Shakespeare Animal Fund (SAF), a 501 © (3) non-profit dedicated to providing financial support for individuals who cannot pay their animals’ emergency medical needs, is accepting applications for board positions. All board members will take part in developing strategy, creating structure and policies and procedures for Shakespeare and will have a report for all physical as well as electronic meetings. Board members will be chosen for the skills and experience the board needs. Shakespeare is the small non-profit in town tackling an enormous challenge, helping those who can’t afford it get medical treatment for their suffering and/or dying pets.
To be part of the Shakespeare board there are financial and commitment requirements. Each board member is required to contribute $250.00 per year (can be disbursed throughout the year or in one or more payments). Each board member must commit to eight hours of work per month and is expected to attend all board meetings when possible. The board meets quarterly, but does have electronic meetings monthly.
All final decisions regarding the operation and growth of Shakespeare will be decided by founder Jennifer Webb, although all board members have decision-making authority. The purpose of this board is to help animals, therefore we ask dedicated individuals who are interested in becoming part of the board to realize egos must be left at the door; saving the lives of injured and suffering animals is the number one reason this non-profit is in existence, and continues to grow. Thank you for your interest.
Here are all board positions including those that are currently filled and those vacant
President: This person leads board meetings, coordinates ongoing executive functions with the Executive Director and is in attendance at all SAF events. He/she will also fill in for the Executive Director when Jennifer is unavailable. The president guides the board in matters of organizational priorities and governance and, along with the Executive Director, develops agendas for board meetings.
Vice President: This person moves into the top position at board meetings if the president is not in attendance and serves as a committee chairperson as needed. He/she also assists the president in board activities.
Secretary: This person maintains all records related to the board and board meetings including taking minutes and ensuring everyone receives board minutes and provides members with materials for review prior to a meeting. Currently this position is filled by Carole Anderson. Carole will resign in July when she leaves the Reno/Sparks area.
Treasurer: This person handles SAF budgeting, accounting and nonprofit finances as well as creates a monthly profit and loss statement. This person is the board’s financial expert and presents the budget to the board for its approval as well as ensures the financial policies and procedures are developed, updated and approved by the board. The treasurer also turns over all documents for SAF’s tax accountant. Currently this position is filled by Julie Wardleigh.
Executive Director: This person oversees the day in day out management of SAF, builds the business, writes grants, serves as the face of SAF within the community and has responsibility for all events and fundraisers, coordinating with Events Coordinator, President and other board members as needed. She sets policy, evaluates the effectiveness of the organization, oversees the board, develops agendas for board meetings, usually in collaboration with the president, and may attend committee meetings. Jennifer Webb assumes this position.
Vet Liaison: This person will interact with all veterinarian offices that Shakespeare serves and personally meets with veterinarians from time to time. Committee members working with the vet liaison will be responsible for picking up donation boxes from vet offices. This position is very important in building good relationships with vets within the community, which is the lifeblood of the organization.
Membership: This person coordinates a membership initiative to create a multi-tiered membership program. Examples could be:
• Chihuahua: $25 a year, and includes membership card and SAF updates.
• Beagle: $60 a year, and includes membership card, SAF T-shirt and SAF updates
• Great Dane: $150 a year, and includes membership card, VIP luncheon, T-shirt, SAF updates and picture in annual SAF calendar
This is an extremely important position because if, for example, only one third of SAF’s 3000 plus mailing list became members at even the smallest level, that would generate an estimated $25,000 per year.
Volunteer Coordinator: This person coordinates all SAF volunteer needs from mailings to supplying volunteers for major fundraisers like Halloween Howl. It requires generating new volunteers, training volunteers on responsibilities, increasing the email list for both volunteer activities and the general data base. The volunteer coordinator also is in charge of creating volunteer committees to oversee special events like table sales prior to fundraisers and community events like Art Paws and the Humane Society dog walk.
Fundraising: This person works with the Executive Director in overseeing all fund raising activities and takes the leading role in Halloween Howl. He/she also solicits the help of a volunteer grant writer.
Corporate Liaison: This person interfaces with the community, raising name awareness and credibility while seeking partnerships, matching funds and sponsorships with corporations in the area. This person represents SAF to the business community and obviously plays a key role in public relations from this perspective.
Attorney at Large: This person will be acting legal counsel, consulting with SAF on any and all legal matters. Currently this position is filled by Doug Fermoile, Es q.
Veterinarian at Large: This member will act as the veterinarian representative of SAF and give insight from the veterinarian community’s perspective as well as serve as an advisor and give additional credibility to the organization. Currently this position is filled by Dr. Calvin Williams, Pyramid Veterinary Services
Public Relations: This person is responsible for all news releases as well as generating media interest (RGJ and Sparks Tribune, radio stations and the three major TV stations). Optional: write small electronic SAF newsletter.
Media: This person will serve as a spokesperson for SAF, generating PSA’s and ultimately being a voice for Shakespeare from a media perspective. This person creates a committee that includes social media experts to work with Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and all other social media sources as well as helping with initiatives such as Pay it Forward for Shakespeare, a social media fund raising project. This position is currently filled by Monica Jaye
Community Outreach: This person will reach into the community, excluding the corporate community, to build alliances such as the school system, the political arena, civic organizations like Rotary Clubs and community events.
Donation/Disbursements Coordinator: This person has an extremely important role within the organization. He/she must ensure mail is picked up minimally once a week, get bills and donations to bookkeeper and write electronic and paper thank you’s to various donors, depending on amount of donation. This job also includes coordinating with other board members on retrieving funds from donation boxes at veterinarians and making deposits and maintaining an updated electronic mail and email list. This can be combined with another board position. Current this position is also held by Carole Anderson.
