One way to approach conservation is to think of the understanding that a member of the public might need in order to engage in a conservation action.  They would have to know about the conservation issue and care about it.  From their they might want to take conservation action and if they are truly engaged they may take the step into advocacy for the species or ecosystem of concern.  This pathway makes some logical sense as a stepwise progression into increasing levels of conservation engagement: Knowledge-Action-Advocacy. Each element however does not have to be separate.  Two or more elements can be combined in a program or project. Thinking about conservation actions and/or advocacy while taking the first steps in building understanding is critical.

Most of us have supported schools, or sports teams by hosting fundraising events at restaurants or pizza places.  Why not do the same for conservation?  Below are some step by step ways to host a conservation fundraising event at a local bar or restaurant.

What to support XXXXXX Conservation efforts? One easy and fun way to generate interest and funding for conservation is by throwing a fundraiser at a local restaurant or bar.  Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Find a restaurant or bar that you and your friends like to visit.  Speak with the manager and ask if they would be willing to host an event where a percentage of proceeds from sales would go to XXXXX conservation. Many restaurants and bars do this already for local youth sports or schools.  Usually they will be willing to offer if it is a weekday or another low customer day where they would benefit from your efforts to draw in customers to their establishment.

Step 2: Invite your friends and acquaintances to come to the designated place and time.  Use social media to draw attention.  Set up a Facebook event.  Make some advertising collateral using word templates or appropriate software and have the materials and promotional collateral available for others who might want to spread the word too.  Ask the establishment if they would share on their social media as well, many will be happy to. Drum up support with frequent reminders to get people excited to attend.  Use frequent reminders, people get busy and people are forgetful.  Don’t expect to send one email or one Facebook Event to get people there.  Use word of mouth, social media, emails and whatever else you can do to drum up support.

Step 3: Meet up at the bar or restaurant and have a great time.  Mingle with the crowd and thank people for being there. Print some of the promotional collateral for display at the establishment. Have a donation box available so that people can contribute directly as well. This has proven to raise a significant portion of your overall funds.

While we may not raise millions at any one event, if a number of these events are hosted throughout the country and over time you are likely to raise a lot of awareness and funds cumulatively… and have a good time in the process!

David Bader
Director of Education, Aquarium of the Pacific