Writing To Further Animal Welfare

Posts tagged ‘charity’

The Cost of a Pizza

This recent report in the Guardian highlights the terrible suffering animals go through to provide our favorite foods.

Cow abuse video

This is just the tip of a greed driven industry fueled by cost cutting consumers.

Are we really content to let over 55 billion animals suffer every year in this way?

That’s over SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND ANIMALS EVERY SECOND

Apart from the animal cruelty issues, there are many health concerns with eating meat. Read the information from the charity “EVOLVE” if you want to find out more…or perhaps you don’t!

Make your 2014 resolution to either cut down on or give up eating animals….

…and make the World a kinder and healthier place to live (for all of us)

Common sense comes late in the day for hundreds of Badgers!

Click the link below to see the BBC report on the Badger Cull.

What a shame so many badgers had to die before they realised they were wrong! I just hope that they will now go down the vaccination route.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-25155208

Christmas Appeal

Christmas is a great time to boost your resources and it is vitally important to make the most of this season of good will.

You should have sent out your Christmas newsletter by now if you have things to sell to give people plenty of time to order and for you to dispatch. If you don’t have sales items then you should be thinking of sending in early December by snail mail and a bit later via e-mail so that you can benefit from the Christmas feeling of good will.

Send any stories with Christmas appeal to your local and National media contacts, very often they are looking for fillers and a well-timed press release could result in some free exposure.

There is an argument for sending your sales catalogue early to your warm supporters and following up closer to Christmas via e-mail. If you do not have many e-mail addresses on your data-base then consider asking for them in your snail mail post and thanking them via e-mail before Christmas.

A Happy Christmas from the founder or CEO via e-mail is a nice gesture, there should be no appeal with this one but you will be surprised how many people will send you a donation in return!

Christmas is a time when you can use your less hard-hitting stories focusing on the ah factor rather than concentrating people’s minds on negative aspects. A before and after picture of a bad welfare case works well during the Christmas period concentrating on the benefits of your organisation.

With money tight the more you can use free resources like email and social media to fund-raise the better so if you still rely on good old snail mail and other more expensive communication methods, think about learning the skills you need to make the most of digital media or about recruiting someone who can help you get up to speed.

I hope your Christmas campaigning goes well!

Paul Svendsen

An argument for saving badgers

There has been a lot of interest in the plight of badgers in the last few weeks, with just days to go before the possible killing of thousands of these wild animals it is hard not to be swept along with the passion of the debate whether you are pro or against the cull.

Being a non-meat eater for ethical reasons my natural instinct is to abhor the idea of killing any animal for profit and this post reflects my view on the subject, if you would like to add to the discussion  I would appreciate hearing your views.

Since this debate has been going on I have read articles from people on both sides of the argument and tried to make sense of some of the scientific papers that are prolific on the net.

I was reading some interesting material in Wikipedia regarding the history of TB, the latest research suggests that TB was originally a human disease that transmuted to animals and that it was farming practices some 6000 years ago that started the problems in farm animals which went on to cause so many problems through all those years and is still with us now.

The point of mentioning this is that it is us the humans who have caused a problem which has killed millions of wild and domesticated animals through our farming practices and yet it is the wild animals that have to suffer the consequences.

So I write this post from the view-point of a non-meat eater who would prefer we didn’t eat meat at all but who would rather see a terrible situation improved if not resolved.

Over the years we have genetically engineered farm animals to be more and more productive in terms of meat and milk production. Many scientists are commenting that whilst the engineering has improved meat and milk production it has been at the expense of the ability to fight off diseases. so are we responsible for causing this problem and spreading disease through our wildlife?

As BTB is a respiratory disease spread by close contact isn’t it a fact that intensive farming techniques especially the indoor systems provide the ideal environment for the disease to spread?

Where cattle are grazed outside they are very often strip grazed requiring that the animals eat all the grass in a specific area every day, if the area for the day is in the same proximity as a badger trail or droppings doesn’t this force the cattle to eat close to possible sources of infection?

When cattle are bought and sold it is normally through  markets, the risk of cross infection from animals crammed together in pens must be very high, isn’t this one of the biggest causes of the spread of the disease?

The badger is just one species of wild animal, there are many who live in proximity to farmed animals including deer and birds who can carry disease, if the badger cull works is the plan then to expand the idea and cull other species as well?

My ideas for reducing reducing the risk of this disease would be;

  • Breed cattle for hardiness and resistance to disease as well as higher yields.
  • Stop the highly intensive factory farming methods that promote the spread of infections like Bovine TB.
  • Graze farm animals more naturally giving them more chance to avoid eating near high risk areas.
  • Identify and fence of wildlife areas from the areas that farmed animals use.
  • Protect all animal feeds from wild animals as the disease can live for days on materials like hay and silage.
  • Stop using markets to buy and sell animals! It doesn’t make sense, with modern technology all animals should be auctioned on site and moved directly from farm to farm.
  • Design mobile slaughterhouses that can go straight to the farm, this would reduce the stress on the animals caused by transportation and reduce the risk of spreading disease.

