SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Like many other groups and organizations, conservationists with the Caretta Research Project are adapting their fundraising efforts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Most of our funding comes through participation revenue, because we do charge volunteers for coming out to Wassaw Island for those full weekly sessions,” said Caretta Research Project director Kristina Williams.
People can learn about the issues facing loggerhead sea turtles and how they can help protect them during the hands-on educational trips. However, those were postponed as a safety precaution.
“We lost that chunk of revenue through the participants,” Williams told WSAV NOW, adding that the nonprofit organization also typically raises funds through grants, individual contributions and its yearly fundraising event.
“We have an annual fundraiser and it’s usually at one of our board member’s houses, but this year, due to COVID-19, we couldn’t have that,” Williams said.
Instead, the Caretta Research Project launched a three-part virtual and social distancing-friendly fundraiser.
It began in September with their “Concert on the River” event featuring the band, Monkey Man.
About 75 boats of attendees anchored in the Herb River as listeners enjoyed live music while supporting the loggerheads.
For those who missed the event, the organization is sharing a one-hour virtual replay of the concert on Oct. 21 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“We’re going to send out a link, we’re going to post it on Facebook, send out a MailChimp email and we’ll also post it on our website,” Williams said.
The Caretta Research Project is also hosting an online silent auction where people can bid on items and experiences including artwork or even scuba diving classes.
The organization’s annual fundraiser, including the silent auction, will wrap up on Wednesday following the virtual concert.