Sep
25
2014

Unexpected bills are never fun, and sometimes an unplanned veterinary surgery or emergency can result in a bill that is simply more than a pet owner can afford. What do you say to a client who can't afford to pay for the treatments you recommend for his or her pet? One option might be crowdfunding.

What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Also referred to as "peer-to-peer fundraising" or "microphilanthropy," crowdfunding represents the idea that many people, collectively giving small amounts, can create large-scale change. Some well-known crowdfunding sites include Kickstarter.com and DonorsChoose.org, and now a new, animal-based crowdfunding site has emerged: LoveAnimals.org.

LoveAnimals.org
LoveAnimals.org is a crowdfunding platform dedicated to helping pets and wildlife. It May 2013, when the site originally launched, it was made available to nonprofits only. As more and more requests came from pet owners wanting to run crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for veterinary costs, LoveAnimals.org decided to assist pet owners and veterinarians and ensure more animals receive the medical care they need.

With this technology, pet owners visit the website and post a "FriendRaiser." Based on the treatment recommended by the veterinarian, the owner determines the fundraising goal and deadline for when funds must be raised. The pet owner also specifies which veterinary clinic is performing the care, and can upload photos of his or her pet and include a narrative describing the medical treatment needed. The project is then published on LoveAnimals.org and fundraising begins. Once the goal is reached, LoveAnimals.org sends the money raised directly to the veterinary clinic. No money is ever released directly to the pet owner to ensure the donors' funds are used exactly as intended.

LoveAnimals.org does not keep any portion of the funds raised by pet owners or nonprofits and does not charge a fee to pet owners or nonprofits to run a campaign. Pet owners and nonprofits can run as many campaigns as they'd like. How does LoveAnimals.org raise money to operate? Donors are asked to consider an additional optional donation to support LoveAnimals.org. This model is popular with fundraisers, because 100 percent of the money they raise goes to their cause, and 60 percent of donors choose to give an additional "tip" to LoveAnimals.org.

The next time you have a client who needs help paying for his or her pet's care, LoveAnimals.org might be just the recommendation to make. Visit LoveAnimals.org for more information.

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