Frequently asked questions

IWM membership is an opportunity to support IWM, a charity with a mission to develop and communicate a deeper understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war.

IWM membership will connect you to the stories that matter most – personal accounts of those impacted by war and conflict from 1914 through to present day. By being a member, you are providing the vital financial and moral support needed to help protect and share these life-changing experiences for generations to come.

You can join IWM membership in branch, over the phone or online by visiting: iwm.org.uk/membership.

There are four main IWM membership types:

  • Individual Adult
  • Joint Adult
  • One Adult Family (with up to 6 children)*
  • Two Adult Family (with up to 6 children)*

*IWM Family Membership allows you to bring up to 6 children with you to our branches. You needn’t name all 6 children on your membership, to give you the flexibility that reflects your family, but please do include the names and details of the children you do want to be registered at the point of joining.

As well as supporting an important charitable cause that really matters, we want you to feel connected to our work and, in doing so, have a high-quality experience with us for many years to come. The following benefits are currently available to you as a valued member, by way of a thank you for your support and to strengthen your experience with us. Please see our membership terms and conditions for more information about member benefits.

Member Welcome Event

Orientation visit and special tour available for new members at each of our five museums to introduce you to the many things our museums offer you as a member. You can book onto these monthly 1 hr events by going to https://tickets.iwm.org.uk/ui/events/ and by using a promotional code which will be issued to you once you have joined.

Welcome Pack

Includes a member’s handbook, packed with information on how to get the most out of your membership and visits to our museums. The pack also includes a car sticker so you can proudly show your support in the community

Free entry*

We have five branches, three of which charge an admission fee, ranging from £20-25 for an individual adult day admission ticket. Which means, based on our minimum joining amount, you only need visit 2-3 times and you have already covered the cost of your annual membership.

Members can book advanced admission tickets by going to our website:  https://tickets.iwm.org.uk/ui/events/ and using a promotional code which will be issued to you once you have joined.

Fast track queues

As a member, you can skip the queues and gain priority access to IWM Duxford, HMS Belfast & Churchill War Rooms on normal admission days. Please note that currently we are asking all members to book their admission tickets in advance of their visit to ensure we can adhere to social distancing.

10% off IWM Duxford Air Show tickets

All members enjoy 10% discount on Air Show tickets. Members can book Air Show tickets by going to our website: https://tickets.iwm.org.uk/ui/events/ and using a promotional code which is issued to members upon joining.

Members area at IWM Duxford Air Shows

Special viewing area for members along with designated toilet facilities.

10%* discount in IWM shops

All members enjoy 10% discount at IWM shops (online and in branch).

*Certain exclusions apply. Please see our membership terms and conditions.

Priority booking on selected events & exhibitions

Be the first to learn about and book selected IWM events. Members can book tickets for events by going to our website: https://tickets.iwm.org.uk/ui/events/ and using a promotional code which will be issued to you once you have joined.

Monthly members eNews & updates (digital only)

Inspirational stories and information about IWM collections and upcoming events and exhibitions across all five museums

Members Newsletter (digital or in print)

A members newsletter (up to a maximum of 2 per year) full of information on how your support as a member is having a positive impact on the work of IWM delivered to your inbox or letterbox. This will also include details about IWM collections, stories and events to help keep you connected.

Free entry to IWM Duxford Flying Days

IWM Duxford hold regular Flying Days throughout the year which members gain free admission to as part of your free admission.

*free entry does not apply on IWM Duxford Air Show days

As a charity, we rely on the support of our members and so there is no upper limit on how much you can give to join and support IWM. We want you to support IWM at a level you feel comfortable with, whilst allowing us to cover the cost of managing your membership and the benefits you receive. We therefore do have a minimum joining amount (set out below), but you can choose to give as much as you like above this. The more you give, the more you can help us tell the stories that deserve to be heard.
 

Membership Type             Minimum – annual            Minimum – monthly**

Individual Adult                     £60                                              £5

Joint Adult                                £90                                             £7.50

One Adult Family*                £72                                              £6

Two Adult Family*                £114                                           £9.50
 

*up to 6 children aged between 5 and 15 (under 5s go free)

** you can spread the cost of your annual membership in 12 instalments – please see our terms and conditions for more information.

Give more and help tell the stories that deserve to be heard

The more you give through your membership, the more IWM can achieve with your support so please do not be restricted by these levels, they are just indicative – you can give what you want! (above the minimum).

Membership Type                                     Giving Level

Individual Adult       £60/£5                £66/£5.50          £72/£6           £84/£7                  £120/£10

Joint Adult                 £90/£7.50          £102/£8.50       £120/10         £156/£13            £180/£15

One Adult Family    £72/£6                £78/£6.50          £84/£7           £96/£8                  £132/£11

Two Adult Family    £114/£9.50       £132/£11          £144/£12       £162/£13.50       £204/£17

Yes! If you are currently a UK Tax payer and choose to Gift Aid your membership this can be worth an additional 25% of income to IWM. This means all of the giving levels outlined above would be worth an extra 25%, at no extra cost to you. By agreeing to gift aid your membership, we can reclaim the tax on your membership subscriptions and donations direct from HMRC.

You must be a UK taxpayer to participate in the Gift Aid scheme. You need to pay enough Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax in each tax year to cover the Gift Aid claimed on all your donations to charity otherwise you are responsible to pay any difference.

The following individuals can make Gift Aid donations:

  • All individuals who are resident in the UK
  • Individuals who are Crown servants or members of the UK armed forces serving overseas
  • Other non-resident individuals, provided they have income or capital gains to UK tax at least equal to the gross amount of the donation (that is, the actual donation made plus the basic rate Income Tax treated as deducted from that donation)

The best way to check is to look at any documents relating to money paid to you. Statements from savings/bank accounts will normally show if tax has been deducted and also show the amount.

You will pay tax on things like:

  • Money earned from employment, including profits made from self-employment
  • Most pensions, including some state pensions
  • If you receive taxable state benefits

If you are retired and no longer paying any tax, then you should not make a Gift Aid declaration. However, if you have savings and pay Income or Capital Gains Tax of an equal or higher amount than we are trying to claim (currently 25% of the amount of your total donations under Gift Aid) then it’s ok. An easy way to check, is to have a look at your P60 which you will receive yearly that shows any tax deductions.

Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the profit when you sell something that’s increased in value, as declared by yourself on your tax return. This is something you or a financial advisor should be aware of.

 

If you have a Joint or Family IWM membership and your partner pays tax then they can tick the Gift Aid box, this is provided that the membership is paid for from either a joint account or solely by the partner eligible for Gift Aid. Simply put, the partner eligible for Gift Aid is responsible for the payment.

Yes! There isn’t a minimum amount we can claim on. We can reclaim 25p in every pound. This equates to £15 of additional income for an Individual Adult £60 membership per year. As a charity, the decision to Gift Aid your membership would provide important additional financial support.

If you no longer pay sufficient UK Income or Capital Gains tax, please get in touch with us and we will stop claiming Gift Aid on your membership. You can get in touch via email [email protected],uk or telephone 0207 416 5000.

Usually yes – as long as the tax claims from all of them added together do not exceed the amount of tax you pay in a year. If you are paying less tax that the required amount then you can stop a declaration, this will ensure the Gift Aid amount does not surpass the amount of tax you are paying.

Not unless we ask you, donations and membership subscriptions are covered with the one declaration.

If you are a standard rate taxpayer and do not receive a tax return from HM Revenue & Customs then you do not need to inform HMRC.

You only need to declare the information if you do receive a tax return.

As of 5th April 2011, you can no longer donate your tax repayment directly to IWM using your tax return. However, you are still able to donate in the normal way to IWM upon receiving your tax refund.

You only need to visit 2-3 times in the year and your membership has already paid for itself. Remember that membership gives you free unlimited admission all year but also includes many other benefits including 10% off IWM shop (in-branch and online) and 10% off Air Show tickets, as well as priority booking on selected events and much more!

Unfortunately, there is no concession price for membership. Joining as an IWM member allows you to give what you feel most comfortable with. We hope you agree that given our cause, need and impact as a charity, that whatever level you choose to give (including the minimum joining amount) represents excellent value for money. The option to join by monthly direct debit and spread the cost of your annual membership across 12 months also helps our members to join us in a more manageable way. Please also see “Value for Money” above to compare direct savings on admission prices to our branches alone.

