RoverWorks.org is rooted in the belief that small actions can make a big impact and that the combined efforts of many people can lead to significant change. We believe this to be true because, Rover itself, is the result of a small action. It was a small action that became a book, which then became a brand that animal-lovers rally around. And now it has become more than a brand, but a call to action and a banner for change. From one small book to a full-fledged rescue effort — we are RoverWorks.org
When Andrew Grant first decided to produce Rover - the goal was simple: Raise money for and bring awareness to rescues by producing a coffee table book of dogs and donating a portion of the proceeds.
It didn't take long to learn that we wouldn't be able to raise a meaningful amount of money if we partnered with a publishing company as only a tiny percentage of book sales are donated due to their extraordinary fees and production costs. The decision was made to self-publish Rover to maximize the amount of money that could be raised.
After Rover was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, it became clear that pet lovers were eager to make a generous donation to a deserving rescues to have their dog photographed and featured in the next edition of the book. That program helped to generate donations of over $3 million to over 30 organizations across America. More importantly, we've been able to allow great organizations to use the very unique and extraordinary Rover opportunity as a vehicle to engage existing donors and attract new donors. We're very proud that we've bridged countless long-lasting relationships between incredibly supportive donors with rescues who do wonderful work in their community.
Amanda Hedlund joined Andrew in 2011 and are now in year nine of what was originally envisioned as a one year project. Our goals have evolved and expanded.
The RoverWorks.org Mission
Reduce the homeless pet population by supporting organizations with effective and comprehensive spay and neutering programs.
Provide animal-lovers with a fun and easy way to immortalize their dog while helping homeless pets.
Help rescues decrease their donor acquisition costs by connecting generous donors with deserving and effective rescues that live on long after Rover.
Provide rescues with a tool they can use to engage existing donors and attract new donors.
Provide rescues with platforms and events where they can share their achievements, programs, challenges, needs and goals.
Increase adoptions by overcoming the shelter dog stigma by illustrating that healthy, smart, beautiful and loving mixed breeds and purebred dogs are available for adoption at shelters and rescues across the country.
Convey the crucial role spaying and neutering plays in reducing the overall homeless pet population crisis in America.
Identify, share and implement innovative and effective operating, marketing and fund-raising strategies.
Learn how we help pet shelters and animal rescues.
Be heroic! Small actions lead to big impact
There are many ways you can raise money and bring awareness to rescues. Collectively, our efforts will help countless cats and dogs find a loving home.
The RoverWorks.org Brand Book
Let’s be heroes!
QUICK! Think of a hero. Spandex. Fluttering cape. White horse and shining armor. A gold badge. A firefighter’s hat. That’s what most people think of when they consider “heroes.” But that’s just one way of defining heroism. Whoever said there was only one way to be a hero? Whoever said that all heroes need to dodge bullets and leap tall buildings?
Heroism is about courage. Not necessarily courage to save the world, but the courage to do something for the good of others. To help others who can’t help themselves. To have the desire to make a difference when the status quo is not tolerable. To take the initiative in creating new means for change when conventional routes don’t apply. To take the first small step toward making a bigger difference. In fact, that’s what drove a photographer to do something to try to make a difference and create Rover.
In fact, that’s what drove a photographer to do something to try to make a difference and create Rover.
This is the story of Rover, a museum-quality coffee table book of dog photography that aims to inspire people to welcome a shelter pet into their home. This is the story of a photographer who took the photographs a step further, and a made a commitment to actually helping pet rescues.
This is the story of how a book made the first small step toward creating a bigger difference, and rallied others to its mission. How it grew from a book into a brand worth following, and how it continues to grow from a brand into a cause worth championing.
This is the journey of RoverWorks.org
Every hero has an origin story
Andrew Grant, was once a successful commercial advertising photographer. In 2009 he was shooting an ad campaign and catalog for Chef Works at a Bulthaup kitchen showroom when the owner’s two French bulldogs, Gaston and Napoleon, kept wandering into the picture. Rather than ask the gracious owner of the store to keep her dogs away from the busy set, Andrew was captivated by what he saw through the lens and recognized an opportunity. At the end of the day, some of the most evocative and winning shots were of the dogs at the centerpiece. Andrew enjoyed working with the dogs so much he started thinking about someday making a photo book of dogs.
“Well, ‘someday’ quickly became next week, when I learned just how many dogs and cats enter shelters every year and the dramatic effect the recession and housing crisis were having on rescues. There was an immediate sense of urgency, as I knew a book like this could bring attention to the crisis.”
Andrew was flabbergasted by the statistics. He knew that with his expertise and connections, he could, in his own small way, create something of significant impact.
Producing the book
Producing theRover books is a rather monumental task. On average, Andrew spends approximately two hours with each dog to get “the shots.” Some dogs take only minutes, but it sometimes takes hours to get just two solid shots of less cooperative, shy or timid dogs. Andrew personally edits the images, discarding any shots that aren’t “razor sharp” or compelling. Andrew then meticulously cleans up and prepares hundreds of images for the book in Adobe Photoshop, a task that takes a few months to complete.Each of the more than 500 images reveal his incredible commitment to bringing the books to life. With each lovingly crafted photograph in Rover, he hopes to inspire others to make their own contribution toward helping shelter animals.
A book grew into a brand
Andrew didn’t just want to take photos of dogs. He wanted his book to actually help animal shelters. Rover has generated donations of over three million dollars to over 30 deserving rescues across the country and bridged relationships between generous pet lovers and rescues which often live on for many years.
This philanthropic approach has attracted the attention of animal-lovers of all stripes. Ellen DeGeneres gave a copy of Rover to Oprah for Christmas. Heidi Klum, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Ewan McGregor, Steven Spielberg, Dierks Bentley and the owners of the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and other professional sports teams have all had their dogs included in Rover.
