The Project / The Crowdfunding campaign
SocialCatWork is going to be a truly global revolution in saving homeless cats.
As an app/website, it will connect people who love cats and want to place them in loving homes. It will be a social media platform for people to work together in organising a network that will be involved in cat rescue from start-to-finish: finding a cat, fostering (which may include vet visits), and adoption.
Our Mission: Fewer homeless cats, more comfortable homes with happy purring companions for caring owners.
Our story began in a small veterinary clinic, where we received many phone calls from people who wanted to know what to do when they found a cat in the street. We usually directed them to the nearest cat rescue center but it was often full. Surprisingly, many would call us back and tell us that although they could not keep the cats themselves, they were willing to pay for treatment and hospitalisation. We would find ourselves in this situation almost daily.
That’s when the idea of SocialCatWork was born. We realised that many people desperately want to help cats, but they can’t do it alone. They need a group of like-minded people to share the work: someone to pay for initial treatment, someone to keep the cat (temporarily or permanently), someone to transport the cat – they need bigger networks to find new owners.
It's important that this concept is not another animal shelter. This organisation has no physical centre with real cat cages or cat food. This is an information-based system that provides all the tools that users need to organise their rescue project.
You may be asking: how is this different from any other animal group? The difference is that it’s CATS. Did you know that 15% of all Internet content is cats? Videos, pictures, quotes – people just love to show off their cats, and there is a huge growing business for cat furniture and accessories. The problem with all this is that cats are sometimes just a source of entertainment, and not all cat owners are responsible about proper care. Some people don’t value cats at all and are actually cruel to them just because it is a way to pass the time. In all this, SCW can be a voice to highlight what should and should not happen. The time is ripe to do this very important work!
We’re choosing to work only with cats because we found it more difficult to place cats into adoption than dogs. There are already more organisations that try to save dogs, and usually people know what to do when they see a stray dog.
We also believe cats can be easier to work with simply because of their size (they’re easier to carry and transport, and less expensive in the veterinary clinic). However, because of their size, cats are often overlooked, even though they also suffer from parasites, malnutrition, and many other health issues.
What type of cats are we thinking to save?
• unwanted litter
NOT wild cats or those dangerous to catch
To summarize, we want to work with cats that don’t have problems with human interaction and just need some encouragement. We will list TNR (trap-neuter-release) organisations that have experts who can catch feral cats and may perhaps have suggestions for domesticating them.
Message to cat rescue centres: This network is meant to help relieve some of the burden you face with overcrowding and having to turn cats away. The more cats you list on our network, the faster those cats should find homes and make room for incoming cats. Contact us for partnership opportunities.
How It Will Work
Whenever anyone finds a cat, they can build a profile on SocialCatWork that describes everything about the cat, especially its availability and potential for fostering or adoption.
(When we set up a beta version, we will update everyone with some screenshots.)
The beauty of the system is that because all the information about the adoptable cat is available and people can have live conversations, there should be very few surprises – which means adoptions are more permanent.
How Will We Get There?
We, Daniel and Karina, have our day jobs and so far we’ve been working on this in addition to working full-time. We need to take it to the next step and we’ve estimated we need € 138.600.
This is a huge project with lots of short-term and long-term goals. Sometimes it seems like they all go together! We hope eventually SCW will be perfected but it needs to go through a few phases:
Phase I – Basic App/Website & Education
Our online network will initially be in English, and we will focus strongly on spreading the idea of fostering and/or adopting cats. We will also be motivating people to become responsible cat owners.
Phase II – Multilingual & Partnership
The app and website will gradually be operable in several languages. We will continue to educate people about cats, hopefully more thoroughly about all aspects (health, nutrition, behavior, reproduction, socialization, etc.). We will also be supporting local networks, rescue centres, and veterainary clinics – helping to move more cats into permanent homes.
Phase III – Global Recognition
SCW will eventually be a worldwide community that regularly organizes meetings and events that raise awareness about a problem that is often overlooked. The ultimate goal is to be such a strong leader in the area of pet adoption that people who would like to have cats will first check SCW.
How Will We Use the Money (€138,600)?
APP / WEBSITE
We have a standing offer from a remarkable mobile application and website developing company. Not only have they given us a very reasonable price quote, they are also very fond of cats! For €60,000, they will build both the app and website. Unfortunately, this cost is just the beginning because we have to keep the service running for years. There will also be some additional costs after the app launches to fix bugs and any issues users bring up. Our initial estimates for those costs are currently €10,000 (which includes updates, support, and server costs).
Marketing is as important as the mobile application itself. For a working network we need thousands of active members. Our goal is to reach all rescue centers, veterinary clinics, animal activists, and individuals who would like to adopt cats. The ultimate goal is to place stray cats into permanent homes. It’s ambitious (and quite far down the road), but eventually we want the service to be available in several languages to have a global reach.
To reach these huge goals, we need to be realistic about just how much money we will have to invest in advertising. We calculated the first 2 years as the hardest years.
Our estimates are €39,000 to be broken down into:
online advertising (€29,000):Facebook ads (€12,000), Google ads (€12,000), Youtube ads (€3000), articles/blog (€2000).
print advertising(€10,000): stickers, postcards, posters, flyers, leaflets, brochures, and associated printing/publishing
During the first 2 years, we want to build a strong self-supporting system so SCW can run continuously without many maintenance interruptions. We are strategizing to have a sustainable income through repeat/long-term donations and stable member activity plan rescuing projects in the SCW system.
We, Daniel and Karina, can produce most of the raw content for design and social media outlets, but we’ll need help for the finished product. Some of the things we’ll be doing are: copywriting, translation, videoscript writing, voiceover work, filming etc. Our current estimate is €20,000 for the next 2 years. (This cost would be much higher if we hired a professional company from start-to-finish. We’re trying to save by doing most of the initial work ourselves.
We live in a world where lawyers dictate many of our actions, especially as a cat rescue organisation. Our initial estimate to have a lawyer and legal accountant on retainer is €3000 + €6600 (for IndieGoGo). This will cover things like registering our brand name and filing all the correct paperwork to be an established, trustworthy rescue organisation.
We also want to use social media to its full advantage! We are on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Blogspot, Pinterest, and Youtube. Even though we’re doing a fundraiser here on Indiegogo, our real campaign is with the communities on all these platforms. It's amazing that people are joining us all around the world. It doesn’t matter if you live in Australia or Venezuela - stray cats are a problem everywhere; it’s an international problem.
So join us and share our project!