Archive for the ‘donate’ Category

SlideRocket Contest Honors Muttville 3rd Place & $5000 Prize

April 17th, 2012

Kudos to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue & our amazing Marketing team that created this Sliderocket presentation that won the senior mutts 3rd place and $5000! Our dedicated, talented volunteers – Celine who crafted the engaging presentation, Kira who photographed all the lovely photos and who also is on the Tweet team, plus all the supporters who voted and helped spread the word by Facebook, Twitter and our email campaigns to get the votes that rose us to the top – an amazing example of social media marketing working for good!

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue knows how to market. One of the best presentations in terms of creating an identifiable (and lovable) brand, Muttville entertains the viewer and pulls at their heart strings at the same time. The judges loved Muttville’s visuals, particularly the backgrounds, coupled with giant, easy to read fonts that build with just the right tempo. And of course a fun music track keeps you watching.” Thank you Sliderocket!

We’ve been asking folks to Watch and Share to win this contest for 2 months! Please continue to watch and share simply to spread the joy of senior dogs!

BEHIND THE BRAND: Bald Barbie

March 30th, 2012

Bravo to Mattel, the makers of Barbie® for this very caring initiative that surely will have its place in Barbie history. A wonderful example of social responsibility from the 50-something year old gal! Truly this is more than just an act of social responsibility. It was a thoughtful decision for a corporation to not only produce  Bald Barbie, but, as stated in SFGate blog post:  “The doll, who will be a friend of Barbie, will be donated to hospitals treating children affected by hair loss throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company will also give dolls and monetary donations to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.”

We hope this act inspires other corporations to give in their own monumental ways. They all can, you know. They just need to find the value in giving.

The Business of Saving Lives: Cause Marketing for Animal Welfare & Rescue Groups

November 2nd, 2011








Switchblade Creative Studios attended the 2011 “No More Homeless Pets” Conference, hosted by Best Friends Animal Society. As one of 5 representatives of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I was incredibly honored to not only proudly represent Muttville, but to be surrounded by over a thousand animal rescue advocates and over 40 rescue groups from across the nation.

Muttville team leaders with our mentor/founder Sherri Franklin (center). L-R: Ellen Lazarus, Anne Lauck, Sherri Franklin, Marie Macaspac. Patty Stanton

Marketing, branding, and social media are my specialties, so I was espcecially enlightened to be discussing these topics with a focus on animal rescue. It renewed my creativity and helped me see my work in new ways.  A great feeling was returning for lunch or a meeting with my crew and sharing what we had learned in the various sessions, from fundraising to events to volunteers. We were all fired up with ideas and couldn’t wait to get back home and put these ideas to work!

We also realized that Muttville has the talent and the drive to grow and become wildly successful. We were inspired by “Austin Pets Alive” and one of their directors, Dr. Ellen Jefferson. In just 3 years they grew to be the largest rescue organization in Austin amongst 80+ groups, and they now have their own clinic. What an inspiration! We thankfully had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Jefferson and tell her how much we admired their work.  We also had the opportunity to hear from several leaders in animal rescue: Rich Avenzino, a founder of the No Kill Movement and former director of SFSPCA,  Michael Arms, CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, and Becky Robinson, founder of Alley Cat Allies and founder of the TNR program.

What an experience. The business of saving lives – yes this is what Switchblade is all about.

How Switchblade Became Experts in Marketing for the Animal Friendly Community

September 19th, 2011

Switchblade Creative Studios is proud of our work with animal welfare/rescue organizations, film productions, and pet-related businesses that volunteer or support animal causes,
and/or donate their products and services.

small club: big adventures for small dogs

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Switchblade Became Experts in Marketing
For Animal Related Causes & Pet Lovin’ Consumers

When I left behind corporate life and started this company in 2007, the first thing I was excited to do was volunteer with animal rescue organizations. No longer living within a demanding 60+ hour a week job, I couldn’t wait to explore the options. Becoming a volunteer at the San Francisco Animal Care & Control was the perfect introduction to the animal rescue world. It became an important part of my routine and I welcomed this new community of animal loving folks. Shortly before my first orientation at SFACC, my life also dramatically changed when Jazmin, my soulmate canine companion of 11 years, passed away at the age of 14. Losing Jazmin motivated me to give even more in memory of her and our life together.

