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Nov 28, 2017

IT'S GIVING TUESDAY!!

Nikki, Sugar and Little Boy, who bonded with her
Nikki, Sugar and Little Boy, who bonded with her

PLEASE DONATE ANY AMOUNT YOU CAN ON "GIVING TUESDAY" - NOVEMBER 28, 2017 - BECAUSE WE WILL RECEIVE A PARTIAL MATCH ON ALL FUNDS DONATED TO US ON GLOBALGIVING!

To all of Sugar's Gift's wonderful supporters.....you are being inundated with "Giving Tuesday" requests, I know.  But, this day is very important, especially this year. GlobalGiving is giving us a partial match on ALL funds received through out GlobalGiving website on GIVING TUESDAY ONLY! Please share this with everyone you know......
 
You have heard from me about our non-profit, Sugar’s Gift, Inc., as a 501(c)(3) organization (meaning that donations are tax-deductible).  To remind you, our mission at Sugar's Gift is to provide home euthanasia for pets who are at life’s end and cannot be moved, or their owner is homebound and cannot easily take their pets somewhere.  We are the ONLY non-profit in the whole country to do what we do. 
 
We are now closer than ever to be included in the Animal Planet in their R.O.A.R. Campaign for 2018!  That is extremely good news, as that was our initial goal to become a partner with GlobalGiving.  Being included in R.O.A.R. will be a wonderful experience and we still have a little work to do in order to make it work properly. We have been laying the groundwork for this project for a couple of years and all our work has been worth it. We need your donations to continue to help all the babies cross the Rainbow Bridge from home, because we are receiving many more requests now for our services.
 
Any amount you can contribute to us on GIVING TUESDAY would be appreciated, and please consider a few dollars each month for a recurring donation.  Our GlobalGiving website takes PayPal or credit cards and you can designate the amount you want to give. And, remember any donation to Sugar's Gift is tax deductible, so that will almost always help you, too.  The website is here: 

 https://goto.gg/24357
 
Many of you have already donated to Sugar's Gift on our GlobalGiving website and we thank you so much for that and we love all of our donors.  Believe me, we have been helping babies cross the Rainbow Bridge from home, and couldn't do it without your donations!  Donations from people like you are the only way we can survive.
 
It would mean the world to me if you would consider helping us - and PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE YOU KNOW.  Our marketing efforts will hopefully be escalated starting in 2018, and we believe 2018 will be a banner year for us.  We are starting to get requests from other states to find veterinarians there in order for Sugar's Gift to be more than "local." Everything is starting to fall into place. That means we need your donations more than ever!
 
Again, just like the last time I sent you a request like this, it took me a really long time to type this with all my “issues” right now, but I wanted you to hear this request directly from me again instead of asking Ken to post something on my behalf.
 
Thank you so much – please share this with everyone you know.  The more people hear about this, the better chance of receiving matching donations on GIVING TUESDAY.

Cindy Solomon's Boys - Bandit and Maxwell
Cindy Solomon's Boys - Bandit and Maxwell
Robin A's Starboard who crossed the Bridge
Robin A's Starboard who crossed the Bridge

Links:

Oct 26, 2017

GlobalGiving's 2017 Fail Forward Contest Report

Nikki and Sugar
Nikki and Sugar

Hello Donors of Sugars Gift!

We are participating in GlobalGiving’s 2017 Fail Forward Contest and this report is being sent to all of you, as our donors, as part of that contest.   The organizations participating in this contest are asked to share a story of when they tried something new that didn't go as planned and how they learned from it. Enjoy! 

October 26, 2017

This is the Fail Forward 2017 Report for Sugar’s Gift, Inc.

We formed Sugar’s Gift on October 18, 2013, the day our 10-year old Sugar crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, in order to honor her memory. It took approximately two years to really build the foundation of Sugar’s Gift and formulate our mission, become a 501(c)(3), start a marketing plan, build our website, start our budgeting and network with potential vendors, veterinarians, potential pet owners and donors. About the time we were ready to implement our marketing plan, our President, Nikki Stewart, sustained a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (February 2016). I, Ken Stewart, began helping Nikki formulate the marketing plan and physically perform the tasks needed to implement what she had already started.

