How to Get Permission for Storefront Fundraising

It's not an unusual sight to see a table set up in front of a local grocery store or department store, where Girl Scouts have set up shop to sell cookies. Similarly, many other organizations take this approach to fundraising as well, taking advantage of the flow of traffic that goes in and out of the host store.

Storefront fundraising has many advantages; for one, your sales volunteers are in a very public place with lots of foot traffic, so sales will naturally be at a high level. Also, there's the advantage of safety.

Door-to-door sales are often discouraged these days because of the safety risk involved, especially if there are children doing the soliciting. Storefronts are also usually well-lit, and sometimes patrolled by security personnel.

However, permission must be secured ahead of time, and not all storefronts will allow it. Furthermore, some communities may even have local regulations against it, so check in with your city office ahead of time to see if it is allowed, and if it is, whether or not any special permits or licenses may be required.

You may well need to have a permit, although this is usually a simple matter. So long as your organization is a legitimate one, you can get a permit usually for a small fee and a simple application form. The store will also probably require you to sign a release of some sort, which will mean that your group takes full responsibility for any accidents or anything that may happen to your volunteers.

Always have your storefront table well organized and orderly, and remember that you're not only representing your own organization, but your store host as well. Be polite to their customers, keep your fundraising site neat and clean, and avoid getting too much of a crowd of volunteers at your table.

When one of your volunteers wants to take a lunch break, make sure they do so away from the fundraising table; nobody wants to see people having their lunch outside of a store.

Store Rules

If you do get permission from a store's manager to set up your fundraising in front, ask about their rules. If the store has allowed this in the past, they will probably have established a set of rules for you to follow. There will be a specific place for you to set up; you're not likely to be allowed to just set up shop wherever you want.

The store will want you to be out of the way, so foot traffic can flow as usual. At the same time, you want to have as much visibility as possible, so try to work within their restrictions to get the best spot you can. Near the front door but off to the side is perfect.

You will probably have to set up your own display, with your own table and chairs. You may also wish to create signs and banners, but also, the store will have rules governing that, so before you create that twenty-foot-tall poster, make sure they will allow you to display it.

Usually, there is lead time involved. The store may require you to ask up to 60 days ahead of time, and you will have to work according to their schedule.

Also, if you're planning anything out of the ordinary–such as music, performers, live animals, or anything like that, discuss these plans in detail with the store manager.

If the store manager walks in and unexpectedly sees a half dozen jugglers in front of his store, you're likely to be asked to leave right away. Some stores welcome performances of this type, because it attracts attention, but just make sure they know all the details ahead of time.

Lastly, aggressive fundraising is always discouraged. Loud hawking, shouting, or following customers will not be allowed, and you may lose your space as a result. Remember, the store's primary mission is to sell their own products, not yours–and if you have rude or aggressive people out front trying to solicit donations, the store is likely to lose some customers.

Be sure to take time to personally thank the store manager, and even any store employees and clerks that may have helped you out along the way. Besides just being polite, leaving a good impression on everybody involved will make it a lot easier for you to gain permission to do the same thing again next year.


  1. Sal Politi says:

    I called our local store here in Surprise Arizona and they told me to go to to apply for store front permission. Couldn’t find where to apply.
    Our organization ‘ Marine Corps League’ has done it before at the store here on Grand Ave. Can you guide me on how I do this?
    Thank you Sal Politi, Fundraising Chairman. or 623-556-2565
    Thanks for your help

    • Connie Kelly says:

      Can you tell me if you have found out anything? I have been around the world trying to get permission for the American Legion to hand out poppies. I can’t find anything.

  2. Natasa Kong says:

    Hi, my name is Natasa Kong. I have been selected to join Team Canada Dance and will be joining them to compete at the World Dance Championship in Germany this Nov. I am trying to raise funds for my trip which will cost approximately $4k. I was hoping to raise funds by selling Krispy Kreme and was hoping your great establishment would allow me use your storefront to do so for a weekend or two.

    Any help you may offer on this would be greatly appreciated. We look forward to your reply.

    Thanks again in advance,


    p/s apologies in advance if this is not the right venue for above request, but if you could kindly redirect, that would be much appreciated. Thanks!!

  3. Judy Dalrymple says:

    I would like to do a fundraiser out in front of your store 4 a cure for my Ms it’s called hsct I can provide the table and posters contain concerning what I’m doing and I would also provide water for people walking by

  4. Adrienne Jones says:

    Hi, My name is Adrienne Jones I am the fundraiser coordinator for the Tampa Ravens Youth Football and Cheer Organization. Today alone I’ve called several of yours to inquire on what I need to do too set up an Gift wrapping station in front of your store as a fundraiser for my organization. Each store manager that I spoke with sent me too this website but I am unable to find the the link to submit a request. Please HELP I’m fully aware of the holiday approaching fast so the stores that I would like to setup at is 2701 east Fletcher and 11110 Causeway Blvd. Thank YOU IN ADVANCE your help is greatly appreciated!

