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Frequently asked questions

We've collected together some of the most common or topical questions we're asked. Have a look through the list below to see if you can find what you're looking for.

If you can't find the answer here you can use the enquiry form to ask us your question.

FAQ list

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What is WWF’s position on dolphin hunts?

Many of these hunts occur outside international regulation and control. While we work on a wide range of threats facing dolphins (and other species), we don’t work on this particular issue. However several of our partners are doing important work to raise awareness of these hunts and need your support. At WWF we are lobbying for the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to expand its remit to conserve whales and dolphins. You can find out more about our work at the IWC.

Why do WWF carry out telephone fundraising?

We really appreciate all the support we receive but in order to ensure that the organisation is best placed to tackle the growing environmental challenges facing the planet we will sometimes telephone supporters to ask if they are able to increase or renew their donations. For every £1 we spend on fundraising and legacy marketing we raise more than £4 so it really does make a difference.

Telephone fundraising is a very important and cost-effective means for us to talk to our supporters directly, enabling us to thank them for their support and keep them informed of how their money is making a difference,  as well as offering the opportunity to renew and increase their giving if they want to. We use and constantly monitor a range of high quality agencies to make calls on our behalf as it is a cost effective use of our funds, meaning more of our resources go on vital work where it is most needed. As a member of the Fundraising Standards Board we are committed to the best fundraising practice and follow their guidelines in all our telephone fundraising activity.

How can I renew my adoption/membership?

It’s fantastic to hear that you’d like to renew your adoption/membership for another year! Our Supporter Services team will be more than happy to help you with this. You can contact them by calling 01483 426333 – Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm – and pressing option 2.

I have raised some money for WWF, where shall I send the cheque?

Thank you so much for raising money for WWF, we really appreciate your support!

Please send us a cheque, made payable to WWF-UK, to:

The Living Planet Centre
Rufford House
Brewery Road
Surrey, GU21 4LL

It would be great if you could also let us know how you raised the money. If you include your name and address we will send you a thank you letter.

What is WWF-UK's investment policy

Our investment policy is to maintain the real value of our investments and to maximise income by way of a diversified portfolio consistent with the Trustees’ legal powers and duties. This is underpinned by our socially responsible investment policy, which promotes the principles of sustainable development and improvements to the environment.

To find out more, please read our Annual Report.

How does WWF-UK work with the corporate sector?

We believe passionately that in order to address the huge challenge of moving towards a global, sustainable future, we must work with companies to help them lessen their impact and embed sustainability at the heart of their business.

It is simply not enough to only work with companies that are already doing everything right. We must be willing to form challenging and constructive relationships with the companies that are able to drive real change in global markets and our priority eco-regions.

Doesn’t working with big business compromise WWF's position as an independent conservation organisation?

No. In fact, we believe it is quite the opposite. It is imperative for us to work with business and industry if we are serious about achieving our mission. We can support companies that are doing the right thing and influence companies that need to change their practices. By combining our strengths we can drive real, lasting change in the global markets and our priority eco-regions.

A list of current partnership with can be found here.

Where is WWF?

Our main home in the UK is:

The Living Planet Centre
Rufford House
Brewery Road
Surrey, GU21 4LL

We also have offices in Wales and Scotland:

WWF Cymru
Baltic House
Mount Stuart Square
Cardiff, CF10 5FH

WWF Scotland
Little Dunkeld
Perthshire, PH8 0AD

Find other ways to contact us.

I have seen some wildlife items for sale that I think are illegal. What should I do?

A. You may like to call our Eyes and Ears hotline on 01483 426111 to report the incident or fill in a report form online .

What is Gift Aid and how can I register?

Gift Aid makes your donation go further. Under this UK government scheme, WWF can claim back tax on every donation – even a one-off gift – made by a taxpaying supporter.

If you are a UK taxpayer and would like to register for Gift Aid, you can do so at www.wwf.org.uk/giftaid. Alternatively, you can telephone the Supporter Care Team on 01483 426333, or use this form to email us quoting your supporter reference number or full postal address.

How do I organise a talk about WWF for my organisation?

A. We will soon be able to welcome the public into our new UK home The Living Planet Centre in Woking. Groups can come into this building to find out more about our work, and our exciting new building, . If you would like to find out more about visiting us with your group please contact livingplanetcentre@wwf.org.uk.

WWF Scotland also has trained volunteer presenters who give talks to community groups in Scotland. If you are a community group interested in receiving such a talk, please contact WWF Scotland scotland@wwf.org.uk

What is WWF-UK's registered charity number?

WWF-UK: a charity registered in England (number 1081247) and in Scotland (number SCO39593); and a company limited by guarantee - registered in England (number 4016725).

Does WWF offer internships?

Yes, we offer a range of opportunities and internships is one of them. Our internships are designed to get people involved in some exciting projects and initiatives that contribute to creating a future where people and nature thrive. 

We often advertise our internships via our careers opportunity page.

To get the latest notifications please register your interest through our online recruitment system.

Good luck
WWF-UK Recruitment Team

Where can I get more information about the badger cull?

The culling of badgers is being carried out with the aim of tackling tuberculosis (TB) in cattle.

WWF does not work on this issue as our priorities for conservation lie mainly with species outside of the UK. There are many other national organisations whose resources are solely dedicated to the conservation and welfare of UK species.

