Around the world, animal sanctuaries have suspended their visitor and volunteer programs, and locked their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect their animals. Many primate care organizations are facing significant financial setbacks, as well as difficulties procuring food and other necessities for the animals and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their caregiving staff.
We know times are tight for many of you as you’re stuck at home, trying to adjust to this ever shifting new “normal” for the foreseeable future. For those of you looking to make a difference during this isolation period, there are still plenty of ways to contribute to primate organizations around the world – without ever leaving your house.
**Before you embark on any fundraising efforts for wildlife organizations, make sure to contact them first – they may have advice, can tell you what they need the most, and can share with their other online supporters to maximize your impact!**
1. Donating: Making a donation – even a small one – to primate sanctuaries can make a huge difference, particularly in dire moments like these. If you’re able to, a small, re-occurring, monthly donation may not seem like much but it sends a signal to staff that, we are here for you and will be every month. That incentive could be the positive support many need to know their commitment adds up for the animals in their care. Many sanctuaries also have an Amazon wishlist to purchase much needed items.
NB: Some international sanctuaries may have difficulties importing donated goods – be sure to contact them before sending any packages of donations.
2. Create your own crowdfunding campaign: If you’re not in a position to donate money, but want to help financially, there are a number of different “crowdfunding” or “peer-to-peer” fundraising websites like JustGiving and GoFundMe. These sites allow you to create your own fundraiser under your terms: you set the goal, the receiving organization, and your fundraising activity. Some people may raise money simply by creating a strong campaign to demonstrate how the organization will benefit from donations; other people decide to take on a challenge, some examples include:
- Training for a 5k, marathon or other athletic achievement
- Raise funds by getting a silly haircut
- Give up a bad habit
Think of something compelling and engaging that people will donate to help you reach your activity and fundraising goals— making sure that everything is quarantine friendly. These fundraisers are a fantastic way to raise money, without requiring too much skill or experience to set up. Once you set up your fundraiser, make sure to share with friends and family through facebook and emails. The most important thing is to have fun and stay strong to the cause, even if you chose a difficult fundraising activity!
3. Donate proceeds from creative events: For the artists and creators out there, another great way to support the animals is by donating a portion of proceeds from music or art sales, or from your Etsy shop. Alternatively, live stream a concert to keep your fans entertained and ask for donations for your cause.
4. Volunteer online: Even though most sanctuaries have closed (or severely limited) their onsite volunteer opportunities, many sanctuaries have skills based needs – such as graphic design or website management. Lots have also converted or delayed large fundraising events and may need an extra set of hands to coordinate everything. Reach out to see how you can support them with volunteer hours.
5. Follow on Social Media: It may seem small, but following and engaging with your favorite organizations on Facebook, Instagram and other social media can make a huge difference! By liking and sharing their updates, it helps spread their message and how they’re handling COVID-19, but also letting the team at the sanctuary know that you still care and are rooting for them. We may be alone at home but we can still grow our community online.