“Thirsty Koala” Lesson in Online Donations

Nothing wrenches the heart like a dehydrated koala. I know I’ve watched the koala drinking water on the YouTube Bush Fire Tragedy Crisis video at least a dozen times since it went up.

It’s sweet and heartrending, but it’s also a great lesson by in the power of the video, the web and asking for money when you need it. This isn’t just a YouTube video. It also contains a plea from Victoria, Australia’s RSPCA for animal welfare donations and a note that international donations are welcome. It’s working. People from all over the world have given a money – sometimes just a few dollars – to help. It’s adding up to a lot more support than this koala would receive if it hadn’t starred on the web.

But it’s also a lesson in making sure your backend is capable of handling a sudden influx of support. The RSPCA servers are having trouble accepting all the donations that are coming in. If you have a cause for money (especially if it involves a desperately cute cuddly animal that drinks from a bottle while holding your hand), make sure you have a backup plan for taking donations when they’re offered.

See the video:

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