Butterfly Effect: A single, seemingly inconsequential action can lead to unimaginable change.
The Butterfly Fund’s purpose is to use donations to start hospitality businesses around the world to train underprivileged and unemployed individuals in the areas of hospitality operations and management. Profits from these businesses will be used to fund and support animal rescues, clinics, and sanctuaries, where additional job training will be available in those operations. In addition, because all operations will be operated with the environment in mind, there will be more training opportunities in the area of sustainable technologies.
The primary focus will be hospitality businesses with a preference for hostels & restaurants. The long term goal of the organization is a 20% ROI. This means a one time donation of $1,000 would create a yearly benefit of $200 a year indefinitely. Some profits will be used to grow the businesses, which means a single donation can have a compounding effect. If the business expands 10% a year, then that $200 a year becomes nearly $500 a year in ten years. That $1,000 single donation brings in over $10,000 in 20 years, and over $200,000 in 50 years.
Why Hostels & Restaurants?
Hostel patrons are often young, open-minded, and adventurous individuals who are motivated to volunteer and make a difference. We can use our patrons as a pool from which to draw volunteers for the animals rescues.
Hostels have very good ROI potential, they are less impacted by economic downturns because they are so much less expensive than hotels. They have low overhead and can provide living accommodations for trainees, employees, and volunteers.
When working with organizations such as “World Vets” in which a large number of vets visit for mass spaying and neutering campaigns, the hostels are perfect for providing the vets accommodations during their stays.
Restaurants also have good ROI potential, and skilled restaurant workers are always in high demand. They can also be used to help feed trainees, employees, and volunteers, and act as education centers on how individuals can reduce their environmental impact.
Will you operate other businesses besides hostels?
Yes, we will consider hotels, B&B’s, lodges, and other businesses with the right profit potential and training opportunities. Also, we want to be able to offer trainees and employees the opportunity to travel to other parts of the world and work in different establishments to increase their opportunity to learn new cultures and languages.
In some countries, vertical development might be necessary to achieve the goals of the organization. For example, we might consider opening a bike rental store, surf shop, ski rental, etc. near the hostel/hotel/B&B if their are no other options available. This further increases the area in which we can offer training.
Who provides the job training?
The organization will employ people with knowledge of the fields in which they are working. These employees will conduct on-the-job training for the trainees. When the trainees have completed their training, they will be offered employment with the organization and will become trainers themselves. When they gain enough experience and show the potential for management, they will be offered a position managing their own business and rescues.
Will the businesses be environmentally friendly?
Yes, very much so. It is not possible to show humans and animals compassion while simultaneously destroying their environment. Humans and animals are a part of the environment, so the businesses must be environmentally friendly and the education centers will teach this as well.
All the businesses will recycle, reduce, and reuse resources as much as possible. When available, gardens will be grown to provide food for the operations, and renewable energy sources will be utilized.
Any activities that the businesses offer will be designed with the goal of educating individuals on how to lessen ones impact on their environment. For example, if we offered hikes or tours, we would explain the importance of keeping a distance from wild animals, picking up litter, and remaining on designated trails.
Will real estate be purchased or rented?
Ideally, we will purchase most real estate unless the rent is very favorable. In many countries, mortgages are often a maximum of 10 years with interests rates as high as 15% if they can be obtained at all. The rental costs reflect the difficulty in obtaining mortgages and loans. If the organization has the cash to purchase the property, the sellers might accept very low offers because they know it is difficult to obtain loans.
We might purchase living quarters for employees as well if it is financially sound. If a hotel room is making $2,000 a month, it would be far more logical to purchase a small apartment for $50,000 than have an employee live in that hotel room.
I have a large amount of money I want to donate to help underprivileged and unemployed individuals. Why should I donate to your organization instead of directly to an organization that provides job training?
