I never, NEVER would have expected this, but it would seem that fund raising for humans is WAY HARDER than fund raising for dogs.
WHAT? How can that be?
I really think it’s true, unfortunately. Cases in point:
- NYCSR currently has a foster dog who needed major surgery. We raised over $6,000 in two weeks, just with email and social marketing. She’s had her surgery and she’s recuperating.
- In 2007, I threw the first Canine Cocktail Pawty, had a great time and raised a couple thousand dollars for Animal Haven Shelter. I planned and promoted it in less than two months. 80+ tickets sold like hotcakes.
- In 2009, Snickers raised $1,000 for NYCSR for his birthday in barely a month, simply using FirstGiving, Twitter and facebook.
A month or two ago, my dad, Snickers and I met up with Troy Yocum of Hike for Our Heroes, his wife Mareike and their two dogs Emmie and Harley when they were walking in Alabama. Troy is a great guy. Listening to him talk about why he’s hiking, the trials and tribulations during the walk and what he’s accomplished so far really made me want to help them reach their goals and help as many families in need as possible.
I was helping a little by hooking them up with some contacts in NYC and then one day I realized Emmie’s birthday will be while they are in NYC. Taking advantage of that and throwing another Canine Cocktail Pawty seemed like a GREAT idea. Knowing that (1) it’s a unique and fun event which had been successful in the past, (2) NYC dog people love to take their dogs with them when they go out and (3) so many people would want to support such a worthy cause, I assumed it was a slam dunk to be a success. Who doesn’t want to support military families AND have a good time in the process?
Well, apparently, not many people really do. 🙁 Tickets have been on sale now for 6 days and we’ve only sold 7 tickets. There are only a dozen people RSVP’d “yes” on the facebook event and some of them haven’t actually bought tickets.
Getting sponsorships has been MUCH harder than I expected as well. I’ve had a half dozen volunteers working to call and email companies, looking for monetary and supply donations and it’s been like pulling teeth. We have one Bronze Sponsor and some decorations so far and that’s it.
So, I have a dilemma. I know a lot of you guys are involved in charity and fund raising as well. so give me opinions on what to do. If ticket sales don’t hit 75 people, I have to cancel the event and refund the tickets, donations and sponsorships (cz it’s not like I can actually pay for it out of my pocket if the sales don’t cover expenses). Sales close in 15 days. Should I just cut my losses and cancel now? The downside for canceling is knowing that it MIGHT have been a huge success if I’d given it a little more time. The upside is that I don’t have to apologize to as many people and refund as many things if I do it now as opposed to later.
I have this awesome press release and no big sponsor to list as hosting the event.
Oh, and my friend Kelly Vivar is painting awesome paintings to auction off at the event! I suppose Snick could auction them off online if we cancel the event, but still… it sucks!
My gut tells me to hold out, but I can’t afford to cover expenses if it doesn’t work out.
The thing that I REALLY can’t understand is WHY PEOPLE AREN’T BUYING TICKETS. If the tickets would just sell, everything would be fine.
OK, hit me. What would you do?!?!?