Seattle-based folk rock band Fleet Foxes has helped an Australian wildlife charity to amp up its fundraising campaign donations. Andrew Sadauskas reports.

Lines of Flight’s Katie Anderson, Shaun Premnath and Brent Keogh.

Conservation charity Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has secured the assistance of  US-based folk rock group Fleet Foxes for its fundraising campaign, which aims to protect and preserve a wildlife habitat for Australian native animals.

The fundraising campaign, which began on May 21, aims to raise $229,000 to purchase 229 hectares of land on the edge of the Woomargama National Park, which sits on the south-west slopes of the Snowy Mountains near the Murray River and Albury-Wodonga.

The area is home to around 25 endangered or vulnerable animal species, including koalas, eastern pygmy-possums, squirrel gliders, the greater long-eared bat, southern bell frog, regent honeyeater, superb parrot and the gang-gang cockatoo.

If successful, the campaign will allow the charity to purchase the property for $1,000 per hectare and add it to the Woomargama National Park, in the process protecting it from land clearing for farming or logging.

Fleet Foxes, through its publishing company Kobalt Music, has given permission for the charity to use the song Your Protector royalty free for the campaign. The agreement was secured through the foundation’s agency partner, Vida Marketing.

The song, which was the lead single on the group’s self-titled debut album in 2008, has been re-recorded by Sydney-based indie folk trio Lines of Flight and features as the soundtrack to the campaign’s centrepiece promotional video.

Through social media, the video has already received over 31,000 views, helping the foundation to raise over $141,000 towards its target. The funds have been raised through a direct mail and email appeal, as well as a crowdfunding campaign on the Chuffed platform.

Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife marketing manager Charles Ulm says his organisation raises money to invest in programs to protect habitats and preserve threatened native wildlife.

The foundation’s mission is ‘to protect and preserve’ Australia’s natural beauty, so use of this Fleet Foxes song has real relevance,” Ulm says.

“What we’ve been doing for the past 50 years is acquiring land that has high conservation value and then transferring that into the national park system. This is an example of that process.

“The way we identify these parcels of land is by talking to the various state national parks organisations, in this case it was the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, who told us this land was available and had high conservation value.”

While Ulm cautions that because campaign still has 19 days to run, his organisation hasn’t done a full analysis yet. However, there are signs pointing to the video’s success.

“[The campaign] rolled out in early May. We’ve had over 31,000 views of the video, and we’ve had strong support from both people already on our database, and it’s been successful as an acquisition campaign as well,” he says.

“It has given us some very engaging content that we have been able to share socially, through our Facebook and Instagram accounts, which has allowed us to bring the message to a wider audience.”

Ulm’s advice for other organisations is to not be afraid to reach out to artists for permission to use works that can help to advance a campaign.

“There needs to be a good connection between the music and the appeal. In this case, the song is called Your Protector, and that’s what we’re trying to do with this campaign by protecting this natural habitat. Also don’t be afraid to ask,” Ulm says.

“We’ve still got a long way to go with this campaign, so we’d love for people to share the video and spread word about the campaign.”

Donations to the campaign can be made through the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife’s crowdfunding page on Chuffed.

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