Frequently Asked Questions

The Lion’s Share: Q & A

What is The Lion’s Share?

The Lion’s Share initiative is a unique way of raising much-needed funds to help animals everywhere by asking companies to contribute a small percentage of media spend from advertisements featuring animals to conservation and animal welfare projects.

How will it work?

For those that sign up to The Lion’s Share, each time an animal appears in advertising, the company responsible will make a contribution of 0.5 percent of the ad’s media spend to The Lion’s Share, which will in turn ensure that those funds are invested in initiatives and programs that benefit animal welfare, conservation and their environments worldwide.

How much do you expect to raise?

The Lion’s Share aims to raise $100 million a year within four years. While this may seem like an ambitious target, if the top 10 advertisers alone were to commit to The Lion’s Share then that would bring in $47m alone each year.

Why hasn’t this been done before?

As far as we are aware, nothing like The Lion’s Share has ever been attempted before. But with habitats – and even species of animals – disappearing at an unprecedented rate, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners have seen the need to step up and devise a unique and innovative way of helping.

How will the money benefit animals?

The fund will use the money raised and invest it in a series of creative and game-changing solutions, focusing on achieving real impact for animals and habitats. The Fund, which will be hosted by UNDP, is seeking to raise $100m a year within three years, with the money being invested in a range of wildlife conservation and animal welfare programs to be implemented by United Nations and Civil Society Organizations. The Fund has a joint steering committee that will take decisions on priority programs.

How can you be sure the money will go where it needs to?

The Lion’s Share will draw on the experience and know-how of UNDP, which has the world’s largest portfolio of environmental programs, to distribute funds. The UNDP’s established mechanisms for this distribution are transparent and accountable, ensuring funds will reach the animals which need it. UNDP is one of the most transparent aid organizations in the world.

Is Lion’s Share just to benefit endangered animals in the wild, or will it also benefit domestic animals, animal shelters, etc.?

The fund will not only focus on tackling wildlife conservation but also on animal welfare projects.

What do companies have to do to join?

Companies must commit to contributing 0.5 percent of their advertising media spend to The Lion’s Share for their advertisements that feature an animal or animals.

0.5 percent of media spend is a tiny amount—why not go further?

0.5 percent of media spend might be small for individual advertisers, but collectively it could generate a very significant amount of funding if enough advertisers sign up. Through that contribution, The Lion’s Share aims to raise $100 million a year within three years.

Will cartoon animals count as part of Lion’s Share?

Yes! Cartoon animals used in ads will attract the same contribution as real animals, assuming the advertiser signs up to the Lion’s Share fund.

Who are the founding partners in The Lion’s Share?

The founders are UNDP and FINCH, with Mars, Incorporated, as founding partner, and other partners advertising network BBDO and leading analytics company Nielsen.

What is the UN’s role in Lion’s Share?

The United Nations Development Programme has the world’s largest portfolio of environmental development programmes. This brings with it many years of experience distributing funds and managing development programmes in an efficient, transparent and accountable way. UNDP will host the initiative’s Secretariat, which will manage the overall operations of the fund.