The fires are out, and we are now at a critical moment as we work to restore what Australia has lost. The nation has been ravaged by the most devastating bushfire season the country has ever seen. WWF-Australia estimates around 1.25 billion animals may have been killed from fires that have burnt over 12 million hectares across Australia.
In the midst of this tragedy gripping the country, Aussies have banded together to give back and lend a hand. But as the devastation continues to uncovered and we look to recovery, many of us want to know what more can we do to assist fire-affected communities and wildlife.
Whether a business, individual or community, there are lots of ways you can lend support to the bushfire recovery efforts. Check out our list below...
Community and individuals
How to help Australian wildlife
We've seen the worst drought and fire season on record in Australia. Whether you are close to the fires or in a city impacted by drought, giving our local wildlife a helping hand will be essential to recovering what we have lost. Here are a few ways you can help our animals:
Leave out bowls, buckets and saucers of water for animals. Ensure to place sticks or rocks in the dish to help animals escape should they fall in. Also ensure to change the water daily and keep them close to shrubs and trees so wildlife can escape from predators.
Many species of wildlife have and will continue to be deprived of food. During these incredibly hard times, providing supplementary food can help. Bird and bat feeders can be attached to trees. You can place or hang chopped fruit, like apples, wild bird feed and mealworms from trees. Avoid bread. Feeding should be short-term as habitat starts to recover.
We need to ensure our wildlife have places to call home, starting by giving them plants and trees for shelter and food. You can do this by planting a tree in your own garden or having potted shrubs on your balcony. If you don’t have any outdoor space why not sponsor a tree through our Towards Two Billion Trees program.
Also, don’t go searching fire impacted areas for wildlife. It's not safe and should be left to trained volunteers. If you come across injured wildlife please contact your local wildlife rescue groups and read our blog on what to do.
Start a community fundraising event
Look for local fundraisers you can support - or start your own. Even a small event like a community sausage sizzle, bake sale or trivia night can have a big impact. This is a great way to not only raise much needed funds but bring the community together during this time.
If you'd like to support WWF through an event, please fill out and return our application to fundraise form to get started or contact email@example.com
Support Cans for Koalas
TOMRA has just launched a nationwide recycling appeal called Cans for Koalas to give Australians the unique opportunity to donate their empty drink bottles and cans to help provide ongoing care and recovery to wildlife. Until 23rd August, recyclers in NSW, QLD and NT have the option to donate their 10c container refund by simply selecting “Cans for Koalas” on all TOMRA recycling machines (Return and Earn in NSW, Containers for Change in QLD, and TOMRA Coconut Grove in NT). All proceeds received through this initiative will be donated to WWF’s Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund. Start collecting today and help us beat our goal of 2.5 million bottles and cans (recycled and) donated by 24th May 2020! You can keep track of these donations by visiting cansforkoalas.org.au
Don't underestimate the importance of raising awareness among your family, friends and community. Your voice is powerful and can help raise awareness of where immediate support is required and what action and change is needed in the long-term. However, at the same time misinformation on the bushfires is being spread through social media. Ensure any information or news articles you share are from trusted media outlets, check multiple sources and avoid sharing content without a clear attribution.
Follow WWF-Australia’s social media accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, for the latest news and updates to help continue sharing the message.
Artists, musicians, creators, builders, influencers
Thank you for using your passion and creative talent to rally support for WWF-Australia. You can support WWF-Australia by linking directly to our bushfire emergency donation page, using this link. Please tag us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. For further enquiries and to obtain a social media pack, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Support local business
Supporting local businesses in fire-affected areas can give a much-needed boost to affected communities. Spend With Them is an Instagram account that directly links you with businesses including clothing labels, surf shops, farms, wineries, distilleries and more, in fire affected communities.
You can also support businesses in your area that are raising funds or giving proceeds of their sales to fire relief efforts.
