Frequently asked questions
What does the RNLI do?
Our volunteer lifeboat crews provide a 24/7 search and rescue service in the UK and Ireland, and our lifeguards look after people on busy beaches. We also work with other organisations to tackle drowning in at-risk communities around the world.
More people are in danger from the sea than ever before and we rely on public donations and legacies to maintain our rescue service and ensure our crews are ready for anything.
How does Mayday support the RNLI?
The money you raise for Mayday 2020 will help our volunteers brave the storm. It will pay for the vital crew kit that keeps them safe and allows them to keep on saving lives at sea. So, by supporting Mayday, you could be helping to save the next life. 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.
Fundraising ideas for Mayday?
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 kitBake 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 lifeboatGet 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.
Go H2OnlyGive 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 nightWe 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 partyWear 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!
Break a sweatWhy 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.
Your A-Z guideCheck out our A–Z of fundraising ideas and find your perfect match. Once you’ve found an idea, don’t forget to browse our advice on planning and running your fundraising event.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Can I set up an online fundraising page, like JustGiving?
Please do! We’d recommend using JustGiving to set up your fundraising page.
Setting up an online page is an easy way to manage your fundraising money. Simply set up a JustGiving page to get started and follow these tips to make it really great:
- Add your fundraising summary and let others know what this fundraiser means to you. It could boost your total by 9%.
- Set a target. Pages with targets receive on average 46% more than those without.
- Put a face to your page. Fundraisers with pictures on their page tend to raise 14% more.
- Post regular updates. Let your supporters know how you are getting on or share news stories to encourage them to come back and donate again.
- Add your offline fundraising totals to your page.
- Share on social media. Remember to use our #MaydayEveryDay tag. Share in an email to reach those not on social media.
- After your event, let people know how you did. You may see more donations come in!
How do I 'lift a lifeboat'?
Use your Mayday fundraising pack to make light work of sponsorship – and get support with your JustGiving page or sponsorship form, posters and collection box.
Why are all the resources download only?
We're doing our best to reduce printed materials and our impact on the environment. By providing download only materials, we hope everyone can access the materials and can print in their own time if required.
How do I use the editable PDFs?
Are there any health 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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
How much do I need to raise?
Anything you can raise will help our busy crews brave the storm. Why not use the cost of their kit as inspiration?
- A pair of warm sea gloves costs £25/€28*.
- A pager to alert lifeboat volunteers to emergencies at sea costs £150/€169*.
- A protective helmet costs £263/€296*.
*Costs correct as of December 2019
How do i pay in my fundraising money?
Thank you so much for collecting or raising money for us! There are a number of ways you can pay it in.
You can make an online payment on our website. Any donations on your JustGiving page get automatically transferred, so you can relax.
If you’re in the UK and paying in online, please still send us your sponsorship form. Through Gift Aid, we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated - at no extra cost to you or your sponsors!
Over the phone
Local fundraising team or lifeboat station
If you want to pay your money in through your local fundraising branch, get in touch on 0300 300 9908 and we'll guide you through the process.
- Fill in and send the pay-in slip, all cheques and any sponsorship forms to 'RNLI FREEPOST'. If you’re based in Ireland, please address your envelope to ‘RNLI FREEPOST, Airside, Swords, Co. Dublin’.
- The total of your cheques should match the total on this slip.
- All cheques should be made payable to ‘Royal National Lifeboat Institution’. Please don't send cash.