What does it take for you to get the funding you need for more staff or shelter improvements? Is it worth the fight? Do the benefits outweigh the cumbersome process it takes to get a ‘yes’ from those who hold the purse strings?
These are all valid questions posed by Amy-Jo Sites, MPA, CAWA, of Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control, who’ll be presenting “Working with Local Officials to Reach Your Shelter Goals,” during the virtual Spring Conference for Animal Welfare Advancement this June 9. These questions can also cause some serious anxiety when you start the process to get your requests supported.
“As a municipal agency,” says Amy-Jo, “it seems almost impossible to validate the work you are doing with those individuals or groups who don’t quite get what you do every day. It’s your responsibility and duty to ensure everyone is clear and understands the importance of our profession. ”Here’s more of what you can expect from Amy-Jo’s CFRE- and NACA-approved session, and what to prep.
The Association: To get attendees psyched and prepared for your session, what can they think about or do beforehand?
Amy-Jo Sites: Identify what your shelter needs (i.e. capital improvement projects, more staff, large equipment purchase, etc.). When your needs are met, what does it mean for the community?
The Association: Based on what we’ll learn in your session, what’s one thing that attendees can start doing or planning the very next day?
Amy-Jo Sites: Make a list of who controls the finances for your shelter. Among those who have the financial power, who are your supporters? Do any of your donors/volunteers/etc. have ties to those individuals if you don’t personally know them? Once you know the stakeholders, you can begin to cultivate the financial support needed.
The Association: This year’s conference theme is inclusion – and we kept the definition of inclusion pretty broad in order to be, well, inclusive. When seeking funding for more staff or shelter improvement, how can municipals incorporate more inclusive thinking into their proposals? What questions can we start with?
Amy-Jo Sites: How do you connect to those who have financial power but don’t seem to understand the human-animal bond? What about your work, mission, or vision can help them not only understand the worth of your work, but ultimately get them to support your efforts? You may end up having to take a different angle versus using the initial “cute, warm & fuzzy” aspect of your work to get the support you need to progress.
Photo: Brandon Smith/IPB News