If you're like some of the many dog lovers I've met, you dream of opening a shelter, rescue, sanctuary or some other non-profit for pets. You thrill at the idea of opening all the cages at the pound and piling them into your car and taking them to a new home.
I'm sure you're also aware that it's not as easy as that.
Before you begin
|Think about it. Give it a good head tilt.|
In this piece from Petfinder.com, ASPCA says it's important to do your research beforehand. What does your community need? How can you best provide help to your community, while also fulfilling your dream.
Mission statement and business plan
|Spell out your intentions in a Mission Statement and Business Plan.|
ASPCA has a resource guide for developing a good plan for your fledging pet organization. Check out its leadership and planning section.
Also, start a mission statement. What promise will you make to yourself, your community and the pets you will care for?
Check out similar organizations
|Visit rescue events and learn about the groups in your community.|
Start joining groups where you can meet people who run similar organizations. Networking is important.
Need to find those organizations? Talk to your local pet shops or groomers. They know how you can find your local groups. There may also know of events in your area where you can meet rescues.
Form your own team
|Got friends who can help? Ask for their support.|
Make it official
|Make sure you have someone who can help with the legal and financial stuff.|
Start raising money
Time to get to the nitty gritty! You can't run an organization without funds. This is where all that networking will start paying off. You need sponsors, patrons, people that will help you keep going. Host a grand opening event. Make sure to let the media know and like-minded groups too.
I hope you get to make your Powerball dreams come true. You can find more resources, including webinars, forms and articles on the ASPCA website.
Another great place to look is the Best Friends Animal Society. They have guides and other resources as well.