We suggest you contact the Badger Trust - an organisation closely involved with badgers and the issue of their culling - for more information. Their contact details are:

Badger Trust
P.O. Box 708
East Grinstead
RH19 2WN
Tel: 08458 287878
E-mail: enquiries@badgertrust.org.uk

You may also like to contact The Wildlife Trusts, who work on issues affecting badgers and other UK species. They have local offices, usually at a county level, and their national office contact details are:-

The Wildlife Trusts (National Office)
The Kiln Waterside
Mather Road
NG24 1WT
Tel: 01636 677711
E-mail: enquiry@wildlifetrusts.org

We are sorry that we are unable to help further and hope you understand that WWF cannot work on all issues.

How can I make sure my donation is safe?

A. The Fraud Advisory Panel and Charity Finance Group have produced a guide to giving safely aimed at individual charitable donors in the UK. It provides practical advise to giving safely and avoiding potential scams to ensure your donations reach WWF and other charities you support.

Why does WWF do face to face fundraising?

A. WWF has found that meeting people in the street or at home helps to raise awareness as well as gaining new and long term support. We‘ve found this method is a cost effective way of reaching new audiences, which is vital if we are to maintain and grow our conservation programmes. However we’re always monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of these campaigns and if they’re no longer proving cost effective we’ll either adapt or discontinue the activity.

Face to face fundraising is an effective way to generate more funds; it tends to bring in at least double what we spend on it. And we learn a lot about what areas of our work supporters are interested in through face to face fundraising. The fundraisers are fully trained and very passionate about what WWF does. They know they’re helping raise the funds which make WWF’s work possible. And they can generally answer questions people may have about WWF’s work then and there, giving practical examples of how their funding can help protect our natural world.

I signed up to give a certain amount but the amount that’s being taken from my bank account is different.

Please contact WWF’s supporter care team on 01483 426333, or by using this form to email us and we will correct these details.

If you’ve only just signed up in the last few days, we may not have your details on file yet. Some fundraising companies will call you to check that the amount is correct; so you can also correct it then.

Why do your fundraisers ask for £8.50 when memberships/adoptions can be bought for £3 per month online?

As a charity, we have to make sure we’re investing money effectively in order to generate funds for our work. The costs associated with online sign-ups are far lower than those of face to face fundraising, which is reflected in the minimum amounts they are able to offer supporters.

You can contact us at any time to amend the value of your direct debit.

I’m concerned that you may be targeting vulnerable people

A. Residential fundraisers are trained not to ask people to join if they appear vulnerable, and as most people who sign up will be called by another person to verify they want to do so, there’s another opportunity to check that the supporter is absolutely sure and no funds will be taken unless they verify that they are. Though in some circumstances it can be difficult to ascertain whether somebody is vulnerable, fundraisers must follow PFRA rules on engaging with people who appear vulnerable, and there are penalties for not adhering to these rules. If you or somebody you know has felt uncomfortable with fundraisers, please let us know as this will help ensure that fundraisers know what to look out for and to be careful to not sign up vulnerable people.

What’s your policy on asking people in no cold calling zones?

We understand and respect the need for legitimate and designated No Cold Calling Zones (NCCZs) in the UK and - though these areas are designated to prevent people selling goods, not people fundraising - we require our fundraisers to avoid these areas in case residents regard fundraisers as salespeople.

In some areas, NCCZs have not been set up, meaning the NCCZ rules do not apply - but residents have placed ‘no cold calling’ stickers on their doors. We expect fundraisers to be vigilant about these stickers and refrain from knocking on any door displaying such a sticker.

If the sticker is located outside an official NCCZ, it is quite possible a fundraiser may knock on the door without noticing the sticker, in which case they are advised to be courteous when a resident points the sticker out, and to report back to their Team Leader and office that fundraisers should avoid approaching that door in future.

How do I know a fundraiser is legitimate?

Fundraisers will be wearing WWF uniforms, which may be in the form of t-shirts, polo shirts, sleeveless tabards or jackets. You can see examples of these on this page. Fundraisers operate on busy streets, in shopping centres and similar venues and house to house. The uniforms they wear may differ slightly depending on where they are fundraising.

Fundraisers will also carry an ID card which bears their name, photo and details of the fundraising organisation they work with. If you want to sign up to support WWF but aren’t sure the fundraiser is legitimate, ask to call the fundraising organisation or contact WWF’s Supporter Care team on 01483 426333 between 9 and 5 Monday to Friday.

What time of day/night are fundraisers allowed to approach me?

A. Fundraisers are contracted to canvass on our behalf from 9am – 8.30pm (Monday – Friday) and 9am – 5:30pm (Saturday). Fundraisers may return to a house between 8.30pm and 9pm only if this has previously been agreed between the fundraiser and the resident. Please let us know if you have fundraisers calling outside these times.

Does the money go direct to WWF?

A. One of the good things about direct debits is that donations are secure and the money goes directly into WWF’s account. This means that neither the fundraising company or any third parties will be involved in the transaction from your account.

Why did the fundraiser ask for a text donation?

We have various different approaches to face to face fundraising, one of which involves fundraisers asking supporters to make a small donation using their mobile phone. These fundraisers generally work in venues like shopping centres, and will also be identifiable as they will be in the WWF uniforms as shown and will have ID cards. If you decide to make a text donation, it will be taken from your phone bill. The fundraiser should explain this to you before you send the text. Feedback shows that supporters like this way of giving. Supporters who text a donation may later be called by fundraisers to thank them and to see if they would also like to take out a WWF adoption.

