Animal welfare non-profit organizations are hard work. Particularly animal rescue and long-term care. Public perception, all too often, is that 501c3 non-profits have plenty of money. Let me dispel this myth - this is simply not true. I've long lost count, over 20+ years of working in animal welfare, of how many times I've been told by plenty of well-intentioned community members, "once I have my 501c3 approval, I'll be golden." This couldn't be further from the truth.
Being granted your 501c3 simply designates you as a non-profit organization, meaning that you can receive donations from the public and they can use those monetary donations as personal tax write-offs when applicable. It does not, however, bring an avalanche of funding to your organization. In fact, I am asked by others on a regular basis (once they receive their 501c3 status) "Where is the funding?" For whatever reason, it is wrongly assumed by the vast majority that money comes pouring into the non-profit entities, when in fact all too often what many small to mid-size non-profits hear isn't the sound of funds coming their way, but the sound of crickets.
I went back and forth about writing this blog, unsure if I could write it in a way that accurately explained the truth about funding to non-profit organizations such as Advocates 4 Animals. Ultimately, I decided to go forward with it as I feel it is important information to share. I'm a researcher by nature and I like to know how entities (and people and animals) operate so that I can best provide my support. Knowing this, I thought there might be some of you who are like me and would like to know this information, too.
The truth is, small to mid-size non-profits like Advocates 4 Animals are funded solely through donations. We receive no government funding. And while our 501c3 status allows us the ability to apply for a limited number of animal welfare grants (also a significantly dwindling number since the start of the COVID pandemic), most of those grants are geared toward large entities rather than those smaller entities (like us!) who are directly serving our local communities through our various life-saving programs. Therefore, the bulk of our funding is from regular people - donors, like you.
That's why when at Advocates 4 Animals, we tell you "every dollar truly makes a big difference!", we mean it.
That's why when we tell you "your support really matters!", again, we mean it, from the bottom of our hearts.
That's why, when you donate needed supplies (i.e. cat food and litter), and we say "you can't begin to know how much we appreciate this!", we mean it.
I could go on...
But I think you understand the point. :-)
What Can You Do?
Since 2020, donations have dropped significantly.
The majority of grants have changed their guidelines to be pandemic specific or closed their doors altogether.
Pet food donations have dropped.
Large stores who used to donate broken bags of food have closed their donation programs, meaning we miss out on thousands of pounds of donated food that we were previously receiving and utilizing for local animals in need.
Veterinary/medical costs have drastically risen. This means that our cost of operation has also drastically risen, making it increasingly difficult to continue our life-saving programs.
Adoption rates have dramatically dropped from previous years. Although adoption rates were steady, if not slightly higher at the start of the pandemic, after the first year, animal rescues and shelters across the county have all experienced a dramatic decline (in addition to a rising return rate) if not a complete halt to adoptions altogether. As a result, with less adoptions and higher returns we are unable to help additional pets as our space and funding are tied up in the pets already with us who are patiently waiting for well-matched, forever homes.
This month, February 2023, Amazon has decided to close its AmazonSmile donation program. This results in a loss of hundreds if not thousands of dollars to our organization annually. Funds that we have utilized to save countless local lives. Funds that we no longer have.
There are more hardships, but we will cap it here for now.
The point is, in 2023 funding is harder than ever to come by to continue operations. We opened our doors at Advocates 4 Animals way back in 2002 and in many ways it feels more challenging in today's environment than it was at our start.
What can you do to help?
You can support Advocates 4 Animals in a number of ways:
*Sign up to support Advocates 4 Animals (Xenia, OH) with your Kroger Plus card (it's totally
*Become a Monthly Sponsor of Advocates 4 Animals life-saving programs (general sponsor) or choose a specific Special Needs Feline to sponsor
*Become a Guardian Angel Sponsor of our Cat Hospice Program
*Buy our Advocates 4 Animals animal welfare books
*Support our Pet Music Therapy program at Advocates 4 Animals
*Support Advocates 4 Animals via our website link or as a Facebook fundraiser on your Birthday
*Adopt a cat from Advocates 4 Animals
At a time when Advocates 4 Animals is facing challenging times and still trying to continue our ongoing efforts to save the lives of felines in need, your support can make a significant impact.
Every day we are faced with mounting veterinary bills, unlimited requests to help, ongoing costs to medicate and feed/nourish the rescue pets in our care, and to provide needed supplies (i.e., bedding, litter boxes, litter, etc.) to the pets.
We love what we do. We love helping and we know each and every program at Advocates 4 Animals makes a big impact on the lives of local cats who we are able to help. That's why we're asking for your help. So that in these challenging times, our life-saving work can continue.
Thank YOU for reading this post.
Thank you for your kindness & support to Advocates 4 Animals.
Thank you for caring about the lives of local felines who find themselves in need.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Seriously, we can't thank you enough.
Your support means everything.