Saving lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, and other big cats in the wild

Working to Save Big Cats

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Get kids excited about Cause an Uproar and the Big Cats Initiative (BCI)! Here are some fun ideas to create and activate a Big Cats Club. Your club will support awareness, communication, and service learning to help halt the decline of big cats. These ideas can be used in conjunction with the education lesson plans or on their own. The only limit is your imagination!

Many people don't even know that our planet’s big cats are in danger! You can help spread the word about the need to save these majestic creatures. Below are some suggested tips and ideas on how you can raise money for and awareness about big cats.

The ideas below are strictly suggestions. Many of the ideas below involve giving out prizes. You are responsible for providing your own prizes or adapting the ideas so that prizes are not required.

Big Cats Initiative

Photograph by Dick Durrance II, National Geographic

Classroom, School, Sports, and Group Activities

Put Your Paws Up!

Show your school’s commitment to halting the decline of big cats by decorating your school with paw prints containing facts about big cats.


Ask teachers to dedicate one of their science lessons to big cats or ask students to teach their classmates what they’ve learned about big cats.

Trip to Your Local Zoo

See big cats up close by taking a trip to your local zoo. Classmates, neighbors, friends, and family members can come along too. Make an appointment with the zookeeper and ask questions about the big cats. Or, impress the zookeeper with what you already know!

Big Cats Storybook Contest

Challenge the artists and writers in your school by holding a big cats themed story contest. Ask students to create picture books or short stories about helping big cats.

Campaign for Big Cats!

Create posters, buttons, and bumper stickers with “Did you know…?” facts about the big cats. Pass them out around the school and encourage your friends and neighbors to get involved with this important effort. Be sure to mention or

Candies for Big Cats

At your next sporting event, pass out lollipops with “Did you know...?” facts about big cats tied around the stem of each lollipop. Be sure to mention or

Cause Your OWN Uproar

Encourage fans at your next sporting event to roar instead of cheer in honor of big cats. Hold a roaring contest during halftime to let fans know you’re supporting big cats.

Face Painting

How would you look with cat whiskers? At your next sporting event, ask people to donate $1 to have whiskers painted on their faces.

Ticket Sales

Charge an additional dollar per ticket at your next sporting event, theater show, or dance competition and donate the extra money to Cause an Uproar.

Big Cat Tattoos

Sell $1 removable tattoos at your next sporting event to benefit the Big Cats Initiative.

Hats for Cats

On a designated school day, students who donate $1 or more can wear a hat of their choice. Give prizes for the biggest, funniest, and most creative hats. Pictures of the students in hats will make great yearbook photos.

Yearbook Sales

Don’t let the big cats fade into distant memories. Donate a portion of the sale of your yearbooks to the Big Cats Initiative, or even dedicate the inside cover of your yearbook to big cats. Your students won’t just have great memories of a fun school year, but will also remember how they helped save big cats!

Big Cats Photo Booth

Set up a big cat photo booth at sporting events or school dances. Students can donate $1 to take a picture with a plush big cat.

Start a Build a Boma Fundraising Campaign

Start a Build a Boma fundraising campaign at Bomas are “living fences”—plants and wire—built to keep livestock safe from the predation of lions. When lions kill livestock, herders often retaliate. You can sign up to start a fundraising campaign as a group or an individual. Sign up today.

Build a Paper Boma

Students or community members can donate $1 or more to write their names on a section of construction-paper boma. Link the sections together to create a “finished” boma. Learn more about bomas.

Penny Quilts

Find a room with a large tiled floor, and assign each student a tile that she or he can fill up with change. When the quilt is complete, the change will be donated to the Big Cats Initiative.

Jeans Day

Leave your dressy clothes at home for the day, donate $5 or more to Cause an Uproar, and wear jeans to the office or school. Not only will you be comfortable all day, but you’ll also know that you’ve helped a big cat!

Traditional Fundraiser

Traditional fundraisers are a great way to raise money for a great cause. Hold a bake sale, car wash, dinner, or auction to benefit the Big Cats Initiative!

Throw a Party for Big Cats

Use your special day to make a difference. In lieu of toys and gifts, make a donation to the Big Cats Initiative at your birthday party. This is a wonderful way to raise awareness about the decline of big cats.

Movie Night

Purchase one of the many big cat DVDs on the market and host a movie night at your school, with tickets costing a $1 donation to Cause an Uproar. Try starting with The Last Lions!

Uncover Your Mascot

Cover your school mascot so it is no longer visible. The classroom that raises the most money for big cats gets to unwrap the mascot and wins a special prize.

