The Adopt an African Animal type of projects have been most successful, particularly with foreigners seeking to make a donation. These programmes usually require a monthly / annual / lifetime fee, which will be used towards the upkeep and care of that elephant (or animal of your choice). As the adoptive parent, you will often receive a personalised certificate, a photograph of your elephant, subscription to the newsletter (if applicable) and visitation rights. Some sanctuaries will include added extras, such as bumper stickers, badges, clothing, and so on.
In Africa, there is an increasing plight regarding the shortage of land. Investors are also encouraged to participate in the Adopt an Acre of Africa programme. These acres are generally from a game-rich area and are home to thousands of animals. By protecting them, you enable the natural habitat of these animals to be maintained for that much longer, and allowing the opportunity for the expansion of the area in the future. This also enables the surrounding communities to create sustainable areas in which they can live and work for the good of the animals. These initiatives also come with rewards, other than those of gratification, including a certificate, a photo of a section of your acre and perhaps a small gift.
Another thoughtful way to extend help to needy elephants is to donate money, time or resources to them in the name of another person either as a gift to that person, or in remembrance of a dear loved one. This not only assists with the maintaining of our precious wildlife, but is also a fantastic way to preserve the memory of someone special, many years after they have passed on.
For more ideas or for details on how to contribute to the care and sanctuary of elephants, as well as their wild peers, click on www.awf.org.