Fundraising for Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres: Tips and Ideas

Why Raising Funds for Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres is So Important

Wildlife rehabilitation centres play a significant role in protecting and rehabilitating Britain’s wildlife. As well as supporting animal welfare, centres frequently also help to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and scientific research. They can aid with public education and help to foster an increased appreciation of nature with the public.

However, wildlife rehabilitation centres require considerable financial support to run. Funds are needed to cover staff and volunteer wages and costs, and to run and maintain facilities. Cash is essential for medical supplies and veterinary services, as well for animal food and care. Initiatives like release programs and public outreach also cost money too. 

Fundraising is a vital source of income for wildlife rehabilitation centres, and effective fundraising can ensure they can run successfully.

Understanding Fundraising for Wildlife Rehabilitation

Wildlife rehabilitation centres face unique fundraising challenges, opportunities, and legal and ethical considerations.

Create Engaging Wildlife Rehabilitation Narratives

Storytelling is at the heart of effective fundraising. You need to craft narratives that interest and engage your potential supporters, that evoke emotion and a sense of urgency to convince them to donate. Fundraising stories should also clearly explain why funds are needed, what they’ll be spent on, and the effect they have.

Wildlife rehabilitation provides plenty of opportunities to craft engaging and emotional stories. Fundraising narratives that focus on the rescue and rehabilitation of individual animals can be especially effective. They can encourage potential donors to empathise with a specific animal and they can clearly demonstrate how funds are used to return animals to full health. You can document an animal’s journey from injury to recovery, describing the challenges they faced and the care they received. 

Be Aware of the Legal and Ethical Considerations of Wildlife Fundraising

When it comes to fundraising and producing promotional materials featuring wildlife and animals, you’ll need to pay close attention to the legal and ethical implications of your activities. 

The British Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is an excellent first stop for resources and support for matters related to wildlife rehabilitation, while GOV.UK gives plenty of advice when it comes to fundraising.  

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has provided a guide on how to feature animals in promotional materials in a responsible fashion with advice on how to minimise the potential for offence and complaints. 

Effective Fundraising Strategies for Wildlife Rehabilitation

After crafting appealing and emotional fundraising narratives, you need to decide on which fundraising strategies you’ll employ to raise donations. For inspiration, consider: 

Membership and Adoption Schemes

Adoption schemes can be appealing for donors, where supporters become members who contribute regular payments to sponsor particular animals or species. This approach will require you to produce monthly updates on the animals for your donors, including reports, stories, images and videos.

Crowdfunding Campaigns for Specific Wildlife Rehabilitation Projects

Crowdfunding platforms, like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, provide easy-to-use and effective tools for fundraising, and offer a convenient way for supporters to donate. Crowdfunding is typically geared towards raising funds for specific projects, and for supporters making one-off donations. Whilst adoption schemes can help you raise regular payments, crowdfunding may be more appropriate for raising money for notable investments, such as funding the purchase of expensive pieces of equipment or upgrades to your facilities.

Using easyfundraising to Raise Regular Funds

Another option to raise continuous funds for your wildlife rehabilitation centre is to use easyfundraising. 

With easyfundraising, supporters can raise money for your cause as they shop online. We have over 7,500 partner retailers, who will donate a portion of what people spend with them to charity. You can register your fundraising efforts with us as one of our charitable causes and then encourage your supporters to donate to your cause by joining easyfundraising and shopping online. 

Organising Successful Fundraising Events for your Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

Fundraising events can be an effective way to generate significant donations and/or sign-ups for regular donations. Consider:

Wildlife Education and Awareness Events

Wildlife is of great interest to a lot of people, and members of the public will often appreciate opportunities to engage with and learn more about the natural world. You can capitalise on this by hosting events that raise awareness about wildlife. If you give talks and demonstrations, it will allow people to see and experience your work.

You can take inspiration from popular talks and content online, and from relevant TV shows like the BBC’s Springwatch, Autumnwatch, and Winterwatch series.

Fundraising Galas or Auctions

Occasions like galas and auctions can be high-cost and large-scale events, but if executed successfully they can generate substantial funds. 

As well as securing a suitable venue, planning effectively, engaging sponsors and marketing the event, you need to choose an appealing and relevant theme for your event. You could choose a wildlife theme based on natural habitats like a rainforest or a savannah safari. You can focus on specific species. Or you can choose broader concepts, like parenting in nature or beauty in nature.

Building Community and Business Partnerships

Forging partnerships with businesses, schools, and other community groups can open up new audiences and new opportunities. It can also dramatically increase your fundraising earnings.

Partnering with Local Businesses

Local businesses can offer considerable resources to help support your fundraiser. And in turn, businesses can benefit from the increased awareness and positive public relations that can come from supporting wildlife and the local community. 

To build successful partnerships with local businesses you need to develop your value proposition (the specifics of how a partnership with you will benefit them). You’ll need to offer visible opportunities for them to become involved in fundraising efforts and provide incentives like sales sharing. And finally, you’ll need to recognise and celebrate successful examples of partnerships. 

Engaging Community Groups and Schools

Working with local schools and community groups, like clubs, churches, and sports teams can be an effective way to raise awareness of your fundraising efforts with broader audiences. 

You can develop opportunities for groups and schools to become involved by creating fundraising initiatives especially geared towards them. Examples could include team fundraising contests for sports groups, events that tie into the interests of clubs, educational talks and field trips for schools, or volunteering opportunities for groups.

Impactful Fundraising for Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres

More effective fundraising can better help your wildlife rehabilitation centre perform its daily activities. You can raise money for new investments, and better protection and care for wildlife in your region. But to do so, you need to put in the hard work developing both on-going and one-off fundraising initiatives. By engaging with local schools, businesses and other community groups you can expand your influence, develop new fundraising opportunities and maximise your income from donations.

easyfundraising can also help you offer an alternative, unique and cost-effective way for your supporters to donate to your wildlife rehabilitation centre.