Introduction to this document

Collections, sponsorship and selling of goods policy

Use our policy to ensure consistency of approach across your organisation when it comes to employee-organised collections to mark events such as birthdays, weddings and retirements. It also covers charitable sponsorship from fellow employees, charitable fancy dress days, lottery syndicates and a prohibition on employees selling goods to staff.


You probably don’t want to ban collections as it’s nice gesture for employees to buy colleagues a gift to mark a special occasion, such as a 21st birthday, getting married, having a baby or retiring.  However, this sort of thing does need to be controlled to prevent it getting out of hand. In addition, as money is involved, you need to ensure it’s all above board and is being done properly. Our policy sets out the sort of collections that might be appropriate: birthdays, pregnancies, births, adoptions, leaving employment, retirements, marriages, civil partnerships, significant anniversaries, illnesses/operation recovery and bereavements. We’ve also set out what’s likely to be inappropriate: support of a political party and funding protests. We’ve then gone on to provide that the employee needs their line manager’s permission before starting a collection. We’ve also placed a ban on employees asking your clients, suppliers and business contacts to contribute to a collection. Collections should really be an internal matter and it looks unprofessional to start asking your clients, etc. for money. Next, we’ve provided that the collection money must be kept securely, a record must be kept of the amount collected and receipts must be obtained to show how it has been spent. Finally, we’ve exempted very small collections amongst only a few employees.

Sponsorship and raffle tickets

On this subject, we’ve provided that if an employee wants to request sponsorship from, or sell raffle tickets to, their fellow employees to raise money for charity, again their line manager’s prior permission is needed. Even if permission is granted, the employee needs to do this outside their normal working hours, e.g. lunch breaks. It’s up to you how far you go here provided you’re being fair and consistent; if the same employee keeps asking for sponsorship, then obviously you should draw the line. Finally, we’ve provided that staff shouldn’t make direct approaches to colleagues with sponsorship or raffle ticket requests; rather, they can display internal posters or use general internal e-mail (with you approving poster or e-mail content). You don’t want your employees to feel coerced into parting with their money when they really don’t want to.

Fancy dress days

We’ve enabled you to designate particular days as fancy dress days in order to raise money for charity and we’ve set out some rules that will apply in this scenario, including that fancy dress is optional and so the employee can still choose to attend work dressed in their normal attire and that a donation to the nominated charity is voluntary. We’ve also enabled you to require employees to change if needs be by stating that they need to bring a set of their normal work attire with them too. You can add to or amend these rules as appropriate.


Selling of goods and lottery syndicates

We’ve placed an express ban on employees selling goods to their fellow employees during normal working hours or on work premises. What they do in their own time and away from your premises isn’t really any of your business (as long as they’re not moonlighting of course), but you don’t want them running their own little money-making enterprises in your time or from your workplace! As far as the lottery is concerned, if employees want to organise and participate in lottery syndicates, that’s up to them but we’ve simply provided in our policy that you won’t be responsible for them. Finally, we’ve stated that a breach of the terms of the policy is a disciplinary offence and, depending on the serious of the offence, may amount to gross misconduct.