Bel-Wood Country Club
August 22, 2013
Dinner and Auction
August 23, 2013
UPF Golf Classic
The mission statement for United Pet Fund states that we exist “To Serve as ‘an Animal Community Support Organization’, therefore providing animal welfare organizations the resources needed to keep their efforts focused on helping the animals in need”. Since its founding in May of 2010, the UPF Board has wrestled to refine and focus on what resources would best serve a community that needs many resources. The final realization is that the leadership foundation for many of these organizations needs strengthening in order for them to continue successfully and build on their work and passion of serving animals in need. All of these organizations are populated with volunteers whose love and compassion for animals cannot be questioned. A vast majority form nonprofit organizations in order to facilitate fund raising for their work. Internal Revenue Service rules demand that such organizations have formal boards to receive their 501(c) 3 nonprofit status. These boards exist to provide leadership and direction for achieving that organization’s set purpose and mission statement. The Board of an organization becomes the foundation on which it can build and achieve its mission and purpose.
Without a strong board to provide leadership, any organization (no matter for what purpose it was created) will founder and be weak. It may ultimately fail in its mission, or at best, limp along and never achieve its full potential in serving its mission statement. Too many boards today are selected indiscriminately without a guide as to selecting the proper skill sets in their board members that will make an organization strong and serve its needs. By not choosing the ‘right materials’ in building its leadership foundation, the organization will never thrive. Animal welfare organizations are not immune from the need for strong leadership in their structure.
United Pet Fund aims to provide the resources to help animal care and service organizations (ACSO) achieve a strong foundation of leadership skill sets on their boards. At the same time, UPF will strive to tap into an underutilized resource that exists in the animal service community: the animal health professional. This resource includes veterinarians, animal health technicians and assistants, and other professionals directly connected with the business of providing animal health services. For too long a divide has existed between two entities that exist in serving animals. By tapping into this natural resource of animal health and well-being knowledge, the divide can be narrowed. Our goal will be to facilitate and remove financial barriers in providing nonprofit leadership management training to animal health professionals. Our ultimate goal is to become a certifier for such training. This will provide a valuable resource ‘bank of animal health professionals trained in ACSO nonprofit leadership and management’ that can be drawn from to serve as future board members, counselors, advisors, consultants or mentors to the ACSO. Although there is a plethora of for-pay nonprofit management training that exists, none of them are tailored to the ACSO world. Time and financial constraints prevent many of the busy volunteers and board members of ACSO from getting such training. UPF will provide this resource so that these volunteers can to continue their valuable work. In the meantime, the organization can strengthen itself with the acquiring of new and valuable leadership management skill sets by partnering with people who are also trained in animal health, as well as these skill sets.
In Cincinnati, UPF will provide this training by partnering with Executive Service Corps of Cincinnati (ESCC). According to their website, “ESCC offers a wide variety of customized services, including: Board Development; Strategic Planning; Leadership Coaching; Mergers and Collaborations; Social Enterprise; Financial Management; Fundraising and Development; Marketing; Outcomes Measurement; Business Plan Development; Human Resources; and Organizational Assessment.” They also offer several other programs, including Nonprofit Leadership Training and Board Officers Training. It is their belief that to survive, nonprofits must learn how to apply best practices, conduct rigorous financial reviews and diversify their sources of revenue. According to Andy McCreanor, Executive Director/CEO of ESCC, “It will also help nonprofits increase their capacity, efficiency and sustainability. Together we can have a major impact throughout the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area.” In the end, with more efficient ACSO, all the animals they take care of are the winners.