Saving Shelter Cat Lives


One of my favorite non-profit groups, Maddie’s Fund (, is conducting a series of webcasts on saving shelter cat lives.  According to their website, from April 7, 2015 to May 5, 2015, they are conducting a 5-part series on the key initiatives of the “Million Cat Challenge”.  They are focusing on ACTIONABLE tools and tips that the shelter and rescue community can use to save lives.

Maddie’s Fund is an incredible source of valuable educational material for shelters and rescue groups relating to cats, dogs and other pets.  I encourage everyone in the field to visit their website and checkout the material available.

Until the next time, I wish you success in saving lives and improving your programs.

Diane Robertson

City Plans to Move Homeless into Motels, West Sac Development to Move Forward

Operation Puppy Pack

We are maOPP_Logo1king it official and plan to file for non-profit status as soon as possible!  Operation Puppy Pack is a group of volunteers that meet once a month to make care packages for homeless people with pets.  All month long we look for deals and remind friends we need their used towels and backpacks and other items they may have around the house that they no longer want.

We now have a Post Office address:   Operation Puppy Pack P.O. Box 1948  Carmichael, CA 95609

We are also raising money to cover the expenses of filing for incorporation and non-profit status.  Please donate if you can at:

In addition to the online fundraiser, we are accepting donations of household items to include in our yard sale.  We will let you know where the yard sale will be held (and when) in the next week or so.   Follow us on Facebook so you will always be up-to-date on the happenings of Operation Puppy Pack.


The types of things we like to include in our people and puppy packs are:

  • Back Packs and reusable shopping bags
  • Small blankets, throw blankets and towels
  • Individually wrapped food packages (beef jerky, Little Debbie snacks, etc.)
  • Dog collars and leashes
  • Dog and Cat food
  • Dog treats and toys
  • Small canned goods that do not require a can opener
  • First aid kits (individual size)
  • Travel size: shampoo, rinse, lotion, body or face soap, deodorant, toothpaste
  • Travel size hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrushes
  • Q-tips and cotton balls
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Water bottles
  • Gallon, quart and snack size “Zip Lock” type storage bags
  • Heavy-Duty Large Trash Bags
  • Baby wipes
  • Socks


20 Things to do When the Boss is Wrong

Leadership Freak

You have an obligation to yourself, your boss, and your organization to speak up when you disagree. One of the best ways to earn respect is advocating for your ideas with integrity, courtesy, and intelligence.

seals fighting

Strong organizations have courageous leaders.

Weakness gives in too soon.

Arrogance hangs on too long.

Foolishness speaks before thinking.

When the boss thinks you’re wrong but you think you’re right:

  1. Make the boss feel understood. Do you fully understand her position? Ask questions.
  2. Determine if it’s worth the fight.
  3. Don’t give in if you’re convinced. Organizations need leaders with strong beliefs.
  4. Advocate with courage and courtesy.
  5. Engage them in private.
  6. Explain your intentions and desired results. Describe the win.
  7. Explore how you can give the boss what they need while hanging on to what you need.
  8. Get the facts.
  9. Test assumptions.
  10. Search for options.
  11. Embrace the big picture.
  12. Include others in the conversation but don’t…

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Auto Museum Throwing Fundraiser for City Animal Shelter

Spring Cleaning Time for Your Organization’s Fundraising Database – NPQ – Nonprofit Quarterly

Spring Cleaning Time for Your Organization’s Fundraising Database – NPQ – Nonprofit Quarterly.

Donor Retention

Reblog…Donor Retentioin…great article from NPQ. Read the entire article at:

Overall, a brief review of the literature suggests a number of actions that nonprofits might take to improve donor loyalty:

