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 240 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 141,000 lives.

how does mayday support the rnli?

The money raised for Mayday 2018 will pay for the vital crew kit that keeps our volunteers safe and allows them to continue saving lives at sea. Any funds raised over our £750,000/€850,000 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. 

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 getting our yellow on – 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.

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 rel="noopener noreferrer" 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 rel="noopener noreferrer" 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 you can sell 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 7 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 sturdy sea boots costs £54/€73, while a protective helmet costs £263/€358.

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:

Royal National Lifeboat Institution, West Quay Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 1HZ.

when should i pay in my money?

Please make sure your payments get to us before 29 June 2018.

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.