I thought it would be helpful to followers and supporters to know a little bit more about what has been happening behind the scenes at Cassie’s Cats. In January of this year, we filed for federal tax exemption, and in March we received our determination letter stating that we were an official 501 (c) 3 organization and that all donations to us would be tax-deductible. That was an exciting day! From there we filed for state tax exemption and filed other required paperwork. We also got listed with GuideStar and made sure we could be found in the Amazon Smile program and Facebook fundraising program (via Network for Good). We established a local bank account and from there were able to set up a PayPal account for nonprofits. We took advantage of Google’s offer of free Google Suite accounts for nonprofits so that we could make full use of email, shared docs and sheets, and more. We set up an Amazon account and created a wishlist. We ordered logo stickers from Sticker Mule to hand out to anyone who donated at least $5. (I have one my car and on my water bottle now, too!)
Once we had all of the legal things in place we were ready to start soliciting donations and holding fundraisers. We’ve been selling handmade cat toys (kickers and felt toys, both with catnip) as well as running a t-shirt and sweatshirt campaign on Bonfire. We have had financial donations come in as well as in-kind donations of kitten formula, cat litter, wet food for kittens, and kitten kibble. We have two more shirt designs waiting in the wings to launch later this month.
Since the beginning of April, we have raised about $1300 from fundraisers, straight financial donations, and in-kind donations.
So what’s next?
We continue to scout for places to lease for the lounge and adoption center. Ideally, we would like to find a place in midtown Ventura. There are several possible options available now, ranging from about $1500-$2400. With Ventura County slowly reopening, we are waiting to commit until it feels safe both from a health perspective and from a financial perspective. Once we are ready we will need to secure appropriate insurance as well as city permits (plus utilities and WiFi). How much work we will need to do to be ready to open will depend on the place that we finally lease. I have started a multi-store registry – think wedding or baby shower, but for cats! – and once we know we’ve got a place I will share that list so that people can send gifts for the cats we will soon be hosting. And speaking of cats: for now, I plan to work with VCAS and SPARC, but I have my eye on a couple of options in Los Angeles too where most shelters seem to be much farther from a no-kill status compared to our shelters here in Ventura County.
If you would like to get an email when we are opening you can sign up for that on our Reservations page. If you would like to volunteer (now or in the future) you can fill out the volunteer application. Word of mouth goes a long way, so if you’re excited about having a cat lounge in Ventura and know others who will be too, please tell them about us! Share our website, our Facebook page, and our Instagram account.
Thank you so much for your support!