  1. They should begin by developing an understanding of the economics of loyalty, and thus identify for themselves the difference in the lifetime value of the fundraising database that would be garnered by achieving small improvements in the level of donor loyalty achieved (1 percent, 2 percent, 5 percent, etc.). This is essential if staff and board members are to understand the rationale for an enhanced focus on loyalty, and “buy in” to the process necessary for this to become a reality.
  2. Perceptions of the quality of service offered to donors are the single biggest driver of loyalty in the fundraising context. Organizations should therefore take steps to measure the quality of service provided by their organization and improve on those areas where weakness is detected.
  3. Organizations should think through and, ideally, conduct their own primary research program to understand why donors support their organization, or, more specifically, from which aspects of the organization’s operations (or fundraising) individuals derive the most value. Value can then be engineered that directly reflects and satisfies donor motives for supporting the organization.
  4. Allied to the above, nonprofits should consider how and under what circumstances they might contribute to a donor’s sense of self-identity. Are there circumstances where a donor would be likely to start defining him- or herself, at least in part, through his or her support of the organization? Donors may, for example, derive value because they identify with aspects of an organization’s brand or personality. These aspects may then be emphasized in communications.
  5. Allied to the above, organizations should give greater thought to the labels they append to donors in their thank-yous and other communications. Donors can be persuaded to adopt an identity if it is fostered consistently over time and reinforced with credible messages from a credible source.
  6. Nonprofits can seek to build donor commitment to their cause by considering each of the determinants we alluded to earlier. They can:
    • Clearly articulate their organization’s values.
    • Make clear to donors the difference their support is or has been making and therefore the consequences to the beneficiary if they were to withdraw.
    • Consider the “journeys” that they will take supporters on through ongoing communications. This might be as simple as considering what “a year in the life” of each category of supporter might look like, or it may be more sophisticated, looking at how each segment of donors will be educated about the cause (and bought closer to it) over time.
    • Allied to the above, consider ways in which donors can be actively encouraged to interact with the organization. In the electronic environment, for example, this is relatively easy. Supporters can be asked to sign up for specific forms of communication, to offer recommendations or suggestions, to take part in research, to “ask the expert,” to campaign on behalf of the organization, to “test” their knowledge in a quiz, etc. The more two-way interactions that are engendered, the higher the level of loyalty achieved will be.
  7. Similarly, organizations should seek to foster trust by considering all of the antecedents alluded to earlier. An organization can:
    • Demonstrate to the donor that it has exhibited good judgment in its dealings with beneficiaries, its stewarding of organizational resources, and, where applicable, its approach to campaigning.
    • Stress that it adheres to appropriate standards of professional conduct. Ensure that all outward-facing members of staff receive appropriate training in customer service.
    • Design and instigate a complaints procedure so that individuals who wish to can take issue with the quality of an organization’s fundraising or approach.
    • Communicate the achievements of the organization and, where possible, relate these to the individual contributions made by individuals or segments of supporters.
    • Ensure that all promises made to donors are adhered to and, critically, seen to be adhered to.
  8. Consider the development of regular or “sustained” giving programs. Levels of attrition are much lower than those achieved in traditional annual giving. Younger donors are also significantly more comfortable with regular giving than their older counterparts, so offering regular giving, particularly as an online option, will greatly reduce the level of attrition experienced.
  9. Evaluate the continuation of activities that lower loyalty, such as list swap programs. Managers need to assess the impact on donor lifetime value rather than looking at the short-term attractiveness (i.e., return on investment) of such programs.
  10. Consider the creation of donor welcome cycles. E-mail and mail versions of these cycles should be considered. Newly acquired donors should be exposed to a differentiated standard of care while their relationship with a nonprofit develops. The historically strongest recruitment messages would likely be the most effectual components of such cycles.
  11. Finally, those organizations seeking to facilitate higher levels of loyalty would be advised to maintain regular contact with their donors, researching ongoing needs and preferences. As a consequence of this research database, segmentation can then be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary. It would also be helpful to conduct regular exit polling of lapsed supporters to identify the reasons that predominate for this behavior. Corrective action can then be taken where possible.”

Speed matters!

Speed matters!.

Good Customer Service for Animal Rescue Organizations

By Diane Robertson

I reblogged the full customer service article from Maddie’s Fund a little while back.  However, this is such an important subject, I wanted to quote from that article again. 

  • The first step in good customer service is to capitalize on the public’s enthusiasm for adopting by responding right away when initial contact is made.
    • Respond to email within 24 hours
    • Have someone available to answer the phone during business hours.
  • The second step is to make a potential adopter’s experience positive and helpful. Provide the kind of positive experience that helps compel potential adopters to take home a pet.

Warm, friendly, “live” interaction goes a long way to getting adopters in the door – and out the door with a new pet! Organizations that can build and train a welcoming staff and volunteer force that create receptive and responsive relationships with the community will see animals move more quickly through their facility, and word will get out that you have a top-notch operation.

How Social and Mobile Media is Changing Nonprofit Print Design

How Social and Mobile Media is Changing Nonprofit Print Design.


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