I don’t like hard selling; why do fundraisers use these tactics?

Fundraisers are trained to be sensitive to people they speak to. One of the reasons we do face to face fundraising is to have meaningful conversations with supporters, so fundraisers know to approach people in a friendly manner. In any case, hard selling doesn’t tend to yield good results.

Additionally, most people who agree to sign up after talking to a face to face fundraiser will later receive a phone call from a different person to check that the supporter is happy to sign up; this gives the supporter time to decide whether they really want to do so, and no payments will be taken until they’ve verified that they wish to sign up.

Please note that though fundraising agencies will attempt to contact people who sign up to make sure that they are happy to give, they will inevitably not be able to get through to everybody on the phone after a few attempts. We also send a direct debit notification form to everybody who signs up 14 days before any payments are taken, giving supporters a further chance to cancel - which we can do immediately if they contact us. You can also cancel after payments have begun; please contact our supporter care team to do this.

We hope that talking to our fundraisers has been a positive experience for you. If you’ve been unhappy or if you’ve been impressed by fundraisers, please do contact our supporter care team and give us feedback using this form.

Are the police, trading standards and councils aware of your fundraisers?

A. Yes. WWF holds a national exemption certificate that means we can fundraise without approval from local authorities, but we choose to notify all local authorities and police stations in advance of our arrival in an area anyway. For some forms of fundraising, such as private sites like shopping centres, permission is given by the owners of the venue.

All fundraisers will wear an identification badge and will be easily idenitifiable in WWF branded clothing. The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA), a voluntary self-regulatory body focused on face to face fundraising in the UK, works with local authorities, charities and professional fundraising agencies to manage team visits within London.

Outside of London different arrangements are in place with local authorities to gain permission and arrange mutually convenient access to their sites. We take seriously any feedback from local councils, positive or negative, and requires fundraising agencies to forward any complaints they receive directly to us.

In some instances, fundraisers also provide their names, badge IDs and dates they will be in the area to local police stations - though this is not a specific requirement.

Our fundraisers and the agencies we work with must also adhere to the rules of both the PFRA and Institute of Fundraising’s code of practice. We do not work with agencies in the UK who are not registered with or do not conform to the standards of the PFRA.

Why does WWF spend money on face to face fundraising?

Unfortunately, all fundraising costs money, from postal mailings to sponsored events and online fundraising. As face to face fundraisers generally sign people up for direct debit giving, the investment is very strong. That means we have more money to spend on vital work.

How and what does WWF pay the fundraising agencies?

A. WWF pays the fundraising agencies a fixed rate for every person who signs up to a membership or adoption. WWF does not pay the company when people decline to sign up; that means WWF does not spend any money unless there’s going to be more coming in.

Are the fundraisers WWF employees?

A. WWF isn’t able to employ a team of face to face fundraisers internally, so we contract professional fundraising agencies who do the work for us. This has proven to be a successful and cost-effective method. Different agencies have different staff and wage structures.

Who is WWF-UK's President?

WWF-UK's President is HRH The Prince of Wales (as of 8 September 2011).

New president for WWF-UK

Our former President was HRH Princess Alexandra, The Hon Lady Ogilvy KG, GCVO

Our Vice President, until his death in September 2009, was Lord Aubrey Leland Oakes Buxton of Also, KCVO MC DL.

The international president of WWF is Yolanda Kakabadse. WWF international presidents - past and present.

How is my adoption money spent?

Adopting a species is one of the most popular ways in which people choose to support our work.  Many people have a favourite species they choose to adopt, and this can mean that some areas of our work might attract more funding than others.

To give us the flexibility to manage our funds in the most effective way, we currently allocate your adoption money to our work to conserve your adopted species and as more flexible funding for other vital conservation work around the world.

We have found that supporters understand this need to be able to spend our adoption funds in areas where there is also vital need alongside our key species conservation projects.

What do you do with the money that I give to WWF?

  • 57% of our income goes directly on conservation programmes
  • 26% is spent on the cost of generating funds - for every £1 spent, £4 is generated
  • 12% on communicating and influencing
  • 3% on gifts in kind
  • 2% is spent on our governance and monitoring systems, which ensure we remain accountable
You can be sure we're always looking at ways of cutting our administrative costs and overheads wherever possible, especially in tight financial times.

How is adoption money allocated between conservation work with the specific species and WWF's wider work?

Adoption funds are split between tiger conservation and WWF's wider work.

Amur Leopard
Adoption funds are split between amur leopard conservation and WWF's wider work.

Adoption funds are split between orangutan conservation and WWF's wider work.

Adoption funds are split between panda conservation and WWF's wider work.

Adoption funds are split between dolphin conservation and WWF's wider work.

Adoption funds are split between elephant conservation and WWF's wider work.

Adoption funds are split between rhino conservation and WWF's wider work.

Adoption funds are split between penguin conservation, climate change work and WWF's wider work.

Polar Bear
Adoption funds are split between polar bear conservation, climate change work and WWF's wider work.

Adoption funds are split between turtle conservation, climate change work and and WWF's wider work..

Funds are allocated to the Acre rainforest conservation project which benefits jaguars and other species  who live in the forest

Sponsor an Acre
Funds are allocated to the Acre rainforest conservation project

I need to cancel my Direct Debit as my circumstances have changed. How do I do this?

