5 Tips for Creating a Winning Pet Campaign
This campaign raised over $6,000 to transport homeless pets from the U.S. Virgin Islands to stateside no-kill shelters
If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, then you probably own a four-legged ball of fur. If this is the case, then you’re all too familiar with the sound of a thumping tail against furniture, or that gentle purring early in the morning. Their presence is truly woven into the fabric of your everyday life.
That’s why when tragedy strikes — they go missing, or fall ill, or have a need you just can’t meet financially — it can shake your foundation and leave you feeling anxious about the future.
Crowdfunding for your pet-related expenses can ease any financial burdens and allow you get your pal the help they need right when they need it. And we’ve got five tips to help you create a stellar campaign that will make your pet stand out in the best way.
Whatever Your Pet Needs, We’ve Got You Covered
Maybe your pup was injured on a hike and now you’re facing enormous vet bills, or maybe you just need some cash to get your chicken sanctuary off the ground. Take a look at some of the ways we can help:
A Fund for Emergencies and Accidents
Americans spent over $15 billion on vet bills in 2016 alone, which is no surprise, considering emergency vet services can run into the thousands. It would be ideal to have money earmarked for your four-legged friend, but we’re often caught financially unprepared in emergency situations.
Take Sir Thomas Trueheart, for example. This fluffy feline’s face was doused in acid by a cruel human, and he was found by wandering around half blind with severe injuries to his face. Sir Thomas remained at the vet for over a month receiving pricey pain meds, surgeries, and skin grafts.[/t]
To help offset the enormous vet bills, a GoFundMe campaign was created for him, and raised over $12,000. In the end, Sir Thomas lost an eye and will have lifelong medical issues, but he made an incredible recovery from the traumatic event. He now lives happily in a foster care home where he is showered with love and attention.
A Fund for Travel Expenses
Airfare isn’t only expensive for humans — airlines still charge a pretty penny if your pet has to be checked as cargo. Maybe you’re moving and need to get doggo from point A to point B, or maybe you need to buy a plane ticket for yourself so you can reach your newly adopted buddy.
In Ilona Thomas’ case, she set up a GoFundMe campaign so she could be reunited with her beloved cat Mellow, a green-eyed tabby she had raised since he was eight months old. In 2011, Mellow escaped from home and was never seen again. A whopping six years later, long after she had given up hope, Ilona received a miraculous phone call late at night: someone had found Mellow!
Ilona had moved out of state, so she created her campaign to buy a plane ticket for the good samaritan who had found Mellow. After a long flight from California to Georgia, Mellow and Ilona were united at long last.
A Fund for Euthanasia and Cremation Costs
It’s certainly not something you want to think about, but you may be at the point where ending your best friend’s suffering is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, animal euthanasia and cremation for can cost several hundred dollars, and in-home euthanasia alone can run upwards of $600. Starting a crowdfunding campaign for these costs allows you to send your pet off in dignity as soon as it’s needed.
A Fund for Animal Organizations
If you’re part of a non-profit doing good for animals far and wide, you can attest to the amount of money it takes to run an organization. Or perhaps you don’t have your charity status just yet, and you need funds to submit your application and get your organization off the ground.
Just ask Jason Parker, who started a 501(c)(3) to provide injured or disabled pups with wheelchair carts because their owners otherwise couldn’t afford the expensive devices. He named his charity Gunnar’s Wheels after Gunnar, his black labrador who was hit by a truck and left paraplegic.
With the carts costing anywhere between $125.00 and $700.00, he knew he needed some extra help. Jason started a GoFundMe campaign and raised over $100,000 for animals in need!
So How Do I Run a Successful Campaign?
When starting a campaign from scratch, it can be tough to know exactly what information to include, and how to get your campaign out there to the masses. Not to worry — we’ve got five tips to get you off to a purrrrrfect start.
