How to Start a Non Profit Animal Rescue

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:11
Forming a nonprofit animal rescue can be a rewarding cause. You will be able to save thousands of animals from euthanization every year (on an estimation about 1.5 million animals get euthanized every year) and bring joy to other people's...
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Forming a nonprofit animal rescue can be a rewarding cause. You will be able to save thousands of animals from euthanization every year (on an estimation about 1.5 million animals get euthanized every year) and bring joy to other people's hearts. However, the process is lengthy and complicated. It can take years to get your organization off the ground so be prepared for a commitment. Make sure you learn all the basics of legal and financial operations and then hire responsible, dedicated staff.

Method 1
Method 1 of 4:

Establishing the Basics

  1. Step 1 Be informed about the issues.
    If you want to start a nonprofit animal rescue, the first step is being well informed about the issues. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the current dialogue surrounding animal care and rescue. You should also learn a bit about nonprofit management before starting your journey to forming a non-profit.
    • If you're passionate about animal welfare, you may already have some idea of what resources to seek out to educate yourself. Read the latest books and studies regarding animal welfare. You can seek out the newsletters of other organizations, such as HSUS, the ASPCA and Greenpeace, for an idea of current topics of concern. You can also check out some rescues to get an idea on how everything works and maybe volunteer.[1]
    • In addition to researching issues through reading, so some hands on searching as well. Visit a local rescue in your area. Talk to the managers, volunteers, and staff and ask them relevant questions about their experience. What's most important to them about the rescue they're working at now? What do they think their organization does best? Where do they think there's room for improvement? Is there a need that's not currently being met in your community? How could you fill that need through your own organization?[2]
    • Nonprofit management is a difficult subject in and of itself. Many states even have certification exams, lasting up to 3 hours, you must take before managing a nonprofit. Look into the regulations in your state. Consider reading up on nonprofit management. You should also consider higher education regarding the management of nonprofit organizations. Take a few courses online or at a local college.[3]
    • If you're not sure you have time to gain extra education in nonprofit management, consider teaming up with a friend with experience in the field. If you know someone who's itching to start his or her own nonprofit, approach this person about your desire to create an animal rescue. See if he or she would be willing to start the endeavor with you.[4]
  2. Step 2 Write a missions statement.
    Every organization needs a solid mission statement. There are many different kinds of animal rescues. Drafting a brief mission statement can help you get a sense of what your organization will do. This can help you down the road with financial and hiring decisions.
    • A mission statement answers the questions, "What exactly are we trying to do here?" It should be brief, no more than one or two sentences. Use a clear and positive tone and avoid use of jargon and complicated terms the average person does not understand. Not only does your mission statement help you clarify your goals as a nonprofit, it can be used as a marketing tool later on.[5]
    • Read mission statements of other nonprofits you admire for brainstorming. Pay attention to the length, word choice, and goals used in these statements.[6]
    • Your mission statement is important so spend some time coming up with a good mission statement. You will need to use your mission statement filling out financial forms, many of which require a statement of purpose. As nonprofits rely heavily on donation to cover cost of operation, you'll also need a mission statement that helps rally support for your cause. Allow your passion to shine through.[7]
  3. Step 3 Set goals.
    As stated, there are many different types of animal rescues. Take some time to lay out your goals so you know what direction you're taking in regards to your nonprofit rescue. Your goals will likely appear later on as you establish a web presence, so make sure they're easily readable for a wide audience.
    • What kind of rescue are you forming? What are you policies? Are you taking in animals rescued for testing facilities? Are you focusing mainly on domesticated pets, like cats and dogs, or adopting livestock? What is your policy on euthanasia? Are you hoping to find homes for animals through your rescue or provide a permanent sanctuary?[8]
    • To start writing your, focus on long-range goals and then work your way back to the present. Consider where you want to be in 10 years. What do you hope to accomplish in this timeframe? Then, work backwards. What are actions you can take to accomplish these goals?[9]
    • Once you've established short and long term goals, consider how you will accomplish them. Get into specifics here. Say you live in Michigan and want to help re-home abused and abandon pets in Detroit and hope to, in 10 years, have reduced the rate of stays in the city by 30%. In the short term, what actions can you start with? Should you start by spreading the word across the city about where to report abuse an abandonment? Should you establish a center within Detroit city limits where people can drop off strays within you first 2 years of operation? Try and take some time to consider specifics.[10]
    • Goals, much like your mission statement, are important marketing tools. People are far more likely to give you money if they know exactly where their funds are going. Being as transparent as possible about your company goals can help kickstart marketing and fundraising down the road.[11]
  4. Step 4 Establish a board of directors.
    A nonprofit cannot run on its own. You will need a board of directs, which is a group of people who govern your organization. Your board of directors will help determine what direction your organization will take financially and ethically as well as look out for the nonprofit's legal well-being.[12]
    • You may already have a group of people in mind for your board of directors. If you're passionate about animal welfare, you may have already networked with likeminded individuals who you would be comfortable working with. However, if not there are plenty of ways to find board members in your area.[13]
    • There are two key components to consider when selecting a board: skills and talents you need for your organization. Identify what types of skills you need. For an animal rescue, people with legal skills, public relation skills, veterinary skills, and business skills. Start making a list of people to contact. Schedule meetings with potential board members to see if they would be a good fit for your organization.[14]
    • Usually, a board of directors should contain about 7 individuals. You may need more than that as your organization grows, but in the early stages stick to around this number.[15]
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Method 2
Method 2 of 4:

Dealing with Legal Issues

  1. Step 1 Call your Secretary of State's office.
    Legality varies from state-to-state in regards to establishing a nonprofit. The best way to answer any questions you have is to phone your secretary of state's office and ask them about legal issues.
    • In most states, you'll need to register the name of your nonprofit. Forms vary, but you can get information about the right form for you by talking to a representative at the Secretary of State's office. There may be some fees depending on where you live. Chose a name that's unique and reflects your mission statement.[16]
    • When starting a nonprofit, there are many forms you must fill out at both a national and state level. These forms legally establish the fact your business raises funds for operating costs alone and may entitle you and your board members to certain tax exemptions down the road. Ask the representative where to get the proper forms and how to file them.[17]
    • Ask about any existing regulations in your state. You want to make sure everything is squared away before beginning to fundraise, hire employees, and advertise your nonprofit.[18]
  2. Step 5 Look into zoning and building issues.
    You will likely need space to operate your nonprofit. You'll need to select a suitable location and then figure out how to legally obtain said location for your organization.
    • The type of land you'll need depends on what kind of rescue you're building. If you're taking in mainly domestic animals, like dogs and cats, you'll need some kind of building. If you're focused on livestock, farm land is necessary. You'll need to consult real estate and legal experts here who can help point you to the right land and help you watch out for common mistakes and pitfalls when selection a location.[26]
    • Look into local zoning laws. Zoning laws outline what land can be used for in a given area. If there are zoning laws that affect you're ability to operate a nonprofit in a given space, you may have to select a different property. However, you can also consult a lawyer to check for any legal loopholes.[27]
    • If you're purchasing a building, keep in mind most buildings will need to be adapted for your use. Try to talk to a contractor to get an estimated legal cost of repairs and renovations you'll need for your purposes.[28]
    • If you're hoping to help families and individuals adopt animals through your rescue, look for a building that's easily accessible to the general public. Consider things like parking, traffic, and what kinds of establishments surround your area.[29]
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Method 3
Method 3 of 4:

Dealing with Money

  1. Step 1 Cultivate public support.
    To operate a nonprofit, you'll need to raise funds. The first step to finding donors is to make an effort to cultivate public support for your organization. Here is where your mission statement and goals will come in handy.
    • Host a public meeting to talk about your organization's goals and plans. Advertise this meeting through press releases, newspaper articles, social media outreach, and paper advertisements. Explain what your organization hopes to accomplish and why at your first public meeting.[30]
    • Develop an online presence. As you begin to publicize your nonprofit, it's vital to develop a web presence. You want people to be able to locate your website for more information. There are many sites that provide website templates and allow you to operate a website for free or a small price.[31]
    • Create a mailing list. Compile a list of animal-loving friends and colleagues. Ask them to suggest additional people to add to your list. Ask people to provide their e-mail and physical address when hosting your first public meeting. When you begin setting out requests for donations, you'll have a list on hand to pull form.[32]
    • Contact the media. Hit up local newspapers and radio or TV shows. Send out press releases. A short human interest interest segment on the nightly news can do wonders for gaining support for your organization.[33]
  2. Step 2 Start a membership program.
    A membership program can help support operating costs of your nonprofit. Members are not the same thing as board members in that they do not get voting power. They are simply regular donors for the organization.
    • You can make your membership program as simple or complex as you want. Some membership programs offer benefits for members, like special prizes like tote bags or water bottles. Other nonprofits simply ask members to donate because they believe in the cause. How you execute a membership program is up to you.[34]
    • To recruit members, send out pamphlets and other publications explaining what you're doing for animals and why. Explain any benefits or perks of membership. If you have different levels of membership (such as gold, silver, and bronze) explain what each level entails.[35]
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Method 4
Method 4 of 4:

Hiring Staff

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