Volunteering at the SFACC was a joy, but coming home to any empty place with no pets depressed me. I started searching local dog rescue groups where I could foster. I used PetFinder and googled “dog rescue groups”. Searching through the dozens of listings, I gravitated towards dogs I thought were probably “less adoptable”, either because of age or health concerns. I searched and found the saddest looking dog within 50 miles, saved by Wonder Dog Rescue. She was a 40 lb 9-year-old cattle dog mix with the saddest story I have ever heard. And she was indeed the saddest dog I ever met. I named her Frida.

frida jedi switchblade creative studios

frida and jedi

I also sent an email to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue to inquire about fostering. It turned out Muttville was in its first year as an official 501(c) organization. We luckily shared the same neighborhood. Another plus for me was its focus on senior dogs. Muttville Founder  Sherri Franklin instantly became my hero and mentor,  and “Muttville Manor” my second home. My first foster dog was Jedi, a chihuahua mix with irresistible big brown eyes. Jedi and Frida joined my home and it felt warm and inviting to me once again.

My role with Muttville quickly grew into so much more than fostering. I had just left a career as a designer and marketing specialist for 11 years, working myself to the bone, so that part of me wasn’t going to change! I basically took over as Muttville’s marketing lead and designer.  The opportunity to combine my talent and skills with my passion to save dogs was invigorating! The role gave me the opportunity to work with more inspiring individuals behind Muttville: Board President, Jane Goldman, the V.P. of Lifestyle Marketing at CBS Interactive and founder of CHOW.com., and Muttville’s web development engineer, Carol Balacek. Five years later, they both continue to mentor and inspire me and are great influences to me as a business owner. As the Director of Marketing & Design for Muttville, I continually learn from the organization’s other team leaders who contribute their expertise in fundraising, public relations, event planning, and grant writing. As a team, we regularly collaborate and develop innovative strategies, challenging ourselves to improve upon the previous successes.

Muttville leaders at the 3rd Annual Moolah For Mutts

L-R: Jane Goldman, Chris, Sherri Franklin, Deanne Franklin (behind Sherri/Marie), Marie Macaspac, Carol Balacek, John Mounier

Four and a half years and 100 foster dogs later, my passion has led me to be a proud member of a community of inspiring, dedicated folks who have specialized their businesses and organizations in animals. For fellow pet-friendly business owners who create products or offer services or produce films, the most important aspect we have in common is our need to contribute to animal rescue. For those special leaders who successfully manage a rescue organization, who inspire a community to support their causes, I am honored to be a part of their work.

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5 Ways To Be A Socially Responsible Business

August 8th, 2011

It is easier than you think! Here are a few ways that any business can start contributing in positive ways with non-profit organizations:

1. Donate a few hours of your time as a volunteer. Non-profits always value a few hours a week from individuals interested in assisting at fundraiser events, administrative tasks, or even distributing marketing materials like postcards and flyers to local businesses. Its a great way to meet others and learn more about an organization’s needs

2. If you have a storefront, let local charity organizations know that you welcome their posters, flyers, handout materials, etc. This is a very easy way to show your support and/or affiliation with an organization. And while you are at it, let customers know about the organizations and encourage them to take a handout or check out an announcement.

3. Offer your services or products pro bono or as a donation. We think this is one of the most rewarding marketing activities a business can participate in. If you sell products, non-profits are grateful to receive samples, returns, or defective items that can not be sold to customers. If you provide a service, it gives your business an opportunity to demonstrate your skills to a new audience. The volunteers you may be working with could be employees for companies that can be potential clients. Additionally, if you are in creative services, like design or photography, here is a great way to fill up your portfolio!

4. Donate a Gift Certificate or Products. Most fundraisers include silent auctions or raffles as a way to raise money at events. Donating a gift certificate or products not only helps the organization raise money, you may also end up finding new customers and clients.

5. Promote organizations you support on your blog or social media pages. Let your colleagues, customers, and clients know who you support. Talk about how you or your business supports them, why you support their cause, and share ways that others can help. You can also promote a campaign that co-markets a charity. “Like our page/website and we’ll donate $1 for each new Like is  a popular promotion. When executed properly, it can be an effective way to promote your business while bringing awareness to a cause you support.

There are so many more ways to help. Your own customers may have suggestions for you, too! Did you notice we didn’t even include on our list the idea in the graphic above? FitnessSF put open barrels at two of their locations and requested much needed household items for the local dog rescue organization, Muttville. Great idea, FitnessSF!

