Imagine if every visitor to the Lake District and Cumbria were to give just £1 towards looking after this special place, we would have around £15million to spend each year on conservation, environment, community, heritage and more.
'Visitor Payback' is a scheme which we set up with our business members to provide a way for our visitors to make this small contribution.
What is visitor payback?
Visitor Payback is the process of asking visitors to voluntarily support conservation by donating a very small amount of money via their bill or fees.
How does Nurture raise money through visitor payback?
Firstly we recruit tourism related businesses to become members of Nurture Lakeland. These businesses are our mechanism for gaining funds via Visitor Payback.
Our membership is made up of a large number of hotels and guest houses of all sizes, caravan parks, holiday cottage companies and a broad spread of tourism related businesses, such as design companies, transport companies and retailers.
Once businesses are members of Nurture, they pledge to raise money for a chosen conservation project. We help the business to choose an appropriate beneficiary for their fundraising.
"What fundraising techniques are used?"
Opt Out: One of the most successful and convenient methods that businesses use to fundraise is 'Opt out'. Businesses, typically hotels, add a small amount, usually just £1 to the customer's bill. The customer then has the option to 'opt out' of this payment, by crossing it off or un-ticking the box. The English Lakes Hotels group has to date raised a total of £81,000 as a result of a £1 opt out on customers' bills.
Match Funding: Some of our member businesses are also prepared to 'match fund' the monies raised by opt out, and some even double this.
Donations: We still put out collection boxes and although they don't bring in large amounts they still have their place. More successfully, we have recently started giving hotels donation envelopes which they put in guests rooms with their welcome pack.
Sponsored products: Some organisations have identified a product they can sell where either all or part of the revenue is passed on to Nurture Lakeland.
Benefits both ways: The Ullswater Steamer's ticket levy is a very good example of how Visitor Payback benefits everyone. A small 10p levy on the price of a ticket has to date brought in £20,000 for conservation work around the Ullswater Lake. This has been used to fund path repair work on the popular Howtown to Glenridding trail.
There is benefit both ways from this work; benefit to walkers, who have a well maintained path to walk on, benefit to Ullswater Steamers who receive good publicity for their support, and a great benefit to the conservation of the lakeshore of Ullswater itself.