Causes leader Kellie Heckman remembers spending time volunteering for animal shelters but believing she could do more to educate people about spaying and neutering their pets. “I was a volunteer while doing graduate work; I have PhD in Biology. There is just a time when you hit a crossroads, where you either choose your career path or apply those research skills to help some animals in some way.” Kellie is the cofounder of the FixIt Foundation, which provides resources and educational materials about spaying and neutering. Recently, Kellie asked the Causes.com community to pledge to spay and neuter their pets and share the information they read with animal-loving pet owners everywhere. Last week, she talked to us about the effects her campaign had on her organization’s progress.
Kellie said she wants to rally communities far and wide to save animals currently under threat of euthanasia, but to also keep more animals from being put in this situation. “Basically, [the organization] responded to the euthanasia rate of about four million cats and dogs that are euthanized yearly. That number wasn’t fluctuating. [My cofounder and I] felt like we could possibly use a research and market based strategy and figure what the best way was to help those animals still being euthanized.” One of those ways involved providing pet owners in St. Croix, a US Virgin Island, incentives to prioritize spaying and neutering.
In St. Croix, the organization’s offline impact exemplifies what it’s capable of. “Spaying and neutering has increased by 500 percent in St. Croix. We’re very proud of that. We want to increase that through mobile units that will help educate people.”
One way Kellie and her organization believed they could generate attention is though Causes.com. A few months ago, FixIt Foundation launched a pledge asking for people to commit to spaying and neutering their pets. The action was an introductory step that allowed members, old and new, to become familiarized with FixIt’s programs. After some immediate traction and progress, Kellie decided to employ some of those experimental marketing practices she’d launched in St. Croix. “We used updates for a shirt giveaway. I want to give credit to [Causes Community Associate] Melissa and her efforts to let me see the power of updates. It really helped.”
FixIt Foundation surpassed its goal of 1,000 pledges and hit more than 2,000 pledges total in one month. She told us the consistent updates to her members, including the t-shirt giveaway, translated to more membership and more eyes reading educational materials that will save animals. If each person who took the pledge spays and neuters their pets, then it’s fundamental progress toward giving forgotten animals another chance at a happy home.