The Reality of the FieldHaven Dream
By Joy Smith
In the blink of an eye it seems that 15 years has gone by and we’ve expanded into our community in ways we never could have foreseen. It’s a marvel. Seriously. A true miracle in so many ways.
We have shared and learned, led and followed, won and lost. But this dream has never wavered and just keeps giving more than it takes out of each one of us. Sometimes we are triumphant and sometimes we grieve. Sometimes everything goes smoothly and sometimes there’s a hiccup.
But through it all, we remain true to our purpose. Saving cats and changing lives. Because it’s what we do!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just wake up every day and put our cat warrior helmets on and go do what we do? Now there’s a dream! But saving cats and changing lives just doesn’t happen that way. Kind of like life, there’s a boring, messy, uncomfortable side to making the dream work. And that’s financing it all.
From keeping the lights on to buying medical supplies. This dream costs money.
Now the challenge for any non-profit is to squeeze a dime out of every penny. In the last 15 years we have become experts at reusing the same dollar as many times as can humanly be done!
And geez, have we become experts at that! But we had a couple of whammies this year that have challenged our penny pinching expertise even more than normal.
Here is our current picture in a nutshell:
- Every cat or kitten we intake to our adoption program costs us about $300.
- Insurance for FieldHaven is $18,000 per year.
- PG&E for the shelter averaged $800 per month this summer.
- Payroll for the small staff that keeps us running is $22,500 per month.
- We receive NO municipal funding from cities or counties.
- We apply for every grant we can find. BUT GRANTS WILL NOT PAY FOR OVERHEAD EXPENSES.
So let’s talk solutions.
We have taken a long, hard look at where we are and the picture isn’t pretty. We are currently operating in the red. Our options are few.
- We can cut or seriously reduce programs/services we offer.
- We can try our best to increase contributions that can be used to keep us operating.
Let’s start with the first one.
Which programs can we cut? Spay/Neuter Clinic? Adoption program? Foster program?
Frankly, these programs are the reason that we exist!
Now for the second. How can this one be accomplished?
- Major Fundraisers. We do CC&C each year – it’s a huge success but the cost in terms of hours of staff time for planning and organization and execution means it’s simply not possible to do more than 1 time per year.
- Smaller fundraisers. Each of these requires staff time and precious operating budget dollars to organize from beginning to completion. We can’t afford to hire more staff and everyone who works at FieldHaven is already over worked saving cat lives.
- Grants – we apply for a lot of these each year but grants will not pay for any operating expenses.
That leaves direct appeals. Like this one.
This year, the competition for your charity dollars was heavy. The fires that devastated the communities in our area were tragic and costly. We did what we always do as Americans, we sent our thoughts, prayers and money to help those who lost everything. At FieldHaven we saw a serious dip in our contributions this summer while our expenses increased.
We have always had big hearts and this year is no exception. We reached out to Yuba County, so much in need of services. The shelter there has had a dismal record of helping animals. This year FieldHaven stepped in to help and we have literally saved the lives of 100’s of cats and kittens, giving that community hope for their animals. But the added capacity brings more expenses. Costs that we cannot continue to shoulder without more funds.
So we are turning to you now.
We have a serious need for funding to continue the programs that our communities cannot do without.
Please consider your most generous gift today.
But we are asking you to take one more step. Can you find at least 1 more person in your life who can match your contribution? Your parent, your spouse, your best friend, your cousin, your next door neighbor, your drycleaner, your hairdresser or someone from your Facebook friends list.
You will be amazed at how many people in your life will embrace the opportunity to support us because it means so much to you! You might even end up with 10 others!
We depend on your generosity and we know you are there for us. You have heard me say it many times, “If only we could clone all our amazing volunteers and supporters”! Well, we can’t clone you but together maybe we can clone your generosity!
We have just a few months left before we leave 2018 behind. We are headed for record numbers in lives saved and people helped – and unfortunately a record we don’t want – a budget shortfall. Now that’s a record we just can’t live with.
Please make a contribution today. Generous people like you are surrounded by other generous people. Find someone (or several!) who can match your donation and let’s make it to that finish line together.
Here is how you can donate:
- Make a donation online go here to our website
- Mail a donation:
FieldHaven Feline Center
2754 Ironwood Lane
Lincoln, CA 95648
- Click here to become a Champy’s Champion by making a monthly donation
- Shop our Amazon and Chewy Wish Lists here
- Shop and donate to our thrift store FieldHaven Marketplace
There are so many ways you can support us. If you have an idea that is the next great way to raise funds please email me at [email protected] I am all ears.
We want to continue living the dream – with your help.