A. The easiest way to inform us you’d like to cancel your donations is by using our online Contact Us form or by calling our Supporter Care team on 01483426333. We will cancel your Direct Debit within 5 days. You can also cancel your Direct Debit any time by contacting your bank by telephone, in person or via online banking. Letting us know you’d like to cancel avoids us contacting you to confirm your decision. Alternatively, you can complete our printable form and send this to us, please note the cancellation may take longer by post.

I need to cancel my Gift Aid Declaration as I am no longer a UK taxpayer. How do I do this?

A. You can cancel your Gift Aid Declaration at anytime by calling Supporter Care on 01483 426 333. All we need is the date that you ceased paying Income Tax.

Download a form

I want to change the amount of my Direct Debit payments, how do I do this?

A. You can change your Direct Debit payment amount at any time by simply calling Supporter Care on 01483 426 333. Alternatively, you can download a form, complete and return direct to us. Upon receipt of the completed from, we will make the changes to your Direct Debit. If you pay for an adoption or membership the minimum that you can pay is £3.00 per month or £36.00 per annum. Should you wish to pay less than this, your adoption or membership will be cancelled and your payment will be used as a regular donation.

Can I support you from overseas by Direct Debit?

A. Yes it is possible to support us by Direct Debit if you are overseas BUT only if you have a UK bank or building society account that accepts Direct Debits.

If you do not have a UK bank or building society that accepts Direct Debit, you can still support us by paying annually by credit card or bank transfer. With bank transfer, please ensure that you quote your supporter number and state what the payment is for.

Please note that there is an additional charge to cover the cost of postage overseas - Europe £4.00, Rest of the World £9.00.

We aim to dispatch your pack within three working days; for Europe, please allow 21 days for delivery; for the rest of the world, please allow 4-6 weeks.

I pay by Direct Debit and my bank account has changed. How do I update my account details with you?

A. Usually, if you change your bank account details, your bank will provide a service where they notify all of your Direct Debit Service Users of your new account details so you don't have to do anything.

However, if you have chosen to advise all Service Users of your new details yourself, you can download a printable form.

I currently pay monthly by Direct Debit but I want to pay on a date of my choice. How can I do this?

A. We do appreciate that not everyone likes to pay by Direct Debit. However, this is a safe method of payment and reduces our administration fees considerably. You are also protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. This means that if a payment is taken from your account that you have not agreed to, you are entitled to an immediate refund from your bank or building society. When you set up a Direct Debit, we will write and advise you at least 10 working days before any money is taken from you account. If the dates or amounts change, again we will write to you at least 10 working days before any money is taken from your account.

If you would still prefer to pay by an alternative method, we would recommend a Standing Order. This is an instruction between yourself and your bank to make payments to WWF on a date of your choice and this instruction cannot be changed in any way by WWF.

Download a printable form

I would like to change my Direct Debit to be taken from my account on a date of my choice. How do I do this?

We currently offer two dates for your Direct Debit to be claimed: on or around the 14th or the 26th of every month.  With Direct Debits claimed on or around the 26th of the month, your donation will be debited from your bank account on the last working day of the month.

If you’d like to discuss this further please call our Supporter Services team on 01483 426333 and press option 2.

How will my choice of wood products in the UK have an impact on illegal logging?

At WWF-UK our campaigns are mainly about reaching people in the UK, as that is where we can have the most influence. But we also work with other WWF offices in Europe who are reaching people in their countries with these same messages.

In the UK and other developed countries we consume a proportionately larger share of the world's timber products (according to latest available Forestry Commission statistics, the UK imported 5.8 million m3 of sawnwood and nearly 9 million tonnes of pulp and paper from around the world in 2008 alone). We also tend to have more opportunities to make choices about which products we choose than people in poorer countries who may not have as much choice. Therefore we have the opportunity to have a significant influence on the timber industry through the products we choose.

It can sometimes seem difficult to see how we in the UK can make a difference when we are a small proportion of the world's population. But everyone can make a difference. We all have a part to play, and supporting a responsible timber trade is a great way to make a positive difference to people and wildlife.

Why does WWF use blanket fundraising methods like ringing people at home, stopping people in the street and knocking on their doors?

We do try to target communications to reach those people most likely to be interested in our work, but this is not an exact science. Experience has shown us that if charities don't ask people for support using different methods, it is much less likely that we will be able to raise the funds necessary to undertake our work.

In this “multi-channel” world, where people get their information in all sorts of ways, we can't afford to miss out. In addition, different people get their information from different places; not everyone can be reached using the press for example, so without these methods we would risk not communicating with potential supporters.

WWF has found that meeting people in the street or at home helps to raise awareness as well as gaining new and long term support. We ask people to help us by signing a petition, texting a donation or by committing to a regular Direct Debit donation. We do not take cash donations this way. We use the phone to call our existing donors or to contact those that have already expressed an interest in WWF.

We have found all of these fundraising methods to be a cost effective way of reaching new audiences which is vital if we are to maintain and grow our conservation programmes. However we are always monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of these campaigns and if they are no longer proving cost effective we will either adapt or drop the activity.
All WWF fundraisers will have an ID Badge and will be wearing clothing or a tabard with our logo on it. They will also be very knowledgeable about the charity.

If you are unsure whether they are genuine or wish to provide any feedback please call our Supporter Care team on 01483 426333 - we are available to answer your calls 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Alternatively use this form to email us or write to us at:
Supporter Care Team
The Living Planet Centre
Rufford House
Brewery Road
Surrey, GU21 4LL

As a member of the Fundraising Standards Board we are committed to the best fundraising practice and follow FRSB Guidelines.

