an appeal to the public, made by means of visits from house to house to give, whether for consideration or not, money or other property.
  • 'Collector' means a person who makes the appeal in the course of such visits.
  • 'House' includes any place of business.
  • 'Proceeds' means, in relation to a collection, all money and other property given, whether for consideration or not, in response to the appeal.
  • 'Promoter' means a person who causes others to act as collectors for the purpose of the collection.

In East Devon, you make your application to us online.