Rover has achieved a lot in a short amount of time. But the book alone could not have accomplished all this without the individual contributions of many people united under the desire to help dogs.
RoverWorks.org is rooted in the belief that small actions can make a big impact-that the combined effort of many people, more than the contribution of one, can lead to a greater, more significant, change towards the better. It believes that anyone can be a hero and make a difference as long as they make any difference, and it wants others to believe this, too.
RoverWorks.org believes this to be true because Rover itself is the result of a small action. It was a small action that became a book, which then became a brand that animals-lovers rally around. And now its become more than a brand, but a call to action; a banner for change. From one small book to a full-fledged rescue effort.
The RoverWorks.org brand empowers everyday people to make a significant contribution to a good cause by participating however they can – they could adopt a dog … or just volunteer time at a shelter. Like Andrew, they could leverage a skill to bring awareness and funds to the cause. Or, they could support causes like Rover by doing something as simple as buying a book. Instead of asking people to commit beyond their means or make a significant change in their lives, RoverWorks.org allows anyone to do good just by doing what the naturally do best – even if it’s something as effortless as shopping.
The idea of “Be a Hero” is more than a tagline – it’s what we believe in. At its core, RoverWorks.org is about inspiring everyday people to come to the rescue of homeless pets – about inspiring little acts of heroism. It recognizes that everyone is able to make the commitment the want to. Not everyone feels they can supply enough time or resources to make a worthy contribution. Not everyone feels they can be a superhero. However, not everyone realizes that there is more than one way to participate in and a further a cause. As a brand, RoverWorks.org champions the cause for shelter animals not only by making the biggest contribution or raising the most money, but leading the way for others to do their part, too. By setting the example that sometimes the best way someone can help is not always in the expected way, but in his or her own heroic way.
It could be volunteering time at an animal shelter, recruiting others to volunteer as a group or someone selling custom dog collars on Etsy and benefiting a local shelter. It could be someone organizing an adoption event to bring awareness to both shelters and the adoption process. And so on. At its heart, RoverWorks.org isn’t about one dog book coming to the rescue – it’s about rallying others, anyone, everyone, to the rescue.
Rover empowers those who would otherwise feel their contributions were small. We believe in small actions leading to a big difference for good. By helping local shelters, for example, Rover allows their individual participation to be part of a larger collective impact.
Andrew didn’t let the cause (helping rescue pets) dictate his contribution (adopt a dog). He leveraged his personal sills and expertise to make a difference. We are calling on others to do the same.
More than making a one-time donation, RoverWorks.org believes that helping a cause means ensuring continued support through self-sustained means, having partners perpetuate the contributions on a regular basis and spreading the word to an ever-increasing group of committed participants.
True animal lovers don’t just see pets, but lifelong companions. They recognize the humanity in animals – and that animals also have a way of bringing out the humanity in all of us.
RoverWorks.org wants to do good, but more importantly, it wants to inspire others to do good, too. By recruiting them to a cause worth helping, by revealing to them why it’s worth helping and worthy way to help.
RoverWorks.org began because one person didn’t feel daunted by producing a coffee table book for the first time. Instead of looking to others to take the first step, we encourage people to take the initiative themselves and step forward.
Though optimistic in outlook, we recognize that there are different paths toward doing good – setting achievable goals rather than getting lost in lofty ambitions.
The images in the Rover book and the philosophy behind the brand are meant to evoke an emotional and inspired response. We don’t just want people to buy the book, we want to drive people to take the first of many heroic actions toward a greater goal.
Instead of making people feel guilty in order to help rescue dogs, RoverWorks.org wants to welcome people to the cause – to make them feel like part of a community that takes courage actions.
Helping a worthy cause should be fun. RoverWorks.org wants people to help through activities they already love and to perpetuate that enthusiasm throughout the cause.
We are seeking Everyday Heroes. Not only generous donors or pet rescuers. These are people whom, when looking through Rover, see more than a collection of furry friends. They see true companions and recognize in their open gazes a sense of hope and longing, of expectation and pure joy.
More importantly, these are people who feel compelled to do something — a small-business owner looking to partner with the Rover to the Rescue brand or someone just wanting to be part of a worthy cause. Regardless of who they are or what they do, we invite them to join us in helping dogs.
And not just to help dogs. We want them to, themselves, help dogs. However they can, whenever they can, wherever they can. We want them to be a champion for good, by contributing in their own way. We want them to be a leader for progress, by making that first small step towards a larger impact. We are looking for others to aid the cause. We are looking for others to come to the rescue. We are calling upon those who don’t just want to “make a difference” – but forge their own path and actually create one. Are you an everyday hero?
Small actions lead to a big impact
While the Rover book will remain the driving force behind the brand, there is an opportunity to consider other way in which you (yes, you) can help RoverWorks.org grow – from a book to a brand, a brand to a cause … and a cause to a movement.
Adopt a shelter pet. Create a support network for those who have adopted or are interested in adopting a cat or dog or other shelter pet.
Create co-branded RoverWorks.org products: dog tags, leashes, blankets, toys, greeting cards, calendars, limited-edition T-shirts, children’s books and toys, etc.
Spread the word about Rover: through personal networks, social networks, professional networks, etc. Create a support network to help those looking to participate by connecting them to volunteer or partnership opportunities.
Help organize casting calls for the book or events centered around raising awareness for a featured local shelter/the brand itself. Every event would be focused on activations – getting interested parties to commit to helping shelter dogs in a specified way (volunteering time, donating money, retail partnership, etc.).