The headlines across the world are screaming “Recession” and, no matter who is elected President next week, the financial outlook looks rocky. With house foreclosures on the rise and many people forced to relocate and/or reduce their household expenditure, the needs of our four-legged friends are likely to fall in terms of priority. Consequently now is the time to check your own organization’s strategy for weathering the storm:-
Intakes – As families go through difficult times, their ability to care for their pets is undermined. This may result in increased intake numbers. Is your organization ready for more intakes? If you are at capacity now is the time to work together with other organizations in your vicinity to ensure that all the animals requiring a safe haven are given one. The PetPoint Animal Transfer module is the fastest and easiest way to complete a transfer, make sure that all your staff and volunteers are up to speed on this module. Go to www.petpoint.com for more information.
Microchipping becomes even more important during tough economic times. Multiple intakes of the same animal will cost your organization time and money. Microchipping and registering each animal with 24PetWatch ensures that animals can be quickly identified and re-united with their family. In the event that the family is not willing to take the animal back, the records can quickly and simply be amended to reflect the animal’s new status.
Donors – As belts tighten, the public’s willingness to give is reduced. Check that your organization’s donor records are up to date and accurate. E-mail addresses are crucial as indicated in the Pethealth Post issue March 15th 2007. Each e-mail address is valued at $1.78 per advertising campaign and online contributions are generally 25% higher than offline contributions.
With downward pressure on donations, corporate partner relationships become that much more important. As James Bias, President of the Texas SPCA, says collecting email addresses from adopters “will energize your corporate partnerships and bring your adopters more into the fold of your shelter electronically.”
With consumer spending for the holiday season likely to fall – start holiday season promotional campaigns early. Capture consumers’ attention with “Gifts that Give” a trend that has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. Make purchasing quick and easy – offer an online shopping cart if possible.
Review your Purchasing Profile – The Staples partner program offered to PetPoint users provides some of the lowest cost purchasing opportunities available and it’s not just for office supplies! Refresh your memory about all the great deals available through this partnership and make sure that all staff and volunteers are aware of these money saving options.
If there are everyday items that are not available through the Staples program, let us know we’d love to have the opportunity to provide PetPoint users with additional money saving opportunities.
Review your Health Records – All animal welfare organizations aim to keep their veterinary bills to the minimum and returns due to ill health to zero, review your recent records to check that your health protocols are working efficiently. Go to www.sheltermedicine.org for more advice.
The ShelterCare Gift of insurance continues to be the cornerstone of post adoption health protocol for many in the animal welfare sector. In these trying times it is particularly important to talk to all adopters about the importance of extending the insurance, while most will be able to cover the monthly premium an unexpected accident or illness which requires hundreds or thousands of dollars in veterinary bills may be beyond the financial capacity of many. Adopters who extend their insurance will not have to return their new family member in the event of an accident or illness.
Pethealth has recently offered animal welfare organizations the opportunity to offer a new dog ear cleaning product through their retail operations. Working on the “Prevention is better than Cure” basis, look at your own organization to see whether you feel that this product might be worth a try.
Deals Deals Deals – Price cuts, discounts and sales we are going to see them all but they won’t last forever, take advantage of low prices while you can but only buy what you know your organization needs.
If your organization has had a building project in the works with funding pre-allocated now may be the time to look at it again and maybe even bring it forward on the agenda, prices for materials and building projects are likely to be good.
Should you have any additional money saving suggestions for the animal welfare world, share them at Community.PetPoint.com today.