WWF-UK plans to boost revenue of its Christmas merchandise by launching a retail version of its animal adoption programme.
The charity will sell animal adoption boxes in Superdrug and Debenhams stores across the UK in the run-up to Christmas including an adoption certificate, a cuddly toy and an endangered species wall chart. Consumers can choose from tiger, dolphin or panda boxes that will retail at £40 each.
An initial batch of more than 25,000 boxes will go on sale at the end of October and WWF-UK expects to raise a "significant amount
through the product.
"We've tried to push membership products over the Christmas period, but have found that people respond best to the concept of animal adoption,
said Andrew Foot, retail fundraising manager at WWF-UK. "The boxes enable us to have a much more immediate impact, and put the idea in front of people who may not have thought of buying an adoption as a gift."
The box contains an activation card that can be registered online or through a dedicated telephone hotline. Once registered, the purchaser will receive regular updates and newsletters about the progress of their animal.
Foot said that the charity is marketing the boxes as a one-off purchase with no plans to follow sales through with a membership drive.
"With our other adoption programmes we know that there is a very poor conversion of purchasers to regular donors,
explained Foot. "We just hope that people will become more actively interested in animal protection and be more aware of our work."
Merchandise agency TC Communications produced the boxes for WWF, which are also sold through a Christmas catalogue. For each box sold in stores, the charity receives at least £13.