Not at the moment. Based on audience research we have not identified a need for an individual junior membership at this stage. However, we will continue to seek feedback as we develop our membership offer. We are keen to encourage families to learn together inter-generationally and feel that our family membership options support this. Our family membership allows up to 6 children on each membership from different households, as long as they are accompanied by the named adult(s) on those family memberships, which we hope will accommodate the diverse needs of families. Our two family membership types allows grandparents to bring grandchildren and as the names of all the children on either family membership do not need to all be captured on the membership, we hope this will meet the needs of carers as well as grandparents and parents.

Children need to be aged between 5-15 at the point of joining. If the named child on your membership turns 16 during the membership they can continue to be named on your family membership and enjoy the benefits of the membership for the remainder of the year. When you come to renew, you can then adjust your family membership details at that point. Please remember that our family memberships allow up to 6 children, not all need to be named so if you want to continue with your family membership and add or bring additional children (up to 6) to our charging museums free of charge please do.

You can adjust your family membership details at this point by contacting us at [email protected] Please remember that our family memberships allow up to 6 children, not all need to be named so if you want to continue with your family membership and add on or bring additional children (up to 6) to our charging museums free of charge you can.

Yes! Philanthropic support is crucial to enable us to deliver our work. In addition to membership, we offer the following giving opportunities that will bring you even closer to IWM:

IWM Duxford and HMS Belfast Giving Circles

Our Circle supporters play a crucial role in helping us transform these two IWM venues into dynamic and interactive sites for future visitors. Our ambitions for these venues match the importance of their unique collections. Circle support starts at £20k/p.a. and we will work with you to develop a bespoke and tailored package of benefits that will immerse you in your venue of interest - if you are interested in joining this very special family of IWM supporters please contact Director of Development Andrew Higgins at [email protected]

IWM Patrons

As an IWM patron you will join a community of supporters who play an invaluable role in driving forward the Imperial War Museums vision of creating a more informed, educated and socially-engaged society. Patrons are invited to get closer to IWM through a frequent and varied events programme. This includes curator-led talks, out of hours private views, behind the scenes tours of historical sites, as well as our lectures that enable Patrons to deepen their knowledge of social history and cultural affairs. Patron support starts at £1,250 p.a. to learn more contact Director of Development Andrew Higgins at [email protected]

Our Membership and Customer Services Teams are ready to help you with your enquiries and can be reached via [email protected] or by phone on 0207 416 5000.

Yes, you can join online via our website. All members will automatically receive an e-membership card to download as a pass in your phone wallet (Apple or Google Android) allowing access to your membership benefits straightaway. You will also receive an email where you can print your e-membership card. You can also choose to receive a physical card via the post along with your membership welcome pack. Likewise, you can also choose never to have a physical card and only ever have an e-card on your phone.

Whilst our physical membership cards are made of a biodegradable material, choosing only an e-card will help the environment further and will help keep costs down for IWM, meaning more money can be invested in our collections. You may also prefer the convenience of always having your e-membership card on your phone too.

When you join IWM membership or purchase a gift membership, you will be asked to agree to a set of terms and conditions which details how your personal information will be used. To find out more about how we keep your personal data safe, please see our privacy policy. 

Direct Debit

Yes, we actively encourage it, as it will save us money in administration costs, meaning more can go into delivering IWMs mission and work. You can choose to pay either annually or monthly. Your membership is for the year, whether you choose monthly or annual payments, but we recognise having the choice to spread the cost across the year is an option many members will appreciate.

Once you have signed up on direct debit you don’t need to do anything – you can get on with enjoying your membership benefits and leave the rest to us. We will continue to collect your monthly or annual payment by Direct Debit unless you tell us otherwise, and your annual membership will automatically renew. We will write to you in the month prior to the end of your current yearly membership to advise you of the anniversary of your membership too.

When you choose to pay via a direct debit in monthly instalments you are agreeing to take out IWM Membership for one year. If you fail to pay the instalment due for your membership or cancel your Direct Debit part way through the 12 month membership period you will be required to pay all instalments due for the remainder of the 12 month period.

On cancellation, we may contact you to give you the opportunity to either pay that instalment or pay all instalments due for the remainder of your membership year, by alternative means. If you then fail to pay the relevant amount due by the subsequent required dates, we will contact you again to ask you to pay all instalments due for the remainder of your membership year. Failure to make any further payments will result in your membership being cancelled. Please note that cancellation of your membership will not apply if your failure to pay is due to bank error or IWM error. If a Direct Debit is unpaid for any other reason, the unpaid Direct Debit will be re-presented and the authority from you, as the payer, to re-present is implicit in the Direct Debit Instruction you signed. As standard practice we will cancel a Direct Debit if it has been returned as unpaid after two consecutive attempts.