Do you have a great idea t oshare of how to help out a local charity? Please share with us by posting a comment below.

What is Compassionate Fostering?

August 5th, 2011

Switchblade Creative Studios loves this article first published by StubbyDog and written by Micaela Myers. We are proud to be Compassionate Foster Caregivers for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue (Read this great article below, then check out our personal story of compassionate fostering, “The Story of Collette”)

 

Angels of Compassion

original publish date August 3, 2011

Opening hearts and homes to abandoned pit bulls in their final days.

By Micaela Myers

Tera had been at the shelter for two months. An older pit bull with skin cancer and two blown knees, her adoption chances were as low as can be. Knee surgery would cost at least $8,000, and the skin cancer wasn’t going to get better, either. Plus, she was now suffering from kennel stress.

So Tera went to live with Nicole Edwards, a veterinary nurse who welcomes dogs like Tera into her home for what’s known as compassion fostering.

Most foster parents bring a dog into their home knowing that the dog is on his way to a happy ending: a forever home. Compassion fosters have a very different end game: to shower that dog in love until he or she is euthanized. For a dog who is frightened and alone, compassion fosters open their homes and hearts so that dog can leave this world enveloped in love.

Even Chance

Edwards is the president of Even Chance: Pit Bull Advocacy, Resources and Rescue, based in San Diego. In addition to a regular foster and adoption program, her group offers compassion fostering.

“If there weren’t such a surplus of pit bulls,” she says, “maybe people would be into adopting a 10-year-old dog who’s a little gray and a little bit slower, or a dog that has a weird gimp because it was hit by a car and nobody helped. We’re just trying to alleviate the stress on the shelter system because [euthanasia is] all they do, and it’s really sad.”

Tera stayed with Edwards for eight months. “I loved this dog so much,” she recalls. “We took her skin cancer off. We let her live like a normal dog as long as we could, but her skin cancer came back, and her knees became a bigger problem. So she had an awesome eight months. She hung out with my dogs. She slept in my bed. She was like the mama dog of the house, which was very cool. Her favorite toy was a football, and it’s my favorite sport. I have two big baskets of toys. She would always pick the football out and literally throw it around the yard, squeak it a little bit, throw it around the yard some more.”

How compassion fostering works

Approximately 5 million animals are killed in shelters each year. Up to one in three are pit bull types (or labeled as such). Many shelters won’t even put pit bulls up for adoption. For those shelters that do, placing even healthy young pitties can be difficult given the misconceptions, stereotypes and breed restrictions.

In a better world, every dog would find a good new home, but until then Edwards and other dedicated volunteers make sure that no pittie in a San Diego County shelter has to die afraid or alone. The dogs Even Chance accepts into their compassion foster program have medical problems or behavior issues due to past neglect or abuse.

“The dogs pretty much get spoiled as long as we can,” Edwards explains. “That can be anywhere from a week to several months, depending on the case and what we can provide them.”

If there is no room in the compassion foster program, Edwards or one of her team members will spend a day with the shelter dog.

“I’ll take them to Fiesta Island [dog beach] on a long line. They can run around for as long as they want. They can get all dirty, have fun and play on the beach. We go back to the shelter to the outside area that’s set up [for their euthanasia]. We have a rotisserie chicken. They know me by then. They get to sit and eat an awesome meal.”

Focusing on the love

For most of us, the very thought of bonding with a dog we can’t save is too much to handle. Edwards focuses on the love she is able to give these dogs in their final days.

“I try and do everything I can, taking them on lots of walks or letting them smell all the things they didn’t get to smell at the shelter, giving them treats, letting them see the beach and the mountains.”

“I think the way that I’m able to deal with it is that we know this is the end for these dogs, and I feel fortunate enough to make it easier on them,” she says. “That’s my way of coping with it – knowing that they’ll have a full belly before they go, and that they’ll be happy and be with people that they already know and feel comfortable with.”

Edwards has personally welcomed nine compassion fosters into her home in the last few years. Loving seniors like Tera, who were cast off by their owners, are some of the hardest compassion cases for her to deal with emotionally.

“There’s definitely a grieving process after, especially when they’ve lived with you for almost a year. It’s almost your own dog,” she explains, adding that her fellow rescue volunteers are the best therapy during the grieving process. She calls them to reminisce about the dog and also vent about the previous owners who abandoned their pet. “I’m a big talker, so I talk it out,” she says.

