Launch of contactless Lake District donation points signifies “pioneering approach to fundraising”

Cumbria Tourism, the Lake District Foundation and the Lake District National Park are working in partnership to embrace new technology to make it easier for visitors to donate money to worthy causes.

Described as a “pioneering approach” to help care for the national park, three contactless debit and credit card donation terminals are being used as a convenient alternative to the more traditional coin-slot collection boxes to raise money for the LDF’s grant schemes.

To date, the Lake District Foundation has generated more than £2.5million through its innovative Visitor Giving scheme for local conservation projects. Three contactless donation boxes are operational at the Bowness Bay and Keswick Tourist Information Centres, as well as at the beginning of the Ullswater Way route.

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.

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.

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.”

The LDF currently works with more than 200 businesses across Cumbria, all of whom are actively fundraising for the charity. Experienced LDF staff and volunteers are on hand to help businesses to achieve their fundraising goals, and their supporters report the following business benefits:

  • Increased staff engagement and retention
  • Authentic and meaningful stories to share with your customers
  • Reach your CSR goals
  • Meet like-minded businesses
  • Playing a part in the conservation of our special destination

… to name but a few!

To find out more visit the LDF website HERE:  or get in touch via or call 01539 822622.

You can find out more about the Lake District Foundation’s involvement in the ‘Rethinking Parks’ project HERE.

The Lake District Foundation a charity registered in England and Wales with the charity number 1174201, and is registered with the Fundraising Regulator.

For further information

Contact The Lake District Foundation on
01539 822622 or