Please also note, if you have signed a Gift Aid declaration and are taking part in the Gift Aid scheme and haven’t completed a full year of membership with IWM, we cannot claim the 25% gift aid on your membership on this year’s membership. Please also be aware there may be tax implications for you too. Please see our terms and conditions for more information.

If you would like to change your membership to a different membership type of a higher value please contact us at [email protected] and we will be able to organise this for you. However, if you wish to change the amount you pay (above the minimum) for your membership without changing your membership type, you will be able to do this on renewal.

Firstly, thank you for choosing to renew and continuing to support IWM! If you originally joined by Direct Debit, you don’t have to do anything, your annual membership will automatically renew. We will write to you in the month prior to the end of your current yearly membership to advise you of this too.

 

If you joined under the old non-Direct Debit scheme, are an international member and/or joined last time by debit or credit card you will receive an email from us with a unique link – by clicking on this it will take you to an online page to renew. We actively encourage those who can to renew by Direct Debit. Please see Direct Debit FAQ above.

If you have any questions or problems renewing or did not receive an email with your unique link on, please contact us at [email protected] or phone 0207 416 5000.

Of course! If you are visiting the UK and planning to visit any of our five museums, you can join in-branch and will receive your welcome pack and an e-membership card straight away. If you are planning your visit to the UK and want to join ahead of your visit, you can join online here at iwm.org.uk/membership and you will also receive an e-membership card immediately which will mean you can access your benefits straightaway. Unfortunately, you cannot join by Direct Debit or Gift Aid your membership if you are not resident in the UK, do not pay tax in the UK or do not have a UK bank account but you can pay by debit or credit card. About 10% of our members are not resident in the UK and we very much welcome and value your support. And remember, you will continue to get regular eNews direct to your inbox with stories and updates on our collections – everything you need to stay connected to our cause, as well as seeing how your support as a member is helping to keep telling the stories that deserve to be heard.

If you wish to take out membership (excluding Gift Membership) on the day of your visit to an IWM charging branch after purchasing an admission ticket to that IWM charging branch for that day, we can refund you your admission ticket(s) IF a voluntary donation was not added to the original admission tickets. HMRC will not allow the refund of donations. Joining members will be required to sign up to membership either by direct debit or one-off card payment on that day, and the refund will be processed once membership payment has been processed. This could take up to a maximum of 28 days to process.  An application for a refund on admission in lieu of taking out membership can only be done on the same day of the visit and is not permitted after this day. This is dependent on the following conditions:

  • You have a valid ticket purchased for that day directly through IWM and not through a third-party agent, and payment did not include tokens or vouchers from a third party agents;
  • You are purchasing membership at the same branch and on the same day as your original admissions ticket was valid;
  • Your original admission would have been one of the benefits associated with the membership package you have purchased.

Yes, gift membership is available to purchase online, over the phone and in all our IWM shops (in our branches). You cannot pay monthly for gift memberships, and unfortunately at the moment you cannot take out an annual Direct Debit, but you can pay by debit or credit card for the annual value you choose.

For any other gift membership questions, please see our dedicated gift membership FAQ’s by visiting iwm.org.uk/gift-membership.

Yes, if the name of the recipient of the gift membership needs to be amended please contact us on [email protected] or phone 0207 416 5000.

For any other gift membership questions, please see our dedicated gift membership FAQ’s by visiting iwm.org.uk/gift-membership.         

The easiest way to redeem your gift voucher is by visiting: www.iwm.org.uk/membership/gift/redeem. You will need to enter the voucher code which can either be found in the top left box of your gift voucher, or if the voucher was purchased before the 28th January 2021, the voucher code can be found on the bottom of your voucher and will start with an ‘S’ or ‘P’.

You can also redeem your gift voucher over the phone by calling 0207 416 5000 or by visiting us in branch. Please note that you will need to book an advanced admission ticket if you wish to visit our museums.

Yes, of course. All members can bring a carer with them to our branches and if, as a member you have purchased Air Show tickets, a carer can accompany you to the Air Show as well.

If you have any more questions about accessibility and your visit, please do not hesitate in contacting us on [email protected] or phone 0207 416 5000.

If you have any further questions about membership please contact the membership team by email [email protected]