If it takes $20,000 for an organization to train an individual in a new field of work, a traditional non-profit will take in that money from donations, and then spend it on the individuals training. That $20,000 is gone and the only thing left over is that individuals skill and knowledge. We take that same $20,000 and invest it in a business that needs employees who can be trained on-the-job. The individual receives the same amount of training by working for our organizations businesses, but they have actually helped to make money for the organization. In addition, they are being paid during this time and will have the opportunity to become full-time employees of the business in which they trained. In addition, we offer a much broader range of training than most other organizations. They will train in one single field, and we will train each individual in a minimum of four areas.
The businesses themselves cover the administration costs of the organization, the training of the individuals, and the animal rescues. The donor money is only used to increased the growth of the organization.
I have a large amount of money I want to donate to help animals. Why should I donate to your organization instead of directly to an animal rescue or sanctuary?
Many non-profit animal rescue organizations that received a large windfall of money have actually been damaged in the long run. Animal lovers are very dedicated and compassionate people. They want to do as much for the animals as they can right now. This often means that a $100,000 donation is used to expand their organization and help more animals in the short term. However, if the organization expands and increases its overall costs based on receiving that $100,000, then the next year when they don’t receive that same windfall, they are struggling to cover the costs of the previous years expansion. That same $100,000 donation to our organization would mean as much as $20,000 a year indefinitely to helping NP’s
In addition, when they spend the money to help the animals, the money is gone. It doesn’t go to sustaining the organization in anyway unless they use it for advertising. Many organizations spend a large percentage of their donations on advertising instead of on the intended cause. They must do this to maintain a constant donor base. Since our organization only uses donor money to grow the businesses, a loss of all of our donor money won’t effect the funding for the benefit of the animals. And our advertising money will eventually only come from the businesses themselves, not the donors. During the start-up stage while building the donor base, we will have to use donor money for advertising.
How will trainees and employees be paid?
Our goal is to attract people who want to work for our organization for life. Trainess and employees will always have room and board covered, and a small salary. Long term employees interested in manager training will have the option of operating their own business and rescue. Eventually, we will plan for some form of community retirement program.
What are your preferred donations?
We would rather have someone commit to a donation of $10 a month than a $100 one-time donation. First of all, $10 a month allows us to better strategize the financial goals of the organization. In addition, we don’t want people to stop giving to other organizations in favor of our concept, so if you normally give $100 a month to several animal rescue organizations, we would still prefer $10 a month so you can continue to give that other $90 to the organizations who are counting on those donations.
Single large donations that do not impact the finances of other rescue organizations would certainly be very appreciated.
Do donors receive any benefits?
We will provide a monthly newsletter outlining our plans and activities, and recurring monthly donors will receive a 20% discount on any of our accommodations that we will open in the future.
Donors will also have full access to our website forum and can help with the decision making processes of the organization.
Also, we will maintain full transparency of all financials and major operational decisions to the donors.
What are your funding goals?
We are aiming for 10,000 compassionate individuals willing to commit to $10 per month. $100,000 a month would allow us to open on average 4 businesses a year. With the profits from the businesses helping us expand, plus increased efficiency, we plan to increase that number. As donor numbers increase, the faster the organization is able to expand. In ten years, it is conceivable to have over 100 businesses in operation around the world. These business may be able to support several hundred animal rescues/clinics/sanctuaries
In what locations will the first businesses and rescues be started?
We are focusing on several locations at present which include North, Central and South America, Europe, and Asia. We have to carefully balance between profitability of a business and the need for a rescue. The businesses will be established in areas in which profit potential is high, but the rescues might be in a different location depending on need. A single hostel business that generates $5,000 a month profit for the rescues would be able to support as many as 5 rescues in some areas of Central and South America.
What kind of rescues will be supported?
They will vary depending on the area. Some areas will have rescues focused on catching and sterilizing strays. Other areas will focus on providing free or low cost vet care for the local population, and adopting out adoptable animals. And still other areas might focus on farm animal rescue, sanctuary, and education. Some of the rescues will have clinics that will charge normal rates for pet care to whom it is affordable, so the rescue/clinic itself can have the potential to become sustainable which will free up profits to open more rescues.
Who will provide the vet care?
We will seek volunteer vets if possible, or hire local vets to work in our rescue/clinics. We will also work with international veterinary organizations who have vets interested in volunteering periodically.