Champion Bowland (and its predecessor The Bowland Tourism Environment Fund) has been successful in securing grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Awards for All in the past, but its main income is based on donations and income raised by Bowland Experience Ltd.
HMRC has recognised Champion Bowland as a charity so taxpaying donors can provide an extra 25% by completing a Gift Aid declaration ( pdf)
Champion Bowland has raised money through the distribution of Forest of Bowland pin badges and continues to offer the collecting boxes for small cash donations to tourism operators.
Champion Bowland would like to expand the work with local visitor-oriented businesses to run 'Visitor Giving'. This is where the business invites its customers to include a donation with their payment for goods or services. This works best when the donation is linked with a specific project in the vicinity.
Here are some suggestions for you:-
- Suggest an optional donation added to the cost of a stay
- Or an optional donation on to the price of meal or a cup of tea
- If you lend out maps, guide books or binoculars ask for a small donation.
- Sell the Forest of Bowland Badges (see above)
- Organise a specific event to publicise your business and raise funds for Champion Bowland
For example, the Three Fishes Restaurant at Great Mitton (part of the Ribble Valley Inns group) invited their diners to contribute 20p each towards the Tramper for Hire project: to promote the Bowland Experience Tramper (a 4 wheel drive, off road mobility scooter) and also to improve and promote a number of Tramper Trails throughout the AONB.
Craig Bancroft and Peter Robinson present a big cheque for £8,500 to Trustee Ann Shaw for the Bowland Tramper Project, raised over a year by inviting diners to donate 20p each. (February 2012)
If you have any ideas for innovative visitor giving schemes, please let us know.