Note: There will be four face to face board meeting this year as well as electronic board meetings.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Gandhi
Shakespeare Animal Fund is a one-of-a-kind non-profit, 501 © (3) that has raised approximately $400,000 since it was founded in January 2004 to help suffering and dying animals. Due to the tremendous support of its donor base, Shakespeare continues to play a vital role in animal welfare, with a powerful vision toward future growth. Here is Shakespeare Animal Fund’s (SAF) story, its mission statement, vision and the process it follows in order to work effectively with veterinarians.
To pay emergency veterinary bills for elderly, disabled, returning veterans and low-income individuals who cannot afford emergency medical care when their pets are suffering or dying.
Because so many do without food, medicine and other necessities in order to save their animals--who are often the only “family” they have-- Shakespeare’s mission is to expand its operation in order to help a greater number of individuals, as well as increase the amount of money it can offer for the care of each animal.
Shakespeare Animal Fund (SAF) was founded in January, 2004 under the auspices of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada in Reno, NV. It was begun by Jennifer Webb after her cocker spaniel Shakespeare became terminally ill. When local veterinarians in Reno could not help her dog she rushed him to UC Davis in California, only to be told there was no hope. Devastated, she started thinking about how tragic it would have been if she had not had the funds to take her dog to specialists and offer him the best medical care available at the time.
As she researched she discovered that unless pet owners had adequate funds, it was nearly impossible to get help, even euthanasia, for animals, no matter how severely dogs or cats might be injured. This meant animals with porcupine quills in their faces, broken backs and hips as well as all manner of mangling from being hit by cars or in fights and all devastating illnesses or blockages or enormous open wounds, would be ignored.
That’s when she knew she wanted to start a fund to honor her dog and to help alleviate the suffering of other animals.
How it works:
What are the demographics?
Of those who contact Shakespeare approximately two thirds are elderly, with approximately one third of those on some form of disability. There is a very high proportion—approximately 80 to 90% of elderly recipients, who are on social security with almost no additional income to supplement their social security or disability checks. Approximately eight to ten percent of recipients are veterans. Many are current veterans, still actively engaged or who recently completed a tour of duty, although there are retired veterans as well who apply for help.
Jennifer Webb – Executive Director
Carole Anderson – President
Julie Wardleigh – Bookkeeper
Sharon Tetley, Lisa Wiesbauer, Terry Wollitz
Professional Advisory Board:
Dr. Cal Williams from Pyramid Veterinary Hospital is currently part of the Professional Advisory board. Several veterinarians including those from Pyramid and Kings Row Veterinary Hospital have served as part of Shakespeare’s board.
There are thousands of success stories bur over the years a few stand out. An elderly woman had rushed her dog Dillion to the vet after something got lodged in its throat. The emergency procedure saved the dog but the woman didn’t have the full amount needed to pay the vet and retrieve her dog. The vet’s office decided to keep the dog until the woman received her social security check the following week, and charge $25 a day boarding as well. We helped her get her dog back within 24 hours. Hundreds of folks face the same fate with their pets; animals are often given away if the owner can’t afford to pay veterinary costs.
A woman and her neighbor got into an argument and he shot all three of her dogs. Two died but one had a severely damaged leg. She contacted every veterinarian within her area and none would help unless she had funds necessary for the visit. On the third day after the shooting she had raised only $21 from her friends and neighbors and someone told her about Shakespeare. Shakespeare funded the amputation and “Jack” happily ran around on three legs.
An elderly woman rescued stray dogs in her area, but one day her own two dogs had an encounter with a porcupine and ended up with quills in their faces. She could not find a vet who would anesthetize them and remove the quills with the funds she had, so she was on her way to have them euthanized (which she could afford) when someone told her about Shakespeare. Shakespeare paid for the procedure and her daughter later contacted us to mention her mom’s two dogs meant the world to her; she lived on less than $600 a month and her mother’s life was prolonged by saving her dogs.
A fire swept the Ridgecrest area of Reno burning six homes. After the fire a woman was walking around holding a cat with burned feet, distraught over her damaged home but more so because she couldn’t afford to help her suffering cat. She was told about Shakespeare and the cat received the care it needed.
Thousands of animals have been helped but the need is continuous and ongoing. Shakespeare is proud of all its fundraising efforts and continually strives to create new avenues of revenue. It is regularly supported by local organizations such as Wild River Grille restaurant, Great Full Gardens Café, PetSmart Charities and Petco Foundation as well as civic organizations like local Rotaries. Revenue also comes from Amazon Smiles and Workplace Giving Alliance. Shakespeare has received several grants, has participated in many local events such as Art Paws and the Women’s Expo, and creates a variety of fundraisers such as Applause for Pause, Halloween Howl and Paws for Poetry: It is also supported by organizations such as Comic Relief and the Rachel Ray Foundation.
Future goals and direction of Shakespeare
One of the primary goals of Shakespeare is to offer a larger base amount to all those helped by the organization. Currently the standard amount offered is $50, with some receiving up to $150 for veterinary services. If the standard amount was raised to minimally $75, it would go a long way toward securing better and more extensive medical help. In order to increase the amount offered Shakespeare is looking at a variety of initiatives to increase annual revenue by 35%. There are currently several options being explored to meet this goal including a membership drive.
Shakespeare relies on its donor base and is extremely appreciative of the continued and growing support that enables this organization to alleviate the suffering of animals and enrich the lives of their owners on a daily basis, year round.
Imagine what we can do if everyone paid it forward just a little!
1 minute + 5 friends + $1 to $5 = A life saved
Support funds are NEEDED NOW!
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If you are needing vet assistance, you should first call our hotline at 775-342-7040.