Free the Bears has, and always will, rely on the kindness and generosity of donors. We've watched so many wonderful people join the Free the Bears family and raise funds to help rescue and care for bears. As our founder Mary Hutton has shown us, we all have the power to make a difference. Thank you to everyone for your efforts.
If you're interested in either fundraising or becoming more involved with the Free the Bears family, please contact our Perth office (firstname.lastname@example.org), support groups listed below or create your own fundraiser.
- Western Australia Facebook group or email email@example.com
- South Australia Facebook group or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Albany, Western Australia: email@example.com
- Victoria Facebook group or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- New South Wales Facebook group or email email@example.com
- Tasmania Facebook group or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Queensland Facebook group
Set a goal for what you would like to raise. It doesn’t matter how big or small, every little bit helps. Here are some sample goals:
- I want to help with the care of a rescued bear
- Care Kit for a new cub: AUD$35
- Critical medicine required to treat sick bears: AUD$75
- Cost to feed a bear for a month: AUD$150
- Annual health check for a bear: AUD$250
- I want to help provide a rescued bear with an enrichment treat
- Treat ball – hidden food treats tests the bears foraging skills and keeps them entertained: AUD$60
- Bear hammock – our bears love to play and sleep in their hammocks. We make them by hand at our sanctuaries but we need help to buy the materials for construction of the hammock: AUD$100
- Bathing pool – it’s almost always hot at our sanctuaries. Like most of us, bear’s love a swim in hot weather. If you can raise the funds for the materials, we’ll build a pool: AUD$700
- Climbing tower – bears are expert climbers and love to clamber up and down trees and towers. Climbing towers provide them exercise and challenges their clever brains when we hide food for them on the towers: AUD$1000
SOLE SPONSORSHIP of a bear - Create a VERY SPECIAL BOND and NAME YOUR OWN BEAR. Become the foster parent of one of our unnamed rescued bears. You'll develop a special relationship with a bear, learn about the history of their rescue & get regular updates. We expect sole sponsors to commit to a LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP with their bear so this is better for those who wish to set up an annual fund raiser: AUD$3,000 PER YEAR
Once you’ve decided on a goal, you’ll need to choose how you will raise the funds. Here are some suggestions:
Step 2: Choose the fundraiser that best suits you and your fundraising goal
ONLINE FUNDRAISING The simplest way to ask friends, family or colleagues to sponsor you is to set up an online fundraising page. Online fundraising saves time as you don’t have to collect donations.
Here’s how to do it:
One of the easiest ways to create a fundraiser is to set up a fundraising page directly on Facebook using the following link: https://www.facebook.com/fund/freethebearsfund/ or select the "Fundraising" button on the left of your screen, click "Raise Money", search for "Free the Bears UK", fill in the details and click "Create"). You can even donate your birthday, asking people to donate to Free the Bears as a birthday present, which people seem to respond to very well:
Alternatively you can go to a fundraising website which will allow you create a page to fundraise for Free the Bears, such as GiveNow (to create your own basic fundraising page), justgiving.com (UK), everydayhero.com.au or gofundraise.com.au (to link to sporting events and creation of fundraising teams). Follow the instructions to set up your page (you will need to search for Free the Bears as charity recipient). Choose your fundraising target (the higher the target, the more bears we can help). The websites will often link to fun runs and events to help with fundraising ideas.
Tell people why you are fundraising for Free the Bears and how their donation can make a difference to the lives of bears. Once your page is set up, email the link to your friends, family and colleagues, link to your Facebook page and share on social media. It’s a good idea to ask those likely to sponsor you with a larger amount first to encourage other sponsors to be just as generous with their gifts.
Offline donations: If you collect offline or direct donations, please send contact us to make a deposit or send a cheque. Or if you have an online fundraising page it may be easier to donate to your own page
Other ways to fundraise
There are lots of other fun ways to reach your fundraising goal. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Join one of our state support groups in Australia! They have plenty of experience so don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help.
Raise $100 by collecting coins in a jar for a couple of months. You can make it more fun by having a SWEAR JAR at home or in the office
Raise $200 by making some yummy bear cookies or bear cakes to sell. If you don’t want to make your own treats, you can order discounted chocolates with a fundraising kit from various companies such as Cadbury. They also have additional fundraising ideas and suggestions at their site, such as creating more excitement about your fundraiser with a fancy dress day or free dress day.
Raise $500 by hosting a quiz night or movie night with a raffle. Charge $10 to enter. Recruit seven teams of six people and have a raffle on the night to boost the amount raised. We can supply you with a set of fun bear-themed quiz questions
Raise $750+ by setting a challenge and have people sponsor you for this. It could be as simple as a walkathon but we’ve even had supporters run marathons in bear costumes to raise funds and awareness.
Raise $1500+ by putting on a social event with food, such as a tribute band evening or dance. Charge for tickets and hold a raffle.
Step 3: Go forth and fundraise
Don’t be afraid - you’ll find that there are many kind-hearted people who want to help. You’ll make new friends, send and receive positive energy, help raise awareness of important issues and of course, help rescue and care for animals in need!
The more you talk about your fundraising, the more people will donate, so make sure you publicise what you’re doing.
Contact your local newspaper/ radio, Write a press release including information such as: When, Who, Where, What and Why. Include any photographs. Contact your local newspaper or radio station and tell them you are raising money for Free the Bears. Don’t forget to mention your hard work and how much money you want to raise.
Use social media shamelessly. Use photographs and videos to tell people how you’re raising money for Free the Bears and why. Type @FreetheBears in your Facebook posts and #FreetheBears on Instagram & Twitter. Add links to www.freethebears.org. Tag other people. Don’t forget that you are fundraising for the world’s leading organisation for bears, so make sure that what you are saying is relevant and appropriate.
You can’t control the weather, but you can choose your date tactically to try and get the best turn out. If you’re hoping to have your friends along, check for conflicting weddings and birthdays.
Call in a few favours. Your friends are a talented bunch. Do you know a musician, a baker, an entertainer? Or someone who can offer you a venue free of charge? Then get them on board. Together you’ll be unstoppable.
Q: Can I use the Free the Bears logo?
A: Before you conduct a fundraising event, you should download & read our Fundraising Guidelines & also complete & send to us our Fundraising Registration Form. Contact us to find out more.
WORKPLACE GIVING: Your employer may have Workplace Giving in place, allowing you to make regular donations directly from your payroll, with your employer matching your donation, often up to 100% (i.e. in effect doubling your donation). Please check with your employer to see if they offer this option (and if they don't, please suggest that they enter a workplace giving programme such as benevity or good2give). Don't be shy to encourage your co-workers to enroll into the Workplace Giving programme at the same time you do - every donation is doubled.
Here are some inspirational stories from some of our supporters:
Fundraising Boot Camp and Bears Picnic by our Victorian supporters
City to Bay Fundraising fun run and photo workshop by our South Australian supporters
City to Surf Fun run and Walk across Australia Fundraisers by WA supporters
Bear cupcake Fundraising by our Tasmanian supporters
Here are some examples of fun & successful fundraising events our wonderfully hard-working, committed and kind-hearted supporters have held: