Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Friends of Groups...

    Posted 08-08-2022 09:36 AM
    Is anybody with a municipal shelter that has a "Friends of" group, or part of a group themselves?

    I am leaving my current job at a municipal shelter because of so many arbitrary barriers that prevent being able to effectively save lives. I still feel an allegiance and pull towards this organization and this community and want to be able to help them in the future. Just brainstorming, I thought that they may be able to benefit from a "Friends of" group (for context, staff can't advertise any animals on their social media, we can't fundraise for medical needs, there is very little intake diversion, etc.).

    Any advice for how to best support an org that has a very strong County government hold on it?

    Katie Corbett
    Director of Shelter Operations
    Humane Society of Northeast Georgia

  • 2.  RE: Friends of Groups...

    Posted 08-09-2022 09:09 AM
      |   view attached
    Hi Katie,

    I was on the board of our local shelter's Friends group a few years back and I'm happy to share what I learned. My main advice would be, keep an open mind and work on building trust first. Meet with the county government about how your organization can help them, but put the focus mainly on them. Ask them what their priorities are and what their ideas are for how your org can help them. They may be comfortable agreeing to, for example, let you fund surgeries for pets with medical needs, but not some other project that you're really passionate about. That's okay. Once you build trust through the project you agree on, they'll likely be a lot more open to your ideas.

    One thing that might be helpful is to create a strong Memorandum of Understanding that outlines both groups' responsibilities. I have one and will see if I can dig it up. 

    I have governing documents (bylaws, articles of incorporation, etc.) for several non-profits if you need any to use as templates--email me at if you're interested. A friend of mine wrote a little guide for getting 501c3, so I'm attaching it-- it was created in 2016 though, so I'm not sure if any of the steps have changed. 

    Kelly Duer
    Senior Outreach Specialist
    Maddie's Fund