Before Nikki was injured, she was able to get Sugar’s Gift registered with a number of websites who cater to non-profit organizations, to discover credible marketing strategies and how social media could help us. One of the most successful social marketing strategies we liked involved using Twitter to reach a large number of potential donors – increasing awareness of Sugar’s Gift.

We decided to use some of our marketing budget (which was very limited) to employ outside experts to create Tweets that were strategically sent by them to their followers, thus creating more followers for us - exponentially. The goal was ultimately to Tweet consistently, asking for donations that the donors could make on our website. Of all the money we spent on this project (it was about $500), we did not generate one donation through Twitter. Actually, we did have offers for donations, but it was only if we would accept the money as part of multi-marketing platform and gave them our database.   Obviously, that was not our goal, nor did we accept those offers.

The second marketing strategy that failed for us also involved Twitter (you would think we would have learned, right?). We tried to pay for more Twitter followers. Not being experts in social media, we had no knowledge of “Bots.” I will never forget the day that we tried this strategy. We were riding high and extremely low in the same 24-hour period. Not understanding how “Bots” work, we were thrilled when we suddenly got over 1,000 followers – and over a 3-4 day period, we had over 2,000 followers. We were happy, but when we started seeing who they were, and where they were located, we knew we had made a mistake – these people were also trying to simply increase their followers, too, and they would not become donors, nor would their followers, who were also “Bots.” Again, money wasted on shortcuts to success. Luckily, the money we had spent on these efforts was not donor money – it was money from out of our own pockets.

Trying to find shortcuts to increasing potential donor numbers was something that just simply failed – at least with our strategy of increasing Twitter followers.   The funny thing about it, well, not funny but interesting, is that we knew when we spent the money for this type of “marketing” that it would not work.   Instinctively, marketing to donors is word of mouth and personal communication.

Cross-marketing with social media platforms can help increase our reach, however. For instance, we post on Facebook, which posts to Twitter, as well, and vice versa. That way, both platforms are posting the same information. And, we do send out mass messages and posts on social media when we have an important campaign on GlobalGiving. There is still truth in “the larger the number of people you reach, the better the chance that at least one donor will help.” And, we are not spending money on these campaigns; yet, it is still increasing awareness of Sugar’s Gift.

It is easy to get carried away with ideas that are thrown your way when you are trying to raise money for a good cause. However, we have re-focused our marketing strategies to ideas that work, somewhat more slowly, but much more effectively. Frankly, I was trying to help through shortcuts while Nikki was in rehab for her injury. However, our ideas for increasing followers on social media the way we did it, failed.

We learned a valuable lesson: The only way to succeed with Sugar’s Gift is to actually contact potential donors by phone calls or personalized communications. It is something we know instinctively. Yes, the more people you reach through social media, the likelihood of a donor or 2 will increase; however, the personal touch is the only way to succeed. Awareness of our organization is one thing, but succeeding from donations is the ONLY thing. Since that experience, we have worked with GlobalGiving’s training tools and created a smarter, leaner business plan that included a marketing plan that can work. We intend to begin implementation of that plan later this year.

In 2018, we hope that Nikki will be able to help more with the marketing implementation. Our big goal for 2018 is to become part of the Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. project in GlobalGiving, and we intend to succeed! That can create awareness, credibility and ultimately, success for Sugar’s Gift.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to Sugar’s Gift. We love all of our donors! Please help spread the word about what we do…..we, and the babies who need to cross the Rainbow Bridge from home, really appreciate it!

Nikki and Sugar
Nikki and Sugar
Ken and Sugar
Ken and Sugar
Ken and Sugar
Ken and Sugar

Links:

Aug 30, 2017

Third Quarter 2017 Sugar's Gift, Inc. Report

Monica with Ariel and Spunky
Monica with Ariel and Spunky

Thank you, donors! Here is our latest report for you. We love every single one of our donors no matter the amount given to us. We appreciate every dollar we receive that goes toward our mission.  Animals are so precious and we need to make their transitions to the Rainbow Bridge as loving, caring and peaceful as we can.  That is why we began Sugar's Gift, Inc.  We continue to put our mission in every report for you. You probably know it, but it is important for us to always reiterate why we are here, and what your generous donations continue to fund:

SUGAR’S GIFT, INC.:  Our mission is to provide hospice, euthanasia and end-of-life veterinary services for terminally ill pets in their own homes. This allows them a comfortable, peaceful setting, where they have lived and been loved, to cross over the Rainbow Bridge with dignity. Our services overcome conditions that could be due to the pet’s inability to be moved or treated at a facility, or due to the owner’s inability to leave the home.