Don't Walk, Run! to Show Your Support for Big Cats

Host a 5K at your school or in your neighborhood to show your support for big cats. Money raised from the 5K would go toward saving the big cats.

Lemonade for Lions

Sell lemonade in your neighborhood, at your school, or at your next sporting event, and donate the proceeds to Cause an Uproar.

Book Drive

Those old books in your home could help save big cats! Host a book sale with used books from around your home and donate the proceeds to Cause an Uproar.

“Crazy for Big Cats” T-shirt Design

Create your own orange tie-dye T-shirt with friends and classmates. Draw pictures of big cats on the front of your T-shirt and fun facts about big cats on the back. Get your school or neighborhood involved by asking everyone to wear their big cats T-shirts.

Big Cats Calendar

Remind friends, family, and your school that every day is Big Cats Day by creating a calendar with pictures and facts about big cats. Calendars also make great gifts!

Social Media and the Web

Letters to Lions

Write letters to lions to let African leaders know how important lions are to kids everywhere. Learn more here.

Change Your Facebook Profile Picture

Change your Facebook profile picture to a picture of your favorite big cats and encourage your friends, classmates, and family to do the same. When friends ask you why you’ve changed your picture, let them know it’s to raise awareness about the decline of big cats.

“Like” the Cause an Uproar Facebook Page

Share the latest big cat news from the Cause an Uproar Facebook page. Like the Cause an Uproar page.

Promote and share links to the Big Cats Initiative on Twitter with #CauseAnUpoar. Follow @CauseAnUproar on Twitter!

Little Kitties for Big Cats

Post your favorite picture of your pet cat. For a $5 donation, you and your cat-loving friends can post a photo of your favorite felines on National Geographic’s Little Kitties for Big Cats website.

Cause an Uproar Merchandise

Look cool and represent big cats at school! Buy big cats gear from our Cause an Uproar shop, and a percentage of your purchase will benefit the Big Cats Initiative.

Contests and Games

Big Cats Bingo

Host a bingo night at your school with all ticket sales going to support BCI.

Big Cats Halloween Parade

Students donate $5 to dress up as a big cat. The student with the best costume wins a prize (or an out-of-uniform day).

Little Kitties for Big Cats Photo Contest

Students can donate $1 to post a picture of their pet cat on a designated wall in their school. Students then vote for their favorite picture. The winning cat photo wins a prize!

Big Cats Scavenger Hunt

Encourage kids to explore the world around them by having a school-wide scavenger hunt. Create a list of interesting facts about big cats, which will lead children to various clues around the school. The student who finds all the clues first will win a prize. Suggest students donate $5 each to participate.

Pizza Party Competition

Who doesn’t love pizza? Ask each classroom to raise a certain amount of money for big cats. The classroom that reaches the goal first wins a pizza party.

Roaring Competition

Every classroom that raises $100 gets the opportunity to compete in a roaring competition. The classroom that roars the loudest wins a pizza party.

Put the Funds to Work!

100 percent of the funds donated will go directly to on-the-ground big cat conservation projects.

Remember to thank everyone who participates, and if you can, make a small donation yourself.

Thank you for supporting National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative!

Give Online

Support the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative with a quick donation online.

Mail a Check

National Geographic Society
Development Office
1145 17th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to the National Geographic Society. Designations of funds to the Big Cats Initiative should be indicated on the memo line of the check or in accompanying correspondence. Please do not send cash through the mail. All gifts must be postmarked by December 31, 2014, to be counted as a 2014 gift.

Give by Telephone

(800) 373-1717 (U.S. and Canada only) or +1 (202) 862-8638

BCI Provision: The Big Cats Initiative program information sheet may be reproduced and distributed for promotional and service learning needs, with indication that funds raised will benefit National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. The National Geographic Society is not responsible for any service learning activity done by nonstaff members. The Society will not sponsor events or enter into any contracts with individuals or organizations for the purpose of independent service learning for the Big Cats Initiative, and is strictly the beneficiary of funds raised. Use of any National Geographic logos is strictly prohibited.


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Educate your students about the importance of big cats and conservation efforts to protect these large predators.


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Nat Geo WILD presents a week dedicated to nature’s fiercest felines—big cats—creatures of magnificent strength, ferocity, and beauty that are rapidly facing extinction. With visually stunning and powerful stories from around the world, get closer than ever before to lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers, and more as you share in their triumphs, defeats, and epic struggles to survive.

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