Fellow compassion foster Jessica Stone says that showering the dog with love and positive experiences during the time he or she is with her helps during the grieving process after.

“I feel like during the time I have the dog I try and do absolutely everything I can,” she says, “taking them on lots of walks or letting them smell all the things they didn’t get to smell at the shelter or maybe in their previous life, giving them treats, letting them see the beach and the mountains.”

Edwards agrees. “It’s like going to grandma’s house for the weekend. They get to be on the bed. They get to be on the couch. They get to eat food they probably wouldn’t get.”

Eight-month-old Cooper was the second dog Edwards took in as a compassion foster. “He was found on the side of the freeway. He had his ears cut down to his skull. He also had two broken elbows that the vet thought had been that way maybe two months if not longer. He was not a surgical candidate to have them fixed, given the damage.”

Because of his broken elbows, Cooper had to crawl to get around and would tear open his skin in the process. He lived with Edwards for two weeks before he was humanely put down.

“That was a really sad case for us because there was nothing we could do for that dog,” she explains. “He was so young, but I’m sure he endured some pretty crappy situations in his short time.”

Edwards hopes that in his next life, “he can go on and get a new body where his elbows are not broken. He can have his ears back, and he can live with someone who loves him.”

Because in the end, that’s all any pit bull wants: someone who loves them.


Switchblade’s Contribution to Muttville’s Biggest Night of the Year, Moolah For Mutts: “Night of 1000 Mutts”

July 20th, 2011

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue‘s 3rd annual gala fundraiser, Moolah For Mutts, was a smash hit this year, raising much needed funds for the organization to continue its mission to rescue and find new homes for senior dogs slated for euthanasia. Switchblade has been a part of Muttville’s core team from the very beginning when Sherri Franklin officially started this non-profit group four years ago.

As part of the event’s planning committee, Switchblade’s contribution spanned roughly 5 months, with the special day taking place July 16, 2011. We are proud to share the creative process we helped lead and materialize into reality in print, online, and even the big screen.

Theme Development and Brand Identity

This year, the event moved to a larger space, the Swedish American Hall on Market Street in San Francisco.

It also moved to a fairly empty space. This brought some new challenges for this year’s event plans, to say the least.
Muttville was still amidst its celebration of its 1000th senior dog rescue. Taking these factors into consideration, we helped formulate this year’s theme: “Night of 1000 Mutts”. Tying in to the visuals we also designed for the 1000th rescue celebration, Switchblade developed the logo and brand identity, incorporating the sea of senior dog faces into marketing collateral for online and print.

What we love about using the 1000 faces of Muttville’s success stories is the interactivity with the website where all 1000 dogs are displayed with each one clickable to their original profile.  Not only was it a way to further share this page to the world, it was a seamless way to carry out the year long 100th rescue celebration if by chance a new visitor didn’t know about this milestone for Muttville.

Marketing and Social Media Campaign

“Night of 1000 Mutts” 6-week marketing and social media campaign further celebrated the 1000 Muttvile dogs rescued by spotlighting  a few lucky success stories. Below is an example of one lucky mutt, Waldo. We called the campaign “1000 Reasons To Attend This Year’s Moolah For Mutts”. Our social media activities systematically rotated on daily schedules with posts on Facebook three times a week, daily retweets, plus subscribers were also directly reached with timely email blasts. Within the final 2 weeks before the event, Switchblade also was excited to see our ads for the event in the San Francisco Chronicle and Bay Woof.

The campaign attracted great traffic on all of Muttville’s social networks. The variety of dogs and stories hit home for different audiences in different ways. With over 18 stories and dogs profiled, we hoped to connect with every possible compassionate animal loving person out there.

As the event sponsors and auction donors list  grew, we further developed the campaign with interaction and engagement with them via their Facebook and Twitter pages.

The event sold out and we were thrilled with the success of the campaign. Analytics showed activity on the website for Moolah For Mutts as well as Muttville’s website were steady as a result of the organized schedule followed by the marketing campaign’s activities.

Event Decor and Main Video

In order to maximize the financial success of the event, the committee did its best to have everything donated – from auction items, tables, A/V equipment, food, and beverages. About 90% was donated and if not it was discounted. The event’s sponsor, Pet Food Express, came through for the event when Switchblade, still keeping in mind the overall theme, “Night of 1000 Mutts”, asked Pet Food Express if Muttville could borrow their large mounted photographs from their “My Mutt” Program. Sized from 30′ to as large as 60′, Pet Food Express was able to offer almost 50 mounted posters. Upon entering the venue, guests were surrounded by larger than life canine faces on My Mutt posters.

