Sir David Attenborough launches crowdfunding campaign to conserve gorillas

A personal plea from Sir David Attenborough was the catalyst for Fauna & Flora International (FFI) establishing the International Gorilla Conservation Programme over 20 years ago.

Today Sir David again stood and made a similar plea, this time at the Houses of Parliament in London, UK, as he asked the world to help save the Critically Endangered mountain gorilla and help its population reach over 1,001 individuals.

Speaking at Westminster, Sir David, alongside FFI Chief Executive Mark Rose and other guests implored citizens to embrace the challenge and get behind the first ever UK Crowdfunding day, which is tomorrow, 1 November 2013.

Sir David said, “If we are to ensure the survival of mountain gorillas, it is vital that the global community supports our efforts.

“By supporting this campaign and promoting it through your networks, you will not only be helping to secure a future for mountain gorillas, but also the tens of thousands of Rwandan, Ugandan and Congolese people who have come to depend upon them for their livelihoods and wellbeing.”

Power to the people

FFI’s mountain gorilla programme was chosen as the example of how crowdfunding can benefit not just the fields of business and economics, but can also be of huge benefit to conservation and humanitarian causes too.

The 1,001 mountain gorilla appeal, hosted by Indiegogo, aims to raise £110,000 – a thousand pounds for every year of FFI’s existence – by the time the campaign ends on 11 December 2013.

The majestic mountain gorilla. Credit: Juan Pablo Moreiras/FFI.

The majestic mountain gorilla. Credit: Juan Pablo Moreiras/FFI.

The campaign is rewards based, meaning incentives are offered for each level of donation.

The popularity of the crowdfunding concept has dramatically increased in recent years, with proven success in funding activities across a variety of fields from disaster relief to motion picture production.

The concept of crowdfunded fundraising is simple; individuals contribute usually small amounts through an online crowdfunding platform, until an amount, set by the organisation or individual that created the campaign, has been reached.

The collective power of these small contributions given by many people allows the organisation to carry out its work, often on a large scale. Millions of contributors across the globe have rapidly enabled activities that would not have been possible without high level donors merely a handful of years ago.

Sir David Attenborough at the launch

FFI Chief Executive Mark Rose, Sir David Attenborough, Michelle Rodgers, Barry Sheerman MP, Indiegogo’s Kate Drane, and Barry James, founder and director of The Social Foundation. Credit: Roger Ingle/FFI.

UK Crowdfunding Day is designed to boost entrepreneurial activity and fundraising for social causes in the UK.

Visit the 1,001 mountain gorillas appeal page to learn more about Fauna & Flora International’s campaign or to make a contribution to help us reach our goal.

To find out more, you can also download the press release (PDF).