Starting a business is hard, but that challenge is multiplied when you’re not expecting to make money. Non-profit organizations have so many hurdles to overcome.
Things like, how will we find volunteers who will work for free? Where will our funding come from? Will people care about our mission? We’re so inspired by the people ambitious and passionate enough to start organizations that help those in need.
We were lucky enough at Logojoy to come into contact with Madeline Vasseau, a woman looking for a logo for her dog rescue organization. We were so interested in Madeline’s story, we asked her a few questions about her mission, her experiences, and her inspiration.
What inspired you to start your organization?
In October of 2015, I was looking for placement for a Rottweiler that I had been working to rehabilitate at another shelter. I was on Facebook searching for a rescue organization and came across a video of 7 rottie/pit/lab mix puppies that another organization had shared on their page. I took a break from searching and gave into the video of the adorable puppies. After watching the video a dozen times, I learned that these 7 adorable pups were scheduled for euthanasia just two days later. I researched Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas to try to learn more about the situation. That was when I discovered that HCAC euthanizes approximately 80 dogs a day. I couldn’t understand it and decided that I was going to help these puppies.
I reached out to all my local rescue connections and unfortunately, everyone said they couldn’t help. I realized that if I wanted to help these puppies, I needed to take initiative. I convinced two friends to drive from Wisconsin to Houston to get the puppies with me and I decided I would foster, vet them, and then adopt them out. Half way there, however, we realized we needed a local rescue affiliation that had “pull” rights at the shelter who could place a “hold” on the puppies for us and I started emailing local Houston rescues connected with Harris County. Larissa at Lola’s Lucky Day was the only one who responded. She agreed to help and our relationship with her was formed. We took a chance that Sunday afternoon to drive across the country. Everything that could have gone wrong, did. But the one thing that needed to go right, went perfectly and everything worked out in the end.
So how did that rescue mission become Lucky 7 Dog Rescue?
After returning to Wisconsin, I formed a relationship with Larissa and learned more about the conditions there. I started independently rescuing for Lola’s; I was fostering about 10-15 dogs a month and adopting them out. We became an official nonprofit organization a year later, gathered nearly 2 dozen foster homes, 3 shelter partners, and 100 volunteers. In less than a year and a half we’ve taken in and placed nearly 230 dogs (and two cats). Although our main mission is to give placement to dogs from overcrowded and high kill shelters, we have expanded that mission to also help with local owner surrenders, medical cases, and dogs in need of behavioral modification. We pride ourselves in matching our pups and the adopter to one another. We want rescue to be a wonderful experience for everyone and for all dogs, adopters, and volunteers to have a place where they are valued and where they belong.
What were some of your biggest branding challenges?
Remembering that we were a business. No, seriously. One of the things that is always stressed so heavily is that the most successful nonprofit organizations are run like a company. You need to keep in mind that marketing plays a huge role in growing your organization and without having a passion or a mission for what you’re doing, you’re not going to go anywhere.
So many nonprofits are organized like a small group; things are homemade, logos are handcrafted usually with clip art, etc. and that’s great! But unfortunately, it doesn’t make people view the organization as a company. At Lucky 7 we focus so much on our dogs that we kind of forgot its about branding and marketing. You need to have a good balance to “advertise” and gather more people to help make your mission a successful one.
Why did you pick Logojoy?
I picked Logojoy because I loved that I was able to have an idea of our logo before paying. Being able to play around with the design generator allowed me to visualize the idea I had and then have the designer smooth out the edges. It was also incredibly pain-free and, working with a nonprofit, I’m constantly busy. By being able to reply to emails and not phone calls or have an appointment, I could arrange the critiques and edits around my schedule. I also loved the price. We spent less than $175 to come up with the exact logo that I wanted and I barely had to do anything! I was able to give the designer my idea and she perfected it. Some of the other companies I looked at, I was afraid of not getting what I wanted or not being able to have say in the design process without offending someone. This wasn’t like that at all, Logojoy’s Jill worked endlessly on my design until it was absolutely perfect and the exact image we had in mind.