The Parrot Posse 2019 Roundup
It’s hard to imagine that 2019 will ever be known as anything but the “Year of the Seizures,” and it was still an amazing year. The short version: we spent $73,684.17 to send supplies to 55 separate entities spread across 32 states, and helped roughly 3500 parrots…and 42 pheasants!
This was our biggest year by far! Our 34 (!) auctions raised $34,596.00 and our four raffles raised $18,729.41. Your donations raised another much-appreciated $34,010.91 including late donations that Facebook only deposited in our account in 2020, so they will show up on next year’s 990s. Your Smile.Amazon purchases gave us an extra $350.24, our Mastercard 2% cashback provided $1,890.54. ANuts.com donated a $450 store credit, and we spent $1770.31 in Rewards Points from MyBirdStore.com. Grand total, $91,797.41, an increase of a remarkable 40% from 2018!
Of course, as donations came in, life-saving supplies for parrots went out! We blew through $73,684.17 in 2019 and I won’t begin to guess the “street value” of the supplies we sent, since as always, we used our wholesale accounts, sales, arm-twisting, and if need be, flat out begging to get the best possible prices. Fortunately, I like to shop!
Our great vendors help us help parrots year round. We bought tons of food in 2019, most from MyBirdStore, which also donated another wonderful $500 Shopping Spree for our biggest raffle! We bought about 2500 pounds of in-shell nuts from ANuts.com, and they were also kind enough to give us a $450 store credit.
Caitec.com is another one of our favorite supporters, and they have, again and again, found a way to push our emergency orders of perches, toys, and food, including those delicious “Oven Fresh Parrot Cookies”, out the door ahead of those for huge companies such as PETSMART!
In addition to food, we purchased Austin Air Allergy Machines and replacement filters. AustinAir.com gave us a Standard Allergy Machine, a $635 value, for raffle. We bought a lot of cages from A&E Cage Company, AECageCo.com, with deep discounts, to help seized birds start their new lives with clean, safe, and roomy cages. We spent a lot with ExpandableHabitats.com, who gives us great pricing on their super strong and super safe toy skewers, toy hanger, and shelves!.
We’re also now working with two companies that are the original manufacturers of two “Gone but not forgotten” products: Sweeter Heater, the company that made the Avitemp Heating panels, and Busy Bird, which is again making the toys “For Birds Who Like To Screw Round.” All these companies have provided us with great help, and we hope you will remember that these are businesses who give back to the parrot community when you are shopping.
What was unusual this year was the number of seizures. We always have some, large or small, but the cost is usually less than 10% of our income. This year, we spent about 30% of our income on seizures alone.. You rose to the crisis and donated to help these birds! We assisted with 19 seizures in 16 different states, from a Quaker and a cockatiel in Iowa,to the infamous 386 young parakeets inTexas
Normally, I’d talk about each seizure, but not this year! It was crazy, we had one small seizure early in the year, then there were 38 cockatiels in Massachusetts, then someone opened the floodgates and a huge wave of parrots, some removed from truly sickening conditions, poured in.Dozens of macaws, cockatoos, Amazons, conures of all kinds, it’s one giant, sad, colorful blur. Some of the birds seized last summer are still being supported by your donations, others have moved on to new and better lives.
The smallest seizure case cost us just over $100, the largest, the notorious Cobwebs Flock over $6,000
Yes, we spent a lot, but how do you put a price tag on helping save almost a thousand birds from the worst imaginable life-threatening situations?
In addition to the supplies, we also took an unusual step for us, and picked up the costs of having some of the seized birds worked up by ABVP-boarded avian vets. (If we’re going to spend your money, we’re going to spend it with the best.) . Three Amazons, a Grey, and Wichita Sammy, a Blue and Gold, were all displaying worrisome symptoms, so we had them checked out. Total tab there was just under $2,000.
Our other program expense is shipping. I hate shipping! You hate shipping! We all hate shipping! However, those supplies don’t get to their destinations for free nor do our raffle items, or some auction items. It’s all part of what we do to help parrots in need, and this year, it came to over three thousand dollars.
Our only fundraising cost was $419 worth of logo-ed products to work into future auctions, and our management costs were low as ever. We finally got around to buying a corporate seal, we paid the state of South Carolina a $50 corporate registration fee, we bought some shipping labels, and threw caution to the wind and blew $10 on checks…it took over two years to use up our “starter” freebies! Total management costs, under $150, total money spent that did not go directly towards our mission of helping parrots in shelter, rescues, and seizures,under $570.
A common measure of a charity’s effectiveness is what percentage of its donations is spent directly on its charitable mission. The Parrot Posse’s mission is to help save parrots by providing support and supplies to parrots waiting for new homes in rescues, shelters, and sanctuaries. It would be hard to do this any better than we do it: If you trusted us with $100 of your money to help save parrots, we spent $99.25 of your hundred dollars doing exactly that.
Riding into 2020, we’re celebrating ten years on Facebook and ten years of growth. We’ve increased our membership from a couple hundred to over five thousand. We’ve raised our annual donations from $6,000 to over $90,000. We’ve spread our help from a couple states to every one of the lower 48 states. Most of all, we’ve expanded our ability to help from a few dozen birds to thousands every year. As we saddle up for a new decade, let’s work together to help more parrots enjoy the better lives they all deserve.