Give Me Your Money! This Is a Great Cause!
Step-by-Step Guide to Fundraising for Nonprofits
Vol. 1: Animal Rescues
I love animals and I am devoted to supporting associations that rescue them.
In 2018, I founded rescuTe.ca a nonprofit dedicated to supporting rescues. My goal had many facets to it:
To support, to the best of my abilities, rescue associations to raise funds by strengthening their virtual visibility with strong content, professional images, compelling storytelling, optimized and key-word-dense writing, and professional logos.
In other words, my goal was to support all the pieces of the puzzle that make a rescue brand strong, visible, and appealing to donate to. I am proud to say that I have had many successes and my expertise in each of these areas grows with every passing day.
I encourage you to keep my goal in mind as you read this guide. It will help you understand me and my mission better.
Who Am I?
I emigrated from Italy to Canada at the age of 20 without speaking a word of English. Then, in my 40s, I achieved a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. Writing has always been my passion, and I am proud of my achievements. My background brings a unique perspective to my writing.
These are some of my achievements:
- I am a business consultant working primarily with small businesses to create a relevant, unforgettable, and unique online presence. My company is LunaCoaching.com.
- I am the author of many books in print.
- I have designed and produced e-books for myself and my clients.
- Currently, I contribute to Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington’s most recent platform.
- I have contributed to YourTango, writing about women entrepreneurs on a platform that promotes the elusive perfect love.
- I hold multiple coaching certifications, several of which required years to achieve.
- I currently work as a business consultant to small businesses, guiding them in shifting their marketing paradigm from product-based or service-based to the all-important value-based.
I hold credentials in many specialties:
- Content writing
- Key-word-dense and optimized content writing
- Website architecture
- Commercial graphic design
- Visual presentation
- Instagram branding
What Am I Most Proud Of?
I have created and now run two charitable associations that bring positive change to the lives of children and animals.
- ScaldaCuori has so far donated 283 blankets to children who need extra love.
- Rescute.ca has raised thousands of dollars and donated important items to many rescue associations.
Why Do I Work with Rescues?
Rescue associations depend on volunteers and donations. Volunteers have limited time. All the amazing volunteers I know have a job, including me.
I have noticed that most rescues have weaknesses in running their associations and promoting their virtual brands.
It’s not hard to understand why. It takes a lot of time and professional knowledge to create and maintain a strong brand that raises money consistently.
I thought that if I could offer my professional training and expertise in the things that no one wants to do, groups like yours would find it easier to create a steady stream of revenue.
Each fundraising event needs its own story to be successful. To use storytelling effectively to promote your association and your fundraising events, you need the following:
- Finding products that will generate good revenue
- Creating marketing campaigns consistent with each fundraiser
- Creating social media images and content that strongly encourage reposting
- Finding high-ranking key words
- Researching hashtags
- Coming up with new logos that fit the overall brand and offer variation
- Searching out different donating demographics
To sum up, this is about offering a service of all the things that no one wants to do!
You’d Think People Would Be Happy, Right? WRONG!
I have noticed, unfortunately, that some rescue associations are resistant to change, especially in marketing and fundraising. These rescues reject the alternatives I present for logos and images without much consideration. It seems that they resent change or, more likely, they fear it. Why is that?
Every nonprofit needs guidelines to support a solid structure for its team and for new members wanting to join. These guidelines are not inflexible boundaries or rules set in stone. They are pliable and moveable. They encourage creativity, innovation, and change and welcome influencers with new ideas.
The management team of a rescue association has to decide if they are open to new ideas, trusting that their foundation is strong and suggestions offered by experts can only be good.
Trust is everything. Without trust, you don’t have anything.
Let Trust Win the Day
Let me give you an example of a success story in which trust did indeed win the day.
Barb Murray is a trusted expert on bear conservation and the founder of Bears Matter. At a time when Barb was overwhelmed by the work of her bear rescue association, I had the opportunity to offer her unsolicited advice on her brand. She knew that her online presence wasn’t good enough, so she jumped at my offer.
The online brand of BearsMatter.com was almost nonexistent. The website content was hard to understand if you weren’t a scientist, and the beautiful images were out of focus because they hadn’t been properly sized.
I rebuilt the entire website from the ground up, consulting with Barb at every step to make sure I was on target with her vision. Together we rewrote and fully optimized the content, and chose new images.
I won’t say that all was smooth sailing. Yes, we argued—for the same reason that most rescues argue. Barb wanted to stick with the existing format even though the rescue’s priorities required a different one. For example, she wanted to attract more people, as all nonprofits must do, but didn’t want to edit the scientific content that discouraged non-scientists from staying on or coming back to the site.
I convinced Barb of a basic truth about branding: If you want to attract a specific crowd from which you will benefit, you have to speak their language. Good website language is clear and concise—and less is always more! Images are sharp and properly formatted. Your website is unique yet follows the rules of SEO, social media, and common sense.
Barb was the most gracious person I have ever volunteered for, and the results have proved me right. Our partnership continues, and I have learned valuable lessons that have enriched me as a person and strengthened my communication skills.
Here’s the funny part. Take a look at the two logos below. Barb wanted to keep the logo on the left, the one in black and white. She was attached to it because she had used it from the beginning. I counselled her to redo it, precisely because she had used it from the beginning and it was dated. I had to push her, gently but insistently, to look at my logo redo. She loved it. There was no going back.
The Moral of Each Volunteering Story
The moral of this story is this: You may be too close to your cause to make the right decisions based on technology and digital results. I have trained for this for years and, like you, I am an animal lover. I want the same things as you do for your rescue association.
It takes an open mind to recognize your rescue’s weaknesses and accept them without judgment. If you are the leader or a dedicated volunteer of your association, I encourage you to take advantage of the professional help available to you. Professionals offering their services to animal rescues, whether volunteer or paid, have the same goals as you do: to save as many animals as possible.
We professionals just do it in a different way. You go into the field. We create a solid foundation so that you can raise the funds you need to bring your animals to safety.
Stay tune to the ebook about fundarisign coming soon. Request a copy
Give Me Your Money! This is a Great Cause!
Volume 1 – Animal Rescues
Applicable to All Nonprofit