About Approved Fund-raising Activities

Fund-raising events are common in Hong Kong and of many types from flag selling, setting up of donation boxes for collection of money in public places and lottery events to on-street selling.

Organisations who wish to conduct fund-raising activities must apply for the relevant permits or licences from the Government as required by law. The following is a summary of the permits/licenses issued by the Social Welfare Department (SWD), the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB), the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) and the Home Affairs Department (HAD). 

You may also check the list of charitable institutions and trusts of a public character, which are exempt from tax under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance through the link to the Inland Revenue Department.

List of charitable institutions and trusts of a public character

Enquiries or complaints in relation to charitable fund-raising activities held by organizations in public places may be directed to 3142 2678.

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  • Flag Days and General Charitable Fund-raising Activities

    The Director of Social Welfare may issue Public Subscription Permits (PSPs) under the Summary Offences Ordinance (Cap. 228) for flag days and general charitable fund-raising activities conducted in public places.

    • For flag days, there are “territory-wide flag days” and “regional flag days”. On each regional flag day, three organisations will sell flags to solicit donations concurrently, one each on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and in the New Territories.
    • The allocation of flag days is an annual exercise conducted by SWD upon the advice of the Lotteries Fund Advisory Committee. Invitation for application for flag days in the coming financial year will normally be advertised in newspapers and announced in SWD's website in April or May of each year and closed after a month. The completed application form together with all the required document should reach SWD by the closing date of application.
    • The applicant organisation must be a charitable institution or trust of a public character exempt from tax under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap 112), and it must have organised charitable activities in each of the past three years, after it was registered for tax exemption, by the closing date of flag day application. The applicant organisation should also have the ability to organise a flag sale effectively. Applications from charitable organisations which are associated with commercial organisations would be considered ineligible for the flag day allocation exercise. Closely-related organisations are not allowed to apply for flag day separately in the same exercise to ensure fair chances among all applicant organisations.
    • Notable examples of general charitable fund-raising activities include the setting up of donation boxes, door-to-door solicitation in public housing estates managed by the Housing Authority, charity rides in taxis/minibuses, charity sale of badges, tokens or similar articles, etc. Souvenir items, mostly bearing the logo or name of the fund-raising organisation or the fund-raising activity, are usually regarded as “badges, tokens or similar articles”.
    • Charitable organisations may submit applications for PSPs for holding general charitable fund-raising activities in public places throughout the year. Nonetheless, the applicant organisation shall still meet the established criteria for a PSP for organising such activities in public places, for instance, be in possession of a valid registration in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622), the Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151), etc., or being a charitable institution or trust of a public character exempt from tax under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112). The applicant organisation and/or the beneficiary organisation(s) (if applicable) must have at least three years’ track record of charitable activities from its registration for tax exemption under Section 88 of Cap. 112. In addition, the Director of Social Welfare must be satisfied that the applicant organisation and/or the beneficiary organisation(s) (if applicable) is/are suitable for organising the fund-raising activities under the application, taking into consideration the integrity, management capability, track record of the previous charitable activities, etc. 
    • The completed PSP application form, together with all of the required documents, should reach SWD for vetting at least four weeks (if the activity is not held on government land administered by the Lands Department) or at least ten weeks (if the activity is held partly or wholly on government land administered by the Lands Department) before the commencement of the proposed fund-raising activity.
    • For enquiries, please visit the website of SWD or contact the department’s hotline at 2343 2255.

    More about Public Subscription Permit

  • Non-charitable Fund-raising Activities

    Fund-raising activities for any other non-charitable purposes in public places are covered by the Public Fund-raising Permit for Non-charitable Purposes issued by the Secretary for Home Affairs under the Summary Offences Ordinance (Cap. 228).

    • Administrative guidelines and licensing conditions for the issue of the concerned permits have been uploaded onto the website of HAD. The guidelines cover the factors that would be considered by the Secretary for Home Affairs and the conditions normally to be imposed in considering the application of the permit. Applicants should submit the completed application form for the permit to Division III of HAD (30/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road) at least four weeks before the date of the fund-raising activity for vetting and approval.
    • For enquiries, please visit the website of HAD or call 2835 1492.

