Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Review: Funds to the Rescue - Valuable Details of 101 Successful Ideas! (dogs, shelters, rescues)

Funds to the Rescue: 101 Fundraising Ideas for Humane and Animal Rescue Groups, Susan Daffron (Logical Expressions, 177 pages, 2009, $19.99)

Ever played Pup Chip Bingo? It’s similar to cow chip bingo. You take a field, mark it off in a grid, sell chances, and let the pupsters loose. The first pup to “make a deposit” on a square wins for the lucky person who owns that square - a fun fundraiser.

And don’t forget memorials, bequests, and grants. Or write and sell a canine cookbook.

My favorite fundraising ideas are Walk Naked (a dog named Naked) and Eat for Pete (at a restaurant - each year, a different dog is named Pete). Or sponsor a particular special needs dog for $10 a month.

For more great ideas, read on!

Funds to the Rescue is a book no rescue or shelter should be without.

Author Susan Daffron, a marketing and public relations expert, shares her worlds of experience with the world of animal volunteers.

Mostly-volunteer organizations may not have the luxury of a marketing position but this book can take the place of that highly paid person!

Each idea in Funds has proven to be successful AND Daffron gives us the name the shelter or rescue that used each project and just how successful it was! What a superb resource to be able to call upon: the people who actually put on the event and the animals who reaped the benefits – bound to save you time so you can spend more time saving animals.

Did I mention Daffron explains 101 ideas and includes icons for estimating the level of difficulty (a pawprint), the up-front cost (a moneybag), the planning time (a clock) required – all on a scale of 1-5. The project requiring the fewest personnel, the fourth icon, rates a 1-person-figure while projects needing more people to pull it off are given 5 person-figures.

But more than just a detailed list, Funds is also a blueprint for successful fundraising. Step-by-step, Daffron takes us through setting annual (and long-term) goals/objectives while avoiding volunteer burn-out; showing us how past donors can become future donors; delegating and thanking volunteers (and why); and what to do before, during and after an event.

She raises legal issues, illustrates the importance of ‘branding’ (without mentioning the term), and explains both the ‘marketing/fundraising funnel’ and ‘pyramid of giving’ to animal organizations.

How about a Fur Ball; an easy, quick, old-fashioned letter-writing campaign; or a murder mystery dinner that raised over $25,000 for one shelter? Partner with a business looking for a write-off, thus appearing more humane to customers or clients. Add a Wish List to your website. Sell stuff on eBay. Heck, sell a whole house! Nowadays you can get one cheap (but not for long).

I might have used catchier names for the projects, numbered them in the table of contents, and perhaps included a chart or list so a shelter or rescue could easily start with projects that might be the quickest or that require the least up-front resources (funds, planning and personnel) or modifications, but, on the whole, Funds fills a much needed gap!

Daffron also wrote Publicity to the Rescue (with 19 case studies) and Happy Hound: Develop a Great Relationship with Your Adopted Dog or Puppy (adorable cover photo). Another good source is Rescue Matters! by Sheila Boneham.

If you work or volunteer for a rescue or shelter and haven’t read a ‘How To’ book recently, it’s time for a brush-up. 

And look into the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals, www.naprp.org.

You’ll be glad you did and so will the animals!

Caveat: these are methods and ideas for your organization to modify depending on your resources and needs. Even the steps can be personalized, as well as the level of difficulty for your group, the number of per­sonnel required, etc.

Funds is a start. A great start!

(This review first appeared in GRREAT News, May-Jun 2012.)

No comments:

Post a Comment