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We know that animal lovers are a committed bunch who want to do as much as possible to help animals, even when times are tough. Over the years we’ve been blown away by the dedication our supporters show, helping wildlife during a recession and even a global pandemic.

Everyone’s feeling the pinch right now, and we know that some people are having to cancel their regular donations so they can pay the bills. Something we keep hearing is “we’d love to support you again when we can,” which inspired us to put together this article with some free ways to help wildlife.

Cash donations are just one way you can help, but there are numerous other ways you can give sick, injured, and orphaned animals a second chance at life in the wild without spending a penny.

Donate while you shop

Many of you will remember Amazon Smile, which helped shoppers donate a portion of their order to charity. But did you know you can raise money while shopping at thousands of other retailers?

Give as you Live and Easy Fundraising both provide this service. You can start earning donations with just a few easy steps:

  • register for an account using the links above
  • search their site for a retailer before making a purchase. If they’re on the system, you’ll see how much you can raise when you shop
  • follow the instructions that take you through to the retailer’s website. After you complete your purchase, and depending on the retailers, we’ll receive the funds in our account balance a few weeks later

Take part in a fundraising challenge

Fundraising is a fun way to help wildlife! As an individual you can only donate so much, but by accessing your networks you can really amplify the difference your support makes.

We organise a number of sponsored events, but there’s nothing to stop you organising your own and coming up with an exciting challenge yourself. Love walking? Set yourself an ambitious goal and ask your family and friends for sponsorship. If you work with a lot of people, why not organise a workplace raffle? Ask your employer or other local companies to donate prizes for it.

Top tip if you’re raising money for wildlife: ask your employer if they offer matched sponsorship. Lots of large companies do this to encourage their employees to fundraise for charity, and you could potentially double your money!

Got an idea for a fundraising event or challenge? Email us on to discuss it. We’re happy to support you with leaflets, posters, and anything else you need to make it a success.

Nominate SWWR for donations and awards

This is one of those occasions where one minute of your time really could make a big difference.

Several companies run schemes where the public can nominate a charity to receive a donation. Customers of John Lewis and Waitrose can do this in-store throughout the year (ask for a form at the customer services desk) and various other retailers run time-limited schemes.

The Benefact Group’s Movement for Good gives away £1,000 donations to hundreds of charities every year. Nominate us once to give us multiple chances to win, and share with your friends to give us even more!


As a charity we simply could not operate without the hundreds of volunteers who help us out in various ways. There are opportunities for every ability and background; you won’t be asked to clean up poo unless you’ve said you’re happy to!

You could spend a couple of hours a week doing laundry. If you’re handy at DIY, you could help our Maintenance department keep our five-acre site running. Don’t like people? Sorting donations at our Retail Operations Centre may be for you!

There are several volunteer roles that we’re always recruiting for. For full details of how you could give the gift of time, see our Volunteer page.

Donate your old and unwanted stuff

They say “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” While we’re not suggesting you send us your rubbish, you may have things in your house that we can use!

Our charity shops are always looking for things to sell, so if you’re ever having a clear-out and find things in a resellable condition, please bear us in mind. Even your old towels and blankets are useful to us, as they make great bedding, just make sure they don’t have tassels, holes, or frayed edges that little claws could get caught in.

You can even turn your old ink cartridges into charity donations. Recycle4Charity make it very easy: simply register on their website, and ask them to send you a freepost envelope. Why not request one of their collection boxes for your business so you can become a drop-off point for your customers and staff?

Create a free will and leave a gift for wildlife

We’ve teamed up with Bequeathed to offer free wills to all our supporters. You can make a start on your Will For Good immediately. Just go online any time that suits you and follow the simple steps to create your draft will.

You can make a start on our Gifts in Wills page, with online and telephone appointments available to suit you. There is no obligation to leave a gift to charity in your will, and absolutely no cost to you for a basic will.

Whichever way you choose to make your Will For Good, please consider leaving a gift to Secret World Wildlife Rescue. Your generosity will help care for sick, injured, and orphaned long into the future and cost you nothing during your lifetime.

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