Remembering Wildlife is the collective name for the series of books created by British wildlife photographer Margot Raggett, who was prompted to take action after seeing a poached elephant in Northern Kenya in 2014. She began asking fellow wildlife photographers if they would contribute to a fundraising book. Their response was unanimous and Remembering Elephants, by ‘Wildlife Photographers United’ was published in September 2016 with images donated by 65 of the world’s top wildlife photographers. Such was the success that Remembering Rhinos was quickly announced and launched in 2017, once again to critical acclaim. Remembering Great Apes, the third book in the series, was published on 15th October 2018 featuring images donated by 72 photographers. On 14th October 2019 we launched the fourth book in the series Remembering Lions featuring images by 74 photographers and in the first week of publication it raised £100,000 for conservation projects. We've now distributed £141,000 from that book. You can read about where these donations and also many of our previous donations went here.
All four books were prefunded by successful Kickstarter campaigns, meaning that all profits can be given straight to projects protecting the species that the book is focused on. So far in total, we've distributed well over R13 million ($817,000 USD) to 40 different conservation projects in 23 countries across Africa and Asia (read about them here). After another successful Kickstarter campaign, design and production of Remembering Cheetahs is now underway and this 5th book in the series will be published in October 2020. You can pre-order here.
The Remembering Wildlife Model
Unlike many other fundraising organisations, we run Remembering Wildlife fully as a business, not a charity (though we are fully registered with the Fundraising Regulator). That’s because we make our money largely through selling books, but also through our exhibitions and events. Unlike most charity models, we don’t ask you for donations (although we do accept them if approached) - we sell you something beautiful and promise that 100% of the profits go to conservation projects.
All of the stunning images we use in our books and exhibitions have been generously donated by our photographers, as their way to give back to the species they make their livings from photographing.
Our fixed overheads are low - we all work from home rather than rent expensive offices - but the physical costs of making, printing, storing and shipping heavy books are not inconsiderable. And whilst we have a committed group of volunteers who help us as much as they can (and we personally lug boxes of books ourselves around the country when we can), we do need to pay our core team for everything from book design and editing, to customer service, bookkeeping, distribution and admin.
The team is led by founder Margot Raggett who also takes a small monthly salary which allows her to dedicate 95% of her time to the project. Previously she was CEO of a large PR agency in London, so her business background is enormously helpful when running this rapidly growing enterprise.
Everyone Remembering Wildlife pays is receiving considerably less than they would in the commercial world and we have an experienced finance director keeping track of it all for us.
After all such overheads, we are committed to distributing 100% of profits to conservation projects, no ‘dividend’ will ever be drawn by the shareholders of the business. We’ll publish our accounts each year to back that up, along with a list of all individual donations made, so the list of where profits have been distributed is totally transparent and accountable and tallies up with the profits generated by the business.
The model is working. So far we’ve distributed more than £628,550 (USD 817,000) of ‘profit’ since we started in September 2015 and we are determined to grow that. Time is running out for so many species that we believe being as nimble as we can is critical to getting funds raised out into the field. Unlike the way many charities operate, we don’t sit on big reserves of cash or schedule donations months or even years ahead, we want our cash out out with projects doing good as soon as we possibly can get it there.
We join an ever-growing band of socially-responsible businesses who are committed to making a difference on our planet through trade rather than asking for donations. Our purpose is always to raise awareness of the plight facing a species but also to raise funds to protect it. And by selling something beautiful in order to achieve that, we believe our supporters and customers can feel good when they buy or gift one of our books, prints or other items we auction or sell at our events.
Distribution in South Africa
HPH Publishing will be doing the distribution of the Remembering Wildlife series of books in South Africa.