How the Wild at Heart Foundation doubled its text giving total

Text donation is helping animal welfare charity Wild at Heart Foundation transform the lives of stray dogs worldwide.

Chloe Green | 9th Jul 19
Image of hapy dogs running in the sunlight

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Animal welfare charity Wild at Heart Foundation was set up four years ago by London florist Nikki Tibbles to help and reduce the estimated 600 million stray dogs worldwide – a quarter of the world’s dog population. Along with finding homes for many street dogs around the world, it aims to compassionately reduce worldwide stray dog populations through neutering programmes, awareness campaigns and education initiatives.

In Puerto Rico – an island of just over 3 million people – there are more than 500,000 strays on the streets. The overwhelming number of stray dogs is pushing rescue shelters and clinics to breaking point, with over 500 dogs being euthanised in public pounds every day.

That is why the Wild at Heart Foundation partnered with the Humane Society of the United States with the aim of neuter 20,000 Puerto Rican dogs by this year as part of ‘Spayathon for Puerto Rico’ – the Foundation’s biggest neutering project to date.

The first and second round in June and November 2018 saw over 15,500 dogs neutered, so in February this year the team returned to Puerto Rico to continue their hard work, this time trialling text donations from Donr.

They asked people to give £3, £5, £10 or £15 by texting a memorable keyword, ‘NIKKI’, plus the amount, to 70085 – after which donors get a further text messaging prompting them to click a link and give their details for GiftAid.

Marketing and Fundraising Manager Eleanor Brampton explains: “As a result, we raised over £1,500 in our February Puerto Rico text campaign.

“The real hook is it allows people to donate there and then on Instagram, where you can’t link to a donation form directly, so it saves that kind of convoluted route. It works on Instagram especially because people are quite lazy when looking through their social media and are tempted to keep scrolling through, so this offers a quick and easy Call to Action.”


Every little helps

The Foundation’s core goal of rehoming 10,000 dogs, neutering 100,000 dogs and educating 1,000,000 children by 2025 is no small challenge. But every little helps when it comes to such an ambitious target, and the Foundation is always looking for new ways for people to donate in any way they can, which is why they decided to introduce new methods for donation such as by text message.

In the run up to Christmas of 2018, the Foundation had begun experimenting with using JustTextGiving, the text donation service launched by JustGiving and Vodafone. The campaign let supporters give a set amount of £2 by texting a four-letter code, taking in around £700 throughout December.

However, in November 2018 the service had announced it was shutting down in March of this year, and the team had to quickly find an alternative for future campaigns.

Brampton says: “In an ideal world, we’d get people to donate online because we have access to data reporting and Gift Aid is easier to claim. But certain people are unlikely to ever donate this way. We needed a nice way to encourage people, especially on social media, to donate those small amounts without worrying too much about whether they can afford it – whether it’s five pounds here and there, or thirty pounds (the cost of neutering a dog).”