Human society is working on the 2022 challenges | Local news

Difficult could be a word to describe the Fort Defiance Humane Society‘s outlook for 2022.

In fact, the same challenges – restricted fundraising in the COVID era and more expensive job market – are leftovers from 2021 that continued into the new year for the nonprofit that operates the animal shelter. Justin F. Coressel, owned by County, Ohio 15 northwest of Challenge.

Fundraising is always a challenge for the organization as most of its operating funds come from cash fundraising and donations. (Volunteers and contributions from businesses and organizations that provide supplies like cat food and litter also help make ends meet.)

But the only sure financial contributions in recent years have been the $ 25,000 that Defiance County Commissioners normally provide each year – under a contract to care for dogs captured by the Dog Sitter’s Office. county. But that’s just 7% of the humanitarian company’s budget, which will be around $ 360,000 in 2022, according to Lisa Weaner, executive director of the animal shelter.

“Other than the $ 25,000 that we get from the Commissioners, there is nothing else that is a guarantee – there just isn’t,” she said. “That’s the hard part of it. You budget and it’s guess work on a hope and a promise. “

This fundraising reality has been complicated in each of the past two years when, due to coronavirus concerns, the humanitarian company called off its largest annual fundraiser, a formal affair held at the Defiance Eagles that was expected to gross around 40,000. $. This financial hole was seen as a major contributor to three consecutive months of net income losses from August to October.

This may have presented a bigger challenge in 2021 than in 2020, as some financial relief arrived in 2020 from different sources. County commissioners gave the humanitarian society an additional $ 20,000 and the CARES Relief Act provided just over $ 30,000 in federal money.

“This is what saved us in 2020,” Weaner noted. “Although we weren’t able to do a lot of fundraising, we were compensated with the money from CARES. This did not happen in 2021.

However, she may have some good news recently. Income generation was best towards the end of last year – net profit of $ 12,970 was reported in November, for example. And there is hope that the letters sent to potential donors will produce additional financial pledges.

A few have generated responses since they were sent in early December, according to Weaner, but the letters were sent later than officials wanted because other tasks called for. She hopes that the humanitarian company can generate the same amount – around $ 30,000 – as last year thanks to this effort that was put in place to compensate for the big fundraising that did not take place.

“We hope we can repeat that,” she said.

The humanitarian company organized two fundraising golf outings in 2021 – normally one is organized – and benefited from the Moose Lodge ‘Party in the Park’ in the summer, but more modest activities such as online actions have taken place. were needed last year to help raise funds.

These are expected to continue in 2022 as the humanitarian society plans to participate in a fundraiser in honor of actress Betty White – a recently deceased great advocate for animals – on January 17, which would have been her 100th. birthday.

Event organizers recommend a $ 5 donation, according to Weaner. But locally, those who donate $ 50 or more will have their names entered to win a “huge per basket,” she explained. An online campaign will begin soon as Batt & Stevens Body Shop in Jewell – whose owner Jeff Batt is a member of the Humane Society board of directors – matches donations.

Meanwhile, planning for two golf outings this year and the “Party in the Park” event will also continue.

But bringing back the biggest fundraiser in 2022 – at least as a covered venue with around 150 people in the fall as before – may not be in the cards unless COVID cases are drastically reduced , Weaner said. Nonetheless, she and the humanitarian company are planning a larger outdoor event during the warmer months.

“We hope we can plan this,” Weaner said,… “… so maybe we need to do it earlier in the year in a more open space. How do we maximize our fundraising in good weather? consider maybe April to September.

As humanitarian society officials deal with fundraising issues, they hope the agency’s workforce issues – a development that has sidetracked Weaner and others from their regular duties – in have stabilized some. At least that appears to have happened in the four weeks since early December compared to the experiences of human society throughout 2022.

“I’m going to see this as a possible trend,” Weaner said. “We have a good group. They work well together, and again our greatest thing is to find people who are truly dedicated to animals. No one will ever get rich (by working) with us. It is a non-profit. The people who work here have to be there because they want to be.

One of the issues throughout 2021 was finding the right people – and keeping them – to fill the full-time and part-time jobs at the animal shelter, of which there are about 10. Another is rising labor costs – paying people more to compete with wage increases elsewhere in the economy.

“They (labor costs) have increased by about 23% over the year,” Weaner explained, noting that a 25% increase is likely in 2022.

And like everywhere, the cost of supplies and services has increased for both the humanitarian society and the animal shelter.

But Weaner remains optimistic about the future.

“As we begin a new year, we are grateful for the continued support of our great community,” she said. “We hope that FDHS will be able to get back to some sort of ‘normal’ – like having our big event in person – but we will also bring new ideas to our community. Again, we will focus on the eradication of animal abuse in our region. Due to the high demand, our low cost public sterilization / sterilization clinic is reserving quickly, so we will continue to look for ways to increase the capacity.

“On a related note, we hope to set up a framework for a TNR (trap, neuter, release) program (for cats),” Weaner added. “Finally, we will work with our County Commissioners to see how we can extend the footprint of our facility. Regardless of a global pandemic or economic instability, we must advance, together, our commitment and dedication to these abused and abandoned animals. “

Comments are closed.