WWF Launches Gift Catalog

Oct 25, 2006 9:10 PM  By

Not to be outdone by Oxfam America’s online catalog, which the international relief organization debuted Oct. 10, the World Wildlife Fund on Monday mailed its first print catalog. The 36-page WWF book offers unique gifts such as symbolic animal adoptions and opportunities to support specific conservation projects around the world through donations.

The print catalog, which is also available online, details 38 species of animals available for adoption and 40 conservation initiatives to support through a range of financial donations, says Terry Macko, vice president of membership at the Washington-based WWF. The initiatives were selected from a priority list of WWF conservation areas around the world.

For instance, you can “adopt” an animal such as a snow leopard or a leatherback turtle by donating from $25 to $250; each donation comes with a formal adoption certificate, a color photo, and species spotlight card. For $1,000, you can purchase 20 rat prevention kits for fishing boats in the Bering Sea to help keep the puffins’ islands free of rats; a $25,000 gift can assist in the herding of 20 bison from Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, relocating them to a newly created reserve on a Montana prairie. At the higher end of the spectrum, a $20,000 gift will support food, supplies, and stipends for Russian researchers seeking new polar bear habitats.

The catalog provides consumers with “an opportunity to conserve rather than to consume during the holidays,” Macko says. The WWF mailed 500,000 catalogs on Oct. 23 to WWF members “as well as prospects that we think would have an interest in conservation.” The idea for a print catalog, he adds, was conceived about three months ago. “We’ve had some strong success with symbolic adoptions online. We knew the highest demand would be during the holiday season, so we had to move quickly,” he says.

Founded 45 years ago, World Wildlife Fund is the largest conservation organization in the world, with 1.2 million members in the U.S. and nearly 5 million supporters worldwide. WWF works in 100 countries on more than 2,000 conservation programs to save endangered species, protect endangered habitats, and address global threats such as deforestation, overfishing, and climate change. Since this is the WWF’s first print catalog, “we’ll be learning a lot this year,” Macko says. “This is a test for us with an expanded market channel.”

The WWF holiday gift catalog not only generates funds, it will also help educate consumers about the organization, Macko says. “We’ve organized this catalog in a way that makes it somewhat of an educational tool that guides readers across the globe, from the Bering Sea to the Galapagos Islands to the Eastern Himalayas,” he says. “It educates the readers about the animals we’re working to protect.”