You'll remember 'Desexmas' a 2017 Christmas fundraising campaign by PetRescue which called on people to donate for "desexing"
"Simply make a donation to our “Happy Desexmas” fundraiser and your kind gift will help rescue pets get the vital vet work they need to start a new life including desexing!" (ref)
The campaigned featured cute images of pets in cones, clearly having just had surgery. It claimed a gift to the campaign would be helping “grassroots community rescue groups”. But the campaign also includes this fine print:
"Christmas 2017 donations will go to funding the development of the new directed donation system and launch is planned for spring 2018. (ref)
So rather than donations to this campaign being for desexing, these funds were being directed into PetRescue’s web development and staffing costs. Their pitch video described how much money they needed = $100,000.
"... there's a heap of development work to do, to make sure we build a secure and effective donation platform."
When rescue groups expressed their dismay at the fundraiser, PetRescue was quick to defend the solicitation and blame haters and "Christmas grinches" for the negative feedback.
Midway through 2018, PetRescue announced the platform was finished;
“And thanks to the team at Shout For Good, who have provided the best secure and mobile-friendly third party payment platform, we're now making it happen.
And rather be a new "platform", PetRescue had chosen a third-party plugin 'Shout for Good' to put a button on the listings of rescue groups. Exactly how much it cost to build this button has not been specified, but it certainly isn't the $100,000 "hundreds of hours of planning and web development" used by PetRescue to justify this campaign.
... nearly four years later - and PetRescue have announced the results of the community's 'Desexmas' investment
$100,000 donated to PetRescue member rescue organisations 💚
$100,000! Through the support of a pet-lovin’ community and a big, ambitious goal to help rescue organisations succeed, one little bright button has been doing a big job behind the scenes!
In 2018, we made a big decision to invest in and implement a feature on the PetRescue website to enable rescue organisations to be able to directly fundraise and collect donations online.
Fast forward only three years, the feature has already proven to be a huge success as together we reach this momentous milestone of $100,000 helping 61 rescue groups directly with critical expenses including vet bills, medication, and pet food.
To put it in perspective, $100,000 can cover the cost of desexing approximately 333 female dogs, 400 male dogs or microchipping at least 2,000 cats and dogs!
That’s a lot of good that your donations have made possible! ♥️
Now, ignoring entirely that PetRescue claims THEY made the investment to build the button, rather than the community donated the entirety of this cost thanks to a misleading xmas fundraising campaign to the tune of $50,000 - let's look at these figures;
$100,000 divided by 61 rescue groups receiving a donation
= $1,639 per group
But this is over 3 - nearly 4 - years, so that donation is about $550 per rescue group, a year.
Meanwhile, PetRescue - an organisation who rescues no pets, saves no pets, feeds no pets, cares for no pets and is entirely staffed with paid communications staff and relatives of the PetRescue directors - they made in those same years:
2018 - $1.4 MILLION in revenue
2019 - $1.5 MILLION in revenue
2020 - $1.8 MILLION in revenue
with the same, or likely more to be banked in 2021.
So while PetRescue 'raises' for their rescue groups a few hundred dollars each, each year - they at the same time bank for themselves in the vicinity of a couple of million dollars.
A fake fundraiser, that results in farcical outcomes four years later - how very fitting for a virtual rescue organisation.
Says their General Manager;
“Creating a long-lasting positive impact for pets and supporting the rescue community is what drives our mission and we couldn’t be prouder of how quickly this initiative has succeeded in enabling much-needed financial support for rescue groups and will continue to do so into the future,” says Pats, our Managing Director.