According to Free Animal Doctor, the #1 barrier to people donating to animals online is fear of fraud. FAD removes that fear by offering a verified platform that only pays the veterinarian. And we are a non-profit too!
Traditional crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe or YouCaring pay the donations to whomever sets up the account, but at FAD they only pay the veterinarian. In addition, they personally contact, by phone, every pet owner who is listed on their website, and communicate with their veterinarian, including obtaining medical records and bills.
This method of crowdfunding is as close as you can come to donating directly to the animal in need, for his or her use, and they think it provides a new and unique way to raise money!
Your donation is to a specific animal, not a general fund. You are directly helping the animal you choose with a secure donation right to him or her. It is a new and unique way to donate for good!
Thank you so much for taking time for this interview! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path and how it led you to non-profit?
While on vacation at a quaint B & B in the countryside, I had an encounter that changed my life. Early one morning, as I was waiting for breakfast, I came across two dogs in the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot. They were friendly, and as I pet them, they became excited and jumped out of the truck, running around.
One of the dogs had a noticeable injury: a stub where its front paw should have been. The dog limped, and the injury was somewhat haphazardly wrapped. I later spoke to the cook’s assistant, a young woman who owned the dogs. She explained that it was a birth defect that needed treatment, but she couldn’t afford it due to her low-paying part-time job. She was married with a child, and her husband worked odd jobs. At that moment, I thought about helping her financially.
However, I realized I couldn’t be sure she would use the money for the dog’s treatment since I barely knew her and would be leaving soon. This encounter stayed with me, and as I was updating my IT skills at UCLA and growing bored with my job, I wondered if there was a technological solution to this problem. Could there be a way for individuals to donate to another person, knowing their donation would be used for the intended purpose, guaranteed?
This experience led to the creation of Free Animal Doctor, a platform where donors can confidently contribute to an animal’s care, knowing we ensure their donation goes directly to the animal’s needs.
Congratulations on FREE ANIMAL DOCTOR tell us more about this organization and what it means to you?
Free Animal Doctor is not only about connecting donors with animals in need, but it also serves as a testament to my personal belief. I am convinced that people will genuinely help others when they know their assistance will make a difference, be appreciated, and have a real impact. Although it may sound a bit sentimental, Free Animal Doctor has reaffirmed my faith in humanity.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started the charity?
There have been numerous memorable moments since starting the charity, but one that stands out in particular is our first campaign that raised over $5,000. The funds were for a dog that required heart surgery. We had around 70 donors, many of whom had no connection to the family or the dog. This experience was incredibly exciting because it validated our model and demonstrated that people are willing to help strangers when given the opportunity and assurance. Witnessing the generosity and kindness of our donors made me realize the potential of Free Animal Doctor to make a difference in the lives of animals and their families, and it inspired me to continue working towards our mission.
Are you working on any other exciting new projects? What is next for you?
Absolutely! Our major project at the moment is developing a non-profit veterinary clinic. Having raised well over a million dollars to date (approaching $1.5 million in receipts), we’re focused on making these funds as effective as possible.
We’ve noticed significant variations in the cost of animal care, with the same procedure and quality of care ranging from $5,000 at one clinic to $2,000 at another. Our goal is to direct more of our campaigns toward the latter category or even lower. For instance, if we can reduce the cost per animal to $2,000, a $10,000 fund could help five animals instead of just two.
Essentially, we aim to tackle both ends of the problem: assisting those unable to afford pet treatments while making it easier to reach their funding goals. We’ve been operating a small pilot clinic for over a year, primarily focusing on spay and neuter procedures. This clinic has become financially self-sustaining, with prices well below market rates and even more significant discounts for rescue organizations and free services for those truly unable to pay.
We have recently received a land donation from a major corporation, completed the design, and obtained the necessary permits. Our current focus is raising funds for construction and medical equipment to bring this ambitious project to life.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Selecting just one person is challenging, as we’ve had numerous individuals make significant contributions to our organization. However, I must acknowledge my partner, Sam Bernardo. He has been instrumental in getting our clinic up and running, ensuring its successful operation. From the very beginning, Sam recognized the potential of our project and pushed for us to establish it as a non-profit. This decision has been vital to our success, as it allows us to maintain focus on our mission and the community we serve.
Sam’s unwavering commitment to our cause has been a constant source of inspiration and motivation. His dedication to the wellbeing of animals and belief in the power of community engagement have helped shape the organization’s core values. Together, we have been able to create a platform that truly embodies our vision and makes a positive impact on countless lives.
From your experience, what are a few ideas that we can use to effectively offer support to others who want to work in nonprofit in Los Angeles
I would suggest rethinking the often-repeated cliché, “You have to believe in the mission.” While this may hold true for for-profit companies, it’s essential to remember that nearly all non-profits are working towards a positive cause. Instead of simply believing in the mission, it’s more important to find a non-profit that aligns with your personal interests and passions.
For instance, building homes for people is undoubtedly a noble cause, but it might not align with everyone’s interests. Personally, I’m not passionate about construction or housing development. However, I am enthusiastic about technology, particularly online marketing and outreach, as well as animals and animal rights. Free Animal Doctor, to me, is a technology organization that helps animals, which aligns perfectly with my passion.
The key takeaway is that non-profit work can be challenging, and while it’s great to contribute to a good cause, it’s even more rewarding when you’re personally invested and passionate about the work you’re doing.
Can you please give us your favorite ”Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my favorite life lesson quotes is the “Man in the Mirror” concept in that Michael Jackson song, you know: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi. It highlights the importance of taking action to create a positive impact on the world around us.
When I encountered the injured dog during my vacation, I realized that there was a need for a platform that would connect people who wanted to help animals with those who needed assistance. Instead of just wishing for a solution, I decided to be a part of the change I wanted to see and took action by creating Free Animal Doctor.
This quote has inspired me to actively pursue my passion for helping animals and utilizing technology to make a difference. It serves as a constant reminder that each one of us has the power to contribute positively to the world, and it’s our responsibility to seize opportunities to make a lasting impact. By embodying the change we wish to see, we can inspire others to join our cause and create a ripple effect of positive change.
How can our readers follow you online?