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Do you love animals? Here's how you can help!

03 May 2013, 12:56

I read an article by ‘CatCrazy’ which was both interesting and sobering...

"You can judge a nation by the way it treats its animals" (Mahatma Gandhi)

I have seen photographs that our local SPCA has taken of animals killed\abused in townships and if what Mr Ghandi said is true, I'm afraid South\Africa is doomed!

Personally it takes all the restraint I can muster not to apply  CatCrazys ‘law’ to people that I see abusing animals!

We have a mini-menagerie at home and each animal is an integral part of our family. They are an endless source of affection, entertainment, amusement and sometimes, concern!

If it really is true that people with pets live longer (because of the de-stressing effect they have on us) then there's a strong chance we'll see 100+!

I believe that (many) animal owners -would- contribute a small monthly donation to support abused\lost\unwanted animals, if only there was an effective way to collect such funds.

Even a donation as small as R5 a month, contributed by a large enough number of animal owners, would make a huge difference to the quality of care that animal shelters could provide for the burgeoning number of hapless creatures.

I once investigated using local municipalities to do this by implementing a voluntary opt-in animal tax in monthly accounts, but the red-tape and 'administration' costs involved renders such a scheme impracticable.

However, it is possible to set up an SMS campaign to provide additional income for your local animal shelter.

This is simple, affordable (from R240 per annum for 1000 ‘renewable’ SMSs) and effective.

Even children can be encouraged to start caring for animals by donating a small amount of their airtime for a very good cause by simply SMSing a keyword like “ILOVECATS” to 12345 or “ILOVEDOGS” to 54321!

Once a campaign has been set up, all that is required of animals lovers is to spread the word. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, email and (yes, SMS) etc make it possible to ‘go viral’ with such campaigns with minimal cost and effort.

This is how an SMS campaign works:

·     ·      There are a number  of  Message Bands available, ranging from R1.50 to R30

·     ·      Cellphone users will be ‘charged’ an SMS fee pursuant with the Short Code Keyword that is sent. (Note: free sms's and discounted rates do not apply). 

·      ·      A campaign consisting of 1000 SMSs per keyword per annum can cost as little as R240 + VAT. This is the only outlay that the  SPCA or animal shelter has to make.

·     ·      There is no obligation to renew expired keywords. 

·      ·       An automated, customizable SMS message is sent in response to a premium sms received.  This gives the donor the satisfaction of knowing that their tiny effort and contribution just made a difference!

·     ·      Generally, the ‘payout’ or portion which reaches the intended organization depends on the Cellphone provider and ranges from 6% (of a R1 donation) to 61%(of a R30 donation)

·       Some companies may negotiate the proportion of the ‘donation’which will be collected with each SMS sent.  (e.g. one company I phoned offered to pay 100% of this amount after an initial 3-month ‘management fee deduction’ period!) 

·      ·      When comparing different payouts by different service providers check to see if the provider charges for the confirmation SMS (Some do not).  

·      ·      A ‘payout report’ is generated online under so that all interested parties can keep track of the progress of fund-raising. 

·        ·      Interested parties can get started by completing an online form which results in a username and password being emailed to the initator.

For more information and a list of South African companies which provide these services, just Google any of these keywords:

    sms campaign / sms marketing / logicsms / infobip /  smssouthafrica / smss

Don’t just sit there – get cracking!

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