You’re ready to help! You want to make a difference but are a bit stymied by what to do. After all, you have many choices. There are many small wildlife conservation organizations. How do you choose?
Your first choice may well be, do you give to a large or small wildlife conservation organization?
Large wildlife conservation organizations have a lot of money. Large wildlife conservation organizations get involved on a big scale. Large wildlife conservation organizations have significant overhead costs. Large wildlife conservation organizations are influenced by their big donors. Large wildlife conservation organizations are well known and monitored.
So why even consider risking making a donation, or better yet a consistent monthly donation to one of the small wildlife conservation organizations?
Here are possibly the…
3 Top Reasons to Donate to Small Wildlife Conservation Organizations
ONE: Personal Involvement
We personally visit as many of the small wildlife conservation organizations as we can. To date we’ve traveled through 12 countries in Southern and Eastern Africa. In 8 countries we have helped a total of 24 projects. These projects include protecting, rescuing and intervening.
Protecting includes anti-poaching.
With his ever growing network Moses is now instrumental in snatching the highly endangered pangolin from the throes of wildlife traffickers. This is huge, and not without significant risk.
Care to help Moses?
Rescuing includes rehabilitation
Silke in South Africa has nurtured hundreds of vervet monkeys back to health. To date she has released over 700 of them back into the wild. Silke is an expert at what she does. She operates with a small team of dedicated volunteers and a handful of staff. Together they give primates a second chance of living free.
Care to help Silke?
Intervening includes human wildlife conflict
Moses in Tanzania is successfully keeping elephants out of farmers’ fields. Farmers surrounding a large National Park are really struggling. Elephants invade their crop fields destroying everything. Angry farmers pursue elephants and spear them. At times people get hurt by the elephants. Not a good situation.
Moses learned about bees keeping elephants at bay. Now he erects beehive fences and the elephants are staying away. Of course, now other farmers are wanting beehive fences.
Being involved with this grassroots effort is a real privilege. Actually when you sponsor a beehive you can have your name written right on it if you like.
Care to help Moses?
These are but a few examples of the amazing Wildlife Heroes we meet and introduce to you. When you donate to help them you can rest assured because we are personally involved.
Reason #1 Bottom-line: It’s more personal. There are fewer layers between you and the person on the ground saving wildlife
TWO: 100% Goes to Help
Most small wildlife conservation organizations operate on a shoe string budget. At Nikela every penny of your donation goes to help. 100% of your gift goes directly to the project of your choice. (We cover all the bank and transaction fees.)
Besides that, Russ and I pay for all our travel and take care of the administrative expenses. There are no paid staff. We keep things mighty simple, living and traveling in an old Land Rover. The goal is just to do a bit of good for wildlife where we can… with your help.
Here’s the good part about being small. There are no big donors who tell us what to do or which projects to support. No hidden agendas here, only helping people saving wildlife.
Funds go directly to good on the ground. No money is lopped off for administration expenses or big salaries. All donations come from ordinary people like you, giving between $10 and $100 a month seems to work best. Every donor decides where their funds go to help.
Because we live on the road we stay in close communication with each of our Wildlife Heroes. Some we are able to visit every year, others less often due to the long distances. (Projects stretch from South Africa up to Kenya.)
Reason #2 Bottom line: All of your charitable donation (100%) goes directly to the project to help save wildlife.
THREE: Stay True
Small wildlife conservation organizations generally don’t have huge funders. This allows the founders and wildlife conservationists to do the work they deem appropriate and necessary. It also allows them to adjust and adapt. There are no strings attached.
In contrast, we’ve seen money spent on fancy buildings and equipment, required by the large donor. All the while, monies were really needed for daily operational expenses to care for and feed the animals. Not a good situation! This can force a shift in the mission of an organization, from focused rehabilitation and release, to keeping the animals for entertainment/education. You get the picture, the original objective is manipulated, frequently not for the benefit of the wildlife. Sadly we’ve seen this happen more than once.
Another example. A large US based wildlife conservation organization includes trophy hunting in most all its conservation strategies in Africa. Why? Because they get much of their funding from trophy hunting associations. Money has power. Money has influence.
These ‘dictated to’ operations are not the organizations we like to support. We look for small wildlife conservation organizations where the director operates autonomously. Where the money goes for true wildlife conservation work. Where the conservation mission is unadulterated.
Reason #3 Bottom line: Small wildlife conservation organizations can stay true to their mission to save wildlife.
With all that said… Isn’t it time you got involved where you gift can really make a difference?