Planning your event

Whether you're a first time fundraiser or an experienced RNLI supporter, you can find useful advice on how to plan and run your own fundraising event. 
A skydive to raise money for the RNLI

Photo: RNLI

However you choose to support our lifesavers, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Take a look at our advice to make sure your event is successful and safe. 

Decide what you’re going to do

Need some inspiration? Browse our fundraising ideas to find the perfect fundraising activity for you.

We’ve also got a handy fundraising guide to help you through the planning stage. If you need any other support, just call us at 0300 300 9908 (UK) or 1800 844 439 (Ireland) – or email us at fundraising@rnli.org.uk.

Whatever you choose to do, you're doing something amazing by helping save lives at sea – thank you.

tell us about it

Once you know what you're going to do, let us know by registering your event. We can guide you through your fundraising journey, give you whatever support you need and send you useful resources.

Whatever amount you raise will make a huge difference to our lifesavers. 

Set up your fundraising page

The easiest way to get sponsorship is by setting up an online fundraising page and sharing the link with your friends, family and colleagues. 

To get started, try:

If you’re fundraising in the UK, remember to encourage people to Gift Aid their donation – we’ll get an extra 25p for every pound donated.

You may also want to collect sponsorship offline. If so, use our official RNLI sponsorship form alongside your online fundraising page. When you sign up to a fundraising event or register your own event, we'll automatically send you a sponsorship form.

Promote your event

Share it

Tell your friends what you’re up to and share your fundraising page on Facebook, along with photos and videos showing your progress. Tweet us @RNLI, visit us on Facebook or add #RNLI to your Instagram photos.

Post regular updates and keep linking to your online fundraising page so people can sponsor you. JustGiving has some great banners and widgets you can use.

Writing a blog is a great way for people to follow your journey from start to finish. Use it to chart your progress, upload photos, share anecdotes and link to videos and press coverage. Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr are all free and easy to use.

Publicise it

Try contacting your local newspaper or radio station to promote your event. We recommend sending in a photo of yourself training or fundraising to boost your chances of being noticed and mentioned by the local press.

keep things safe and legal

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 fundraising@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 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 fundraising@rnli.org.uk.

how to pay in your fundraising money

Thank you so much for fundraising. We’re so grateful for all the effort you put into supporting our brave volunteer lifesavers.

Once you've collected your sponsorship money, you can pay it in online or send your cheques and sponsorship forms to:

Royal National Lifeboat Institution
West Quay Road
Poole
Dorset
BH15 1HZ
(UK)

Royal National Lifeboat Institution
FREEPOST
Airside
Swords
Co Dublin
K67 WA24
(Republic of Ireland)

Please send in your sponsorship forms and money within eight weeks of the event. The sooner you pay in your money, the sooner it will help save lives at sea.

Please make sure any cheques from you and your supporters are made payable to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and not to you personally. Please don’t send cash in the post.

And don't forget to include your name and the name of the fundraising event so we know the money's from you!

contact us

If you have any questions or queries, or you want some advice about your event or activity, please call our Community Support Team on 0300 300 9908 (UK) or 1800 844 439 (Ireland), or email us at fundraising@rnli.org.uk.