Third Sector Awards 2016: Fundraising Event - Winner: Elephant Family & Quintessentially Foundation for Travels to my Elephant

Awarded to a fundraising event that used an original or inspiring approach to secure donations

The rickshaw race
The rickshaw race

What were the aims of the event?

Travels to my Elephant was set up to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian elephant. It also generated funding to mitigate the problems between elephants and villagers in India's north-eastern state of Assam, where elephant habitat is fragmented and many local people live in fear of being attacked as they encroach more and more on the animals’ territory.

What did the event consist of?

Inspired by the book Travels On My Elephant by the conservationist Mark Shand, Travels to my Elephant came to life through a series of five events that took place throughout 2015. It was launched in June by the actress Goldie Hawn and began when 20 rickshaws decorated with elephants took over the streets of London before being auctioned at an event hosted by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

In another event in November that year, 80 people raised at least £10,000 each to participate in a 500-kilometre rickshaw race across India. At the end of the trip they were greeted by Tara, the elephant that featured in Shand’s book.

The event attracted sponsorship from the department store Selfridges and the baby equipment brand Maclaren, with miniature elephant sculptures celebrating the event being sold in Selfridges and other London retailers.

What did it achieve?

Travels to my Elephant raised more than £2m, surpassing its net target by more than 70 per cent. The funds have safeguarded the lives of 1,700 endangered Asian elephants and 120 people living in Assam, with a further 100 people set to benefit over the coming year. The events had a total media reach of 915 million people, a Facebook reach of 370,000 and more than 100,000 Twitter impressions.

What did the judges say?

Scott Clarkson, deputy director of supporters and communities at Save the Children, said: "What an impressive list of achievements. It sounds like each part of the campaign was a success."


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