These are only some ideas, there are people out there who I am sure have and will come up with more options so that farming and wildlife can coexist. The problem is that in the short term these practices are expensive for farmers and why should they have to face all the costs?

Farmers are only serving the consumer and it is the consumer who dictates the price and quality of food, with a lot of influence from the big retailers!

That’s why it is the consumer that has to push for change. We have got so used to being able to have meat every day and not paying much for it. For farmers to be able to provide an environment for their animals as described above they need to be able to charge more for their product. If we ate half the meat at twice the price, everybody including the wildlife could be happy!

So please use your voice and more importantly your pocket,  if you don’t want to stop eating meat then think about reducing the amount of meat you eat which will be good for your health, for your wallet and for wildlife.

I look forward to hearing your views on this post

Paul Svendsen

Aside

Donations, The Basics

Donations are the life blood of the majority of charities so unless you are a millionaire or have other sources of finance you are going to need help to maintain and grow your organisation. I have seen many charities that have amazing potential but lack the resources to convert all those great ideas into reality.

Donations come if many forms, it could be people’s time, money, services gifts, experiences but the key factor is that it is something given without anything required in return. The challenge is to motivate people to donate and to do this you have to put aside time and resources. It doesn’t matter which of the above types of donation you are seeking, if you get the basics right you will generate them all.

OK so what are the basics?

K.I.S.S 

You have probable heard of the acronym “Keep it Simple Stupid” and you should remember this at all times. Marketing is not rocket science although some of the marketing companies would have us believe that it is, there are awards out there for the best advert, the best designed direct mail campaign and so on, I have been to directors meeting where the CEO,s of large charities proudly produced there latest full colour newsletters, whilst they may impress each other I doubt that many supporters will be impressed, the majority of supporters I have talked to want to see as little of their money as possible spent on marketing and as much as possible on the core activity. So it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look slick, it’s what you are doing with your supporter’s money that’s important.

I can remember an article a few years ago now in one of the leading charity magazines was comparing direct mail campaigns including one I was running for The Donkey Sanctuary, my campaign was branded, “amateur, and homespun” whilst the others received glowing reviews. I didn’t complain because the homespun approach returned over 12% response rate against an average of the time of around 3%. That SIMPLE direct mail campaign recruited over 50000 new supporters in four years and raised millions of pounds in donations.

 Pictures speak a thousand words (or a million for the right one!) 

Hope had her ears hacked off by her drunk owner

Always carry a camera with you when you are on welfare missions or in fact at all times, that one picture that portrays the nature of your work will be worth more than anything else and could launch   the campaign that puts your organisation on the welfare map and brings in those much-needed funds. Believe me you never have enough good usable pictures so take as many as you can whenever you can. After all with digital technology it doesn’t cost anything!

Exposure = Confidence = Donations

The more  the name of your organisation is seen by the public the more they will have confidence and support your work, very few people will donate on seeing something for the first time so it’s important to build up your image in stages, blowing your whole advertising budget on a media campaign can be a terribly costly mistake. You need to put your stories out there in the free media as much as possible and when you have a really good coverage than back it up with your marketing campaign. To do this you need to build up a rapport with your local journalists, every week you should be planning to send out a press release, if you are planning a rescue or other activity that might be of interest to the public then let the press, television, radio know, they may just be looking for a story and if they bite it could be fantastic for you.

Digital Media

Although there is a lot of competition out there the internet is a very powerful fundraising tool, the secret is converting those Facebook, Website and Blog supporters to donators. I used the Internet in the project in Spain and Italy with good success. Digital is an idea opening fundraising strategy as you can reach a wide audience with relatively low investment.

The value of a diverse supporter Base

I have seen quite a few charities get into trouble because they relied on just a few major donors, large donations whilst always fantastic news can also cause an organisation to grow beyond their means in the longer term. Having many smaller value supporters whilst being more time-consuming provide security for the future. With very good charity databases on the market, many free of charge up to a certain level it is much easier now to look after many supporters and provide them with the kind of service that will reward the organisation with a lifetime of support. Remember also that a lifelong supporter is also likely to leave a legacy! Building a database of loyal supporters is a hard task but if done correctly will ensure the success of the charity for the future.

Grants and Company Sponsorship

There are grant making trusts and companies out there with budgets available for charitable use,  all you have to do is convinces them that your organisation is the one they should support! I have applied for and grants and been successful in getting them.

Paid Marketing Campaigns

TV adverts, radio, newspapers, direct mail, magazines, leaflet drops, the list goes on and on. You can easily spend a fortune and get very little in return but… if you get all your other pieces in place all these mediums can be very effective,. There are also ways of minimising the costs for charities.

To Summarise

Ok I know I have not provided much detail here but this post is just about the basics, to bring the above ramblings to a point, the basics of good fundraising are;

to remember KISS at all times, collect as much photographic material about your project as you can, use every free method of PR at every opportunity to build your organisations public profile, use digital media to maximum effect, build a database of supporters and look after them, approach grant making trusts and businesses for support, launch paid for marketing campaigns only when your profile is high and get special charity deals, read this blog to find out the details

I hope you found this post helpful and look out for further posts where I will be providing much more information about the subjects touched on above.

Paul Svendsen

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