Hi - we are a foster-based rescue in Southern California. We have 100-140 animals at most times and the majority are in foster. Some fosters have a mom with puppies or kittens and some have more than one animal, so we average about 50 fosters at a time. We also have transporters, dog walkers, and other volunteers that help.
Communicating with everyone is a bit of a nightmare. For fosters, we try to get them to use a portal for requests (care, food, training, etc), but once they know the phone numbers of those of us who coordinate things, many default to that.
We use a program called SamePage with different groups - one for transporters, one for fosters, and so on - where we can have private chats as well as post within the group. Some fosters post pictures, update their animal's bio, etc. We use this for notifications regarding events, such as our bimonthly virtual adoption event. But, some people don't use it.
Some only want phone calls, some only emails, some only texts, etc. It's a nightmare to manage items that need to be completed when they can be in one of many places or sent to one of many people.
How do you all manage communication with your volunteers and fosters? What programs do you use? I was wondering if one of the email programs, such as Constant Contact, allowed for push SMS notifications. That way we could notify everyone of upcoming events, for example.
Thanks for reading :-).
Hi Erin - we use MailChimp for all of our marketing communications - we have multiple lists for various groups also, and they vary in size. For now, however, all are marketing only. I was going to see if they have push notification SMS capability, but haven't, yet.
What you do with your orientation and clarity about communication vehicles is my version of heaven. We're not there, yet, for a variety of reasons :-).