Our 10-year old Yorkie, Sugar, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2013. We made sure she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge from home with comfort, dignity and peace. Sugar’s Gift to your Little Angel is to allow them the same privilege: Sugar is helping them cross over the Rainbow Bridge from home, with the help from others who have donated funds to make that happen. Every Little Angel should be able to spend their last moments in the place they are most comfortable – at home.

SUGAR’S GIFT, INC. is the only non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization in the country whose mission is to help terminally ill pets cross over the Rainbow Bridge from home with comfort, dignity and peace.

Since our last report, we have received another new recurring donor on our GlobalGiving site! Thank you more than you know! And, we continue to thank Patricia A as another recurring donor! Recurring donations are the best – they allow us to do more planning and know what our cash flow is at all times. 

We have received a record number of gift card donations since our last report to you. Every one of those donations is precious to us, and reminds us that our mission is reaching further and farther than we even know. If it was not for Global Giving, our reach would be more limited. Thank you, also, GlobalGiving for the opportunity to partner with you.

We have reached a new level of rewards status with GlobalGiving. Formerly, we were a Partner, and we have advanced to Superstar! Superstar status gives us the opportunity to be featured in GlobalGiving’s social media, possibly being mentioned for a grant from a corporate sponsor and myriad other incredible chances for exposure to all the GlobalGiving donors that we would not have otherwise. We have ramped up our training with the tools GlobalGiving offers, helping us become more effective at what we do. We learned so much over the past few months, and we want to continue to improve how we work with our pet owners, our donors and each other.

GlobalGiving is presenting their “Top 10 Non-Profits Committed to Impact” in September. We have been working our hardest to become a competitor in this race. The tools we have been using should help propel us there, but with your help, we can advance even further. If you can, please consider becoming a recurring donor, as that gives us more points to advance. We love whatever amount you give us!

You, as our donors have helped us to pursue our mission, and we can't thank you enough! As always, we ask that you please spread the word to others who love animals to see if they would donate to our special cause. Every person’s donation goes toward the next baby’s Rainbow Crossing.

Nikki continues to recover from her traumatic brain injury, and we thank those of you who have been asking about her and her health. We have done very well so far with Sugar’s Gift in 2017, despite her limitations. She does everything she can to keep Sugar’s Gift as her number one priority and she is doing better with her health – working with GlobalGiving’s tools to improve our organization has helped her, as well. One of the reasons we wanted to partner withGlobal Giving originally is that the Animal Planet has its R.O.A.R. project with them, and we eventually want to be a part of that. We are striving to achieve this by the fall of 2018. This is still our intent. 

Our goal is to help one pet per day cross over the Rainbow Bridge with comfort, dignity and peace. It costs us approximately $1,000 to help one pet. We expect that once our presence is known, we will need to fund one pet per day by the end of the first year. By the end of 2022, we hope to be not only in the Sarasota/Bradenton region, but also in all of Florida. Then, by the end of year 2023, we want to be nationwide. We have already received requests from San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Kansas City and Austin, TX to rollout to their cities as we can.

If you are not on our email list for our newsletters, please let us know if you would like to be added.

Thank you, again, for your support for Sugar's Gift - but, more importantly, thank you for helping all the angels who really need your funding to help them cross the Rainbow Bridge with comfort, dignity and peace.  Again, please feel free to share our information with your family and friends, or anyone who loves their babies as much as we do.

Sugar when she was healthy
Sugar when she was healthy
Nikki with Mimi
Nikki with Mimi
Sugar waiting for Nikki to get home
Sugar waiting for Nikki to get home
Ken and his Little Girl, Sugar
Ken and his Little Girl, Sugar
Champ in his favorite place - the laundry basket
Champ in his favorite place - the laundry basket

Links:

 
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