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Home Page > Get Involved > Help An Ape While You Isolate – A Virtual Fundraiser

Virtual Fundraiser - Help an Ape

Join our Virtual Fundraiser!

Please help us by taking part in OFI Australia’s first ever VIRTUAL fundraiser.

Read below how the concept works and what you need to do to register

During the current COVID-19 crisis, where social distancing & staying at home have become our new norm, OFI is facing huge challenges as we continue to fund our orangutan and forest conservation work.  Whilst the human world follows home isolation, social distancing, reduced work hours and home schooling (to name a few), the needs of the orangutans in our care have not changed nor have the costs involved.

Orangutans needs our help as much as ever!

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The OFI Care Centre continues to care for 300+ displaced and orphaned orangutans. Activities and costs that cannot be avoided include:

  • Food must be purchased, prepared and distributed – our monthly fruit bill is currently US$30,000!
  • Enrichment must be made and distributed each day to keep the orangutans mentally stimulated
  • Monthly health checks and medical treatment for every orangutan
  • Staff salaries and wages … our hardworking staff leave their families at home each day to attend to the needs of the orangutans
  • Infrastructure and utility costs

As orangutans share 97% of our DNA, they can catch every virus that we humans can contract. They must be protected! For the health of the orangutans and staff at the Orangutan Foundation International Care Centre, Dr Birute Galdikas has closed the Care Centre to all, other than staff, who are following the most stringent hygiene protocol, while the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Due to the pandemic, OFI and OFI Australia have cancelled all Borneo ecotours for the first half of 2020, with further cancellations probable.  The two construction volunteer projects for this year have also been cancelled. These activities generate much needed funds to keep the OFI Care Centre operating.

OFI is also responsible for the management, support and protection of the entire orangutan population in the Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan, Borneo. The Indonesian Government Ministry for Forestry, for the first time ever, has shut down the National Park to protect the orangutans from tourists and visitors, both Indonesian and foreigners. Tanjung Puting National Park has the largest population of orangutans left in the wild, currently estimated to be around 6,000. This closure has further decreased funds usually raised through ecotourism, which helps support the region in its entirety.

Whilst we are facing a funding shortfall, we will not stop our critical work such as operations at OFI’s Care Centre, urgent orangutan rescues and translocations, and crucial custodian and protection efforts for the rainforests of Borneo, where wild and ex-captive orangutans live along with many other endangered species who share their habitat.

We have had many of our supporters asking … ‘how can we still help the orangutans during this time?’, ‘what can we do?’. We know times are tough for many of us and are extremely grateful for your continued love and support in these difficult times.

With the cancellation of so many of our fundraising activities, such as the Bridge2Brisbane and City2Surf fun runs, market stalls and all face to face fundraising events, OFI Australia acknowledge a new approach to fundraising is needed urgently. It is imperative that our activities adhere to all government instructions and that we all stay safe. We are mindful of everyone’s physical and mental health and wanted to come up with a way to help orangutans AND keep our supporters healthy, happy and positive, by giving them an opportunity to get involved.

Virtual Fundraiser

What is a ‘virtual fundraiser’?

Definition: ‘A virtual campaign is a fundraising initiative that takes place entirely online and allows supporters to engage with your cause from wherever they might be located’

This allows you all to participate safely from your own location.

When will the virtual fundraiser take place?

You can complete your chosen activity whenever you like, however we have nominated a 2-week window to give you a time frame to aim at. This gives you plenty of time to canvas your friends and family and get those sponsorships rolling in.

The virtual fundraiser will take place 28/05/2020 – 08/06/2020.

This is a two-week window.  This allows entrants plenty of time to complete your chosen challenge. You can choose to complete:

  • one challenge during this period (e.g. complete a 10km walk / run or swim, read 5 books etc) or,
  • complete a challenge each day (e.g. 100 sit ups every day)

What activity is involved? What do I do?

