We have tried several fundraisers over the past year and half. Some did fairly well, others, like our calendar/photo contest were “epic fails”, possibly because every charity has a calendar . . . we couldn’t even give away $1000 by having rescues pool their efforts to help us . . . but sadly, in the world of rescues, it’s almost as “unpleasant” as politics, and a little bit of a “crab pot” mentality. So, we will go back to the “drawing board” and figure out how to be successful in this . . . we don’t give up that easily.
We considered another booster tee shirt campaign, but that seems to entail a lot of arm-twisting. It reminds me of my elementary school days in Catholic school when we had a quota of chocolates to sell. . . my first experience with sales. I realized then, as a child that I was never cut out to be a “salesperson.” Although in today’s political climate, I might have more luck with tee shirts that carry a political message . . . sadly not allowed by the IRS for tax-exempt status.
What seems to have worked the best is appealing to the generosity of animal-loving friends and supporters through crowd-funding sites. We try not to sound desperate and inflate or over-dramatize our need when we post. So you should know that we only crowdfund when we are indeed “desperate.”
We are working on a Facebook store, and will be posting unique and vintage items for sale or auction. So, we are trying to explore other options for funding that will not take too much time away from our training/teaching.
Things have to be done for the dogs in our care and we can’t always wait to have enough money to cover it, so I usually “subsidize” veterinary care out of my personal funds, including spays, neuters and microchipping. The only cause we asked for help with was Cheyenne’s heartworm treatment because it was so expensive and we were in the middle of a distemper issue from a dirty facility. We are still paying that bill monthly as my personal budget allows.
We were so very grateful to everyone who donated for our “winter survival” campaign . . . we were able to fortify the kennels and inside the barn to keep the dogs warm, dry and happy. . . unlike the struggle with Blizzard Goliath last year that almost did me in! More renovations are planned for this spring and I’ve submitted three grants in the hopes that one will hit the jackpot.
One difficulty we face with getting grants is that we are a young organization (2 years) and are still building a track record. Most foundations won’t even consider a charity unless it has been in existence 3-5 years. All of this is a learning process. Last year we did receive our first grant by participating in the Shelter Animals Count program.
The other difficulty is that we are a small organization in terms of rescue. While the bigger and more known ones deal in high volume of intakes and do frequent adoption events, we only take in what we have room for and do not do adoption events because our focus is on the emotional health of dogs . . . we spend a lot of time on enrichment and building resilience in dogs we rescue, and most of our intakes are those that are overlooked because they are not good adoption prospects. While other organizations rarely disclose how many of their adoptions are fails and returned to them after these adoption events, we pride ourselves for maintaining a 100% success rate because of all the teaching we do for the dog and the human, and because we match the dog to the lifestyle of the adopter . . . and most importantly, we allow the dog to have the final word.
If we are going to make a difference in reducing the mass euthanasia of companion animals (at least 5000 healthy, adoptable dogs are deliberately destroyed every day), it will take more than shuffling dogs through various rescues/homes and extensive spay/neutering programs.
It will take a change of heart and mind in the public . . . teaching empathy and responsibility in humans who still insist that dogs are “disposable” when they become inconvenient. This is an important and critical part of our mission. We don’t “shuffle” dogs around to just save them from being killed . . . we focus on bringing out the talents and gifts that each dog has, and matching that dog with a home where the dog will thrive and be happy for a lifetime.
One of our most important funds is DOG FOOD. Nutrition is so important and we probably feed our dogs a better quality food than many owners do their personal pets. With so much “bad stuff” happening with our food supply, it’s worse for pet food. We research everything we feed our dogs.
This is the one area where we put out a plea about every two months when our supply begins to dwindle. We currently have a campaign that needs to reach its goal by Feb 21st. Ideally, we would like to have a monthly giving program in place so that we don’t have to “beg.”
Ten (10) people donating $50 per month would make a significant difference to our fund. Twenty-five (25) people at $50 per month would completely cover our monthly bill for dog food (and treats!), and allow us to work on upgrading more kennels, beds, dental cleaning, training and enrichment equipment . . . I have big dreams and I adore every dog that has found his or her way to us!
We have set up an easy and safe way for you to contribute each month with the purple button below. All of your information is entered into our database and is NEVER shared with a third group. (we had an offer from a crowdfunding site to handle our email contacts if we provided them with our list . . . we refused. Your information is sacred to us.)
You can also use the same button to do a one-time donation, or you can go to the YOUCARING site to contribute to the campaign.
Every animal that is trapped in these heartless kill facilities, waiting for the inevitable (and believe me, they know what happens there) deserves a chance to live a happy and healthy life.
This world, this life is supposed to be about love, compassion and respect for all living/sentient beings. Please help us on this journey.
Our “extraordinary dogs” thank you!!