A group of elephants roam in long grass at sunrise, Tanzania © James Manning / WWF-Aus

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who we are
  • Q. What do the initials WWF stand for now and when did they change?
    A. When it was founded in 1961, WWF stood for the ‘World Wildlife Fund’. As the organisation grew throughout the 70s and 80s, WWF began to expand its work to conserve the environment as a whole (reflecting the interdependence of all living things), rather than just focussing on species. In 1986, WWF realised that the name no longer reflected the scope of our activities, so we changed our name to ‘World Wide Fund for Nature’ in all countries except the United States and Canada. The resulting confusion and translation discrepancies across more than 15 languages led to the decision, in 2001, to adopt the original acronym – WWF - as our one, global name.
  • Q. Who is WWF-Australia’s President?
    A. Martijn Wilder, AM, is President and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2012.
  • Q. Does WWF work on animal welfare issues?
    A. WWF works to conserve endangered species, protect endangered places, and address global threats to the planet, such as climate change. While a lot of our work is protecting endangered animals in the wild – including tiger, orangutan, marine turtle, rock-wallaby, dugong, snubfin dolphin – our expertise is not in dealing with issues relating to animals in captivity. While animal welfare is outside our expertise and our legally-binding constitution, we’re constantly striving to build a world in which humans live in harmony with nature. For information about animal welfare issues, we suggest that you contact organisations such as HSI (the Humane Society International), World Animal Protection (formerly WSPA), or the RSPCA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), which campaign to end captive animal abuse.
  • Q. When was WWF-Australia founded?
    A. A WWF office in Australia was established and WWF-Australia was successfully incorporated on June 29, 1978 with a $50,000 grant from the Commonwealth Government and $20,500 in corporate donations. On April 17, 1979, the first annual general meeting of trustees was held at the reception hall of the Sydney Opera House. Sir Peter Scott attended the AGM, commenting on the importance of the recently announced cessation of whaling in Australia.
  • Q. What has WWF achieved?
    A. Throughout the past 50 years, WWF has worked constantly to protect endangered species and habitats and has had many conservation successes. Find out more by going to the WWF International website to see our work worldwide - panda.org
  • Q. Who is President of WWF-International?
    A. Pavan Sukhdev, the former head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)'s Green Economy Initiative, took up his role as the President of WWF International in January 2018.
  • Q. Where is my nearest WWF office?
    A. Please visit our contact us page to find address and phone details for all our offices around Australia.
  • Q. What are the current WWF campaigns?
    A. The best and fastest way to find out about our campaigns and current environmental messages is to look on the homepage of our website. You can also look in our supporter magazine Living Planet or contact our Supporter Relations team by e-mail: enquiries@wwf.org.au or phone 1800 032 551.
  • Q. Who is WWF?
    A. WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over five million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries on six continents. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature by:
    • conserving the world’s biological diversity;
    • ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable;
    • promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption

    The WWF International Network is global, independent, multicultural and non-party political. WWF-Australia’s head office is located in Sydney, with regional offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.