  5. Chad says:

    Can i get info on how to apply for store front fundraising for a non profit charity?

    • Grace Paddle says:

      hi my name is Grace Paddle and I’m only 11 years old. I want to do a fundraser in front of Walmart near me but i cant figure out how pleasee helpppp meee! the date is coming up soon!! plzzzzz thx!

  6. Andrea Young says:

    Hello my name is Andrea Young and I am trying to do a fundraiser for good cause of my own. I am trying to find out how to get store front or how to go about raising money for funnel cost? I don’t have many friends and not much money myself but please help me try to figure something out. Thank you

  7. Food for lifeinistry program says:

    Food for life ministry programs ,is a non profit organization , dedicating time and efforts to contribute to communities around the state of floruda and other states in usa ,the help provided by food for life ministry programs consist of,helping the homeless by providing them food and also , this program offers a drugs rehabilitation program at no cost ,and in times of mayor desasters this program has been there for helping to aliviate the situation by providing ,food goods and encouraging people to see things optimisticly .

  8. Marilyn pryear says:

    Hi my name is Marilyn Pryear like to setup in front of store fundraiser for youth ministry for Disney trip Fountain of Living Water non profit give me a date some time in November

  9. Audrey says:

    support our rams at Thurman Francis Arts Academy 221 Todd lane. We will be giving out popcorn and we need money for it! We plan to open our stand from October to next February. This will be at Publix, 661 President’s Place, Smyrna, TN. Please come support our rams!!!!!!

  10. Alexander Durham says:

    I just had the same problem, i called the 1800walmart corprate number and they were SUPER nice and SUPER helpful, they told me that there has been alot of changes in their policys in the past 2 years and that grants and storefront fundraising use to both be up to the discression of the store manager, but now the grants are only available through but the storefront fundraising is still all in the hands of the store manager, which has lead to alot of confusion on the store manager’s part of what they still have controll over. so i suggest that you call the 1800walmart number and talk to one of their people, so that when you go back into walmart you can say “I talked to corporate and …”
    I hope that this helps alot!!

  11. lilly williams says:

    so im lilly and me and my friends are setting up a cookie and lemonade stand
    this site was very helpful but, are we able to do all that if we are 9 and a half?????

  12. Debra Comeaux says:

    I live in dallas texas and I am in a ministry that provides food cloth & housing for those that are in need of assistance it is a non-profit organization which is called Voices of new life we are 501c3 we are not government funded so I am trying to find out how to go about getting permission to do fundraising on the outside of the walmarts in texas like the girl scout and the salvation army

  13. Ellie says:

    Hi, I’m trying to host a charity event of my own, I don’t have a “legitimate organization”. This is a fundraiser to earn community service hours for a service project. Please let me know if it would be possible to host and event like this in this situation. Thanks.

  14. Patricia Urso says:

    Please let me know what and where I can ask for permission to hold a nonprofit fund raiser for Alex’s Lemonade stand on Aug 9,2023 at the williamsburg va superstoreWe had it there last year but the manager says We have to get permission from Corporate.First.The rules have changed.Pls tell me how to secure permission for this year.I must register soon with the Alexa Lemonade foundation,I can’t vuntil I get permission from corporate.Is there a telephone number to do this.I have tried on line,can’t do it! Tks

  15. Brian Mcdaniel says:

    I need to take\ donations to get an attorney. I was a victim of a hit-and-run and I need shoulder replacement surgery. This person that hit me is the chief of police and used his position to get away with hitting me with his car and taking off. please allow me to take donations for my retainer for an attorney

  16. Brian Mcdaniel says:

    The chief of police is supposed to protect the people he is sworn to protect, not hit them with his car and take off, and then call the police jurisdiction it happened in and talk his way out of a felony hit-and-run causing serious injury. Please help me bring this corruption to light!!!

  17. Charles Derringer says:

    Hello Waltons, This is Charles Derringer (Director and Board Chair of Jesus Loves You Ministries, Inc. A public Charity operating in a large area of Seymour, Springfield, Branson, Reeds Spring, Crane, Branson West, Missouri. We try to stop Homelessness before it becomes a fact. By catching that straw that might break the back of Families who are doing the right thing but have come to the surprise illness, car breakdown, or other unexpected expense. We would like to possibly start a annual Fundraiser starting here and spreading across the United States Stores. It would be the same time window as Good Friday, and Easter are positioned each year. It would be called maybe Easter Baskets. Collected into Colorful Baskets with slots and locks hanging from pastel tripods as are the Salvation Army Buckets operated at Christmas every year. Could You please relay to Our Organization how We might work with Wal Mart in such an endeavor to prevent homelessness in Our communities. I did sign up with Spark Good but was taken to purchasing site afterward. Thank You

Speak Your Mind


I accept the Privacy Policy