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Reporting for the Chicago Tribune, Gregory Karp wrote about announcement from Ty, toymakers of the widely collected, Beanie Babies to introduce a Cecil the Lion beanie to raise funds for the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, or WILDCRU.  Mr. Karp covers airlines and writes the biweekly Spending Smart column for the Chicago Tribune.

Ty launches ‘Cecil the Lion’ Beanie Baby as fundraiser

nonprofit promotional idea, cecil-the-lion, beanie-babies

By Gregory Karp | Chicago Tribune | 8/03/15

Westmont-based plush-toy maker Ty has created a “Cecil the Lion” Beanie Baby as an animal rights fundraiser in response to a Minnesota hunter who faces worldwide scorn and potential extradition to Africa after illegally killing a protected lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe.
“Hopefully, this special Beanie Baby will raise awareness for animal conservation and give comfort to all saddened by the loss of Cecil,” said Ty Warner, company founder and chairman.
Ty on Monday pledged all profits from its sales to retailers to WildCRU, the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of University of Oxford in Oxford, England, “in memory of the beloved lion tragically killed,” the company said.

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Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby To Raise Awareness and Funds For African Wildlife

Cecil, the majestic lion that was tragically killed in Zimbabwe, has now become a symbol for wildlife conservation and is inspiring supporters outraged by his death to get involved and to give to the cause.

Ty’s Cecil The Lion beanie baby is only one of the many ways people are honoring Cecil.  Aaron Blaise, Oscar-nominated animator on Disney classic, The Lion King showed his respect by honoring Cecil with an incredibly moving painting, which he captured in a time-lapsed video.  Each tribute to Cecil keeps adding to his fame and popularity, and will keep the causes aligned with his identity in the spotlight for some time to come.

 

A Mascot Can Be A Great Nonprofit Promotional Idea for Your Organization

Mascots appeal to wide audiences and can be a great and powerful nonprofit promotional idea for rallying support for your cause. Their cute and cheerful appearance can bring smiles to the faces of both young and old alike. Plus because they are memorable, they can keep your organization on the minds (and hearts) of donors.

Finding the right mascot for your nonprofit can be a fun way to engage your donors when you survey them about what they think it should be. Then as you narrow down the choices, you can ask them to weigh in on the final choice using survey forms which can be embedded into your website, posted on social media or a link to the form sent out to your supporters via text message. Once the votes are in, a crowdfunding campaign can help you raise the money to pay for the purchase or construction of a mascot walk-around costume your organization can use at events.

Consider holding a Donate to Name the Mascot fundraising contest with the goal as another fun and engaging way to keep your supporters excited and invested in your organization’s newest, fun and friendly (and possibly furry) mascot representative.

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