How Puppy Love Transformed an Annual Fundraiser

Animal Services

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What is meant to be always finds a way, and that proved to be the case with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s annual Puppygram fundraiser!  

Like many other nonprofits, Brother Wolf was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the various pandemic safety precautions, there was no chance their popular Puppygram fundraiser could take place in person. In fact, it involved in-person cuddling with adoptable kittens and puppies!   

Rather than cancel, the Brother Wolf team brainstormed and came up with a very clever (and relatively simple) way to transform their event into a virtual one. 

The Story 

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue exists to enhance the lives of companion animals and the people who love them. Through a plethora of programs, like adoption and pet retention programs, a low-cost mobile spay and neuter clinic, lifesaving shelter transfer partnerships, extensive volunteer and foster networks, a trap-neuter-return program for community cats, and thrift and retail stores, Brother Wolf impacts the lives of thousands of animals each year in the Western North Carolina region. 

Like other organizations, they saw the move to hybrid and virtual events in 2020 and embarked to turn their fundraiser into one. They explored digital options and came up with a unique way to keep the event and the precious revenue it represented. 

The Brother Wolf team scheduled some time with the Qgiv Customer Experience team, and together they looked at ways to utilize the redesigned Qgiv donation forms to fit their needs, and to do so with limited time and resources at their disposal.   

“We needed a custom form. As someone with very minimal experience building something like that, it was so nice and easy to use Qgiv’s donation form. When I did have questions about anything, I was able to reach out and get answers very quickly,” shares Brooke Fornea, Director of Marketing

The Solution

The good old-fashioned approach of an in-person valentine with its traditional paper accoutrements was out of the question. The Brother Wolf team created innovative digital valentines using the dedication feature in their Qgiv donation form.  Once a donor entered a donation amount, they were given a drop-down of four furry valentine options: 

BHcare Foundation's a chance to shine event logo.

Once the option was selected, donors were prompted to enter their valentine’s name and email address and then were prompted to add a personalized message. Valentines (aka donations) were processed online, and donors were reminded they could give a one-time donation or commit to recurring monthly gifts.  

Brother Wolf made another very sound decision; they chose to tell a brief story, making sure to share that all funds raised during the campaign were going toward lifesaving programs and care for injured and homeless animals. If you want donors to give more than once, you must share the impact of their gift. Donors crave evidence that your organization is using their gift to make the world a better, fairer, safer, and happier place! 

They also made sure to include links in the valentines so recipients could share the love and send their own valentines! 

To make sure they were the perfect matchmakers, conditional content within the Qgiv receipt feature was then used to make sure the correct image and message were sent to the correct recipient. (Thank goodness for that…imagine if the wrong someone got your Valentine!) 

With some coordination, they were able to offer a limited amount of VIP packages that did allow for socially-distanced, in-person cuddling and custom video messages, as well as a few extra pampering options. 

The Outcome

Realizing the only way to keep their annual Puppygram fundraiser was to go digital and limit in-person contact, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue saved the day (and their event) by adopting a virtual format. 

It was extra important to the team to keep the event on the calendar, not only because of its impact on their annual budget, but because it was an anticipated event that brought attention to their mission and historically resulted in adoptions and donations.  With the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic, it also offered all involved a needed soft, warm, and fuzzy virtual hug. 

Their supporters and volunteers didn’t disappoint. They saw an increase in the total number of Puppygrams and met their $5,000 fundraising goal. 

As the future unfolds and fundraising and events normalize (fingers crossed here), organizations like Brother Wolf will continue to assess their traditional fundraising and incorporate a virtual element in everything they do.  

Moral of the Story

“It was a successful fundraiser for us, it went very well, and was very smooth. Even when we can go back to having in-person, we’ll always keep this digital option and the low-cost video element because people really responded to it.”  

Read more about this success story and see some other inspirational ideas in our Resource Center!  

Ready to see what Qgiv’s online donation forms can do for you? Schedule your free one-on-one demo today! 

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