This week we have a guest blog from Amy Wilson, Fundraising Manager at Support Adoption For Pets, the charity established by Pets at Home in 2006. Here she explains why that it’s not just the pets that benefit from charity fundraising…
For a charity that raises over £4million a year to help rescue pets in need, people are often surprised to hear that there are just four in the Support Adoption For Pets team. From managing the charity to processing grants, running fundraising events and offering other ways to help, we support over 1,000 different pet rehoming organisations nationwide in lots of different ways. And yes, we get pretty busy! But the truth is, there are almost 7,000 people making this charity happen. Though we four may be manning the deck day-to-day, we can only exist and operate thanks to the support of Pets at Home colleagues in over 450 stores across the UK who raise much of the funding we provide to rescues.
Pets at Home Colleagues
In every store there are teams of people working tirelessly to deliver the day-to-day business operations of a busy pet shop, but who still find the time and dedication to support our charity. They will campaign for local rescue centres, raise money through their customers and take care of our rescue pets from in-store adoption centres. These passionate animal lovers will do anything and everything to help our charity, from running marathons to dressing up like a dalmation and sitting in a dog crate all day for a sponsored fundraising event! Twice a year you will see this in full force – during our Summer Fundraising Drive and through our annual Christmas appeal – SantaPaws.
Time and time again these colleagues choose to go above and beyond, staying late, pushing harder and driving results – all for their love of the charity. It’s hard to express what a difference their efforts make to the pets in need. Our board of trustees awards the funds that they raise in grants, making life-changing donations to rescue centres for everything from emergency vet bills to kennel refurbishments and neutering programmes to entire project builds.
But what is also a true joy to see is the impact this fundraising has on the employees. As part of my job, I spend a lot of time out on the road, visiting Pets at Home stores from Scotland to Cornwall. Everywhere I go I see dedicated individuals, working together as one team, driven to achieve ambitious goals. They are putting into practice vital business skills, focussing on their targets, monitoring daily feedback and often motivated by a bit of friendly competition with their neighbouring stores.
Everyone recognises the value of their efforts and can really see the fruits of their labour. There is no office politics when it comes to charity work! There is also no trick to achieving this level of employee engagement – Pets at Home by nature employs people who care about animals, who would do whatever it took to help an injured or abandoned animal. This passion unites all colleagues from any background or level of experience and it is this kindness that fuels our charity work. Without this energy or enthusiasm, we could never achieve the things we do. They are so committed, during last year’s Santa Paws Appeal they raised over £1.4m in four weeks!!!
There is a very simple way in which this fundraising unites and engages employees… because it is fun! These pet lovers are not the type of people who are afraid to look daft in the name of charity. You should see the t-shirts, hats and fancy dress outfits that emerge during our big Christmas appeal! Most Pets at Home teams have local rescue centres that they support regularly, and welcoming them and their rescue pets into the store is a real pleasure – and is a great way for them to interact with their community and their customers. For every fundraising drive, half the money raised goes to Support Adoption For Pets and half goes straight to the local rescue – with some stores handing over cheques well into the thousands. This is another fantastic moment that they can enjoy, knowing it was their hard work that achieved this success.
All fundraising activities are done for the charity, but the impact on the business is clear. Everyone feels rewarded by the good that they do, but they are also working as a team, united as one and engaged with the task at hand. It’s a real pleasure to see the success they bring year in and year out.
The Support Adoption For Pets Fundraising National Drive is taking place across Pets at Home stores until early-July. All money raised in store will be donated to local pet rescue centres to fund the care of abandoned pets in need of a second chance. Visit your local Pets at Home store to support these hardworking colleagues as they try to raise over £550,000!