…before we lose them forever.

Thank you for joining the gorilla team as a fundraiser for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s 50th anniversary “Protect Their Future” Campaign.  During the month of September, our goal is to raise $100,000 to protect gorillas’ future in the wild. We are extremely grateful for your generosity and commitment to conservation, and we are so excited that we get to work with you to save gorillas!

To help you achieve your fundraising goals, we’ve put together this toolkit full of ideas, tips, templates, graphics, and more to help you get started and get the word out about your fundraising page.

Should you have any questions along the way, please feel free to reach out to Shari Henning at [email protected].

Thanks for being a part of the gorilla team!



What is the link for the campaign?


What if I am having trouble setting up a fundraising page?



What is the deadline for accepting contributions?

This campaign ends on September 30.

Are contributions tax deductible?

The Fossey Fund is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization in the United States.  Gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  Our tax ID number is 521118866.

What are funds being raised for?

The Fossey Fund is dedicated to the conservation, protection and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa as well as helping the people who share the gorillas’ forest homes. Funds will support our work in gorilla conservation in the areas of: daily gorilla protection, scientific research, education, and community engagement. You can learn more about these programs here.


Steps For Successful Fundraising

  1.  Build Your Personal Fundraising Page

The first step to success is setting up your personal fundraising page!  You’ll want to include a little information about the Fossey Fund’s mission for your donors.  Our website is a great place to pull out some mission-centered language and facts for your page.  Then you’ll want to make it as personal as possible by sharing with your readers why you’re raising money for gorilla conservation.  Remember, your network may be interested in gorillas but we know that they are interested in you. You can check out our sample fundraising page here.

  1.  Make a Donation to Your Own Page

Other people are more likely to donate to your page when they see someone has already given. Donating some of your own money also demonstrates to supporters that you are committed to the cause. Finally, it’s a great way to challenge friends and family to give by asking them to match your own personal contribution.

  1.  Individually Email 10 – 15 Of Your Closest Contacts

Start with your inner circle – those closest to you.  Ask them for donations first, either face-to-face or through an individual, personalized email.  Starting with those closest to you is a great way to build momentum for your page, as your closest contacts are the ones most likely to donate. Studies show that the closer you are to your goal, the more likely people are to donate. By starting with your inner circle, you’re more likely to build up a solid foundation of donors!

  1.  Email the Rest of Your Contacts

Email the rest of your contacts!  Once they see that your page has momentum, they’ll want to be part of the movement too. These may be friends, relatives, co-workers, friends of friends, distant relatives, your book club, your soccer team, etc.  As we say in fundraising, the answer is always “no” if you don’t ask! Personalize emails where you can, but the more distant the contact, the less personal you need to be.

  1.  Make the Most of Social Media

Use social media to promote your fundraising page to anyone who will listen.  Our favorite platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and our handle is @savinggorillas.  Our website, Facebook, and Vimeo are great places to find content for your posts.  You can also use our sample social media posts and graphics from our toolkit to promote your fundraising page, too.

  • Use Tags – Tag people who have already donated to your page and thank them for the donations.
  • Use Your Goal – If your goal is to raise $250, let your social media followers know this and keep them updated on your progress.
  • Don’t Make Every Post An Ask – Share photos, inspiring stories, facts, and other anecdotes about the Fossey Fund, too.
  • Share Your Page – Your fundraising page has social share buttons right on the page for easy sharing across multiple platforms.
  1.  Follow-Up

Reach back out to non-responders when you can – especially when you’re approaching a milestone. Remember, people can easily miss or skip over initial outreach.  Include progress updates in your follow-up messages.

  1.  Thank Your Donors

Thank your donors promptly!  A quick email is a great way to thank your supporters for their contribution.

Sample Social Media Posts

Right click here to save and download photo.

Facebook: Help me and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund raise $100,000 to protect gorillas’ future in the wild. #ProtectGorillasFuture https://gorillafund.org/protect

Instagram and Twitter: Help me and @savinggorillas raise $100,000 to protect gorillas’ future in the wild. #ProtectGorillasFuture https://gorillafund.org/protect

Sample Email Templates


Tip: For your close contacts, personalize this email in the beginning. You can add in details about your relationship – such as asking about their family, discussing the last time you saw one another, etc. Then move onto discussing the campaign.


I’m fundraising for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund “Protect Their Future” campaign. The money raised will support Fossey Fund’s critical mission to save the planet’s last wild gorillas.

I’m trying to raise $250 <EDIT IF NEEDED> by September 30th. If I can get 10 <EDIT IF NEEDED> people to each give me $25 or more, I’m there.  In fact, $25 provides one week of food rations for one of Fossey Fund’s gorilla trackers – those who are in the forest physically protecting gorillas 365 days per year.

