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Under what circumstances can I run a money collection campaign?
Money collection involves asking the public for monetary donations. In most cases, running a money collection campaign requires a money collection permit or filing a small-scale money collection notice with the local police department. If you want to raise money for your organisation, for example, please read this page first to find out how to run a money collection campaign properly and without breaking the law!
When is a money collection permit needed and when does a small-scale money collection notice suffice?
Money collections can take many forms. More traditional methods include collection boxes in public spaces and door-to-door collections where the donors write down their name and the donated amount in a list. Potential donors can also be approached by email, post or telephone, or by advertising in newspapers, flyers or outdoor posters.
The ways in which money can be raised are limited only by the money collection’s imagination, and practically any channel or tool can be used. However, a money collection permit or a small-scale money collection notice filed with the local police department is almost always required. There are only a few exceptions.
Collecting donations on an ongoing basis requires a money collection permit from the National Police Board. Small-scale, one-off money collections can be run by simply notifying the local police department. Each small-scale money collection notice covers collections up to EUR 10,000 within a three-month period.
Money collection campaigns run online and on social media are also popular. The same rules apply in the virtual world as in the real one, and a money collection permit is usually also required for online money collection. Funds raised through various kinds of crowdfunding platforms are no exception either: a money collection permit or a small-scale money collection notice is always required if the donors are in Finland. The same applies to social media: the normal rules for approaching donors must be followed.
Donors are deemed to be in Finland if the money collection is appealing to the Finnish public. In other words, a money collection campaign is classed as taking place in Finland if the objective is to collect donations from individuals, businesses or associations based in Finland. The nationality of the donors is irrelevant.
Who can run money collection campaigns and for what purposes?
Collecting donations on an ongoing basis with a money collection permit is a money collection method primarily reserved for non-profit organisations, associations and foundations. Small-scale money collections can also be run by unregistered groups of at least three private individuals.
In addition to non-profit organisations, associations and foundations, money collection campaigns and small-scale money collections can only be run by parties specified in the law.
Private individuals and businesses cannot run money collection campaigns. However, private individuals and businesses can contribute, for example, by donating money to legitimate money collection campaigns or by helping organisations and associations in other ways. There are many forms of volunteering and many ways to help!
All money raised through money collection campaigns must be used to promote non-profit causes. Only in exceptional circumstances can donations be collected to help, for example, a struggling individual, and a money collection permit or a small-scale money collection notice filed with the local police department is always required. Small-scale money collections provide a way to raise money not just for charity but also for other forms of social action.
Collecting donations without a money collection permit or without filing a small-scale money collection notice with the local police department can constitute a money collection offence.
Please check the rules before you donate or ask for donations, as you could be contributing to an illegal campaign!