How much of my donation goes on fundraising and administration?

A. We're quite clear about how much goes on fundraising and support. Like any other kind of organisation, charities have support and income-raising costs to ensure their existence and effectiveness.

We are constantly working to maximize the money going to our conservation action around the world – whether it's paying for highly skilled field conservationists, or professional lobbyists in the corridors of power.

More than 180,000 charities in the UK complete with us for your funding and attention, so we also invest in communicators and fundraising staff to keep the spotlight on the vitally important work we are doing and ensure the money keeps flowing in.

Fundraising costs ensure we survive. In order to secure income to achieve our work it is necessary to spend money on communicating our need for funds. These fundraising costs vary depending on who the organisation is asking (government, private individuals, companies or foundations). We seek to raise funds from a variety of sources in order to maximise the amounts of money raised and reduce reliance on a small number of funders, who could pull out leaving the charity in difficulty.

Support costs ensure we are effective. To ensure as much money as possible goes to the cause, charities have to be efficient and manage their organisations very effectively. The support costs spent on IT, HR, finance, planning and project management ensures the charity's infrastructure supports its aims and delivery.

How do the different types of fundraising compare?

A. Each charity has its own criteria for judging the effectiveness of different types of fundraising. Essentially, charities judge fundraising by return on investment over time but each charity has to evaluate the audiences it wants to address and what will appeal to them.

Charities look at return on investment over time. At the most basic level this is the return on the investment made over a certain period. Although some forms of attracting new supporters won't make a positive return on investment in 12 months, the charity will have established that the returns over a longer period are such that this is justified.

Every charity has to evaluate the audiences it wants to appeal to. Clearly some forms of fundraising have a better return on investment (even with varying periods to judge returns) than others. Some reasons why charities do not only invest in the fundraising activity that gives the best return are:

Some methods will have the potential to raise a much higher volume of income than others, although they may have a lower return on investment;

The charity has made the decision to spread the risk among a number of types of fundraising in case some of them fail to be as effective over time;

Some types of fundraising generate gradual but continuous growth over time, whereas others just provide a one off injection of cash;

Different audiences can be accessed using different methods. Charities have to evaluate on an individual basis which audiences they want to address and who might be interested in supporting their work.

Why do you prefer people to make regular gifts?

A. Regular gifts mean charities have a consistent, predictable income, so we can plan and budget better and therefore be more efficient.

Regular gifts give long-term security and enable short-term response. They give security and confidence to react to situations as soon as they arise; and the income to carry on with our work whether issues are receiving media coverage or not.

Regular gifts mean less spent on support costs. Regular gifts also mean lower support costs and cheaper bank charges so that more of your money goes to our work.

Ongoing support helps us recoup the higher costs of securing new donors. Securing new donors' support is crucial to allow the charity to keep functioning. However, there is a certain cost associated with reaching those donors. If people commit to giving regularly for a year or more, charities will recoup those costs.

How do I tell the difference between a genuine fundraiser and a bogus one?

There are some simple information checks you can make to protect yourself against bogus fundraisers.

Check the registration number or phone them back. If an organisation or individual purporting to raise money for charity approaches you, check that they have a charity registration number. If you still feel uncertain, ask for a phone number and contact them. You can also refer to 'Guidestar', an online listing of charities which outlines their objectives and their financial status.

Check a street fundraiser's credentials. Street fundraisers will be wearing clothing bearing our logo, have an identity badge and, in some cases, a letter stating that they are paid to recruit new supporters on our behalf.

Our fundraisers will not ask for money or be able to take cash donations from you. Direct debits are secure and ensure that your donations will go directly to WWF. If a fundraiser asks you for cash, please refuse and report the incident to us as this will not be a genuine WWF fundraiser.

How is fundraising regulated? Is it licensed in any way?

A. Registered charities are regulated by the Charity Commission and/or OSCR in Scotland. There are laws about many aspects of charity fundraising and local authorities grant licences to collect in public places. New legislation in Scotland, England and Wales aims to make all aspects of charitable activity much clearer.

Charities are usually registered with the Charity Commission and/or OSCR

Look for the charitable registration number for charities. It should be printed on all fundraising materials. All charities have to be registered by the Charity Commission and/or OSCR. Charities set up in England or Wales are usually registered with the Charity Commission, which is the regulator and registrar for these charities. The Charity Commission is responsible for establishing charity status and securing compliance with charity law. The Charity Commission can look into wrongdoing by charities and has powers to make charities do what they're supposed to legally do. From Spring 2006, OSCR will take on similar functions to the Charity Commission, with the power to grant and remove charitable status.

Most charities have to produce accounts. All registered charities in England and Wales have to produce accounts and charities with a gross annual income over £10,000 have to send their accounts to the Charity Commission. In Scotland, all charities – regardless of income – have to produce annual accounts. Where a charity has an income of over £100,000 an audit is required. For those under £100,000 an independent examination is required.

New charity legislation will make charitable activity clearer. There is legislation in the pipeline which aims to clarify what constitutes charity. New legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2005. This will also develop a new licensing system to cover public collections such as street and door-to-door fundraising.

How are charities governed?

A. Charities are usually registered with the Charity Commission and/or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), have a governing document and a trustee body.

The Charity Commission is established by law as the regulator and registrar for charities in England and Wales. In Scotland, OSCR has similar responsibilities to the Charity Commission.

