#SmallBizSpotlight: Guardian Angels International Rescue
Guardian Angels International Rescue (GAIR) is a global animal rescue organization focused on helping animals find their forever homes. We talked to Ricky Lam of GAIR to learn how he's built a non-profit on a global scale.
Can you share a story that reminds you of why you started doing this in the first place?
One of our international rescues, Orlando, was a stray roaming around a night market in Taiwan when a food stall owner threw out a bucket of hot oil. It splashed right on his back; Orlando had second and third-degree burns. Luckily for him, our rescuer was nearby and rushed him to the pet hospital.
What are some of the unique challenges to running a non-profit?
A non-profit is more like a hobby than a job, since jobs tend to help you pay bills. Instead, we all have normal jobs. We tend to spend our lunch hours connecting with our potential adopters and after dinner we're keeping the website up to date.
Non-profits typically have little to no marketing budget. How do you get the word out about your cause without spending money?
Social media has been a great way to publish successful adoptions, share pet tips/tricks and even interact with potential adopters.
What one piece of advice would you give to a non-profit just starting out?
Remember your mission statement and keep at it. Utilize social media and don't be afraid to reach out to people.
How can members of the community help you further your cause?
Every post or update sent to social media reaches an audience you wouldn't have been able to touch yourself.
What's your favorite small non-profit, besides your own, and why?
Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue, because a lot of the dogs they help are some of the worst cases of animal abuse that I've ever seen.
How does the non-profit of today compare to when you first started out?
We started out with just three members co-founding the company. Since then we've doubled to six members. We've helped about 100 rescues find homes.