You might have already heard of online crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter and wondered if there are any similar platforms meant to help raise funds for pets.
With approximately 500,000 pet parents and pet guardians similarly experiencing that harrowing moment each year, when they realize that their pets need a potentially life-saving treatment that is beyond their reach, such curiosity is only natural.
Fortunately, the solution to this pressing concern comes in the name of Waggle.
The Waggle Foundation’s Objectives
The only pet-dedicated crowdfunding platform that partners directly with leading veterinary providers, nonprofits, and pet guardians, Waggle is a nonprofit organization that aims to reduce economic euthanasia in pets and give pet parents and their four-legged fur babies the support they need for a second chance at a healthy and happy life.
As per Steve Mornelli, CEO and founder of Waggle, “economic euthanasia” is the condition in which pet owners sometimes have no option but to euthanize their pets as a result of the unaffordable costs of veterinary medical care.
“Economic euthanasia might be a term a lot of your listeners are not aware of. I certainly wasn’t when I started Waggle. ‘Economic euthanasia’, it’s a little…may be hard to say, right, but it really means that people can’t afford the cost of dog surgery and medical treatment that might be emergent to the other types of care.”
In connection with this, Waggle seeks to establish relationships and grow a community of like-minded individuals and organizations that are committed to helping pets.
To successfully achieve this, Steve and his team are working on:
- Building better awareness and generating greater impact through community-based and sponsored-based educational programs;
- Inspiring responsible pet ownership by encouraging the purchase and maintenance of veterinary insurance and emergency pet fund; and
- Maximizing the number of pets kept out of shelters and animal rescue groups.
(Click the “Play” button below to watch the video)
The Waggle Foundation’s Programs
Started about two and a half years ago, Waggle was established with the goal of providing financial assistance to the guardians of pets in need in order to keep these animals healthy and with their families, where they belong. This is principally conducted through several programs that help channel the donations that Waggle Foundation receives to animal-loving organizations and individuals.
In fact, Waggle primarily engages in the following four key initiatives:
- Educating Pet Guardians, where Waggle encourages pet parents to carry and maintain a basic veterinary emergency fund;
- Growing the Community, where Waggle embraces a broader and more disparate audience of like-minded and dedicated entities and individuals to espouse its mission through education and outreach;
- Providing Direct Support, where Waggle employs best practices to multiply each donation by matching funds and providing extra financial support immediately to cover veterinary costs; and
- Raising Crowdfunding Awareness, where Waggle helps generate donations made not only to the Foundation itself but also to other similarly inclined organizations.
Of course, Waggle also has its own set of criteria to observe before deciding to bestow grants. After all, Steve added,
“We started Waggle because we recognize that donors often just don’t know where that money is going. There’s a lot of bad actors out there. We see it every single day in the newspaper, in the news… So, Waggle is purpose-built, specially built to solve this problem. We do so with transparency and trust. All of our donors know exactly where their money is going because we do something different. The money that we raise goes directly to the veterinary hospitals. No one’s doing this at scale like we do.”
According to Steve, what makes him and his team a lot different from well-known platforms like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Cuddly is that, with Waggle, the money they receive in the form of donations are immediately directed to veterinary hospitals. Aside from that, they also bring each recipient’s story back to the individual donors to let the latter know how much of an impact they have made through their monetary contributions.
To this end, Steve and his team work with a lot of animal rescues, shelters, and other types of animal welfare groups that aim to make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals.
How a Waggle Campaign Works
While a successful crowdfunding campaign is only possible through your active participation, Steve said that it’s pretty easy to set yourself and your pet up on Waggle.
“Well, for the most part, you are doing it… It’s really as simple as going to Waggle.org and creating an account. The entire process can take as little as 10 minutes. That’s what’s so interesting about it, right, because, again, we’re not in the Cuban healthcare space. We’re not trying to raise money to start your business. We’re not trying to put an addition on your house. We’re trying to save your dog and get that right, so the questions that we asked, the pictures that we have you upload—it’s a very quick process because we know what works. We do it time and time again. We know what helps people really hit their goals and be successful because…it’s all that we do.”
Basically, when you sign up, you will need to tell the Waggle team about your story and upload a number of pictures of your feline or canine baby. The team will then look over your backgrounds and do a check and balance to make sure that everything you mentioned is as you portrayed it to be.
Afterward, Waggle publishes your campaign to their website, which makes use of a lot of tools to help increase your campaign’s reach. As Steve himself commented, this increased exposure is what makes all the difference and indicates whether or not your campaign was a success.
When asked what their future goal was, Steve excitedly shared,
“Well, the vision is to bring a sort of a consortium. We want to bring in more of the pet industry—the large players, whether they’re veterinary hospitals or pharmaceutical companies—to get them involved because they know what we’re doing, they can help support us and bring this back… That’s an important concept, right, if we keep this everything within the veterinary industry, with the professionals, this entire ecosystem. We’ve talked about veterinary hospitals and rescues and shelters and the general public. But now, let’s fold in more foundations. Let’s fold in different sub-industries within the profession. Then we talk about retailers. Think about the difference if we can put $100 million to play and…save these pets. What an extraordinary thing that we can do!”
Want to learn more about the Waggle Foundation?
Find out more about them at www.waggle.org.
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