Our Business Plan
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF NON-PROFIT
Most non-profits in animal welfare are small organizations and in many cases it is a sad fact that they do not survive more than a couple of years. There are multiple reasons an organization is not sustainable including but not limited to:
- Lack of leadership
- Absence of a real board of directors
- Mission drift
Lack of planning along with no clear definition of responsibilities and roles within the organization is a plan for failure. However, even with the best laid plans not all ventures succeed. The result may be “failure” to the organization but not for society or the cats you were able to help. You will gain insight and valuable information that you will never lose that can be redirected to help others learn from your mistakes.
Take a critical and unemotional look at your organization’s objective to ensure you are forming a non-profit for the right reasons
- Filling a need in your community
- Your organization or group has the skill set that is needed to fill that need
A BUSINESS PLAN – THE KEY TO OUR SUCCESS
Having a business plan afforded us tremendous growth and success. It may not provide you with the keys to success but it will provide you with some insight and framework to consider when forming your own spay/neuter clinic. It may not provide you with the keys to success but it will provide you with some insight and framework to consider when forming your own spay/neuter clinic.
A business plan is your blueprint to ensuring your organization stays focused, committed and sustainable. The process of putting together a business plan should be your starting point. If you do not know how to write a business plan you should find someone with those skill sets or an organization that can assist you and make them an integral part of your organization.
A business plan will:
- Put the objective of your non-profit organization in writing.
- Allow you to take a critical an unemotional look at what you want to achieve.
- Validate your objective is really what is needed in your community.
- Guide you in managing your non-profit.
- Become a tool to communicate your objective to potential donors.
WHO’S RUNNING THIS CLINIC? WE ARE!
At FCSNP we work together as a team with each of us bringing our talents and expertise to the position for which we are responsible. One of the most common reasons we hear of a new non-profit organization being formed is because of conflict among volunteers or employees at their current organization. By having clearly defined roles and responsibilities of the volunteers, employees and Board of Directors we are able to minimize this risk and work together as a unified organization to help the cats.
The Role of the President
The FCSNP President is a veterinarian and along with the Medical Director has shared responsibility for protocols in regard to veterinary medical care. Their knowledge and experience in providing high quality veterinary care in private practice are implemented into the clinic operations at FCSNP. These protocols give the cats the highest level of quality care.
The Role of the Executive Director
The Executive Director oversees all aspects of the organization outside of veterinary medical care. Her expertise as a corporate executive coupled with her experience of working with animal welfare organizations brings fiscal responsibility and management leadership to FCSNP.
Teamwork is Essential
The President and the Executive Director work together as a team each bringing their expertise to the organization. This team approach provides the highest quality of surgical care and a fiscally responsible and sustainable non-profit organization.
When putting in place the management team of your spay/neuter clinic consider the fact that no one “owns” a non-profit organization. The stakeholders you are accountable to are the cats. Instead of reporting earnings and profits your key operating targets to meet are high quality spay/neuter surgery in a humane environment at an affordable cost.
Put together the best team possible to achieve this goal. Organizations who have truly put the benefit of the animals before their own personal agendas have achieved the highest level of success and longevity.
BUDGETING TO RUN A NON-PROFIT SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC
In addition to program costs there are other items that need to be considered in the annual budget, such as administrative and fundraising costs. When developing your annual budget take a close look at your chart of accounts and determine the key areas that you want to manage. Having too many categories can make the budget cumbersome to manage and increase the chance of reporting errors.
If you want to manage specific costs associated with a fundraiser or program you can elect to do so either on a separate spreadsheet or as categories within a specific account. Work with your bookkeeper or Treasurer to determine the best option for your organization.
We have several fundraising events that we conduct on an annual basis. Fundraisers take months of planning and several years before they reach their full potential. Fundraisers also provide an excellent opportunity to bring awareness and publicity to your organization. Don’t discount the far reaching affects the publicity of your event can have on your organization.
FUNDRAISERS WE CONDUCT EACH YEAR
Golf “FORE” the Animals- A golf tournament.
There are multiple fundraising opportunities within a golf tournament. Get creative and have fun! (Golf "FORE" the Animals information…)
Colors of Compassion – Artists for Animals
An art show where artists donate a portion or all of the proceeds from the sale of their art pieces. (Color of compassion information…)
Clinic Sponsorships – Name A Clinic
Clinic sponsorships cover the cost of altering 50 free-roaming cats. Names of sponsors are listed in the calendar section of our website and in our newsletters. During our 10th year anniversary a commemorative certificate is also issued.
Now that you have started your successful spay/neuter program in your community you will want to share your organization’s mission and increase your volunteer and donor base. One of the fastest and easiest ways to achieve this is through public outreach. Outreach opportunities include:
- Booths at street fairs
- Tabling outside of local businesses
- Holding informational luncheon forums at corporate offices.
Have brochures about your organization to give to prospective volunteers and donors. Also consider a donation box for those who want to give on the spot. Outreach events also provide an excellent opportunity for gathering names and addresses for your mailing list and soliciting volunteers. As your program grows you may want to add items such as a pop-up canopy, banners, and a presentation board where you can display photos of your clinic and the cats you’ve helped.
Stay Connected to Your Donors
Keeping those who fund your organization informed of your progress and achievements seems very basic but running a small non-profit organization can easily take up most of your day and leave you little time for anything else. It is important to have tools in place to help you communicate information in a timely manner. Consider the following ideas to assist you with this process:
- Select a donor database that allows you to record donations and create personalized thank you letters and always hand sign them!
- Create a newsletter. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase success stories, share event results, program updates, and recognize donors.
- Make periodic phone calls. This can be as simple as leaving a message to thank them for their ongoing support along with an update on the number of cats you were able to help with their donation.
Volunteers are an important part of every non-profit organization. Our volunteer program consists of two volunteer groups; Clinic Volunteers and Outreach Ambassadors.
Clinic volunteers work side by side with our veterinary staff. Some of these volunteers already have vet clinic experience and others have no experience but a strong desire to learn. We will train volunteers on any surgical preparation procedures that they are comfortable learning. Clinic volunteers gain valuable hands on experience of working in a spay/neuter clinic. Clinic Volunteer Handbook.
Ambassadors are the voice and face of Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project at public venues. They have a clear understanding of our role within the community and the mission of the organization and share this information with the general public.
Since the opportunities for conducting outreach are endless we structured our volunteer program to include regional lead volunteers.
Lead volunteers take on leadership roles by:
Scheduling outreach events in their region.
- Coordinating volunteer schedules.
- Training new volunteers.
By breaking the volunteer program down into regions we are able to offer volunteer opportunities that are convenient for the volunteers and more manageable for our leads. Having many volunteers be the voice of your organization enables you to reach a broader audience with your message.
For more detailed information please see our Outreach Ambassador Handbook.