BIRTH OF A CONCEPT
We at FaithBark Inc. see many people struggling with veterinary bills and other medical issues regarding their animals. While there are a few wonderful organizations that offer financial help, most are geared towards specific breeds or to dogs in rescue only. We decided to create an all breed assistance program to help pay for the smaller emergencies that could still mean life or death. And because the need is so great, we have also set up a program of individual fundraisers to pay for urgent medical care that is more expensive or is needed over a longer period of time, such as for chemotherapy. As funding will allow we will also help those who have rescued a dog that needs to be fixed but cannot afford to do so. We know how quickly things can turn terribly wrong for your dog and we want to be there to help. This is the very reason we have named this program Bandit’s Bandaid. We are honoring a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Bandit who unexpectedly passed away midway through a routine veterinary teeth cleaning.
WHAT IT IS
Lindy Schwartz Emergency Fund – This fund is for healthcare and other emergencies for any breed of dog. The initial goal is to raise and maintain a balance of $10,000 in this fund so that applicants can have bills paid quickly in an emergency situation. Donations will be kept in a separate account under Faithbark Inc. As Faithbark grows, the goal of the fund may also grow. If the amount required for an emergency exceeds the available funds, we will endeavor to raise the balance at that time. We will continue to raise money for the emergency fund so that we will be able to assist applicants with minimal delay.
Individual Fundraisers – Applicants whose dogs have more costly veterinary needs that are considered urgent but not immediately life threatening will be offered an individual fundraiser. Bandit’s Bandaid will put up a fundraising page with information about the dog’s medical needs, the fundraising goal, and information about the veterinary hospital so that donors will know where their donations will be used. FaithBark will oversee the collection of the funds and will pay for veterinary care, physical therapy and medications directly. The owner of the dog is required direct the veterinary hospital(s) to add a Bandit’s Bandaid representative to their veterinary account so that all records can be reviewed prior to bills being paid. And the owner must assist with the promotion of their fundraiser by sharing it with family and friends and being available to respond to questions from potential donors. Additionally in order to assist more dogs, a general limit of $4,000 per fundraiser will be in place unless the Board of Directors determines that a higher amount is necessary for a specific dog.
WHAT PORTION OF DONATED FUNDS GOES TO OVERHEAD, AND WHY?
Bandit’s Bandaid currently has an overhead rate of 8 percent. That means that 92 percent of all dollars donated to our fundraisers go to the dog being helped (or, per the donor, into the emergency fund to help the dogs with the greatest needs). The overhead rate is similar to what private fundraisers like GoFundMe charge as well. But what does that 8 percent provide?
Before any funds are deposited to the FaithBark Inc. (parent organization of Bandit’s Bandaid) PayPal account, 2.9 percent is taken off the top. That is the fee that PayPal charges us and every business account, whether it is a nonprofit or for profit entity.
What remains for FaithBark Inc. is 5.1 percent of the total donation amount. And those funds are used to cover the expenses that enable FaithBark Inc. to run Bandit’s Bandaid. The expenses include: the annual filing fees for the State of Florida; the cost of hiring an accounting firm to audit FaithBark’s income and expenses and file the annual IRS tax documents (Form 990); the cost of maintaining our websites, including the Bandit’s Bandaid site that automatically tracks the income of each of our many fundraisers and also automatically sends out receipts and thank you emails to our donors; plus it pays for a few other non-personnel expenses related to running a nonprofit organization. Not one dime goes to salaries because all of the work done by our board and others who assist FaithBark is done on a voluntary basis.
So what do our clients get by coming to Bandit’s Bandaid, instead of doing their own fundraiser or using another fundraising mechanism? First and foremost, FaithBark is a 501(c)(3) organization which means that all donations are tax deductible. That is often very important to potential donors, particularly ones who donate larger sums. Because we are a nonprofit we can often arrange for special pricing from veterinary practices. Not all veterinarians or specialists are able to offer a discount, but at least a third of those we work with have provided one, The amounts vary from between 10 percent to as much as 40 percent! That can add up to a substantial savings on a costly procedure or surgery.
Bandit’s Bandaid also assists in the writing of the individual fundraisers. We ensure that the story that is shared provides the most information about the client’s needs. And because we review all applications to ensure honesty and accuracy, donors can be confident that the need is truly there.
Once we put up a new fundraiser, we share it on our Facebook pages, our personal pages and in groups where we have permission to post them. That provides a lot of exposure to potentially thousands of supporters. We also contact individual donors who we believe may be interested in supporting some particular fundraisers. We also assist our clients who wish to set up online shops (FaithBark operates the Pawctions online store website) or auction items via various Facebook groups or events.
And finally, the Bandit’s Bandaid team of volunteers provide our clients with assistance and support as they deal with their dog’s medical challenges. We have a team of veterinary advisers that can review a written diagnosis or talk to another veterinarian if needed. We will help clients find a specialist or obtain a second opinion. And we will be there when an owner is confused, stressed or just needs someone to talk to. And we don’t keep banker’s hours. We have spent many a late night talking to a client or an emergency vet.
So yes. Bandit’s Bandaid does have a small overhead fee (one of the lowest of any nonprofit, and yes, EVERY nonprofit has overhead expenses that must be paid for). But what our clients receive in return far exceeds that cost (and we know that most of our clients will heartily agree).
APPROVAL PROCESS & GUIDELINES
People who need help from Bandit’s Bandaid must fill out the Bandit’s Bandaid Fund Approval Form. Your request will be reviewed by one or more members of FaittBark’s Board of Directors and will be approved or denied as quickly as possible, particularly in true emergencies. Note that in addition to applying, if the need it quite urgent, please send a private message through the Bandit’s Bandaid Facebook page. If approved, funds for true emergencies may be dispensed immediately, but only if they are available. FaithBark does not, nor will we ever, expend emergency monies without proper and verified documentation including proof of financial need and veterinary paperwork. In general Bandit’s Bandaid will pay the veterinary facility directly at the time of service. Exceptions will only be considered for emergency care that was paid for within a week of applying. Receipts must be provided for reimbursement.
Emergency cases always take precedent over non emergencies, no matter the amount of available funds. If approved, a pre and post story with photos must be provided for each case.
- Your dog is attacked & injured by another animal or person.
- Your dog is hit by a car.
- Your dog ate or swallowed something harmful.
- Your dog needs surgery that will improve or save it’s life.
- You are a Non Profit rescue that needs funds/pledges to prevent a dog from being euthanized.
- Your dog already received EMERGENCY vet care less than one week ago and paying the bill has created financial hardships that require assistance. Note approval will be dependent upon the availability of emergency funds.
- Your dog has passed and you request help with the vet bills that had been incurred.
- Your dog already received vet care for a NON emergency and the bill was paid.
- Your dog already received EMERGENCY vet care more than one week ago and the bill was paid.
- You and/or the veterinarian do not currently reside within the USA.