SOS Fundraising Values - SOS – Sumatran Orangutan Society
SOS Fundraising Values

Fundraising Values

To protect the orangutan, we harness the characteristics that our flagship animal has evolved to live in harmony with its rainforest home, to help us adapt and succeed in the dynamic conservation ecosystem. 

These characteristics are reflected in our fundraising strategy and guide our practise: 


Effective strategies need to be based on sound evidence. Our commitment to research and analysis helps us invest our resources wisely, where the need is greatest, to achieve the best outcomes for orangutans, people and forests. 

  • We use industry benchmarking and analysis of past performance to set targets and develop activity plans. 
  • We track and assess key indicators to ensure that our approaches are working. 
  • We obtain new information and evidence through investing in research. 
  • We continuously gather and analyse data in an ongoing process of adaptive management. 


Our core strength comes from building long-term, trustful and genuine relationships with donors and funding partners. 

At the heart of this is our 3 Cs approach: 

  • Community-powered: We put our donors at the heart of our fundraising practise. 
  • Collaboration: We partner with (in)credible businesses and funders, support them to use their funding to make an impact, and bring them together to amplify their voices. We co-create robust funding solutions by understanding how they want to make a difference.
  • Commitment: We know that developing excellent relationships with donors and funders results in loyalty and increased income. By earning trust from our supporter community and gaining a deep understanding of the difference they want to make, we can meet the needs of both donors and conservation.


Achieving tangible and long-lasting fundraising results is complex, especially in a dynamic political and global economic landscape facing multiple uncertainties. Being a small and nimble organisation gives us many advantages to seek and explore new routes to success. 

  • We are quick to embrace new opportunities and implement promising and innovative ideas. 
  • We are responsive and problem-solving in relation to emerging challenges and opportunities. 
  • Our approach is nuanced and donor-centric, never letting scale come at the expense of effectiveness. 


Orangutans are a keystone species, shaping the habitat in ways that benefit their co-inhabitants and the overall biodiversity. Acting as a keystone organisation in the ecosystem of donors and funders we will enhance our success by promoting collaboration, innovation, transformative ambition and an evidence- and impact-led approach. 

  • We promote interaction and knowledge exchange between Sumatra and the UK so we can disseminate authentic impact information among our supporters. 
  • We work in partnership with our funders to amplify the voices and expertise of our frontline partners, recognising their unique insight into conservation challenges and solutions in their landscapes. 
  • We enable experts in our networks to provide technical and hands-on support to enhance our fundraising capacity to deliver effective and sustainable income generation strategy. 
  • We lead by example, promoting data and information sharing by making our fundraising and conservation analyses available to stakeholders to support wider decision making and ambitious propositions for funding. 


A female orangutan and her baby

Decolonising Fundraising 

We acknowledge that fundraising, and philanthropy and international aid in particular, has historically come with a power imbalance between the donor and the beneficiary. The traditional flow of funding from the predominately white global north toward the global south has often been tinged with colonial privilege and oppression, imposing ‘solutions’ onto cultures and practise without making space to hear the voices, learn from the experience or welcome the wisdom of the beneficiaries. 

SOS was established in 2001 at the same time as our sister organisation and key frontline partner, The Orangutan Information Centre based in Medan, Sumatra and which now employs a 100-strong team of experts in orangutan conservation. Both our organisations continue to thrive as a result of the authentic knowledge exchange and cross-cultural leadership which underpins our operations and activity. SOS continues to maintain awareness of the decolonising agenda and is always alert to any mitigation necessary to ensure full inclusivity, diversity and equality in our operations.

An adult sumatran orangutan

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