Tips for Creating Cause Ambassadors
The ASPCA recently unveiled a new online network where supporters across the country can sign up as ambassadors for the organization, and register to organize and host events in their own communities.
Jo Sullivan, senior vice president of development and communications for the ASPCA, says ASPCAAmbassadors.org offers supporters ideas about everything from bake sales and dog washes, to workplace fundraisers, to tribute pages where family and friends can make donations to the ASPCA in lieu of birthday or wedding gifts or to memorialize lost pets — and then supporters take it from there, registering their events and setting personal fundraising goals. The site also enables users to upload e-mail addresses of friends to contact them about the events.
The program is kicking off with ASPCA-organized dog walks in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, in April in conjunction with Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month as a way to show people what can be done via the site. The ASPCA also is promoting the program within the "donate" section of its Web site, as well as on community sites like MySpace, Facebook and MeetUp.
Sullivan says the program is aimed at donors and other supporters who want to spread the word on behalf of the ASPCA. On average, she says, the organization gets 400 phone calls every month from people wanting to raise funds for the ASPCA.
"Up until now we haven't really been able to support them very much, with the exception of saying 'thank you,'" Sullivan says. "Now we feel that we're responding to the consumer ask or the pet-loving ask out there.
"We had no way of really telling a great story of these ambassadors on the ground, and now we'll be able to," she adds. "They can come back and upload pictures of their event; we're going to share their stories on our community sites including Facebook and MySpace, as well as our ASPCA online community. So really our goal here is to create a bigger family and give these people the opportunity to share the passion that they have about animals with their friends."