A mission to embrace new technology to make it easier for visitors to donate money to worthy causes is being described as a “pioneering approach” to help care for the national park.
With the support of Cumbria Tourism and The Lake District National Park, The Lake District Foundation (LDF), is rolling-out its first contactless debit and credit card donation terminals as a convenient alternative to the more traditional coin-slot collection boxes.
Three contactless donation boxes will be operational in time for the Easter weekend, at the Bowness Bay and Keswick Tourist Information Centres, as well as at the beginning of the Ullswater Way route at Ullswater Steamers in Glenridding.
The LDF raises money through donations from the public and businesses before distributing grants to projects which care for local landscapes. With the support of its partners the Lake District National Park (LDNP) and Cumbria Tourism, the development is part of the ‘Rethinking Parks’ programme by NESTA, a global innovation foundation which supports new ideas to tackle 21st century challenges and follows a survey with members of the public last year.
Sarah Swindley, Director of the LDF, says, “We had great feedback from last year’s survey and it’s clearer to us than ever that people who love the Lake District want to help us look after it. People are generally carrying less cash with them than they used to, so we’re really excited to be able to offer this pioneering approach to fundraising to people who would like to support our work”.
Each machine not only makes donating possible with a simple swipe of a credit or debit card, but also features prominent new messaging about how fundraising can help, in order to maximise each machine’s intended effect.
Liam McAleese, Head of Strategy and Partnerships for the Lake District National Park, says, “Visitor giving is a critical component for how the Lake District Foundation is able to fund so many worthy projects to help ensure the national park remains a beautiful place for us all to enjoy. Existing funding streams go a long way, but just aren’t enough on their own, so our visitors play a huge role in helping to preserve the beauty that surrounds them during every visit. We therefore strongly welcome this technology which will help our visitors donate more easily towards the wellbeing of the National Park.”
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “We want to see a step-change in visitor giving by inspiring them to donate quickly and easily if they wish to do so, using the Rethinking Parks project as a pilot. Together with the Lake District Foundation and Lake District National Park, we’re really excited to be part of this project. It’s an innovative new option for the millions of people who enjoy the Lake District and to the best of my knowledge this is the first national park to embrace it fully.”
Sarah Swindley added, “When asking our visitors to part with their money, we understand the process needs to be quick, simple and convenient. We’d like to thank everyone who gave us their views on this project and those findings will continue to be used for the next phase of the project. We hope to put this this technology ‘on tour’ around other parts of the Lake District so visitors to all areas have the opportunity to help the work of the Lake District Foundation. It only takes a small donation to make a big difference.”
You can find out more about the Lake District Foundation’s involvement in the ‘Rethinking Parks’ project here.