Other ways to give
It’s heartening to see the generosity of communities as they mobilise to support each other, start food drives and care for injured wildlife to name a few.
Although well-intentioned, donating unsolicited items to charities and communities can sometimes cause more difficulty in terms of accepting, storing and distributing. It’s best to respond to specific requests for goods and services - and before giving, check with the charity or recipients to see if this is something they urgently need or can accept.
Also unfortunately, the ACCC has warned about bushfires and scams, as there are currently a wide range of appeals that are raising funds for people and animals affected by the bushfires. Please always do your homework before donating and call the ACCC hotline 1300 795 995 to report scams.
Are you a local wildlife response group in need of particular items or services to help with wildlife recovery? WWF is looking to understand and support groups involved in local wildlife emergency responses. Fill out the form below with the kind of support you need and we'll aim to connect you with those who can potentially help.
Alternatively, if you think you could provide relief or support for these on-ground wildlife groups, whether it’s lending a ute, some supplementary food for wildlife or an extra pair of hands, fill out the form and we can help you get in touch with the right people.
AT A GLANCE: WAYS YOUR BUSINESS CAN SUPPORT...
You can support WWF-Australia by linking directly to our bushfire emergency donation page, using this link. Please tag us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. For further enquiries and to obtain a social media pack, please contact our Impact Partnerships team: email@example.com
Want to donate? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for bank and payment details.
Fundraisers for your staff
- To set up fundraisers for your staff, workplace giving or matched donations from your business, please contact our email@example.com. Matched funding is a powerful way to increase the impact your employees and business have. Double your impact by matching donations dollar for dollar.
- Longer-term partnerships: For longer-term partnerships and/or product linked donations or any other enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundraise for wildlife
Mobilise your networks to give by linking directly to the WWF Bushfire Emergency donation page or create a fundraiser of your own. This is a powerful way to reach more people and have an even bigger impact. You could even challenge, or join forces with other businesses in your industry to take part in a fundraising challenge.
Please remember to tag us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. For further enquiries and to obtain a social media pack, please contact email@example.com
Cake sales or casual Fridays with a gold coin donation are also great ways to involve staff in fundraising efforts. Learn how you can set up a fundraising or event page for your staff today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Workplace giving and matched donations
Workplace giving to WWF is a simple yet powerful way for employees to make regular donations direct from their pre-tax pay. Employers can also consider matching donations dollar for dollar, providing that extra incentive for employees to get involved.
If you’d like to find out more about workplace giving or matched giving, please visit our Workplace giving webpage. For further enquiries, please contact email@example.com
Proceeds of sales
Many businesses are getting creative with the ways they choose to give. Some of the generous businesses supporting WWF-Australia’s bushfire appeal are kindly donating a percentage of sales from a particular item, a day’s worth of profit or holding auctions for charity. Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org today for more support. At this stage, a bank transfer is the best way for us to receive these funds so please get in touch to organise one.
If your business has a service that could be of value to affected communities you could consider offering such assistance to those in need, or relief organisations who are currently at capacity.
Supporting long-term recovery
The science tells us that the scale of the devastation caused by the bushfires is unprecedented and the recovery work ahead is immense. That’s why WWF-Australia is calling for global support to establish a AUD$30 million Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund.
At WWF-Australia we are committed to restoring what’s been lost. By partnering with WWF you can be part of the long-term recovery and rebuilding of devastated habitat.
Get in touch with email@example.com to find out how you can support the Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund, and read more here
Provide support for staff
Remember to look after your staff during these challenging times. If available, share your employee assistance program details with staff and offer flexible working arrangements to those who may be impacted by fires. And don’t forget the impact of simply checking in and reaching out to staff to see how they're faring.
WWF-Australia is greatly saddened by the loss of life and property in the bushfire tragedy gripping Australia. We've been touched by the generosity of so many of our supporters and partners in Australia and around the world during this national disaster. We look forward to updating you soon on the impact of your support.