As a busy not-for-profit organisation, which receives no ongoing government funding, Lort Smith relies on the generosity of people in our community. Donations and bequests from our community are integral to the longevity of the organisation that has reached 85 years since its official opening in 1936.
As Head of Communications, Fundraising and Community Services David Drysdale, who has worked at Lort Smith for the past two and a half years knows better than most the importance of the fundraising work of Lort Smith.
“Fundraising helps us to further our mission and to be able to plan for future years. We rely on fundraising to bridge the shortfall of our discounted clients and to assist others experiencing financial hardship,” explains David.
Our organisation has a long and proud history based on a pay it forward philosophy where full fee paying clients subsidise the care of animals for people who can’t afford to pay.
Fundraising is a tool that not only allows us to continue the important work we do, but also spread awareness of the numerous community services we offer. For example, the Lort Smith Pet Therapy Program provides comfort, joy and relief to people experiencing illness, adversity, loneliness and the long-term impacts of trauma. And our Emergency Welfare Assistance Program offers short-term accommodation for pets of people who are in crisis.
There are different ways you can donate to Lort Smith; a one-off donation, a regular monthly donation (Pet Protector Program), major giving (Guardian Circle Program), leaving a bequest in your Will or donating to a specific project such as our current Capital Campaign.
Lort Smith’s ‘Our Future Is In Your Hands’ Capital Campaign will ensure we are able to grow to meet the demand to provide exceptional care and support for animals, their carers and those in our community who need it most. Our Campaign sees us building a second site in Campbellfield, scheduled to open this October, and with the support of donors, the upgrade of our current site in North Melbourne at a later stage.
David believes this is a really exciting time for Lort Smith as we expand into our second site, “We are going to be able to help a lot more people that live in the greater northern suburbs. The second site will be an exciting place for the community to come to, particularly with the opening of a new dog park.”
When asked of his thoughts on Louisa Lort Smith, David responds: “I think Louisa was a pioneer in her day. An inspirational woman that truly cared about the welfare of animals. She was certainly ahead of her time and understood the importance of the human-animal bond.”
There is no doubt as to what is at the heart of Lort Smith, both historically and moving forward, and that is care and compassion for animals and their owners.