Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why Are We Always Asking for Money?

This is Dan. He is every bit as sweet and friendly and special as he looks in his photos, lounging in our bed! But Dan is the poster child for why we seem to always be asking for money! Let me explain.
There are pretty much three ways a dog comes to Smiling Dog Farms: through a shelter, through another rescue or through a private party.
Our goal is to make ourselves accessible to anyone who needs to send a dog here. We try to always say "yes". And we have the most liberal Intake Policy of any sanctuary in North America!

We don't ever want a dog to be turned away over money, and yet we have to acknowledge that every new dog coming here adds to our expenses.

So we ask the person or group sending the dog to help us with funding.

There are two kinds of funding we need help with. One is for housing and the other is for day-to-day operational costs.

Housing is a one-time expense. Our current cost for materials to build a play yard and town home is $1096. If a dog is a jumper or a climber, we need to add $96 for "jumper panels". We tell people sending a dog here, "If you have $1096, you need to send it to us. But if you don't, we will show you how to raise that money."

We create a Chip In fund raiser, and ask the person sending the dog to circulate this to all their friends, family and business contacts. It tracks how much has been raised and how much is still needed. All we ask is that the sending party donate time on their computer to keep moving around the Chip In fundraiser until we meet our goal.

Once we have housing covered, we still have to pay for the day-to-day costs of caring for a dog. It costs us $2.67 per day, which is pretty reasonable compared to boarding facilities. But that still adds up to $80/mo. That pays the salaries of our team members who service the dogs each day (Ricky and I do not receive a penny in compensation; we are 100% volunteers) and buys dog food and pays for vet care.

We don't ask the sending party to pay $80/mo from their checkbook. We ask them to donate more time on the computer to sign up monthly sponsors. Just 8 people at $10/mo will cover the costs for one dog. Or 4 people at $20/mo. You get the idea.

But we must cover our operational costs, or every new dog will just stretch our meager resources that much thinner. Everyone has sadly read of rescues which have to close their doors because they said yes too many times, without keeping an eye on the bank account. And then all their dogs are at risk!

We are clear with people sending dogs here that they must commit to meeting these funding goals. We provide the emails and Chip Ins to send out. They just need to dilligently keep sending them until we meet our goals.

So what does all this have to do with old Dan, you ask?

Unfortunately, he is an example of a sending party who wrote a check for his housing... and has not been heard from since! We have emailed her many times, but she has not responded.
It means that Dan has no monthly sponsors to cover his costs. And there is no one even trying to find some!
We agreed to take Dan in good faith, expecting that the sending party would do her part to find monthly donors that total $80. That is $80 each month we have to pay -- and we just don't have the extra money to do that!
Every time someone sends a dog and does not keep their word to help us fundraise, it puts us in a real bind. Dan's case is not the only one like this. He is just one example of larger problem.
We're glad Dan is here with us, where he is safe and loved.
But as long as people don't follow through and keep their word to help fundraise for their dog, we will have to keep asking for money!
It is sad but true that rescue is all about money. If you have it, you can do anything. If you don't have it, you can do nothing.

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