Helping animals in need is easy. You can donate time volunteering, donate money to rescue organizations and shelters, or spend time advocating for the organization of your choosing. But what if you don't have the time to volunteer? Or you don't have the extra money in your budget to donate? Wouldn't it be great to have a way to easily help animals in need without having to deviate from your normal routine? It would also be amazing if you could help donate money to the organization of your choosing without actually having to spend it out of your own pocket. Now you can!
This week I was given the opportunity to have a conversation with Bailey Schroeder, CEO and Founder of ResQwalk. She has found a way to give animal lovers the opportunity to give back without spending their own money or deviating from their existing routine.
ResQwalk is a free mobile app that can be downloaded to Android or iOS operating systems. It allows users to raise resources for animal welfare organizations just by tracking their daily walks. This is especially great for pet owners who take their dogs for walks every day or for animal lovers who walk, jog, or run for exercise.
The new version of the app launches today!
My curiosity didn't stop there. When I discovered how amazing and simple this app was, I needed to know how it worked and how Bailey created such an innovative technological advancement. It all started in 2009 when she adopted her first dog. Having never rescued an animal before, this small feat opened her eyes to the animal welfare community and all the resources that shelters and rescue organizations need.
Money is definitely the greatest need for any of these types of groups, and Bailey wanted to find a way to make it easy for animal lovers to support the organization of their choosing without having to find the money in their own budget. Billions of dollars each year are spent on advertising, so why not take advantage of some of that money?
ResQwalk is a simple app. Users download it to their mobile device and each month the ResQpool – the money that is available to be donated to the more than 2,000 charities that partner with the company – is announced. In order to help donate to the organization of their choosing, users just have to walk.
The app records the distance the user walks and the number of walks they take each month. All those walks and miles add to the pool of money that will be allotted to the charity or organization of the users choice at the end of the month. For example, if you wanted your money to got to The Humane Society of the United States, you would make that selection and each time you walk throughout the month, you would be helping to increase the percentage of the ResQpool that would be donated to them.
Of course I couldn't leave it at that. When my curiosity takes over, there is no stopping it. I obviously had to ask Bailey where the money for the ResQpool comes from. It comes from ResQsponsors – corporate sponsors that agree to donate to the ResQpool in exchange for advertising on the app.
In my book, that's a win-win. ResQwalk gets the money to help thousands of animal welfare organizations around the world and the corporate sponsors get to advertise to their niche market – pet owners and animal lovers. It's such a simple concept, and thankfully Bailey turned it into a reality.
Although it sounds simple to get an idea like this one off the ground, it isn't. Bailey began creating ResQwalk in 2014. She needed to work with a designer that could help her create an app, and she found a great company in Montreal that was willing to do just that. As difficult as creating an app sounds, that was actually the easy part.
Once the app was created Bailey had to find sponsors to begin generating income for the ResQpool. She says that after more than 1.5 years in business, that is still the most challenging part of her job. She needs to contact corporate sponsors that would benefit from advertising on ResQwalk and sponsors whose mission closely aligns with the mission of her company.
Bailey has to pitch the idea of the app in a way that shows the sponsors what the company is all about and why their commitment to the animal welfare community is so important. She says that because her company sells an idea instead of a user base or a proven concept, it can be difficult to convince sponsors to support ResQwalk.
But the sponsors don't solely get an advertising spot. ResQwalk also gives their users special offers and coupons from their sponsors. This gives the pet parents and animal lovers using the app more of an incentive to spend their money on the products that are manufactured from the sponsors.
As I mentioned, ResQwalk works with over 2,000 charities in the United States and Canada. About 20% of their sponsors and 20% of their users come from Canada. Users can download the app for free, and the charities and rescue organizations receive their contribution money from the ResQpool for free as well. They receive the donations once per month.
The new app does launch today, which is very exciting for the company. They've based the upgrade on user feedback, and it's offering a few new options for people who use it. One of these new upgrades entails ResQwalk now showing a ‘Rescue Animal of the Day.”
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Considering that the chances of rescue animals getting adopted is solely based on the right person seeing them, this is HUGE! Users will have the option to share the rescue animal of the day on their social media accounts – greatly increasing the animals chances of adoption.
ResQwalk isn't just for cats and dogs either. They will feature any animal in a shelter as their ‘Rescue Animal of the Day.' They work with organizations that rescue all types of animals, even non-domestic animals like tigers and lions.
Whether you're a pet owner, an animal lover or you just want your everyday walks to help a charity in need, you'll love this free app. The new app even has a leader board that lets you compete with other users to see who can clock the most miles in a month.
I find Bailey's story to be an inspiration. She thought of such a simple yet innovative idea and she turned it into a reality. That should just go to show all of us that we can make any of our ideas a reality if we set our mind to it. Whether it's a dog business or a way to give back, it just takes a little motivation and a lot of work.
ResQwalk only has about 20,000 users at the moment, but they are hoping to get a large boost in numbers with the launch of their new app. I was able to try a beta version of the app earlier this week, and I was amazed at how user-friendly and easy to use it is. Pair that with the fact that the company has given away more than $90,000 dollars since its inception on June 26, 2014 and it is easy to see why Bailey is so passionate about ResQwalk.