Due to ‘social distancing’ and ‘stay at home’ directives, our virtual fundraiser allows you to do any activity at all!  The choice is yours. Just pick your own activity and do it!

We ask that you are mindful of all current social distancing / isolation restrictions and that you do not put yourself or others at risk.  Any selected activity must not breach any federal, state or local laws and it is the responsibility of all participants to be informed about these laws and any associated changes prior to undertaking the activities.

To help your creative thought process, we have supplied some examples below:

  • Go palm oil free or identify and try a new palm oil free product to replace what you currently use
  • Walk (a predetermined distance – we suggest 5km or 10km, like other fundraising events such as Bridge2Brisbane or City2Surf)
  • Run
  • Swim
  • Cycling (indoor or outdoor)
  • Any other form of exercise – 50 push ups, 100 sit ups, daily yoga
  • Rollerblade / Rollerskate
  • Host your own video gaming night, running a competition with your gaming friends
  • Family board game night (only with members in your current household)
  • Bake a cake or cook dinner for your family.
  • Make your parents breakfast in bed (and get them to sponsor you for it!)
  • Do household chores (and get your parents to sponsor you):
    • Mow the lawn
    • Put the bins out
    • Do the dishes
    • Walk and/or wash the dog
  • Read-a-thon – commit to reading a number of books in the challenge period
  • Abstain from something in the challenge period
    • Alcohol
    • Coffee
    • Chocolate
    • Social media
  • Learn 50 words in another language
  • Learn 10 orangutan facts
  • Learn 3 or more chords on a musical instrument
  • Do a wildlife survey in your yard (bird species count, bug hunt)
  • Identify all the native plant species in your garden
  • Learn the names of all the train stops from say Melbourne to Brisbane
  • A family orangutan drawing challenge
  • Create orangutan origami

  A Virtual Fundraiser for Orangutans

Let’s do this!

Cost of Registration

The cost to participate is AUD$15 per entrant.  This registration fee will cover entry into the virtual event plus an OFI Australia ‘SAVE ORANGUTANS’ wristband. (NB – wristbands will only be sent to Australian participants due to the high cost of international postage from Australia).

Virtual Fundraiser






How do I register?

First you need to go to our online store and register.  Please supply all details requested.  In the Additional Information ‘Order Notes’ section , tell us the details of your chosen activity. For example – 10km walk, read 5 books etc.

Checkout Virtual Fundraiser






When we receive your registration, an email will be sent to you with an instruction guide containing all the details you need for setting up your personal fundraising page on Everyday Hero, which you can then share with family, friends and colleagues so they can sponsor you.

We will also send some marketing information and tools to use on your social media pages to help you gain support.

You will also receive a SAVE ORANGUTANS wristband in the mail.
(NB – wristbands will only be sent to Australian participants due to the high cost of international postage from Australia)

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How do people sponsor me?

Entrants will ask friends, families and supporters to sponsor them in their chosen activity via their personal Everyday Hero fundraising page. All sponsorships over $2 will be tax deductible within Australia and a tax receipt will be automatically sent to each sponsor directly from Everyday Hero. Just in time to claim at the end of the financial year!

We are limiting sponsorships to $10

OFI Australia understand the financial hardships many of us are facing at this difficult time and are extremely grateful to those of you and your family and friends who choose to participate in our virtual fundraiser. To ease any financial pressure, we are limiting all sponsorships to $10 per sponsor.

If your family and friends would like to sponsor you for a larger amount, of course they can do so.

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Take a Selfie!

We would like to capture all your love, support and hard work, so ask that you take a ‘selfie’ during or on completion of your chosen activity and either email it to us at or text to 0438 187 716.

*** By providing OFI Australia with your photo / selfie, you are acknowledging that this image may be used in OFI Australia’s social media and advertising.

If you have any questions, we would be very happy to help. Please feel free to call our office on (+61) 07 5527 5226 or (+61) 0404 036 653.



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