All photos taken from Chimp Haven’s website
The DonationPay office can be an emotional bunch and we have been known to get . . . worked up, over the awesome work our clients are doing. We are moved, inspired and amazed at our clients great work, fortitude and brilliant fundraising strategies, every day. That said, last month as we were setting up donation pages for a new client, suddenly all office work came to a screeching halt as one of our developers called us all over to experience a fantastic video on their site. The organization is Chimp Haven and the video, no joke, moved me- and every member of our development team- to tears. I’ve embedded it below, check it out at your own risk . . .
Aside from turning me into a blubbering mess (no easy feat), Chimp Haven is doing some truly incredible work. From their website:
Chimp Haven is The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. We are an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide lifetime care for chimpanzees who have been retired from medical research, the entertainment industry, or no longer wanted as pets.
Chimp Haven provides:
- A permanent home where chimpanzees can live out their lives in large, naturalistic enclosures in complex social groups
- An organization managed by concerned individuals who specialize in chimpanzee care and management
- An inexpensive low-maintenance facility design
- Financial and organizational stability to provide lifelong care for each chimpanzee
- Opportunities for education and noninvasive behavioral studies
Chimp Haven inspires and moves me for many reasons, not the least of which because I’m an animal lover (who, by the very slimmest of margins, decided not to post gratuitous pictures of my two wily rescue dogs with this article- I think you’ll all agree I’ve shown an admirable bit of restraint here today, thankyouverymuch). Providing a comprehensively-staffed haven for animals who have lived under unfortunate or outright torturous conditions for their entire lives is a powerful and ongoing act of humanity, courage, and compassion that makes me feel honestly proud of us humans, as a species.
Another reason we love Chimp Haven (as if there aren’t enough already!) is because they are terrific at online fundraising; I mean to say that they are successful fundraisers by any financial standards and also that the design, strategy and implementation of their online fundraising pages has been done with care, elegance and a real eye for long-term viability, by their diligent, engaged staff. I’ve elaborated more below, but I’m very impressed with the effort and care that’s been put into the site- for non-profits that have extremely complex on-the-ground operations (like a freaking working organic farm and round-the-clock vet care and trucks delivering several tons of produce every week, and 200 acres of pristine, chimp-friendly paradise to maintain and lots of adorable, brilliant chimpanzees to feed, for instance), a fully functioning and optimized website can end up a casualty of the too-much-t0-do-not-nearly-enough-time industry wide epidemic. Not so here.
Chimp Haven has a new site design, implemented this November, that really aligns their online presence with their practical work, provides a stellar fundraising platform, and acts as an incredible resource and information hive for folks interested in the organization or chimpanzees in general. They funnel donors into two primary donation paths- one for standard donations, another for folks that would like to sponsor an individual chimpanzee. The “Best Friends” pageis my personal favorite, as it offers a chance for donors to truly connect with the animals in residence at Chimp Haven and feel that their donation dollars are going to support an individual chimp, with all his or her specific needs, preferences and character quirks. Instead of rambling about the myriad things they’re doing well, I thought I’d condense it into a handy, reader-friendly list:
5 Things I Love About Chimp Haven’s Fundraising Pages
1.) Personality. Both Chimp Haven DonationPay pages are carefully designed to be clean and user-friendly, but they are framed by photos, information and navigation that is bursting with the personality of the various animals that live in the 200-acre sanctuary. There is a rotating ‘Meet The Chimps‘ portrait that showcases one of the chimps that live in the sanctuary.
2.) Fundraising Integration. The fundraising pages are very well enmeshed in the site aesthetic and functionality. The Chimp Haven web designers have done a terrific job of making sure that every page has navigation that brings the donor directly to a page where they can either get more information about Chimp Haven (and it’s residents) or donate. One of the biggest mistakes we see is organizations that have big ‘Donate!’ buttons all over their site that take the user to a page full of text, with another Donate button or link buried somewhere that takes the donor to the actual donation page- this is donor-alienating and simply too many steps to make an efficient donation process. With Chimp Haven’s site, the fundraising component is built proudly and visibly into every page, letting donors know that the website is a preferred platform for giving.
3.) Specificity. On both of Chimp Haven’s fundraising pages, they include specific numbers. $75 will feed one chimpanzee for two weeks, $50 will provide essential medication for two chimps for one month- these numbers are specific, tangible and absolutely understandable to the donor. They’re not spending time running down the various types of medications the chimps might need to take or exactly what their diet is comprised of (though that info is available and well laid-out in other areas of their site), but they’re giving enough detail to give the donor a solid idea of where their dollars will go. The Chimp Haven ‘Best Friends’ page also wisely offers the option for donors to sponsor individual chimps, letting the donor feel personally connected to the health and well-being of one animal.
4.) Options for Giving. I’ve already mentioned here how impressed I am by Chimp Haven’s carefully planned online fundraising strategy but they also present other opportunities for contribution. The Chimpanzee Wish List, options for volunteering, a terrific store and information about corporate sponsorship- all these options give potential donors an idea of the full scope of ways to support Chimp Haven. I personally most love the Wishlist because it gives, in and of itself, an idea of what the chimp’s lives are like and what they enjoy. I’ll be putting together a care package of rubber boots, dog toys, nuts (not peanuts!), fleece blankets and the like as soon as the holidays are over to send to the sanctuary residents.
6.) The Chimps! The greatest fundraising tool Chimp Haven has are it’s many colorful characters- the site and fundraising pages are full of information about the individual personalities, whims, and life stories of the chimpanzees and they are, every one, fascinating. The comprehensive information, photos, and other media on the site is incredibly enriching, not distracting for site users, and really makes the website seem to be a vibrant part of the larger organization. Making a website and fundraising pages that align with and share the stories ofJimoh, Midget, Queenie, Tracy and the rest is quite a feat indeed.
Chimp Haven is an amazing organization, with a dedicated staff, great sustaining donors and a mission that blows my mind- we’ve really enjoyed working with them so far and we look forward to helping them grow their already-great online fundraising presence. Considersupporting Chimp Haven this holiday! Also, for anyone interested in this organization or in chimpanzees in general, Chimp Haven will be having several open-house type visitor days over the course of the year, where they let the public check out the grounds and residents of their sanctuary- if we lived closer, we’d plan a full-office field trip to Chimp Haven to meet the amazing animals I feel I already know, from Chimp Haven’s dynamite website. Keep up the great work, you guys!