Surely everyone against rhino poaching is united by a common goal: to protect and save our rhino species. Surely it’s not about who can make the most money? No one entity is going to ‘save the rhino’ – it is going to be a group effort. The sad reality is that we’ve seen a number of rhino initiatives and organisations jump on the bandwagon over the last few years and yet we’re still seeing an increase in rhino poaching.
There are now more than 270 fundraising organisations for rhino conservation. It’s frightening to think that in this current state of poaching, the recent flurry of rhino organisations are diluting the funds and creating donor fatigue due to a lack of credible feedback and use of these funds.
After observing the crisis evolve and unfold over the last few years here is my advice on how to check if these organisations are credible.
Many fundraising initiatives that sell merchandise and ask for donations support rhino projects of larger conservation organisations.
This means that they hand over the money raised or a percentage of their sales to that organisation. Always ask how much actually goes to that larger organisation and check whether that organisation has endorsed the collaboration.
On the next level, those larger organisations also need to be accountable for donations received. What and how are they contributing to the rhino poaching crisis? What feedback do we get from them? Are there newsletters, facebook posts, blogs, tweets to follow? Make sure you know where your money is going.
There are many passionate members of the public who care so much about the current crisis but aren’t necessarily in touch with what’s happening on the ground.
Always remember to question where your is going and demand to be provided with adequate feedback.