A committed focus on the fundamental World Land Trust mission of working with local conservation partners to purchase and protect threatened habitats are a theme that increasingly resonates with a broad cross-section of corporate supporters. The growing acceptance and practice of corporate and social responsibility throughout the business community has certainly helped this along, acting as a catalyst for awareness and action. The business community, like the population in general, is more conscious of serious environmental issues and motivated to take serious action.
What is especially encouraging is that corporate supporters are finding us. Unlike many charities, WLT does not employ or contract a fundraiser or development officer. We do not spend time, money or energy searching out new sponsors, making blind proposals, or calling in on businesses that we do not know, or do not know of us. We concentrate on directing as much of the money we raise as possible to the projects, on the ground.
The result has been a wave of new corporate and business sponsorship for WLT. In all, some 130 businesses made contributions to WLT last year, totalling over £575,000. WLT is grateful to all of them, and appreciates their commitment to the conservation of threatened habitats and the biodiversity they protect.
More information on our sponsors:
Why support the World Land Trust?
Why are businesses choosing to support the work of WLT? Foremost for many is WLT's existing base of individual supporters. The simple fact that some 5,000 individual contributions to WLT were made last year is not only a crucially important source of funding and philosophical support for our mission, but equally it represents a broad foundation of support among people who are the customers of the businesses who support, or are considering supporting, World Land Trust.
Also important are WLT's track record and approach - almost 400,000 acres purchased and protected, always by working with and through local conservation organisations; a growing reputation for designing and delivering effective and accountable carbon offsetting projects; keeping overhead to a minimum and transparency to a maximum; and a seriousness of purpose.
Fundraising in the U.S.
Our partners in the U.S., WLT-US have their own supporter base and these are just two of the fundraising highlights from last year:
- A Wisconsin biologist organised a birdathon near Mindo in Ecuador, and cheques from local Wisconsin Audubon chapters, libraries, school groups, and birders totalling $18,799 were dedicated to expanding a reserve owned by the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation. Mindo is the town where avitourism was born in Ecuador. The foundation is protecting critical habitat in a region where development for tourism can pose a threat to speices. WLT in the U.K. is also accepting donations for the foundation from 'The Biggest Twitch' - an around-the-world birdwatching expedition.
- A NASCAR race car driver and environmentalist has pledged to protect an acre of rainforest every time she races to help offset her carbon emissions. Leilani Münter is one of the few female race car drivers and is making news in the race circuit with her donations.
It is incredibly encouraging that corporate and individual supporters alike are not only finding us, and choosing to support us, but in most cases by the time we first hear from them they have done their research, examined a number of organisations, are fully conversant in the subjects and the issues, and are ready to act.
It is our privilege to continue to make the best possible use of this support in 2008 and beyond; it is a responsibility we take seriously - to help to purchase more land, to protect threatened habitats, and to conserve biodiversity.