Elephant Parade

Elephant Parade

February 09, 2011 07:21 ET

London's Rich Attracted by Innovative Society Fundraisers

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Feb. 9, 2011) -

Editors Note: There are 3 photos accompanying this press release.

Creative, innovative fundraising ideas appear to be the Trojan horse used to get among the wealthy and engage the interest of potential donors and charitable supporters. Last year saw a bumper crop of creative fundraising events each with their own distinctive concept and each a huge success in raising cash.

The summer was kicked off with an astounding initiative entitled the Elephant Parade which was the brainchild of Mark Shand, author, conservationist and brother to the Duchess of Cornwall to raise funds for the Elephant Family charity which aims to conserve the Indian elephant. The Elephant Parade sent 258 fibreglass elephants, each individually decorated by an artist, onto the streets of London followed by an auction hosted by Goldie Hawn, socialites Cyrus and Priya Vandrevala, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Tanaz Dizadjl and Mark Shand which raised £1.5 million. Guests for the evening included the likes of Elizabeth Hurley, Marc Quinn, Duke and Duchess of Kent and Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.

In June, Evgeny Lebedev transformed the grounds of his house in Hampton Court into a Russian church with a bell tower and the roof of the temporary dining room based on that in St Basil's Cathedral. Lebedev, President Mikhail Gorbachev and Geordie Greig, editor of the Evening Standard, hosted the fifth Russian Midsummer Fantasy in aid of the Raisa Gorbechev Foundation, which fights childhood cancer. Tables were purchased for £15,000 and the great, the good and the glitterati were in attendance including Jay Jopling, Joely Richardson, David Walliams, his wife Lara Stone and Yasmin Le Bon at this exceptionally glamorous event. In previous years, the most coveted auction prize was dinner with President Gorbachev and his family in Moscow which was successfully bid for by private equity investor Cyrus Vandrevala for £75,000, Hugh Grant and mobile phone tycoon John Caudwell. 

The Elton John AIDS Foundation's White Tie & Tiara Summer Ball and Grey Goose Character & Cocktails Winter Ball continue to take their place amongst the top creative events of the year. Elton and David's Old Windsor home last year was transformed in to 'Gaga in Wonderland' for their 12th annual White Tie & Tiara fundraiser which treated guests including Tom Ford, Grace Jones, Kate Beckinsale, Elizabeth Hurley, Boris Becker, Tracey Emin and Dame Shirley Bassey to a gothic spectacular combining elements of a Victorian asylum with futuristic fantasy. The evening which was homage to the eccentric American singing star Lady Gaga, who was the featured act on the night raised £5.6 million. Now in its fourth year Grey Goose Character & Cocktails invited the well heeled to marvel at the transformation of the new American Embassy by sartorial legend Jean Paul Gaultier into a spellbinding fusion of fashion and science fiction inspired by his life's work. 

September saw Pratham's ARTiculate Gala Evening feature paper as its theme with the creation of the biggest paper installation that, quite possibly, the world has ever known. The enormous chandelier was made from thousands of fretwork panels, designed by Indian children and cut out, with exquisite care, by artisans living in India. It was then auctioned to raise money to beat illiteracy amongst children across India.

Innovative fundraising appears to be here to stay for this year's calendar of charitable events. Creativity is generosity of the spirit; charitable giving is generosity of the wallet. They make a great team.






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Contact Information

  • For further information please contact
    Katharine Realff
    00 44 (0) 207 351 2227