Tell us about “For the love of Alex” and it’s inception.
“For the Love of Alex” has been around since 2013. We provide emergency funding for life-saving veterinary care of pets of low-income families.
Started by Elizabeth Hedges, who sadly passed away in February of 2018, For the love of Alex is named after her cat, Alex, who still spends a lot of time at our home office.
Our story started years ago when Alex had a medical emergency. Upon veterinary examination, it was found that Alex had bladder stones requiring surgery. The experience made Elizabeth wonder what would happen if she was not in a position to afford Alex’s surgery. And so, For the Love of Alex was started with the mission to provide emergency funding to save lives of pets in need. Our founder was able to raise $1M in online donations by its third year.
Many veterinary emergencies cost thousands of dollars, when a low-income family faces this, they may be forced to surrender or euthanize their pet. For the love of Alex provides emergency funding for veterinary support right from the initial stage - when a pet is facing symptoms of illness, through various stages of treatment until they are cured. We are committed to saving lives and bringing hope to low-income pet owners and families
What were some early challenges you faced in fundraising?
Before using Donorbox we were using PayPal and Facebook, we still use Facebook to raise donations. PayPal is very limited and complex in customizations, though it allows me to track donations by case. It is a bit of a clunky user experience and causes delays, which sometimes leads to donors thinking the donation has failed. Facebook does not provide any donor information. Although we don’t pay dollars for the transactions, we also don’t get any donor information -which is a major downside.
We like the simplicity Donorbox brings, it makes the user and the backend experience super simple. A platform where we can pull all our information at once! As a team we can see everything at once - campaign wise, we can sort data by general information, which is really helpful. It lets us accept donations via PayPal, credit card, and ACH - Donorbox is a really good platform for us.
Were you comparing alternative solutions to Donorbox?
I looked at other solutions and didn’t like any of them. There were either missing data points, or it was just clunky. I remember spending a lot of time looking at them — not only was I looking at them, but I also have a tech specialist who helped me look through some — we never found something that answered the questions AND was affordable. Even paying you guys and paying Stripe, we still make more money. We have 97.5% of our donors who pay for their transaction fees. Our donors are very passionate and we’re very transparent — we are Platinum level with GuideStar.
Donorbox is cost-effective. Even in the current economic climate, we’re still receiving donations, and I truly believe it’s because of the platform. Donorbox’s integrations have been effective for us as well.
How does Donorbox help your organization?
It helps us do more!
It helps us be more productive. We use Donorbox as part of our morning staff meeting. Earlier we used spreadsheets, and it was difficult to update and maintain — so we did it once a month. Now I pull Donorbox up on screen and filter by date (last week) — we can easily access weekly data and this helps us get a better snapshot of what our week looked like, compared to before.
Donorbox supports UTM, thus we can trackback each dollar to its source, helping us understand our donor base better. With Donorbox UTM tags we are tracking campaigns and our program manager can see what she needs to push on social media to make up for any differences in certain cases.