PFE's Corey and Switchblade's Marie with My Mutt posters behind them

Attentive to even the smallest of details, the “1000 Mutts” theme was a part of every Muttville volunteer’s attire. Hanging from a long beaded necklace, each Muttville volunteer wore a different Muttville mutt photo accompanied by their profile story. Marie wore Collette, the foster dog she dearly loved who passed away in March 2011. (The blog article Marie wrote about Collette for Muttville was re-published by Bella Dog Magazine, and the issue was included in the goodie bags given to departing guests that night.)

Muttville volunteers Peggy, Marie, and Inger wearing Muttville dog photos and profiles

Switchblade’s most visible contribution was the main video presentation titled “The Next 1000 Mutts”  that celebrated Muttville’s successes and meant to bring heartwarming smiles to all in attendance. Founder Sherri Franklin gave a tearful speech then played the video to uplift their spirits.

Click here to watch “The Next 1000 Mutts”.

 

And we almost forgot to mention….Switchblade donated an item for the Live Auction – The design of a limited edition print titled “Our First 1000 Dogs”, with #1 of only 100 available framed and signed by Sherri Franklin. Read more about the big bucks this item raised for Muttville. (We were so excited by the winning bid that we just had to write about it in its own blog post!)

Switchblade Creative Studios’ Live Auction Donation to Muttville’s Annual Fundraiser Earned Some “Moolah For Mutts”!

July 20th, 2011

On July 16, Muttville had their big annual gala fundraiser, Moolah For Mutts: “Night of 1000 Mutts” and Switchblade was proud to be an integral part of the successful night. It was a pretty thrilling part of the evening when the live auction was under way. People were wildly bidding, and Lenny our amazing auctioneer brought the excitement to a crazy fun level. Auction paddles flying up every second, the spotters couldn’t keep up!

An exciting moment for me was when the item we donated, #1 of 100 Limited Edition print titled “Our First 100 Dogs”, framed and signed by Sherri Franklin , was up for bidding.

 

Sherri presented it on stage and the bid started at $100.

Lenny started calling out numbers I couldn’t even keep up but the bids just kept going and going!

The final winning bid was $1000!! Wow, unbelievable! I was so happy that I was speechless. Switchblade had a fantastic night, honored to be part of Muttville and the event’s planning committee. Read more about Switchblade’s contributions to a successful Moolah For Mutts: “Night of 1000 Mutts”.

Switchblade “proud” to be part of Muttville, SF SPCA, and Pet Food Express March in 2011 San Francisco Pride

June 27th, 2011

Muttville hand fans for the crowd!

Some say that this year’s Pride Parade went to the dogs! Even sfgate.com wrote a feature on this phenonemon. In preparation for the big day, Switchblade was very honored to work with Pet Food Express and Muttville to design their commemorative 2011 Pride tees, crowd-pleasing hand fans, and the banner that proudly led the way during the march.

Corey of Pet Food Express sporting the comemorative Muttville tee

 

And of course, we couldn’t wait to show off the tees ourselves, donning the beautiful face of Maxwell, the 1000th Muttville rescue.

 

Muttville's new banner introduced at 2011 Pride parade

Muttville's new banner introduced at 2011 Pride parade

Marie with Muttville's Kay and the mutts: Winston, Spidey, and Lola

Marie with Muttville's Kay and the mutts: Winston, Spidey, and Lola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to Corey of Pet Food Express and Javae of Andresen for printing all the collateral!

Remembering Collette through “Collette’s Cancer Fund”

April 5th, 2011

I am sending this special birthday wish to honor the life of my sweet Muttville hospice dog who passed away on March 22.

I wrote this blog post called “What Muttville Means To Me: The Story of Collette” so that everyone would know how much joy she brought to my world.

It would be the most wonderful gift to have each of my friends, clients, and colleagues donate to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in honor of Collette. Thanks to Muttville and our supporters, Collette received the best care possible that helped her beat cancer. She was my sweet companion for 15 months, and I want to thank everyone who knew her and sent sweet sentiments after her passing.

If everyone donated $20, your help would provide months of care for cancer dogs being treated through Muttville. Donate on Muttville’s website and mention that your donation is “in honor of Collette”, and your funds will be set aside for Collette’s Cancer Fund to treat our dogs with cancer.