A major survey is being launched across The Lake District to gauge opinion on a charitable donation scheme using contactless debit and credit card machines, in addition to the more traditional coin-slot collection boxes.
Along with its partners the Lake District National Park (LDNP) and Cumbria Tourism, the Lake District Foundation (LDF) is asking for views on whether such a system would be beneficial to its fundraising efforts.
The LDF raises money through donations before distributing to projects which care for local landscapes.
The idea is part of the ‘Rethinking Parks’ programme by NESTA, a global innovation foundation which supports new ideas to tackle 21st century challenges.
Sarah Swindley, Director of the LDF, says, “It’s really important that we hear from as many people as possible. We know that people love the Lake District and want to help us look after it. We also know that people are carrying less cash with them and we are keen to understand how new technology can help.”
The proposal is to help people who wish to donate money for local projects to do so – under no pressure; and even if they don’t have any coins on them.
The survey will also ask about people’s donor habits, the kind of projects they’d like to donate to and the kind of messages participants think should feature on the donation points themselves to maximise their intended effect.
Following the survey, the LDF hopes a test scheme may begin in the summer – hopes echoed by the Lake District National Park.
Liam McAleese, Head of Strategy and Partnerships for the LDNP, says, “We welcome the idea of helping our visitors donate more easily towards the National Park. New technology, such as contactless donations, will bring an exciting new option for the millions of people who enjoy the Lake District every year to put something back and help us keep this place special.”
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Together with the Lake District Foundation and Lake District National Park, we’re really excited to be part of this project exploring new fundraising territory by looking at how technology can make donating to worthy causes as simple as possible.
“When asking our visitors to part with their money, we understand the process needs to be quick, simple and convenient. We welcome all views on how best to embrace this technology and all our findings will be used in helping to form the next stage of how funds can be raised efficiently and securely, while respecting the locations of where this technology may be positioned.”
The survey was sent out to subscribers to Cumbria Tourism’s mailing lists in mid-November and is also available online here.
You can find out more here.