Published on November 26th, 2012 | by Dean Carr
Selling alcohol at a charity fundraising event
Selling alcohol at a fundraising event is a popular and profitable way for charities to raise funds and host a successful event. Indeed, a stand or bar offering a glass of wine or a plastic cup of beer is fairly commonplace at many charity events: barn dances, village fetes, school fairs, village hall events and exhibits.
Yet organising the sale of alcohol at an event, especially the first of its kind, can be bewildering. Selling alcohol at a charity fundraising event is subject to the same legislation as normal retail sale under the Licensing Act 2003. There are two forms of alcohol licence: the premises licence (or Temporary Event Notice), covering the premises, and the personal licence held by a person. As on the high street, every sale of alcohol made under a premises licence must be made or overseen by a personal licence holder, and fundraisers must comply.
This may seem uncharitable, but the sale of alcohol at a fundraiser poses the same potential risks to health, public order, child safety and crime. The good news is that a number of measures have been introduced to make selling alcohol at a charity event easier and more economical.
Temporary Event Notice
A Temporary Event Notice (TEN) is a temporary version of a premises licence designed specifically for this kind of event, and can be applied to any suitable building or open space. A TEN application can be made to your local licensing authority (local council), with an application fee of £21. For mid-size and large fundraisers, this cost will be quickly offset by profit. For very small events, on the other hand, selling alcohol may not turn a profit.
You can read more about TENs, including important event criteria, in Temporary Event Notice.
Raffles and Tombolas
A Tombola is a village green classic and is subject to an exemption under the Licensing Act 2003, along with raffles. A lottery or raffle is not licensable if it meets the following criteria:
• No private gain from the profit
• The alcohol is presented in a sealed container
• No prize money involved
• All ticket sales are made at the event, not outside of it
• The lottery or raffle is not the main attraction or main event
Full criteria can be viewed in section 175 of the act.