Animal Welfare Professionals

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Advice for meaningful ways to donate/help animal rescues?

  • 1.  Advice for meaningful ways to donate/help animal rescues?

    Posted 08-25-2021 02:34 PM

    I am the founder of a new startup in the pet space. (Not posting link to avoid self-promotion.)  We want to find a meaningful way where we can support local shelters. Specifically, some of the less well-known ones. Any advice on how/where we can get more information? For example: is there a professional group for local shelters? And visibility on how effective their spend is?

    We don't expect our donation will initially be big - but it may in the future.  Our goal is to make an impact and also give visibility to the shelters that may not have a big marketing budget.

    Any advice/info is appreciated.



    Robert Yau

  • 2.  RE: Advice for meaningful ways to donate/help animal rescues?

    Posted 08-26-2021 05:20 PM
    Hi Rob,

    Such a great intention!
    Are you only looking for shelters or would consider non-profits that adopt animals out of their foster homes? Majority are volunteer-run with small budgets and definitely would love helping hand with marketing.
    What geographic area do you have in mind?

    Natalia Lebedeva

  • 3.  RE: Advice for meaningful ways to donate/help animal rescues?

    Posted 08-26-2021 05:49 PM
    We are a US-based financial product and our users are all US-based pet parents.

    We would consider any animal non-profit that needs help (marketing/donations from our members).  I've looked into foster homes too - but many of these are supported by the shelters. These shelters are doing amazing work - but would like to see if there is any way we can help the 'little guys'.

    Is there any organization that can validate/distribute funds/donations? 

    Robert Yau

  • 4.  RE: Advice for meaningful ways to donate/help animal rescues?

    Posted 09-03-2021 04:59 AM
    Hi Rob,

    Thank you for thinking of the smaller rescues. Smaller rescue's miss out on so much as a lot of the donations and grants are given via competitions, so for example, how many likes, or how many votes - there is no way a small rescue can compete with the shelters and big rescue's. Then there are the grants that require a larger amount of animals being cared for, donations of vaccines, monthly preventatives and such - again we don't qualify for that.

    Rescues are an integral part of shelters, yet the shelters seem to reap the benefits and the small rescue's just continue to struggle on with all the costs, little support and time to do what is needed.

    You could have your own verification process with who you actually want to help - and have rescue's/small shelters apply and then maybe do a donation on a rotating system, so have everyone in  a list and then each month the next organization on the list gets whatever is raised.

    Marketing I think is also a huge issue - maybe you could have a rescue/shelter of the month and during that month you promote them on your social media, ask your clients/employees and such to promote. 

    I find I have everyone claiming they want to help when posting on Facebook, but simple things like going to the rescue website and choosing a dog and sharing that dog is like asking someone to go to the moon and back - if I share the dog on FB, then people will share, but asking them to do something on their own is so difficult. So again the promoting of the rescue and dogs is not happening as much as it could/should/needed.

    You could also maybe create a survey and post on here to see what the needs are - I think it is excellent that you are reaching out to have the best impact and again thank you for thinking of the smaller guys, you have you no idea how refreshing it is :)


    Jenny Cope - Fear Free Certified
    Give a Dog a Home, German Shepherd Dog Rescue
    501c3 Non- Profit Corp, Tax ID/EIN 27-5241306
    State of Maine Shelter/Rescue Licence # F1463
    State of Maine Registered Charity: CO11334

  • 5.  RE: Advice for meaningful ways to donate/help animal rescues?

    Posted 08-27-2021 07:40 AM
    Hi Robert- this is so awesome of you, and I think a little self-promotion is totally acceptable since you are here talking about helping the animal welfare community!

    My best advice is to work with one of the established national partners that already have an infrastructure in place to identify groups with the most need and distribute resources efficiently to them. And conveniently, you have landed at exactly one of those places!! Maddie's Fund provides resources (both financial and educational) to shelters and rescues across the country, and I'm sure they would love to talk to you about how you can funnel your gift through their program to achieve maximum impact. Copying @Amber Freiwald and @Bobby Mann here so they can connect you to the person on their team who handles donations.​​​

    Alexis Pugh
    Director, Memphis Animal Services

    Organizational Management
    & Pet Support Services Specialist

  • 6.  RE: Advice for meaningful ways to donate/help animal rescues?

    Posted 08-27-2021 08:26 AM
    To provide more context, this is us: Sincere - the rewards debit card for pet parents.

    The plan is that a portion of our member's spending will help support non-profit animal rescues/shelters (or similar).
    As mentioned, since we are early, initially the amount may be small - but if we are successful, that donation will grow as we grow. Hence, I want to make sure we are doing the right thing to help in a more meaningful way.

    Robert Yau

  • 7.  RE: Advice for meaningful ways to donate/help animal rescues?

    Posted 08-27-2021 01:36 PM
    Hi there! I have a small nonprofit fund designed to help people keep their pets rather than having to surrender them to a vet or shelter due to a temporary financial hardship. We don't have much money yet and I'm running into a catch-22 situation. I think people are hesitant to donate because we haven't helped anyone yet; but we're having a hard time finding a shelter willing to work with us, in part because we don't have a lot of money. I'm wondering if this is something you'd be interested in talking about? You can email me at Thank you.

    Johanna Spielman
    Jamie Brianna's Legacy Fund