By John Burton, WLT Founder CEO
I am regularly asked why isn’t World Land Trust and its work better known?
This is a question to which I have various responses.
We could spend loads of money on print advertising – other large conservation organisations do – but I believe that would actually change the very nature of the Trust.
To some extent the Trust’s identity is based on a low key approach that doesn’t rely on the oxygen of publicity. As one supporter put it recently (Dominic Belfield), part of the attraction of World Land Trust is that it is off the radar and potential supporters have to “rootle around in the undergrowth to find WLT”.
But once those potential supporters have found us, they are very likely to stick with us, and over the years WLT has developed a loyal and steadily growing supporter base.
Each and every month for the past few years, the number of Friends of WLT, has increased. We get good PR and we have high profile supporters in the conservation movement including Sir David Attenborough and Chris Packham (both patrons) and Bill Oddie (a Council Member) who all enthuse about our work.
We don’t depend on cheap gimmicks to get known, and our conservation track record speaks for itself. Our supporters are committed and generous.
Marketing gurus will tell you that word of mouth referrals are the holy grail. If each and every one of our supporters put in a good word for us with their friends and family it could make an enormous difference.
The average monthly donation from WLT Friends is more than £11 a month. For British tax payers this means that the Trust receives more than £160 a year on average from each WLT Friend.
On top of that, there are single donations from individuals: in the past two months we have received one donation of £50,000 and another of £100,000. But it is the steady flow of donations of £5 a month or more that are crucial to our planning. We cannot plan to receive large donations. But we can forward plan if we have several thousand supporters donating £5 a month.