Pets Are People, Too
In general, Catena says, animal-welfare donors give smaller average gifts but are more likely to give multiple gifts over the course of a year than donors to other causes. They also tend to give to more than one similarly minded mission.
“Most animal donors give to multiple animal-welfare organizations — and most don’t show as much loyalty to one particular group as do donors to other causes,” Catena says.
That’s why it’s critical for such an organization to be explicit in explaining how it differs from the rest of the crowd of nonprofits vying for animal lovers’ attention and assets.
“For example, national advocacy and rights groups can focus on being a voice for animals in courtrooms and legislatures, and on making the world a safer, more welcoming place for all animals,” Catena says. “Local shelters can highlight the number of animals they rescue, spay and neuter, and place with loving families — as well as educational and therapeutic programs that they may sponsor in their communities.”
Such was the case with the ASPCA, which found it necessary to build a stronger, more unifying brand that established it as a leader in animal welfare and advocacy. In FS’ April 2006 cover story, Jo Sullivan, senior vice president of development and communications at the organization, explained that its brand had become indistinguishable from those of the many other animal-welfare organizations out there.
“We were using the puppy paws and the kitty paws, and the hearts and the kitty tails. And those things are great, and they’re iconic, and they’re quick and easy to identify,” she said at the time. “But to identify with who? Certainly not us alone. Everybody.”
As a result, the ASPCA came up with a less warm-and-fuzzy logo that emphasized the “P” in its name, strongly pointing to its role in the prevention of a whole slew of bad things that can happen to animals.