When it became apparent that Dexter needed urgent spine surgery, Julia crowdfunded to save his life.
Hi Julia. Can you tell us a little bit about you and how Dexter came to be a part of your life?
I came across Dexter whilst living in Hanoi Vietnam, teaching English. He was in a very bad way and desperately needed a home. That was five years ago.
I flew him back to England with me around two and a half years ago now.
How did you find out about JustGiving and what prompted you to set up your page?
I'd heard of JustGiving via friends who have used it for fundraisers. We were utterly desperate to find the funds for Dexter's surgery. A friend suggested I set up a crowdfunding page, and so I did - reluctantly I might add. I really didn't think we'd raise much at all!
We, (my husband and myself) knew we'd need around £3500 (in the end it was £3800 needed in total) but we did not think for one minute we'd get anything close to that. So we halved it - still really believing we might raise about £200, if we were lucky!
"We were so lost and feeling hopeless when we started the page, but literally minutes after,
donations and encouragement came pouring in!"
What did you do to promote your page?
I started off emailing and texting friends the link to my Crowdfunding page, then shared it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Friends and colleagues went wild sharing it, and many of them stunned me by donating themselves. Even the smaller donations helped so much and kept adding up before our eyes.
I was so surprised how people I didn't even know donated. I also shared it on a Dachshund group I'm in on Facebook.
What did you learn throughout the process and was there anything that surprised you? Was there a particular moment where you felt as though you had hit a milestone? If so, what did it feel like?
The whole process was humbling from the very start. So many people reached out and donated and sent such encouraging messages on the page. We just couldn't believe it, really we couldn't. When we reached £1000 we were speechless! And to us it meant we could get Dexter seen to and saved!
We were so lost and feeling hopeless when we started the page, but literally MINUTES after, donations and encouragement came pouring in. Some friends even auctioned off paintings or sold their personal items to raise funds. We were and still are stunned and grateful to every single person who donated and/or shared our page, even if they couldn't donate. It really showed us who our friends are and how many kind hearted people there actually are out there. We genuinely didn't think we'd make our target, let alone exceed it!
Since the page closed, have there been any developments? How have the funds been used and how is Dexter doing?
Since the page closed we were able to pay the vet half the bill and the rest we're still paying off. However, if we'd not had that initial money from the Crowdfunding Page, we'd not have been able to give the go ahead on the surgery and Dexter wouldn't be here today.
Dexter's now up and about, has regained the use of his back legs and continues physio at home with us. His left leg still needs working on, but he even went for a swim yesterday which is truly amazing! And such good physio.
We're just so utterly grateful to everyone who helped get him to this stage with their donations.
What 3 top tips would you give to someone now who was going to set up a Crowdfunding Page?
My top 3 tips would be:
- Just do it, even if you feel like you won't make the target, JUST DO IT.
- Spread the word and share share share! All social media, it all helped.
- I tried to keep the page updated with Dexter's progress. I thought this was really important for people to see how their money was helping.