Success Story: Guide Dogs of America

The Guide Dogs of America is an organization that trains guide dogs to be given to their blind partners free of charge. In order to provide this service, they must cover a range of specialized costs. They have found a creative way to fund those needs with an annual holiday auction run on the Panorama platform.

The Guide Dogs of America began running Fund-A-Need Auctions six years ago. Their 2012 Fund-A-Need Holiday Auction raised $10,000, and their revenue has increased every year since. They just recently raised $45,030 in their 2018 Holiday Fund-A-Need Auction.

Guide Dogs of America provides bidders with a unique opportunity to make a powerful impact with items like Newborn Litter Sponsorships. Each sponsorship purchased covered all expenses for a litter of puppies up to 8 weeks of age including the cost of breeding and delivery to their new homes. This fund-a-need item also came with a certificate and photo of the mother and her litter of puppies for the donor as a keepsake.

Guide Dogs of America did an outstanding job conveying the importance of the work they do with their email campaigns. For example, one email featured a puppy raiser describing how she knew from the beginning that giving up a dog she loved would be hard, but she came to learn what a joy it was to give the gift of a guide dog to a person in need.

Another email in their campaign shared the story of a guide dog owner whose first guide dog was ready to retire after 13 years of service. The email included a letter the owner wrote to his former guide dog as they both welcomed a new guide dog into their lives. The guide dog owner explained how Guide Dogs of America has been there for him every step of the way: “When you come to Guide Dogs of America, once you are GDA family, you are always GDA family.”

Guide Dogs of America’s 2018 auction was also as standout with a record $21,505 in cash donations. Supporters were not only inspired to fund specific needs of the organization, they also chose to support all of the amazing and life changing work Guide Dogs of America does.


Additional Resources

Blog post: Powering Online Fundraising Excellence with Email Automation

Blog post:  Using Custom Emails to Segment and Target Your Donors

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