The Charity Commission / OSCR fulfils this role by securing compliance with charity law, dealing with abuse and poor practice and enabling charities to work better within an effective legal, accounting and governance structure. They have powers to intervene in a charity to protect its assets where a formal investigation establishes serious mismanagement or abuse.

Every Charity must have a governing document setting out the charity's objects and usually how it is to be administered.

It may be a trust deed, constitution, memorandum and articles of association, rule, conveyance, will, Royal Charter, Scheme of the Commissioners or other formal document.

Every Charity must have a trustee body constituted in accordance with the governing document. Charity trustees are unpaid volunteers – there are some exceptions in Scotland - who under the charity's governing document are responsible for the overall control of the charity and ensuring that it is properly managed.

The trustees of all charities are under a duty to ensure that the charity keeps proper books and records, and that annual accounts are prepared. In many cases, the trustees must also prepare an annual report. Trustees must ensure that the accounts are subjected to external scrutiny, if that is required by legislation or by the charity's governing document. It is the trustees' responsibility to formally approve the charity's annual report and accounts.

Where does WWF get its money from?

To minimise the risk, we seek our funds from a variety of sources, which is the case for most charities. You can check this information in our annual report, which is published as part of the charity's financial reporting obligations.

We have to seek funds from a variety of sources. Most charities get the bulk of their income from private individuals giving modest amounts. In order to spread risk and maximise income, we try to ensure that we don't have just one funding source. Our annual report shows the percentage split of our fundraising income. Other charities get their income from similar sources, as well as charity shops, statutory funding, gifts and promotional income from companies and their employees and donations from trusts and foundations.

I sent in my adoption application/activated my adoption and haven't received anything, what shall I do?

We’re sorry you haven't received your adoption pack/welcome letter and certificate. Please note it takes approximately 2 - 3 weeks for your adoption pack/welcome letter to be processed and sent. Adoptions purchased from WWF are despatched via Royal Mail in a box that will not fit through your letterbox. Therefore it may be waiting for collection at your local sorting office. Otherwise, please either telephone our Supporter Care Team on 01483 426333, or use this form to send us an email.

When contacting us, please provide us as much information as possible, including your name and address, the gift recipient’s name and address (where relevant), the name and species of the animal adopted, details of how you were paying for the adoption and when you sent your application to us.

I'm concerned as I haven't heard about the animal I adopted for a while.

Adoption updates along with adopters' magazine Wild World are sent out three times a year, in winter, summer and autumn. 

If you do not receive your adoption updates, please contact:

Supporter Care
The Living Planet Centre
Rufford House
Brewery Road
Surrey, GU21 4LL

t: 01483 426333

Or use this form to email us.

I would like to adopt an animal but I live overseas, how can I set this up?

You can make a one-off payment on our website (£36 minimum) if you select the box that says ‘Address is outside of the UK’.

Alternatively, we can set this up over the telephone. To do this, please call our Adoption Centre team on +44 (0)844 736 0036 (8am to 10pm, 7 days a week).

We aim to dispatch your pack within three working days; for Europe, please allow 21 days for delivery; for the rest of the world please, allow 4-6 weeks.

How long will my adoption take to process?

We aim to dispatch your pack within three working days of time of order. For UK delivery please allow up to 14 days for delivery; for Europe 21 days; and for the rest of the world 4-6 weeks.

If you've chosen next-day delivery and ordered before 2pm Monday to Thursday, your pack should be dispatched on that day and arrive the day after. If you live on an island or in the Highlands your pack will still be dispatched that day, but it may take up to two days to arrive.

Please note, when purchasing an adoption as a gift direct to their home address, you may receive written confirmation several days before their pack arrives.

Adoption packs arrive in a small box and typically do not fit through a letter box. Royal Mail will endeavour to leave the pack with a neighbour, but if delivery cannot be made it will be returned to your local sorting office and a calling card will be provided. After two weeks this will automatically be returned to us.

How do I advise you of a change of address?

A. If you change your address, please let us know by: 

  • telephone: 01483 426333 
  • mail:
    Supporter Care
    The Living Planet Centre
    Rufford House
    Brewery Road
    Surrey, GU21 4LL

Please be sure to include your old address so that we can find you on our database.

In order to keep our administrative costs to a minimum, we do not acknowledge changes of address, but we will amend our records accordingly. Please be aware that we may have already selected your name to contact you, so you may receive mail at your old address for up to three weeks.

If I adopt an animal, will I be the only person who adopts that animal?

Everyone adopts the same animal. The adoption schemes have named animals that act as a figurehead for each species.

They are wild animals that we are usually able to monitor as part of an ongoing conservation project.

For example, all our tiger adopters have adopted Kamrita, and the money raised is used for tiger conservation work, including the conservation project in the area where Kamrita lives.

This makes it easier for us to provide feedback on one adopted animal, rather than many individual ones, and keeps our administration costs to a minimum, ensuring that more of our valuable funds are used for our conservation work.

How can I ensure that I don't receive telephone calls from WWF?

The telephone is one of the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective fundraising tools for WWF UK and we're grateful to everyone who takes the time to speak to us.

Of course we appreciate it's not for everyone, so if you'd prefer not to receive phone calls from us we completely understand. Therefore, if you’d like to change this, please call our Supporter Care team on 01483 426333 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm so we can make sure we get this right.