Conservation is a priority for me, and I hope you’ll support me and our fragile ecosystem by making a gift to my fundraising page today <LINK THIS SENTENCE TO YOUR FUNDRAISING PAGE>.

Thanks in advance!


P.S. Got 5 minutes? Check out Fossey Fund’s 50th Anniversary video with compelling footage and information about Dian’s revolutionary work and her legacy that lives on today.



As you know, I’m raising money for the Dian Fossey Fund Protect Their Future campaign. My goal is to raise $250 by September 30th, and I hope I can count on your support to help me get there.

I wanted to drop you a quick email to discuss Fossey Fund’s work to protect the planet’s last wild gorillas in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For 50 years Fossey Fund has had a constant presence in the forest, protecting gorillas day in and day out – they never leave the forest.  And their work has paid off.  Mountain gorillas in Rwanda are the only great ape population that is increasing.

But Gorillas in both Rwanda and Congo still face a variety of daily threats: armed conflict, lack of space which increases the risk of violent interactions, disease, illegal poaching, and habitat loss caused by climate change and human demand for farmland, conflict minerals, and charcoal.

<NAME>, $25 provides one week of food rations for one of Fossey Fund’s gorilla trackers. $50 provides a backpack. And $100 provides new boots for two trackers.  Can you help out with one of these much-needed items today?  Your support would mean so much to me. <LINK TO YOUR FUNDRAISING PAGE>

Thank you for helping save a species,



Tip: For your follow-up emails, you can either craft a new email or forward your original email to the recipient with a new message appended at the top.

Hey <NAME>,

I wasn’t sure if you saw my email last week about the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Protect Their Future Campaign.  I’m trying to raise $250 by September 30th to save the planet’s last wild gorillas, and I’m already halfway to my goal!  It would mean so much to me if you’d join my team and chip in $10, $25, or whatever you can today <LINK TO YOUR FUNDRAISING PAGE>.

Dian Fossey began the mission to save wild gorillas, but we can continue it.

Thanks so much!


P.S. Gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo are in danger of extinction within the decade and Fossey Fund hopes to double their protection efforts there. A gift of $25 today would pay for one week of food rations for one gorilla tracker – can you give $25 today?  <LINK TO YOUR FUNDRAISING PAGE>



Tip: Thank donors as soon as possible after they give. Tagging donors on social media is a great way to thank them and get some additional publicity for your page.

Dear <NAME>,

Thank you so much for contributing to my Protect Their Future campaign page. It means so much to me that you care about the fate of the planet’s last gorillas. Your donation will give a critical boost to Fossey Fund’s work in the areas of daily gorilla protection, scientific research, education, and community engagement.  We truly can protect their future with our actions today.

Thanks again for chipping in!

With Gratitude,


P.S. I hope you’ll stay involved with Fossey Fund – we need all hands on deck if we want to continue to protect and study these magnificent creatures.

Fossey Fund Facts

-In 1967 Dian Fossey founded Karisoke Research Center to observe the previously unstudied and endangered mountain gorillas.

-At the time Dian began her work, she felt that mountain gorillas would be extinct by the end of the century.

-Dian Fossey’s collection of data on gorillas remains the largest and oldest of its kind in the world.

-We share approximately 98 percent of our DNA with gorillas.

-There are two species and four subspecies of gorilla.  All types of gorillas are critically endangered, which means they have an extremely high risk of extinction.

-The Fossey Fund studies and protects eastern gorillas, which include mountain gorillas of Rwanda (those Dian studied) and Grauer’s gorillas of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

-There are only 880 mountain gorillas left in the wild. To put that in perspective, there are approximately 10,000 red pandas, 15,000 blue whales, 415,000 African elephants, and 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild.

-There are fewer than 4,000 Grauer’s gorillas estimated to be remaining. Found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they are they only African great ape on the list of the world’s 25 most-endangered primates. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of this population has disappeared in the last two decades.

-The Fossey Fund is dedicated to the conservation, protection, and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Our successful, integrated approach includes close collaboration with local communities as well as partners from around the world.

-Gorillas in both Rwanda and Congo still face a variety of daily threats, including: armed conflict, lack of space which increases the risk of violent interactions, disease, illegal poaching, and habitat loss caused by climate change and human demand for farmland, minerals, and charcoal.

-Our tagline is “Helping People. Saving Gorillas” because we know that conservation cannot be done in isolation. That’s why the Fossey Fund works in four areas to build upon Dian’s intense, integrated model of conservation:

  • Daily Gorilla Protection – To ensure that gorilla populations are stable through intensive presence in the forest every single day
  • Scientific Research – To have the best information available for use in preserving the gorillas and their ecosystems
  • Educating Conservationists – To equip the next generation of African scientists with the skills they need to address the conservation challenges of the future
  • Helping Communities – To create the basic conditions necessary to support effective conservation activities where they are most needed
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