This is what Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine call a “perfect appeal”

March 6, 2019

At tax time 2018, PetRescue ran a massively successful fundraising campaign - so successful that the organisation has pitched the story to Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine who called it a “Perfect Appeal”(paywall).

"How a digital tax time appeal and gift-matching drive achieved a record ROI for PetRescue.

... At tax time last year - for the first time ever - PetRescue finally had the in-house web development resources to build a fully-integrated, mobile-friendly and customised donation pop-up on the PetRescue website - targeting active users of PetRescue’s free pet search and adoption services....

The primary focus of the tax time 2018 appeal was to reach out to pet seekers visit the PetRescue website with... a multi-channel digital campaign strategy and content for the website pop-up, donation receipts, email marketing, a press release, SMS reminders and targeted social media ads.

... By the end of the two-month tax time appeal, PetRescue’s monthly donor base had grown by 336, more than doubling its existing database of monthly givers.

... the appeal raised almost $360,000 - a record-breaking return on investment of 2,940%."

Record-breaking ROI for PetRescue’s 2018 tax time appeal (PetRescue release)

So what did this "perfect appeal" include?

Well the dog in the article, he doesn't exist.

He's a stock image. All of the dogs in the campaign were.

Well, actually, not all of the dogs. There was one dog that wasn't a fake; Luna.

Luna was the case-study dog for the fundraiser. PetRescue paid nothing towards the care of Luna. They did not consult the rescue group who cared for her to ask whether they were ok with them using her as a fundraising ambassador, with all funds being banked to PetRescue.

PetRescue had never even met this dog. Yet they used her as a national fundraising centrepiece... and made hundreds of thousands of dollars for themselves. The rescue group who rescues the pet, saves the pet, treats the pet, cares for the pet, and then rallies like crazy to find the pet a home... they got nothing from this campaign, while PetRescue banked $360,000, or in their words "a record-breaking return on investment of 2,940%."

And this is what Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine call a “Perfect appeal”...

... even giving it a front page feature.

A professional fundraising magazine giving props to this campaign is both absurd and revolting. Tell F&P Magazine that they failed to properly investigate this story and should not be celebrating fake dogs and stolen funds.

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