Or you can write to us at:  
Supporter Care
The Living Planet Centre
Rufford House
Brewery Road
Surrey, GU21 4LL

You may also wish to contact the Telephone Preference Service to limit other telemarketing calls. Their contact details are:

Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
70 Margaret Street

t: 020 7291 3320
f: 020 7323 4226
e: tps@dma.org.uk


I wish to make a complaint or give feedback about WWF-UK

Your views are very important to us and we take any feedback we receive very seriously. If you are unhappy with any aspect of our work, we would like to hear about it. We appreciate the opportunity your comments give us to learn and improve.

Our commitment to you

  • We will, at all times, treat your complaints seriously
  • We will treat your complaints with sensitivity, discretion and understanding
  • We will respond to your complaint as quickly as we can. This will normally be within 3 working days, but if it is going to take longer, we will let you know and keep you updated.
Learn more about how we manage our complaints 

How can I find out more information about my adopted animal?

We will report back all the information we have about your adopted animal in your adoption updates and exclusive adopters' magazine Wild World. If you would like to find out more general information about the species of animal you adopted look at the factsheets in our wildlife section:

Tiger factsheet
Dolphin factsheet
Panda factsheet
African Rhino factsheet
Asian Rhino factsheet
African Elephant factsheet
Asian Elephant factsheet
Orang-utan factsheet
Polar bear factsheet

What animals do you have for adoption?

A. We have a gorilla, a jaguar, a snow leopard, a tiger, a rhino, an elephant, an orang utan, a pod of dolphins, a group of pandas, a group of polar bears, an Amur leopard, a penguin, and a turtle that you can adopt.

Can I make a one-off donation to WWF?

Yes. You can make a one-off donation to WWF using your credit or debit card on our secure server by visiting wwf.org.uk/donate . Alternatively, you can call the Supporter Care Team on 01483 426333 from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday and have your card details handy.

How can I ensure that I don't receive e-mails from WWF?

We're very sorry if you received an unwanted e-mail from WWF-UK.

We’d like to ensure we only contact you the way you want to be contacted. Therefore, if you’d like to change this, please call our Supporter Care team on 01483 426333 Mon-Fri 9-5pm so we can make sure we get this right.

You can also write to us at:  
Supporter Care WWF-UK
The Living Planet Centre
Rufford House
Brewery Road
Surrey, GU21 4LL

How can I advise you of a change of e-mail address?

If you change your e-mail address, please let us know by:

  • using this form to email us;
  • telephone: 01483 426333; or
  • mail: Supporter Care,  WWF-UK, The Living Planet Centre, Rufford House, Brewery Road, Woking , Surrey, GU21 4LL

If you e-mail or write in please do remember to include your postal address including postcode so that we are able to locate your record.

I have a new e-mail address, how can I let you know so that I can continue to receive my e-mail updates?

If you change your e-mail address, please let us know by:

If you e-mail or write in please do remember to include your postal address including postcode so that we are able to locate your record.

What do the initials WWF stand for?

A. When WWF was first set up in 1961, WWF stood for World Wildlife Fund.

In 1986 we changed this to World Wide Fund for Nature to emphasise the broad nature of WWF’s conservation work, which includes not only species, but also habitats and the reversal of environmental degradation.

However, since July 2000, WWF has been known simply by its initials.

How long does a membership application take to process?

We endeavour to send out the membership pack to you (or the gift recipient) as soon as possible, but it may take 2-3 weeks.

I sent in my application to become a member of WWF and haven't received anything, what shall I do?

A. We are sorry you haven't received your membership pack. To enable us to look into this further, please either telephone the Supporter Care Team on 01483 426333, or use this form to email us.

When contacting us, please provide us as much information as possible, including your name and address, the gift recipient's name and address (where relevant), details of how you were paying for the membership and when you sent your application to us.

I would like to become a member, but I live overseas, how can I set this up?

A. You can only set up a direct debit to pay for a membership if you have a UK bank account. However, you can make a one-off payment on our website (£36 minimum) if you select the box that says ‘Address is outside of the UK’ - or alternatively, we can set this up over the telephone if you would like to call our Supporter Care team on +44 (1483) 426333.

How can I buy WWF products?

A. WWF-UK does not have any of its own retail outlets. WWF's gift catalogue, produced each autumn, contains a selection of environmentally friendly cards, wrapping paper and other gift ideas.

Please call 0845 688 5112 or email info@shop.wwf.org.uk to be put on our mailing list to receive a copy when available.

Alternatively you can visit our year round online shop at www.wwf.org.uk/shop. By shopping online, not only do you have the satisfaction of purchasing environmentally-friendly products, but you are also helping us to reduce our administrative costs and saving paper.

WWF also licenses a range of products from cuddly toys, calendars, diaries, children’s books, plasters, children’s clothing, beauty products, greeting cards and games; these are stocked in various retail outlets, and leading supermarkets, and online stores across the UK.

What if something happens to my adopted animal?

A. We will pass on any news about your adopted animal as soon as possible.

If your adopted animal dies, we will write to you to let you know.

We will continue to use your donation on conservation work for the species of animal you have adopted, its habitat and its human neighbours.

We will usually be able to offer an alternative named adopted animal to replace the one that has been lost, and we will try to arrange this as soon as possible.

I'm going on a conservation expedition and I need to raise funds to be able to go. Does WWF offer funds for this sort of thing?

We are sorry, but WWF made a policy decision some time ago not to endorse or fund expeditions, no matter how well planned or genuine.

