Michelson Found Animals Foundation, a non-profit committed to saving pets and enriching lives, and NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations (NBC and Telemundo stations), today announced the launch of the Fund The Shelters Challenge online competition. The program offers the public an opportunity to donate to participating animal welfare organizations dedicated to keeping pets out of shelters. Hundreds of organizations from across the country are registered to compete for grant money to fund life-saving programs for pets in their communities.
The Fund the Shelters Challenge borrows from the successful model of the Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge. Since 2014, this pioneering fundraising effort has generated a cumulative program impact of over $7.2 million across over 600 participating organizations. The Fund The Shelters Challenge is also a new initiative that complements the NBC and Telemundo stations’ Clear the Shelters™ nationwide pet adoption campaign that returns on August 17, and has resulted in more than 250,000 pet adoptions since 2015.
“For the last five years we’ve been able to help hundreds of animal welfare organizations raise much needed funds through the Saving Pets Challenge, and we’re thrilled to evolve the program with NBC and Telemundo stations, great partners who share our passion for helping pets,” said Dr. Gary Michelson, Founder of Michelson Found Animals. “The Fund the Shelters Challenge is an exciting opportunity for people across the country to support organizations that are doing so much to get pets into loving homes.”
“Our Clear The Shelters pet adoption campaign has inspired communities all across the country to open their homes to pets in need, resulting in more than a quarter million homeless animals finding new homes,” said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “We’re excited to work with the Michelson Found Animals Foundation to take our Clear The Shelters campaign to a whole new level by offering individuals an opportunity to support their local animal shelters/rescues through donations.”
The Fund the Shelters Challenge kicks off April 9 and runs through May 9. The program is hosted on CrowdRise by the GoFundMe platform. Michelson Found Animals will award a total of $200,000 in prize money to organizations that participate in the challenge. There are two ways for groups to win: grand prizes totaling $135,000 will be presented to groups that raise the most money, and weekly bonus challenges totaling $65,000 will be presented to groups throughout the month-long challenge to encourage their participation and to give all organizations a chance to win money. Michelson Found Animals and NBC and Telemundo stations will announce the grand prize winners in May 2019.
As NBC and Telemundo stations prepare to present their fifth annual Clear the Shelters™ pet adoption campaign later this year, the Fund the Shelters Challenge will allow shelters and rescues to raise funds to not only support their programs, but also offset reduced or waived adoption fees during Clear The Shelters Day 2019 (August 17).
People can visit crowdrise.com/fundtheshelters to donate to participating organizations and support lifesaving programs for pets in their own communities and beyond.