There’s nothing quite like the bond between animals and humans. Pets provide comfort, security, and strength, especially during tough times. This bond is uniquely universal; shelters and volunteer groups of all shapes and sizes all over the globe work tirelessly to save local animals through programs and adoptions, thus creating more bonds between animal and owner. The problem is often these organizations lack funds, supplies, and manpower. This is especially true in impoverished, war-ridden countries, where animals are left to fend for themselves in harsh climates with scarce food sources.

One organization exists to partner with groups who are already making a large impact and need more support to increase the amount of animals they help in their communities. Since 2006, SPCA International (SPCAI), with the help of generous donors across the globe, has been providing these groups with funds for supplies, shelter buildings, animal transport, programming, and more.

Programming like Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide, which helps soldiers bring home animals they befriend during their deployment – these dogs and cats oftentimes act as therapy animals to help soldiers transition back into normal life. And Operation Military Pets, which helps military families “many with children who don’t know a life without their pets” coordinate and pay for transport of their household pets due to base relocations.

SPCAI Before Blackthorn

As a non-profit, SPCAI exists because of funds from their donors. One can imagine how important it is to have a system that makes it easy or even effortless for individuals to give monetarily.

SPCAI had started out using a basic proprietary software to create donation forms, send emails, and process donations. But the team often ran into problems and glitches with the software.

“We had forms that would suddenly stop working in the middle of fundraising efforts,” said Stephanie Scott, Director of Marketing and Communications. “And on top of that, we found out that the software provider was closing its doors.”

After learning this, Stephanie immediately started looking for a new solution.

Why SPCAI Chose Blackthorn

After coming across Blackthorn Payments through the Salesforce AppExchange, Stephanie reached out to see if it could be the solution for their non-profit. Both parties agreed the Payments app would work great for their payment processing needs, but SPCAI needed a more customized solution catered to their business, one that worked with Salesforce’s Non-Profit Success Pack (NPSP). After a deep dive into SPCAI’s processes and interactions, Blackthorn went to work to build a native, Donations-specific solution that integrates seamlessly with the NPSP.

SPCAI’s Success

In 2017 SPCAI went live with Blackthorn Donations, becoming the first non-profit to use the app, and they’ve been a client ever since.

“It’s a consistently stable app. We spend more time focusing on reaching more people through creative and thoughtful marketing efforts,” said Stephanie. “But in the case that we do need help, Ashley [and Blackthorn’s support team] is fantastic to work with and super responsive.”

Along with strong support, SPCAI discussed a few other things they love the most about Blackthorn Donations:

  • Fully-integrated with Salesforce means having all marketing efforts and donation processing in one place, one platform, and viewable by donor.
  • Payment processing through Stripe is one of today’s most stable and successful payment gateways.
  • Donors have the option to cover processing fees associated with their donation.
  • Mobile-friendly, no-code-required elements, including embeddable and pop-up forms (forms which exist on the pages of their website), hosted landing pages, and more.
  • Recurring donations mean customers can choose to give on a recurring basis, and the entire process is automatic.
  • Recurring donor card update feature (using Payments PayLink Feature) allows recurring donors to securely update lapsed credit cards, which decreases failed transactions and improves retention.

Since the launch of Donations, Blackthorn has worked with several other non-profits, gathering feedback along the way that help them continue to improve the app experience for both non-profit teams and donors.

Blackthorn is proud to help Stephanie and the SPCAI team reach their goals: More partnerships, more programs, more reach, more capacity to help animals in need, connecting more people to the future pets and family members and in turn, continuing to grow that special bond all over the world.

Find out more about SPCA International and donate to their efforts (Oh, and check out the Blackthorn forms while you’re there).

Blackthorn Stack and Features Used

BLACKTHORN DONATIONS – A 100% Salesforce native donations application. App features include:


  • Seamless NPSP integration out of the box
  • One-click donation forms. Send links that pre-fill with card, address, name
  • Donate button & popup: Create buttons w/popups to add to your site
  • Hosted pages: A link is generated for each form as a stand-alone page
  • Embeddable: Auto-generated code can be added to any web page – WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly
  • Average gift amount donations
  • Create custom questions, field mappings, and more
  • CAPTCHA, served by HTTPS
  • Can connect to Google Analytics
  • Mass emails w/Campaigns, Marketing Cloud, Pardot