The Canal & River Trust is a new charity that has been set up to care for 2,000 miles of historic waterways in England and Wales’, holding them in trust for the nation. Taking over from British Waterways and The Waterways Trust, we care for an incredible 200-year-old network of canals and rivers, as well as docks and reservoirs, along with museums, archives and the country’s third largest collection of protected historic buildings.
We're sure that you'll find the get involved pages on our website really helpful but, if you can't find the answer you've been looking for you might find the answer in these FAQs we've complied for you.
How can I donate to the Canal & River Trust?
You can donate online where you can make either a one off cash gift by credit or debit card, or set up a regular gift by Direct Debit and become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust.
You can also bring cash or cheques into any of our offices where you will be given a personal thank you and a receipt.
Or you can give our Supporter Care Team a call on 0303 040 4040 and make your gift over the phone.
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is a scheme by which registered charities, including the Canal & River Trust, can claim back the tax you have paid (through Income or Capital Gains tax) on the donation you make to us. This can increase the value of your gift by 25% at no extra cost to you.
To qualify for Gift Aid, what you pay in income tax or capital gains tax must at last equal the amount that we and any other charity or CASC to whom you donate will claim in the tax year. You can notify us if at any time you want to cancel your Gift Aid Declaration, change your name or home address or no longer pay sufficient tax on your income and / or capital gains. If you want to sign a Gift Aid Declaration now please click here.
How much of my donation contributes towards the cause?
100% - every penny of your donation will be spent directly to conserve, restore, enhance and educate people about the waterways. None of the money we receive through donations will go towards administration.
I have a boat and pay for my boat licence, does this automatically make me a Friend of the Trust?
We value the custom of all our boat licensees and recognise how important you are to the identity of our nation’s canals and rivers. The income generated by your licence fees is a huge part of what keeps the waterways running. However, in exchange for your boat licence fee you are receiving a service - to use the waterway network at your leisure. ‘Friends of the Canal & River Trust’ are giving a gift, in the form of a charitable donation paid monthly by Direct Debit, to help support our work. The benefits we offer to ‘Friends’ are to thank them for supporting us with a regular gift donation.
All of our boat licence customers are very welcome to also become ‘Friends of the Canal & River Trust’, which will entitle you to receive discounts and benefits associated with the scheme.
What is a Direct Debit and how does it work?
Direct Debits are a way to make regular payments from your bank account. It is a fast, simple and secure way for you to donate on a monthly, or annual basis. All organisations using the Direct Debit system are sponsored into the Scheme by their bank or building society. They are checked for integrity, sound financial standing and administrative capability before being permitted to offer Direct Debit to their customers, or in our case, supporters.
Is it better for me to donate to the Trust by Direct Debit?
Direct Debits are an easy, secure and convient way to donate on a regular basis to the Canal & River Trust, helping you to know that you are actively helping our work.
A Direct Debit is also a very cost effective way of giving. The resources needed to handle the administration side of the system is extremely low as the payment is transferred automatically on the date that is specified when the Direct Debit is set up.
The benefit to us is that we are able to plan for the future. Having a regular income stream from our Direct Debit donors’ means that we can plan ahead with confidence.
What if I would like to change the amount I give or cancel my Direct Debit?
With a Direct Debit you’re always in control, and it’s very easy to change the amount you give or cancel a Direct Debit. Our Supporter Care Team are fully trained to help you with all aspects of your Direct Debit and you can contact them by email or by telephone on 0303 040 4040.
Are there any other ways for me to donate?
Yes, there are and it’s easy. You can donate online using your credit or debit card or send your cheque or postal order to us at Canal & River Trust, First Floor North, Station House, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB.
You can also donate using your phone. For example, text TRUST to 70007 to give £3. You will be charged £3 plus one message at your standard network rate. The Canal & River trust will receive between £2.97 and £3 of your gift depending on your network provider. You can read our Text Donations Terms and Conditions for more information.
Why do you use face-to-face fundraising?
Face-to-face fundraising enables the Canal & River Trust to speak directly to members of the public and is a highly successful way of attracting new donors. The purpose of the conversation between the face-to-face fundraiser and the member of the public is twofold; it is a means of raising funds for our work and it also enables members of the public to engage us in conversation and ask questions about our work. In addition, it’s a great way to encourage a diverse range of supporters and increase the awareness of the work we do.
What are the benefits of face-to-face fundraising?
The benefits are many and varied. It is a visible form of fundraising which helps to increase awareness of the work that we do. Face-to-face fundraising means that we can meet new committed supporters who will give to the Canal & River Trust for years to come. Moreover, face-to-face fundraising has had a particular success targeting a younger generation of donors who respond better to this style of approach compared to other more traditional methods, such as direct mail.
Another benefit is that unlike direct mail or inserts, generally the recruitment of these donors is risk-free. We only pay for the donors we receive, instead of making a speculative spend in the hope that enough people will respond, making it highly cost effective.
Where do Canal & River Trust fundraise?
As one of the UK’s largest landowners, we are able to fundraise on sites that belong to us and at various events.
How will I know that the fundraiser is genuine?
You will be able to identify them as they may be working close to a Canal & River Trust gazebo (the gazebo will carry Canal & River Trust logos) and will also be wearing clothing carrying Canal & River Trust branding. As a legal requirement, fundraisers must also display a photo ID.
The fundraising agencies that we use supply us with a list of all of their fundraising staff. If you have concerns that some fundraising that you have seen may not be genuine, please contact our Supporter Care Team and they will be able to verify this for you.
Will I be able to give your fundraiser cash?
No. fundraisers will not ask for money or be able to take cash donations from you. Direct Debits are secure and ensure that your donations will go directly to the Canal & River Trust. The same rule applies to other Canal & River Trust employees who are out and about on the waterways. However, if you would like to make a cash donation you can do so by going into a Canal & River Trust office, where you will be given a receipt for your donation and a warm thank you from the member of staff that takes it from you! You can also donate online or send it to Canal & River Trust, First Floor North, Station House, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB.
Are my bank details secure if I give them to a fundraiser?
Yes, your details are secure. When a fundraiser asks a supporter for their bank details, they only ask for the sort code and the account number - the same information that appears on a cheque.
A Direct Debit can only be set up by, and for, a legitimate organisation. Direct Debit payments can’t be set up to an individual. Each legitimate organisation has a Direct Debit security code which is logged with all the banks. We have a 14 day period between setting up the Direct Debit and the first payment. This is to give the bank time to run all the required security checks which are in place to protect your bank account from fraudulent activities. When the Direct Debit instruction arrives at the bank from Canal & River Trust, they have to make sure that it is genuinely from us before they process it.
What if I want my donation to be refunded?
As a charity we rely on the generosity of our supporters to fund our vital work. If you have any questions about your giving, please contact our Supporter Care Team on 0303 040 4040 who can discuss your concerns and explain our Refund Policy.
How do you cover the costs of fundraising?’
Like all organisations we invest some of our income into fundraising, with the aim of generating additional income that we can invest into our waterways. Because we have made a commitment that 100% of all donations we receive will be spent entirely and directly on our charitable work, the costs of our fundraising are covered from our commercial income. By investing commercially earned income into fundraising we are confident of building a new, sustainable long-term income stream for the charity. We will publish full details of income and expenditure in our first annual review, due for publication Summer 2013.
I have another question about fundraising which has not been covered here
Please contact our Supporter Care Team by email or by telephone on 0303 040 4040.