The Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS) was founded in 1885 as a local, independent non-profit in Jacksonville, FL, and moved to their current location in 1920. In 2005, JHS officially became a no-kill shelter. Shortly after, a coalition was formed to make Jacksonville a no-kill city. In 2014, the goal became a reality and Jacksonville became the nation’s largest no-kill city.
Prior to the pandemic, the Jacksonville Humane Society team had decided they wanted to do an additional large event beyond their regular GivingTuesday event. They were inspired by Austin Pets Alive to do a numbers-based campaign, trying to raise $24,000 in 24 hours by July 24th. This would be the team’s first time doing a fundraiser like this, and they were setting out in a pandemic. They knew it was more important than ever for pets and their owners to get the help they needed.
Lindsay Layendecker, Assistant Development Director at Jacksonville Humane Society, says that the team wanted to communicate that people and pets now faced financial difficulties due to the pandemic, but they also wanted to focus on the positive. They choose Focus on the Paws-itive as the theme, emphasizing how pets bring positivity to people’s lives. Acknowledging the pandemic also pointed out the demand for the organization’s programs that support pet owners in need with food, vet services, spay/neuter assistance, and more.
“The videos really helped people to connect with our work. We were able to share real stories about real people and real pets in the community.”
—Lindsay Layendecker, Assistant Development Director at Jacksonville Humane Society
Goal-Focused Positivity Motivated People to Give
Lindsay says that the theme gave the event a boost since people in their community were both looking for ways to help people struggling because of the pandemic and in need of positivity.
Videos in Thank You Messages Added Cheer
Lindsay says that showing your donors how much they mean to you is essential, and they chose videos to communicate their gratitude. The team used the video feature in Network for Good to instantly acknowledge gifts and send videos of pets along with the messages.
Stories Spread the Word
Sharing stories made a big impact. On social media and on the fundraising page, the organization posted stories and photos of pet owners and their pets and encouraged others to share their own stories and photos with the fundraiser hashtag. Plenty of people responded, filling one another’s feeds with heartwarming stories and photos of their pets.
Jacksonville Humane Society Blew Past Its Goal
Jacksonville Humane blew past its goal, raising $30,945 in total. And they accomplished this with only a $2,000 total investment.