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Help with donations and get something back!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, from what I can ascertain, we are allowed to post once for possible help?

We are a SMALL 2 person rescue, registered 501c3. I hate to even really ask it, but this economic crisis that I know is killing us ALL, is hitting us hard.

I can give you details about our rescue, gladly, but let me just throw out the situation we have currently. We house 20-30 residential cats at a time, while they are all up for adoption, many of them appear 'unadoptable' and stay with us as long as necessary, a lifetime if need be.

We just had a cat that was adopted and lived with his new home for a year, returned to us (we insist all adopters return the cat to us , instead of rehoming it or handing it over to shelter. We really care about all of our animals greatly. ) So the cat was returned for not using the litter box, but he also had developed a large tumor on the back of his head.

In the meantime, since the economic crash last September, we have received only 1 donation of approx $400 and ONE grant for $1,000. We've had to feed, treat and heat the cat buildings with this very small amount and we just dont' know how much longer we can keep going in any event, but the addition of a cat with special surgery needs is a major set back for us. (The $1,400 is long gone, having been used to buy food, flea treatment and help pay to heat their buildings, supply litter., etc. )

A rough estimate from our vet for removal and biopsy is $150- $300 Of course, the biopsy could show cancer and we are not in a position to be able to treat a cat for cancer. But in the meantime, we don't have the funds to even get the tumor removed.

I'm not trying to get something for nothing. I may have something worthwhile to you. We've looked at selling some items on ebay but their costs for selling with them have sky rocketed. I'd be glad to make a trade of the items for donation. I have several name brand handbags (high end bags- Michael Kors- used) Various jewelry , books , videos , movies, and various other items.

Please ask me any questions. WE are happy to provide references. and copies of our 501c3 standing.

THank you
Midwest Friends of Animals, Inc.
post #2 of 8
oh gosh, I'm so sorry about your situation

Just a reminder to members from the rules:

The needs of rescue workers are great and we recognize this fact. To care for multiple cats, find suitable homes, good vet care, food, etc. is costly. From time to time you will see some posts come up to ask for donations for a cause. It is YOUR responsibility to check out these solicitors to the best of your ability. More often, you will see pleas from individuals asking for money to be sent directly to them to assist with veterinary bills. Some come up with slick websites, others just have heartwrenching stories. In each of these cases, the poster is allowed ONE thread, to be placed in Cats SOS.

In either case, if you feel compelled to donate money ask for references, phone numbers, call around the area and find out if this is a legitimate cause or a scam. For personal pleas, get the veterinarian’s contact information and send money directly to the veterinarian to help with bills for that particular cat. If that information is not available, you have the answer if the plea is legitimate or a scam.

Be very careful before you send any money: no matter how effective the plea is, check it out first before opening your wallet.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much! Yes, we are happily willing to post our website also, should that be allowed? And we have references from a variety of adopters and copies of our 501c3 IRS status, etc. Oh and of course from the vets we use. And we are certainly more the HAPPY to have any donations go directly to the vet!!!

Is it ok to post our group link here just to verify? It shows we've been around quite awhile.

We started out trying to help both cats and dogs but have morphed into soley cats, since almost no other rescue seems to want to take in cats very often. It's so sad for kitties.

Just one more note, we do have items we can gladly give in return for donations, if that helps anyone!!!

Thanks so much.
Midwest Friends of Animals, Inc.

Oh, and P.S. we are also listed with Purina Rally to Rescue as Rescue Ambassadors, just to let you know. They likewise screen ambassador groups carefully. Thanks!
post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by PetFriends View Post
Midwest Friends of Animals, Inc.

Oh, and P.S. we are also listed with Purina Rally to Rescue as Rescue Ambassadors, just to let you know. They likewise screen ambassador groups carefully. Thanks!
I checked out the Purina Rally to Rescue Ambassador directory and yup! you're on it.....I really like your website, too. the prayer for animals from Albert Schweitzer is beautiful.
I'm sending mega prayers and vibes that your agency gets the help it needs - right now, I've got a couple of commitments that I need to fulfill, but maybe our dear departed HopeHacker can get some SOS sent your way
bless you for caring for the kitties
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks Catsknowme (Joey?) I don't know how any groups are managing to get by right now, is so sad. The economy is just making everything worse and worse from every angle, it seems, more animals need help, less help available, etc, etc. We'll keep on doing what we can as long as we can, for sure! THanks again.
post #6 of 8
We recently had items donated for a large yard sale from
members of our group - we all donated stuff we didn't use,
would have listed for sale, or done our own sale on and
are organizing a large community sale. The Jacyees in our
area sponsor a yardsale that goes every weekend - and they
lease space to other groups to come sell things - or sell for them,
and pass back the money... have you looked into that??

Sort of like a one time "thrift" shop sale. Many groups do
run thrift shops and these are booming right now, as people
use consignment more and more (not able / willing to spend).

So for a fund raiser - if somone will help you out - you could
list it on Craigslist for your area (or other community boards etc),
notifty pet stores and churches and local newspapers (they usually
let you do a "free" community yard sale listing or non expensive one.

There are also bake sales, putting items on Ebay, and soliciting
for donations eg items to sell for your non - profit online.

Just a few ideas. You may also look at your local library for books
on fund raisers for non profits - and also don't forget the National
Grants and Foundation directory - for your state there may be
a group willing to assist you with a TNR campaing (which your
cats benefit from) and/or some form of help for medical issues??

Unfortunately this year in the downturn groups are seeing more and more people pack up foreclose and leave the cat behind (or the dog in some cases too.) More and more animals out wandering abandoned.

It is a horrible reflection on our value system that someone can consider
a living animal that they have loved and petted and cared for and slept with as "disposable"... but that's what it has come too....

I've been trying to feed mine, and let me tell you sometimes you
do run into nice store managers who let you have the damaged
spilt bags etc. of food. That's a GOD SEND when it happens -
but it is much harder for us to find such wonderful helpers here
in our area....
post #7 of 8
For fund raising ideas for all rescue groups never underestimate the value of small business. It sounds like your shelter could use more consistent donations overall so I post these suggestions that I've seen work at a local shelter:

A popular Beatles cover band has teamed up with our local Humane Society. They give benifit concerts that consistantly sell out large local venues. It's been a HUGE success. At their last show they charged $25 a ticket, sold out two shows and gave all the proceeds to the Humane Society.

The same rescue group does a carnival in the fall where animals (usually dogs) compete in various contest. In the spring, they do a dog walk and microchip clinic. Many dog owners also have cats so don't underestimate doing dog focused events as fundraisers too.

Finally, very small businesses (like my pet sitting company) can't afford radio or TV ads but for a small investment we can sponsor events like the ones I mentioned above. I LOVE doing these because I can afford it and it gets me directly to my target audience: pet owners. Also, by supporting these groups and establishing a good relationship with them they are happy to refer me to others looking for pet sitting. Locally I know of several types of businesses that have teamed up. Besides my sitting company, there are two mobile groomers, a mom and pop pet store, a doggy bakery and a puppy waste removal company that have all teamed up with me to do fund raising. I know for the last dog walk I brought 11 dog walkers and raised $650 dollars for the shelter just through my contacts alone.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the suggestions!! We do have quite a few things ready to go for a yard sale in May!

Unfortunately, we are in a tiny town with it's own problems, not too many people do much to help any 'causes'. I can't tell you how often someone has called and said, "I want to make a donation. I want to donate a cat."

We found a vet to do the surgery we needed for less, now crossing fingers it solves his problems!!

Thanks all!
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