In the space of just two weeks, World Land Trust (WLT) has achieved its greatest ever fundraising success.
By 5pm on the last day of Big Match Fortnight, WLT had raised just over £636,000 in a combination of public donations and matched funding pledges. This figure excludes Gift Aid, and donations are still being processed, so the final total is going to be even higher.
The funds are being used to purchase crucial parcels of land to secure a wildlife corridor in Sabah, north east Borneo, which is vital habitat for wild Orang-utans in particular.
During Big Match Fortnight (2-16 October 2013), all donations to WLT's Borneo Rainforest Appeal were matched by funds pledged in advance by a small group of very generous benefactors.
WLT’s initial target was £300,000 on the strength of £150,000 committed in match funds. But when more match funding was promised, it became clear that there was potential to raise a lot more money.
Added to this, a national advertising campaign, run at no cost to WLT, and Simon Barnes’ articles in The Times helped raise awareness of Big Match Fortnight and the plight of Orang-utans, both before and during the fortnight.
Just two days before the end of Big Match Fortnight, the appeal was highlighted at Controversial Conservation, a public debate organised by WLT at the Royal Society. After the event, many of those attending went on to make generous donations to the appeal.
“Public support for Big Match Fortnight has been overwhelming,” said John Burton, WLT Chief Executive. “We felt confident that the offer of match funds would inspire more people to donate, but the public response has exceeded all expectations. Thank you to those who pledged the match funds and to everyone who donated to the Borneo Rainforest Appeal during Big Match Fortnight.”
WLT's Borneo Rainforest Appeal has an overall target of one million pounds, and more events and activities are planned for 2014 - WLT’s 25th anniversary year - to raise funds to conserve as much forest in Malaysian Borneo as possible while there is still time.
“On the eve of our 25th anniversary, the outstanding success of Big Match Fortnight and the Borneo Rainforest Appeal is hugely inspiring and encouraging,” said John. “We are looking forward to an action-packed anniversary year and saving as much habitat and threatened species as we can. A big thank you to everyone who has helped us with this remarkable achievement.”
After Big Match Fortnight, please help WLT reach its million pound target to safeguard Orang-utan forest habitat by donating to the Borneo Rainforest Appeal.