This policy has been developed to safeguard our position as a result of past experience - some of the expeditions we have been associated with have resulted in a high level of staff input and have, unfortunately, cost WWF in terms of money and reputation. We are also unable to support people taking risks, however small, on our behalf.

You may wish to contact the Expedition Advisory Centre at the following address, who may be able to help you further:

Expedition Advisory Centre
Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore,
London SW7 2AR
t: 020 7581 2057
e: eac@rgs.org

How did my adopted animal get its name?

Adélie penguins: The penguins are named after the colonies of Adélies in the Antarctic that our work helps

Amur leopards:
Tolstyi is a larger male and his name means well-fed and stocky. El'duga and Narva have been named after the rivers which run through their territories.

Dolphin: The Ileach dolphins are most often seen around the Island of Islay, off Scotland, which is how they got their name - 'Ileach' means 'of Islay'.

Elephant: Kiruba means "grace" in the Tamil language.

Gorilla: The name ‘Ihoho' means ‘something with an incomparable beauty and the name was proposed to refer to the way that gorillas are considered in Rwanda.’

Hawksbill turtles:
The turtles are named after Yadua Taba Island, a small island about 20km off the west coast of Fiji's second largest island, VanuaLevu.

Orang utan: Koyah is the name of a river which has its headwaters in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, Sabah, where WWF is monitoring wild orang-utans.

Panda: The Qinling group of pandas are named after the Qinling mountains located in Shaanxi, a remote area of central China.

Polar Bears: Svalbard is the name of the archipelago (group of islands) in the Arctic belonging to Norway.

Rhino: Lankeu was named after a retired field ranger (his name is the African equivalent of Christopher).

Snow leopards: The snow leopards are named after the Himalayan mountain range known as the sacred Himalayan landscape, in an area called the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in Nepal.

Tiger: Kamrita (pronounced kaa-am-rita) comes from the region of the wildlife reserve where she is most often spotted – the Amrite area.

How can I ensure you don't pass my details on to other organisations?

We’d like to ensure we only contact you the way you want to be contacted. Please call our Supporter Care team on 01483 426333 Mon-Fri 9-5pm so we can make sure we get this right. We can mark your record to ensure that your details are not passed on to other organisations.
You can also write to us at:
Supporter Care
The Living Planet Centre
Rufford House
Brewery Road
Surrey, GU21 4LL

You may also like to contact the Mailing Preference Service, who are able to restrict the amount of unsolicited mail, faxes and telephone calls you receive. Their contact details are:

Mailing Preference Service (MPS)
70 Margaret Street
t: 020 7291 3310
f: 020 7323 4226
e: mps@dma.org.uk

When was WWF-UK founded and by whom?

WWF-UK was founded on 23 November 1961 by a group of distinguished scientists, conservationists and businessmen that included Sir Peter Scott and Sir Julian Huxley.

Find out more about our history.

Does WWF offer junior membership?

A. We don’t, but we have some great ways for kids to learn about nature and get involved with our work! Go Wild is an information resource for 7-11 year olds, and you can find out how to get your child’s school involved on our schools page. Adopting an animal for a child is also a good way for them to find out more about wildlife.

I have set up a direct debit. What date will it be claimed?

Thank you for setting up a direct debit to support WWF's work. All of our direct debits are claimed between the 23rd and the last day of each month.

Under the Direct Debit Guarantee, we will always contact you at least ten working days in advance if we need to make any changes to the way we administer your direct debit.

How do I become a member of WWF-UK?

A. You can join WWF online or by telephoning our Supporter Care team on 01483 426333 or use this form to email us.

It is also possible to set up a WWF membership as gift for someone online and over the phone.

Is it possible for you to limit the number of appeal mailings you send me?

As well as helping to raise funds, appeals also allow us to keep our supporters up to date with some of our current conservation work. However, we’d like to ensure we only contact you the way you want to be contacted. Therefore, if you’d like to change this, please call our Supporter Care team on 01483 426333 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm so we can make sure we get this right.

Please note that it will take three weeks for this change to come into effect and so you may continue to receive appeal mailings during this time.

Or you can write to us at:
Supporter Care
The Living Planet Centre
Rufford House
Brewery Road
Surrey, GU21 4LL

Can I get involved with WWF if I am under 18?

If you would like to help WWF but are not yet 18 years old there are a number of ways you can get involved:

We want you to be involved with WWF whatever your age!

What can I do to help the environment?

Visit our change how you live section to discover what you can do in your everyday life to help the environment and make the world a healthier place for future generations.

Does WWF work on animal welfare issues?

WWF works to conserve endangered species, protect endangered spaces, and address global threats to the planet such as climate change. Much of our work is for the protection of endangered animals in the wild – including the tiger, the rhino and the great apes - but we do not have the experience or expertise to deal with issues relating to animals in captivity.

Whilst animal welfare is outside of our expertise and our legally-binding constitution, we are constantly striving to build a world in which humans live in harmony with nature.

For information about animal welfare issues, we suggest that you contact Zoo Check, part of the Born Free Foundation, which campaigns to end captive animal abuse.

What has WWF achieved?

A. Throughout the last 50 years, WWF has worked constantly to protect endangered species and habitats and we have achieved a great deal. Find out more .

Can I pay for an adoption with a one-off payment?

Yes, this option is available on our website or by calling any member of the Supporter Care Team on +44 (1483) 426333.

Still can't find the answer to your question?

If you can't find the answer to your question listed above, please use this enquiry form.

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