Social networking – otherwise known as a deliciously addictive pastime to some and a chronic time-sucker-upper to others -- continues to be an integral part of our cultural fabric whether we like it or not. The glow of the tractor beam emanating from our computers notwithstanding, old habits really do die hard. If a 24 hour global power outage were forced upon us, would we reassess our treasured “likes” and infinite status updates as nothing more than white noise distracting us from making a positive, real-world impact?
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), like so many other hardworking environmental organizations, recognizes that when in Rome, it’s pretty crucial to one’s longevity to do what the Romans do. In order to capture the attention of today’s internet-savvy audience in a uniquely convenient way that inspires philanthropy and planetary change, the conservation group is now offering symbolic wildlife adoptions through their non-profit Facebook gift catalog just in time for the 2010 holiday season.
With 82 cents of each charitable dollar used solely for the conservation of well over 100 imperiled species prone to poaching, habitat loss, eco-disasters, climate change and pollution, Facebook fans finally have a viable opportunity to maintain their social connectivity while expanding their reach well beyond the computer screen. Those who pony up for a symbolic adoption donation ranging from $25 to $250 can expect the following:
- Peruse the WWF’s extensive list of endangered species and click on one specific animal as the target of your symbolic adoption.
- Gain access to basic but valuable facts about each species, including their natural territorial range, diet, insight into their endangered status and current population estimates.
- Select your donation level/accompanying ‘goodies’ and pay via credit card.
- The WWF will then mail you a color photo of the preferred species of your choice.
- Donors will also receive a formal adoption certificate and species description card.
- A stuffed animal of your choice will also be mailed to donors offering $50 or more (with complementary shipping to regions served by the U.S. Postal Service). The size of the toy increases exponentially with higher donations.
Photo credit: WWF screenshot