As someone passionate about the plight of dogs, you’ve done all you can. You donate to local shelters and foster dogs when time permits. But you want to do more. You want to open your own shelter or charity to help.
On the surface, you have all the qualifications. You love dogs and are passionate about the cause. You’re even willing to put in all the hard work to make the world a better place. But sometimes that isn’t enough. It’s the underlying business side that gets complicated. All the paperwork and bureaucratic nonsense that piles up. And most importantly, managing a website.
You probably aren’t planning to do this all alone, so it’s important to find the right people by your side. Maybe that’s a close friend or family member who shares your passion for dogs. Maybe it’s a local business person who can provide some initial funding. Or just someone in the community who has some experience to walk you through the early growing pains. This is where you start and the people you choose to help will be vital in your journey.
Setting up a Website
Thankfully things have gotten much easier over the years. Services like WordPress allow you to create sites with the push of a button. And for those of us who aren’t design oriented, you can grab a beautiful theme from Themeforest for a small fee. Within a couple days you can have an attractive website that will draw eyes to your charity.
Plug-ins are the icing on the cake and allow you to customize the site to provide features like galleries, contact forms, and much more. With a little effort, you should have a fully customizable site ready to show the world. A place where you can send supports to learn about the lastest events, volunteer opportunities, and the great work that is being done.
What new animal charities struggle with most is donations. Some people use Paypal, others want a credit card, while some are still clinging to their checkbook. Organizing this is a disaster. An expensive expert will sound like an alien trying to explain how to integrate all these services into a website.
That’s where a service like Donorbox steps in. Their mission is to simplify fundraising for animals. They do this by allowing you to easily integrate a form into your existing website that will handle all your donations. Their plug-in with WordPress works flawlessly.
Now what makes Donorbox special from other services is they cover almost every payment service imaginable. They can take all major credit cards, ACH bank transfers, Paypal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Your donors can specify if they want this to be a one-time fee or a monthly subscription. The monthly subscriptions are billed automatically. More time for you to handle the important stuff with your charity.
For some examples of this in action, the Humane Society of Weld County uses Donorbox to take donations for their work. So does the Australian-based wildlife rescue group For the Animals. You can see how seamless it looks in action on their sites.
Maintaining a Mailing List
Now that you’ve tackled the website and donations, you’ll need to maintain an ever-important mailing list. This is where you can contact volunteers, donors, or people who have shown interest in your charity to detail upcoming plans. This list is your life-line and should be treated with the utmost respect. These are the people that will help your charity grow and accomplish all the wonderful things you want to do for the world.
Using that list requires teaming up with a service that specializes in managing e-mail marketing. The most popular names are Mail Chimp and Constant Contact. They come with a fee but will save you hours of time that could be put to better use.
Don’t be overwhelmed at the idea of opening up your own dog rescue or charity. I’ve personally seen the growth of rescues like One Tail at a Time go from adopting a few dogs a year to hundreds. They had no major corporate backing. No prior experience in running a charity. Just dedication to a cause they were passionate about.
With your determination and the right tools by your side, you can make this happen. You can be a positive change in the world. Don’t let your fears hold you back.