Facebook has been a remarkable tool for those involved in saving horses from the kill buyers. For those lots that want to see a horse in a good home rather than shipped to Canada or Mexico for slaughter, there are pages and Facebook Groups devoted to getting these horses visibility, donations, and even a good home. Which brings me to Thanksgiving weekend, when a very pregnant mare, skinny and in dire need of a good home, came across my Facebook newsfeed. I knew I had enough money to pay the deposit required to ensure she wouldn’t suddenly be shipped off...but for the rest of the money, and the cost to ship her from Kansas to Missouri? I wasn’t sure how to raise it. I decided to try crowdfunding.
I hear about crowdfunding successes all the time, but could I do it? Could I raise the money necessary to save this horse and bring her to my place? Her story reminded me so much of my own mare (now 19), whom I rescued as a 3 month old colt, a “surprise” for the mare had been through so many auctions that no one knew or disclosed that she was pregnant. I had to try.
I immediately began posting to Facebook and much to my surprise, while we didn’t raise the entire amount, we raised enough to cover both the mare’s bail as well as her shipping, with some additional funds added by myself. I thought of the organizations I work with on a daily basis with FundRaiser, and wanted to share what worked for me in the hopes that it will help you too!
Don’t be afraid to ask. If I had worried about what would happen, what might be said, I wouldn’t have started fundraising at all. Make the ask. People often want to help, but are not sure how best to help unless you ask.
Make it personal. Those of us in animal rescue know that you can’t save them all. But when raising funds to save a single horse, or surgery for a single dog, share that animal’s story. In the case of organizations that work with people, share the story of someone who needs help or that you have helped.
Encourage small donors. Receiving the big donations feels good and brings a sigh of relief when you’re fundraising. Too often, especially these days, people feel that a $5 or $25 donation may not do anything. Remind people that no amount is too small and every dollar helps. This may mean breaking it down into numbers, like if 100 people gave $5, we could do X.
Be thankful. Don’t forget to thank your donors. My donors are going to receive holiday cards, a thank you card, and I may even include a small token of my appreciation. Those thank you notes mean a lot.
Give updates. I kept people updated at least twice a day as to how we were doing with the fundraiser. This kept it foremost in people’s minds, and those who donated could see that they helped the progress move closer to completion. This also gives your donors a concrete goal and helps them see that their money is going toward something they can see.
I am ever thankful to those who helped me with the horse, and I look forward to her arrival later this week. I know I learned a lot about fundraising and this process gave me insight into the wonderful work that our many organizations are doing.
To see how FundRaiser can help you succeed with your dreams: