Fund the Shelters Challenge Results in High Donations
About $1.6 million was raised through the inaugural Fund the Shelters Challenge, a month-long online competition aimed at raising money for lifesaving programs for shelter animals. The challenge, headed by the nonprofit Michelson Found Animals Foundation and NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations (NBC and Telemundo), involved 644 animal welfare organizations. The Stray Cat Alliance took first place with $266,000 in raised funds.
“We’re humbled and inspired by the amazing passion and hard work shown by the organizations involved in Fund the Shelters, along with all the generous, caring people who donated,” said Gary Michelson, MD, founder of Los Angeles-based Michelson Found Animals. “We, along with our partners, NBC and Telemundo stations, are committed to helping pets find forever homes and are thrilled to be able to support the incredible work of the wide range of organizations involved in this challenge, all working toward a shared goal.”
As part of the competition, nonprofits raised money for their own organizations, and competed for grants and bonus prizes on Crowdrise by GoFundMe from Michelson Found Animals. Grand prize winners also received cash donations.
The grand prize winners with corresponding raised funds:
- 1st: The Stray Cat Alliance in Los Angeles ($266,000)
- 2nd: Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue in Dallas, Ga. ($221,000)
- 3rd: Rescued Pets Movement in Houston ($146,000)
- 4th: Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic in Fort Collins, Colo. ($137,000)
- 5th: New York Bully Crew in East Patchogue, N.Y. ($68,000)
- 6th: PET Rescue (Maine Coon Adoptions) in Oakland, Calif. ($55,000)
Valari Staab, president of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, said she considered the challenge a success.
“Thanks to the generosity of thousands of individuals and the incredible support of Michelson Found Animals Foundation, animal shelters and rescues are receiving the resources they need to continue their lifesaving programs to rescue and care for pets who are looking for their forever homes,” Staab said.
Fund the Shelters Challenge precedes the return of NBC and Telemundo stations’ 5th annual Clear the Shelters nationwide pet adoption campaign, which will take place Aug. 17. The campaign not only supports shelters, it also offsets reduced or waived adoption fees. Since 2015, more than a quarter million pets of all types have been adopted through the campaign.