    Contact details for all offices are listed on the contact page

  • Q. Who does WWF-Australia work with?
    A. WWF-Australia builds partnerships with local, state and federal governments, Indigenous communities, farmers, business and industry, and other NGOs. We also work with scientists, economists and other conservation groups in order to create solutions to Australia’s environmental problems. WWF-Australia involves local communities and Indigenous peoples in the planning and execution of our field programs, respecting their cultural as well as economic needs.
  • Q. What’s the story behind the panda logo of WWF?
    A. The inspiration for the panda in WWF’s world-recognised logo came from Chi-Chi, a giant panda that had arrived at the London Zoo in 1961, when WWF was being created. Aware of the need for a strong, recognisable symbol that would overcome all language barriers, WWF’s founders agreed that the large, furry animal with her appealing, black-patched eyes would make an excellent logo. The first sketches were done by the British environmentalist and artist Gerald Watterson in 1961. Based on these, Sir Peter Scott, one of WWF’s founders, drew the first logo, and said at the time: “We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered, and one loved by people around the world. We also wanted an animal that symbolised all that was disappearing in the natural world.” The black-and-white panda has since come to stand as a symbol for conservation worldwide.
  • Get involved
  • Q. Are there any job vacancies at WWF?
    A. All job opportunities at WWF-Australia are listed on the jobs page. To find out more about jobs in other WWF offices around the world, visit our job listing on wwf.panda.org
  • Q. Can I make a donation if I live overseas?
    A. You can easily make a donation here or call our friendly Supporter Relations team on +61 (0)2 8228 6800. Please be aware that you may incur additional credit card charges if you’re using a foreign credit card.
  • Q. I’ve raised some money for WWF. Where can I send the cheque?
    A. Thanks so much for your generosity, we really appreciate your support. Cheques made payable to WWF-Australia can be sent to: WWF-Australia GPO Box 528 Sydney NSW 2001 Please let us know how you raised the money and remember to include your name and address so we can send you a thank you letter and receipt.
  • Q. Can I make a one-off donation to WWF?
    A. Absolutely. Thank you. You can easily make a donation here or call our friendly Supporter Relations team on 1800 032 551.
  • Q. Where can I find information for my research project?
    A. Information on all the work we do can be found on this website. You can find more information regarding WWF’s global conservation work on our international website at: wwf.panda.org
  • Q. Can I use the panda logo on my website / project / brochure?
    A. WWF receives many requests to use our panda logo. We have strict guidelines governing its use and while members of the public are not able to use our logo or photographs from our website, it’s fine to download reports and use text from our webpages.
  • Q. How can I leave a bequest to WWF?
    A. Thank you. If you’d like to leave a bequest gift to WWF in your Will, it’s really helpful if you contact us to share your intentions. It means we can keep our records up to date, and thank you for remembering us and for leaving a lasting legacy. For more information on leaving a bequest, please contact Christine Robinson in our Philanthropy Team. You can reach Christine on 02 8228 6822 or email: bequest@wwf.org.au. For more information on bequests please click here
  • Q. What is your ABN # and the registered name of your organisation?
    A. Our ABN# is 57 001 594 074 and our registered business name is World Wide Fund for Nature Australia.
  • Q. I adopted an animal and haven’t received my pack. What should I do?
    A. We’re sorry you haven’t yet received your pack yet. Please contact our friendly Supporter Relations team by e-mail: enquiries@wwf.org.au or phone 1800 032 551 and we’ll get onto it straight away.
  • Q. How can I ensure you don’t pass my details on to other organisations?
    A. Simply tell us and we can adjust our records. Contact our friendly Supporter Relations team: enquiries@wwf.org.au or phone 1800 032 551.
  • Q. How do I let you know I’ve changed my details?
    A. You can easily update it on our secure webpage here or you can email our Supporter Relations team: enquiries@wwf.org.au or phone 1800 032 551.
  • Q. I’ve signed up online for an ongoing monthly donation. What date will my donations come out of my account?
    A. Your first donation will be processed instantly. Your next donations will be processed on the 24th of each month.
  • Q. I’m under 18, how can I support WWF?
    A. If you’d like to help WWF but you’re not yet 18 years old, there are a number of ways you can get involved. To change your lifestyle in order to live in a more environmentally sustainable way, visit our tips for eco living page. Measure your footprint to see how the way you live is impacting the planet and what you can do to reduce it. We’d love you to be involved with WWF whatever your age!
  • Q. Is my donation tax-deductible?
    A. Yes. Donations of $2 or more are fully tax-deductible. At the end of the financial year we’ll send you a tax receipt for all monthly donations received. Single donations will receive a receipt shortly after each donation has been processed.
  • Q. Why haven’t I received my end of financial year tax receipt after July?
    A. Your tax receipt is posted out in late July after the end of the financial year. If you still haven’t received it after this time please email our friendly Supporter Relations team: enquiries@wwf.org.au or phone 1800 032 551, and please let us know if you’ve changed your address.
  • Q. I joined WWF-Australia through one of your representatives on the street and now have a query. Who should I contact?
    A. Please email our friendly Supporter Relations team: enquiries@wwf.org.au or phone 1800 032 551 and we’ll be happy to help you. It’s really helpful if you can tell us where and when you spoke to our representative.
  • Q. How do I cancel my ongoing monthly donations and how much notice do I have to give?
    A. You can cancel your monthly donation by emailing our friendly Supporter Relations team: enquiries@wwf.org.au, by phone on 1800 032 551 or by letter to WWF-Australia, GPO Box 528, Sydney, NSW, 2001. For your privacy and security, any changes can only be made by you, the supporter, and not by a relative or friend. If you email or write to us, please remember to include your postal address and Supporter Number so we can locate your record. If you cancel after the 10th of any month, your cancellation will take effect the following month.
  • Q. Does WWF-Australia have a Refund Policy?
    A. Yes. You can read our policy here
  • How we work
  • Q. Does WWF offer grants for conservation projects?
    A. WWF doesn’t offer grants for conservation projects. Our funds are already committed and allocated to a range of Australian and worldwide projects. Additionally, as we’re sure you can appreciate, we receive many requests for funding and it’s impossible to single out any one project for support.
  • Q. How many supporters does WWF-Australia currently have?
    A. Currently, WWF-Australia is closing in on its target of one million supporters.
  • Q. What approach does WWF-Australia take in making investments to fund conservation work?