    More about Public Fund-raising Permit for Non-charitable Purposes

     

  • Fund-raising activities involving the sale of goods in public places

    Fund-raising activities involving on-street selling are covered by the temporary hawker licence (THL) issued by the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene pursuant to the Hawker Regulation (Cap. 132AI).

    • It is necessary to apply for a THL from FEHD before setting up any booth in public places to sell goods (no matter they bear the name or logo of the organisation or fund-raising activity or not) for raising funds. However, if a charitable institution of a public character which is exempt from tax has already been issued with a PSP by SWD to organise fund-raising activities involving on-street selling, it may apply from FEHD for a waiver from obtaining a THL. FEHD will only consider THL applications for fund-raising activities involving the sale of goods which are non-commercial and non-profit-making in nature. Therefore, only applications from the following organisations will be considered:
      • organisations with a tax-exempt status recognised by the Inland Revenue Department under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112);
      • non-charitable organisations incorporated/registered under the laws of Hong Kong (e.g. companies incorporated under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622));
      • societies registered under the Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151); or
      • trade unions registered under the Trade Unions Ordinance (Cap. 332).
    • The application for THL should be submitted to FEHD at least 12 working days (working days exclude Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays) (but not more than two months) before the start of the fund-raising activities that involve the sale of goods.
    • Save with the special permission of the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene, the total number of THLs granted to each fund-raising organisation in 12 months should not exceed 20. Among them, no more than two licences should be granted for selling goods in the same district and no more than four licences should be granted for selling goods at hawker black spots.
    • The maximum licence period is five days in any two consecutive weeks.
    • For enquiries, please visit the website of FEHD or call 2868 0000.

    More about Temporary Hawker Licence

  • Lottery Fund-raising Activities

    In accordance with the Gambling Ordinance (Cap. 148), the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA) of HAD issues lottery licence to charitable institutions or non-profit-making organisations to conduct lottery ticket sales to raise fund for supporting charitable activities or meeting the organisation’s operating expenses. 

    • The applicant organisation must be a bona fide non-profit-making organisation registered in Hong Kong. Even if the applicant organisation is not a charitable institution or trust of a public character that is exempt from tax under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112), it may still organise lottery events for the benefit of such charitable organisations, as long as the applicant organisation can provide the acknowledgement/consent letter of the charitable organisations and an approval letter certifying tax exemption status of the charitable organisations under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.
    • Funds raised from lottery event are to be used to meet the organisation’s operating expenses or for donations to local registered charities, or both. In general, organisations are permitted to apply for only one Lottery Licence every 12 months.
    • Applicant organisations are required to submit the duly completed application form and supporting documents [for details, please refer to Appendix I of the ‘Reference Guide on Organisation of Lottery Activities’ at OLA’s Homepage through the below link]. Upon receipt of the properly completed application forms and supporting documents, it normally takes 10 working days for OLA to process the application (working days exclude Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays). The time taken for the applicant organisation to provide additional information and/or clarifications is not counted towards these 10 working days. In the circumstances, the applicant organisation is advised to apply for a licence at least three calendar weeks in advance and allow sufficient time for printing lottery tickets.
    • If the licensee wishes to sell lottery tickets on public streets, he or she must seek separate written permission of HAD to avoid clashes with other fund-raising activities or obstructing pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Applicant may apply for selling lottery tickets on public streets as early as your application for lottery licence, and OLA will commence vetting the two applications in parallel. OLA will further proceed with consulting the relevant government departments about the on-street selling upon the issue of lottery licence. The consultation will take at least 13 working days (working days exclude Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays) or about three calendar weeks.
    • For enquiries, please refer to the website of OLA or call 2117 3916/2117 3798.

    More about Lottery Licence

Approved Charitable Fund-raising Activities

Approved Charitable Fund-raising Activities

Duration 3:57
Last review date: August 2018
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