Frequently asked questions

Thanks for getting onboard this Mayday! Take a look at our FAQs to make sure your fundraising is fun, successful and hassle-free!

What does the rnli do?

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteer lifeboat crews provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the UK and Ireland, and our lifeguards look after people on over 249 beaches. We also operate a specialist Flood Rescue Team, and work with other organisations to tackle drowning in at-risk communities around the world.

We rely on public donations and legacies to maintain our rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,400 lives.

how does mayday support the rnli?

The money raised for Mayday 2019 will help fund the vital kit that keeps our volunteers safe and allows them to continue saving lives at sea. Any funds raised over our £700,000/€780,000 target will go towards funding our lifesaving work around the UK and Ireland.

Are there any events in my area that I can take part in?

There are Mayday events taking place all over the UK and Ireland. Have a look at our Mayday events page to find one near you. 

How can I raise money for Mayday?

There are lots of fun, safe ways you can raise money for Mayday. Here are just a few ideas to spark your imagination! You can find these ideas and more in your free Mayday fundraising pack.

Get your yellow kit on!

Ask your school, workplace sports or social club to wear yellow for a day in exchange for a donation – just like our lifeboat crews do every day to save lives. You could be subtle with yellow accessories, or, if you’re feeling daring, go head-to-toe in yellow!

Bake cake for kit

Bake sales, coffee mornings and afternoon teas are a delicious way to raise money – and who can resist a homemade cake? You could even whip up some yellow-themed bakes like lemon tart or banana bread. Look at our Mayday fundraising materials for a couple of delicious recipes.

Lift a lifeboat

Get sponsored to lift a 32-tonne Tamar class lifeboat. Not all in one go, don’t worry! Split the weight into reps of 50kg (or whatever you’re comfortable with). You could take the challenge with friends to lighten the load. If you’re up for the challenge, download our Lift a lifeboat guide and poster from our Mayday fundraising materials page.

Break a sweat

Why not try a sponsored race, cycle or walk to raise money? If you don’t fancy organising your own, we’ve got plenty of Mayday events you could join.

Go H2Only

Give up all your favourite drinks and get sponsored to drink nothing but water for 10 days. Say goodbye to that morning cuppa, your thirst-quenching juice and your favourite tipple and see those Mayday donations come flooding in!

Organise a quiz night

We all love a good quiz so why not organise one in aid of Mayday where people donate to take part. You could encourage a yellow dress code or perhaps the questions could be yellow-themed.

Host a Mayday dinner party

Wear your best yellow glad rags and hold an evening of delectable yellow-themed food, fizz and fun for friends and family. Your guests will be expected to donate tips of course!  

Do I have to do one of the suggested fundraising ideas or can I do my own thing?

You can do whatever you’d like to raise money for Mayday, just make sure it’s fun and safe! This year, we’re going yellow - like our crews do every day to save lives - so why not organise something yellow-themed?

can my workplace get involved?

We’d love everybody to get involved this Mayday, and there are some great ideas for the workplace, including yellow-themed dress-down days and bake sales. You can do whatever you like, so get creative. Find more ideas and materials in your free Mayday fundraising pack.

If your workplace would like to become a corporate partner for Mayday, please contact mayday@rnli.org.uk.

Are there any healthy and safety requirements if i'm planning an active event?

Keep it safe

It's your responsibility to ensure your fundraising event runs safely. We can't accept liability for accidents or damage, even when that activity is run to raise money for the RNLI.

Carry out a risk assessment before your event or activity to ensure that everyone involved with your event – participants, helpers and spectators – stays safe. You can find out more at Health and Safety Executive.

Make sure that everyone involved with your event is aware of any potential risks and of any special requirements for taking part, such as fitness levels, training or specialist equipment needed

Supervise your event properly - and take particular care if children are involved.

Your event must be covered by insurance. And, if you're the event organiser, you may need to take out specific insurance cover. Consider obtaining personal accident insurance cover for any activity involving risk of injury.

If you want some advice on how best to keep your event safe, please contact us and we’ll be glad to help. Call us at 0300 300 9908 (UK) or 1800 844 439 (Ireland) - or email us at mayday@rnli.org.uk.

The legal bit

Charity fundraising is regulated by law and you'll find a lot of useful information about licences, risk assessments, insurance and more at the Institute of Fundraising.

Before an event, you'll need to:

  • Obtain all necessary licences, permits and consents for your event or activity.

  • Follow good food hygiene procedures and comply with food safety regulations.

  • Comply with any fundraising codes of practice relevant to your event. Find out more at Institute of Fundraising (UK) or Fundraising Ireland (Ireland).

  • Get permission from the owner before you collect on private property, including in shops and in pubs.

  • Speak to us before conducting any raffle or tombola.

  • Get a licence before selling any alcohol at your event (you may wish to get your local pub to organise the bar for you).

  • Get our permission to use the RNLI logo, images or other RNLI trademarks.

If you want advice, please contact us and we’ll be glad to help – call 0300 300 9908 (UK) or 1800 844 439 (Ireland), or email us at mayday@rnli.org.uk.

Can I set up an online fundraising page?

You can, we’d recommend using JustGiving to set up your fundraising page.

How long will it take for my pack to arrive?

If you asked to get your pack by post, you should have it within 10 working days. If you haven’t received your pack within that time, please email mayday@rnli.org.uk and we’ll look into it for you.

How much do I need to raise?

We didn’t set a fundraising target for you, as anything you can raise will make a difference. However, it can sometimes help to set yourself an achievable target. Why not use the cost of crew kit for inspiration? For example, a pair of warm sea gloves costs £25/€28, a pager to alert lifeboat volunteers to emergencies at sea costs £150/€169, and a protective helmet costs £263/€296.

How can I promote my fundraising activity?

Once you’ve planned how you’re going to raise money for Mayday it’s time to shout about it!

You’ll find posters and a sponsorship form in your free fundraising pack and you can also download Mayday materials.

Email friends, family and work colleagues, and share your story on social media using this hashtag - #MaydayEveryDay - to rally support and raise even more money.  

Why not go all out and download our Mayday Facebook and Twitter cover and post images too!

We’d love to see what you get up to this Mayday! Share your fundraising stories and photos with us on Facebook or Twitter using #MaydayEveryDay.

Where can i get a pin badge?

If you would like a pin badge, please call Supporter Care on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991 899 (Ireland). Pin badges are available for a suggested donation of £1/€1.50.

how do i pay in my money?

When you’ve collected your sponsorship money or donations, you can either pay your money in online or send a cheque payable to ‘Royal National Lifeboat Institution’ (please do not send cash). Cheques should be sent in with any sponsorship forms you’ve used, in a stamped addressed envelope to:

Freepost Plus RTXE-YLGL-CXXY
RNLI, Mayday Team, West Quay Road, Poole, BH15 1HZ

Or if in Ireland, please send address your envelope to:

Royal National Lifeboat Institution, FREEPOST, Airside, Swords, Co. Dublin, K67 WA24

If you pay your sponsorship money in online, please still send us your sponsorship form. Through Gift Aid, we can reclaim an extra 25p for every £1 donated – at no extra cost to you or your sponsors.

when should i pay in my money?

Please make sure your payments get to us before 29 June 2019.

If there’s anything else you need to know, please do get in touch by calling 0300 300 9908 (UK) or 1800 844 439 (Ireland), or emailing mayday@rnli.org.uk. Thank you for supporting Mayday.

Not signed up yet?
Our free Mayday fundraising pack is full of ideas and materials to make sure your fundraising is a success. Get yours today! 

Sign me up