    A. Our investment screening process and investment advisors are certified by the Responsible Investment Association of Australia. WWF-Australia has no direct investments in organisations that extract or process fossil fuels.
  • Animal adoptions
  • Q. When I adopt, am I adopting an individual animal? And if I adopt, will I be the only person who adopts that animal?
    A. An animal adoption is a symbolic gesture. Our adoption program has animals that act as a figurehead for each species. Each animal represents all the animals that our donors are helping to protect and save. This is the most effective way to ensure that your donations are having the most impact. To adopt an animal please visit our donation pages.
  • Q. What animals do you have for adoption?
    A. We currently offer five species for symbolic adoption:
    - tiger
    - orangutan
    - pygmy elephant
    - turtle
    - panda
    - penguin
    - koala
    - snow leopard
  • Q. What do I get when I adopt an animal?
    A. Our adoption welcome pack includes:
    - A fact book on your adopted species
    - A cuddly soft toy (optional)
    - An adoption certificate
    - A sticker
  • Q. I’ve ordered an adoption and haven’t received anything yet. What should I do?
    A. We’re sorry you haven’t received your adoption welcome pack yet. It can take approximately three weeks for your adoption pack to be processed and dispatched. Adoptions purchased from WWF are sent via Australia Post as a package that may not fit through your letterbox. So it may even be waiting for collection at your local post office. Otherwise, please email our friendly Supporter Relations team: enquiries@wwf.org.au or phone 1800 032 551. When contacting us, please provide as much information as possible, including your name and address, the gift recipient’s name and address (where relevant), the species of the animal adopted, details of how you were paying for the adoption and when you sent your application to us.
  • Face-to-face fundraising
  • Q. What is face-to-face fundraising?
    A. Face-to-face fundraising is where an individual representing a charity invites you to consider making ongoing monthly donations via credit card or direct debit from your bank. This form of fundraising takes place on the street, at home on your doorstep, in shopping centres or at functions. It connects people who want to change the world for the better with people who can change the world for the better.
    We all like to think we’re generous, but in reality, people seldom give spontaneously. No matter how generous we might be after a tsunami or a disaster, most of the time most of us give because someone asks us to. While we have many good intentions, we often need a prompt to turn that into good actions. Face-to-face fundraising provides that prompt. It also provides an opportunity for a rich and informed conversation about how the individual can personally make a real difference to a worthy cause..
  • Q. Does it work?
    A. Face-to-face is currently one of our most effective forms of fundraising. The personal nature of face-to-face fundraising means that charities can attract many people who they would not otherwise be able to reach through other methods.
  • Q. Why is face-to-face fundraising important to WWF-Australia?
    A. One-off donations are great - we welcome and appreciate them. However, to do our work well, we need a stable, dependable income that allows us to plan for the future. Our face-to-face and telemarketing fundraisers ask the public to make a long-term commitment to give a regular monthly donation. The value of this kind of income cannot be overstated. It means that we can budget and plan for, long-term projects and programs that have the greatest impact on the conservation goals and outcomes we need to achieve.
  • Q. Why do charities use professional collectors, not volunteers?
    A. Very few charities are able to rely on volunteers for their face-to-face fundraising programs – in most cases there simply aren’t enough volunteers, and there are many issues around volunteers performing such a task. A few charities in Australia choose to run their own in-house face-to-face fundraising program, while others like WWF-Australia employ professional agencies to help recruit supporters. Either way, there is a cost to run the program. Whether it’s an in-house or outsourced program, time and resources are needed to recruit, train, manage and maintain fundraisers to ensure our face-to-face fundraiser is as knowledgeable and professional as possible when representing a globally respected charity such as WWF-Australia.
  • How to contact us
  • Q. How do I make a complaint to WWF?
    A. We’re sorry that you’re not happy with the service you’ve received. We see our complaints procedure as an essential part of our focus on supporter satisfaction and believe that managing complaints effectively is a way of maintaining and building relationships with the supporters that WWF depends on.
    We’d be grateful if you could contact our friendly Supporter Relations team by e-mail: enquiries@wwf.org.au, by phone on 1800 032 551.
    Please note: WWF-Australia is a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct, which means that we are bound to follow the code's high standards of corporate governance, public accountability and financial management for NGOs.
  • The environment we live in
  • Q. What is biodiversity?
    A. Life on Earth is one great, interdependent system. Living species interact with one another and depend on non-living components of the planet like the atmosphere, ocean, fresh water, rocks and soil. Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the variety of the world’s organisms in all its forms, including genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity. It’s the blanket term for the planet’s natural biological wealth.
  • Q. How does habitat loss affect animals?
    A. Habitat loss affects animals (and other species such as insects and plants etc.) in a number of ways. Developing land for human needs reduces the amount of natural space. As natural space diminishes, so does habitat and its diversity - the great variety of forests, bushlands, grasslands, wetlands, and deserts that exist in nature. The result is both a decline in the number of species and fewer individuals of those species surviving. Humans have substituted native species with ones that better meet their needs: sheep, cattle, cotton, wheat and sugar. While this has advantages for society, it has upset the natural balance of ecosystems, degrading the overall ability of the Earth to support life. Development also has an indirect impact on land it leaves untouched. As land is converted, it’s fragmented into smaller and more isolated patches of natural space. Fauna, flora and other species have evolved, over millions of years, in conjunction with their surroundings. Any sudden change in their habitat will affect their ability to survive.
  • Q. What causes species extinction?
    A. Many factors impact on our wildlife and contribute to the loss of species. The main causes of extinction are landclearing, invasive species, salinity, altered fire regimes, pollution, urbanisation of land, the discharge of nutrients and sediments into our waterways and coastal areas, and climate change. Many of these act upon both ecosystems and species at the same time, which can accelerate their rate of impact and reduce the ability of species and ecosystems to adapt to changes.

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