Monday, 30 January 2017

Why Mix Fundraising with Pleasure!

By Mark Kingston Jones

Taking our events one step further...

We have always been able to offer you a fun and rewarding way to develop and exercise your team’s  
dynamic with a tangible outcome. Now we want to take it to a whole new level of employee satisfaction by creating a truly holistic experience. Impossible we hear you cry, what could beat creating items for incredible animals like monkeys, tapirs and tigers? How about tying this incredible team experience to a chance to make a difference for the animals you are working with in a much wider context?

The idea came about through our first booking with List of Life Events from a company that wanted a team building event with real meaning, so they requested an activity which could be linked to a wider fundraising context. We absolutely loved this idea and due to our network of contacts with animal charities we were able to present them with three proposals, over two of the sites we work with straight away. Now we want to offer this option to any other clients looking for a similar opportunity and are developing a portfolio of ideas…

So why would you choose this option for your team? Well first and foremost it is an excellent way to really define your event, as you take what you do on the day and learn about its place in the wider context. Take that excitement from the outcome and apply that back in the workplace by raising funds to take what you have done and that sense of satisfaction exponentially further. Increasing that sense of achievement and team effort and making it worth so much more as we feed back to you on the benefits of your fundraising efforts. It is also a great way of meeting CSR, and our aim would be to tie the event into a charitable cause that links somehow to the company goals. This in turn would be communicated through recognition on our own and the chosen charities social media and other platforms.


One criticism that has been levelled against this kind of fundraising, particularly in relation to conservation is the limited money that actually gets to the root cause, particularly in relation to marketing expenses and charity overheads. Because we want to make sure any efforts from our clients to raise funds go directly to the source, all our fundraising proposals will be through colleagues and organisations known to us through our wide network. Fundraising proposals will relate directly to either on the ground support or tools/infrastructure that will make a real difference. Additionally, to keep things realistic, while proposals will involve a total target to aim for, each one will be broken down into several steps of fundraising, so that those involved will be able to see what can be achieved at each level and in case the total is not reached, that those efforts have still been well worth it.

While this kind of idea will not be for everyone, for those clients that are looking for that something extra we believe this will be the perfect tie-in. When we are working in UK Sanctuaries with rescued animals we are working towards lifelong respite and care, and through this package you could create puzzle feeders to increase the welfare of a pair of ex-pet crab-eating macaques in the short term at Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary, and then fundraise for an enclosure that will provide the perfect retirement for the rest of their lives. When we work in zoos we are working with ambassador animals representing their wild counterparts, so we could run a workshop where you build enclosure furniture for lemurs in the UK, and then fundraise to run a community project, which will monitor and protect a number of critically endangered lemur species for another year with TAF Madagascar.

As I discussed in our previous BLOG posting, Chris and I have volunteered for SHAPE for many years, and it would be wonderful to run a workshop for your team improving the welfare of an animal in a UK facility that links to a species or developing country, and then fundraising to run a capacity building SHAPE workshop, training keepers and animal care staff in methods to improve the welfare of countless animals in their care, in zoos, rescue centres, or other captive facilities. As a final example, it may tie in better with a company’s goals to fundraise for the human perspective and we can cover this too, working with fantastic charities like the Elephants and Bees Project, a wonderfully innovative solution to elephant crop-raiding, using the elephant’s instinctive avoidance of bees to protect farmer’s crops. Your team could build fence line feeders for elephants in the UK, and then fundraise for a range of options including new project sites in Africa or Asia, micro-financing projects through the development of bee products and honey processing facilities, or the empowerment of Kenyan women to undertake their MSc or PhD research on the behaviour and travel patterns of radio-collared crop-raiding elephants, to understand their needs, mitigate future conflict before it happens, and train the conservationists of the future.


Whatever angle you wish to take our aim will be to present you with 2-3 options so you really can find a project that inspires you, and take the work that we do, and the benefits that you get from your event, to a whole new level!

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