Ferret Shelter Forum 2016
The Ferret Association held the first-ever Ferret Shelter Forum on Saturday, August 27, 2016.
The Forum focused on shelter operations and was designed for:
- Existing ferret shelters, rescue groups, and foster networks
- Humane societies or animal control facilities that accept/place ferrets
- Home-based shelters for ANY species struggling with finance, funding, or volunteer challenges
- Anyone caring about ferret sheltering or considering opening a small shelter.
As many of the topics were also of concern to home based shelters, it was also open to shelter operators of other species as well.
The Forum was held at The Lyceum Conference Center, 227 Lawrence Street, Hartford, CT. On the Register of Historic Buildings, the Center is a gathering place for the community.
Individuals who could not travel to Hartford participated via WebX conferencing software on their pc/MAC, tablet, or mobile device. While it was not as ideal an environment as we had hoped due to on-site bandwidth issues, it did allow remote participates to listen in and view participants (see workshop videos). We did learn alot from this first effort and should we do this again, know what to do/not do for future sessions.
Forum Schedule of Events (all times EDT)
- Nonprofit Basics – why become a 501(c)(3); what are the benefits vs. responsibilities; the job of the Board of Directors; fiscal sponsorship; joining together as chapters; resources and help. Presenter: Martey S. Rhine, Management Solutions & Resources. Ms. Rhine is a consultant and trainer with 20+ years of experience in nonprofits, specializing in executive transitions.
- Fundraising – types of income (including events, adoptions, donations, grants and match/volunteer grants); Facebook fundraisers; crowdfunding; fees for services. The “big” animal foundations – Petsmart, Petco, Maddie’s Fund. Tips to research foundations & how to read their IRS return. Presenter: L. Vanessa Gruden, Ferret Association Executive Director, nonprofit bookkeeper for 20+ years. Facebook auction presenter: Jessie Nolan, Gisele Fund – shelter benefit auctions and fundraising.
- The Future of Ferret Sheltering Luncheon Roundtable – including: Working with other humane groups; Shelter, foster, or network? Major challenges facing ferret advocates; How can we work together?
- Adoption Best Practices –families with children, including age restrictions; reference and/or home checks; adoption application models; red flags; turning someone away without turning them off. Who is your PERFECT adopter? Presenter/Facilitator: Ann M. Gruden, Ferret Association President Emerits, marketing/customer service/communications professional for 40 + years.
- How to Survive being a Home-based Shelter –safety/security; your pets vs. shelter pets; managing volunteers; disaster (health, weather, or financial) planning; establishing “me” space and “me” time; insurance issues. Presenter: L. Vanessa Gruden, Ferret Association Executive Director, nonprofit bookkeeper for 20+ years.
Forum Sponsors, Supporters and Financial Aid
We wish to recognize and extend our sincere appreciation for the generous support of the following sponsors of this, the first ever Ferret Shelters Forum. Their support and backing made this event possible. The Petco Foundation and the Edith J. Goode Residuary Trust each generously provided conference grants that helped with ferret shelter travel expenses. The conference would not have been possible without them and without the aid of all our donors and supporters. We and the forum participants thank one and all.
Additional Sponsors and Donors
1 Ferret’s Treasures
Drs. Foster & Smith
Grizzly Pet Products, maker of Grizzly Salmon Oil
Mary vanDahm (F.A.I.R.)
The Bissell Foundation
The Kong Company
Tomlyn, maker of NutriCal and Laxatone for ferrets
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