1) Tell Your Pet’s Story
Penny Chicken, a Silkie chicken with a fantastic hairdo, was rescued from a testing factory as a chick. She fell ill when two eggs became impacted in her abdomen. Penny’s owner started this GoFundMe campaign for her, and raised over $7,000 for the treatment she needed. Her campaign does a wonderful job of providing a detailed backstory and lots of heartwarming photos.
Who doesn’t love being immersed in a riveting tale? And when the protagonist is an adorable animal in need, it’s likely to be a winning combo.
To engage your potential supporters, you’ll want to write a campaign story that truly explains what your pet means to you, and why you need help. You’ll absolutely want to include multiple photos of your pet, since everyone knows that nothing brings in traffic like adorable animal pics.
For some specific tips, check out this article we published on how to write the best campaign story possible.
2) Step Up Your Social Media Game
Campaign Organizer Caitlin Stewart started a GoFundMe campaign to expand her rescue farm called Rancho Relaxo. Thanks to a lot of hard work and a stellar social media presence, Caitlin raised over $145,000 for farm animals in need.
Simply put, when campaigns start to gain quite a bit of traction on social media, good things happen. You may think that sharing your campaign link on Facebook is the only way to get your cause in the public eye, but we’ve got a few more tips for you:
- Get Tweeting: Twitter, if nothing else, is a place where animal loves unite. Accounts like We Rate Dogs have rallied support for GoFundMe dog campaigns in the past. Upload a cute photo of your pet in a Tweet, and include a few popular pet hashtags. You never know who will take notice!
- Make the most of Facebook Messenger: It’s great to post your campaign on your Facebook Timeline, but also send individualized messages to your close friends and family members via Facebook Messenger.
- Use Instagram: Screenshot a photo of your campaign page, and then share this on Instagram with a short message explaining your cause. Don’t forget to include the link to your campaign in your Instagram bio, so you can tell people, “Click the GoFundMe link in my bio to donate!”
- Create a unique hashtag: A short, punchy hashtag will help drive your cause and encourage your network to share it as well. Use this in your Instagram and Facebook posts!
3) Be Transparent
If you have some seriously large vet bills to pay, it’s important to share pictures of those on your campaign page. Not only will this help your campaign gain legitimacy, but it will also give your supporters a clearer understanding of your exact needs.
Troy Bowman’s campaign for his beautiful white husky pup named Blue is a perfect example of how to be transparent. Troy started his campaign when Blue was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, and was told that Blue would soon be blind without a special surgery.
Troy posted photos of Blue’s extensive vet bills so everyone would understand why the campaign goal was set at $11,000. Troy surpassed his goal, and Blue is now recovering from his successful eye surgery.
4) Get Social: Rely on Your Offline Community
The internet has given us Maru the Cat and Pizza Rat — there’s no doubt it’s a treasure trove of wonders. But when it comes to your GoFundMe campaign, sometimes it pays to also take sharing offline for maximum results.
- Reach out to your friends and family members via text message, email, and phone. You’d be surprised what a difference a personal message can make.
- Hit the pavement and pass out flyers for your campaign, or post them in your favorite shops (especially pet shops)! Find out how to print a flyer of your GoFundMe campaign for free here.
- Find animal groups in your community, and meet up with them to get the word out about your cause.
5) Post Frequent Updates
The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation started this GoFundMe campaign for two injured beavers they had rescued, who later bonded. The campaign has raised over $6,000 for their care costs in its first week, and posts frequent update videos on their progress.
Once your friends and family members contribute to your campaign, they’ll likely be asking themselves, “Well….what happened?” Don’t leave your supporters hanging! Be sure to post frequent updates to keep people in the loop.
Progress photos as well as progress videos are a wonderful way for your supporters to feel connected to your campaign, and people will be more likely to donate again or share your campaign with others.
Ready to Start Your Successful Pet Campaign?
Whether it’s a rattlesnake bite, a food mishap, or a long-term illness, we understand that life with a pet isn’t always easy. Regardless, you should be able to provide your pet with the love and financial care they need, when they need it. If you’re running short on funds, then GoFundMe is here to help. Take the first step by creating a fundraiser for your furry friend today.