5 Red Flags about Pet Welfare Funding

The real truth here is there is PLENTY of money being dedicated towards pets and PLENTY funneled into pet welfare...

Pet Welfare is filled with many (many) small and mid-sized organizations essentially competing against each other in a desperate effort to achieve their mission.  This “competitive” nature is seen in profit industries but that makes sense when the entire goal is to out-earn other businesses.  What does not make sense is that a majority of the money in pet welfare is benefitting only 5% of organizations.  They keep getting bigger facilities, bigger staff resources, bigger budgets while the rest of us struggle… does this sound familiar?  I personally am just waiting for one of these organizations to release a statement they are working on the development of a space ship.  Here’s 5 Red Flags about Pet Welfare Funding that needs some serious awareness:

1.) There's No Cap for Funding Towards Any One Organization.

That’s weird right?  At what point should money stop funding into any ONE organization… This isn’t supposed to be a competitive industry, it is supposed to be an IMPACT focused industry so riddle me this, why can’t there be a cap for fundraising any single organization can accept before they must pay-forward those funds to less stable organizations so more organizations can become successful.  Wouldn’t that make a bigger impact than just continuously expanding professional staff focused on marketing, fundraising and advertising that makes it impossible for small to mid-sized organizations to reach potential donors before they do (which is ultimately driving the crisis conditions).  Prime example is the Betty White Challenge – there was no need for fully funded organizations with paid fundraising strategists on their team to have participating in this gift to struggling organizations. They didn’t NEED this money – they took it.  HUGE RED FLAG.

2.) Impact Changing Fundraising Costs Money Organizations Don't Have Access To.

The focus over diversity, equity and inclusion is completely lost within the pet welfare space.  With the rising costs of everything and the lack of additional resources coming in to manage fundraising efforts internally (let alone pay an agency to manage externally like these high (non) profits do) “fundraising” is not a feasible source of funding anymore and yet, large organizations are still ever-expanding without concern. RED FLAG.

3.) Grant Makers Play Favorites.

The organizations primarily raking in grants are the ones who can afford grant writers – because that’s what it takes to get a grant these days.  It’s a long application where you compete against every organization in pet welfare for the same dollars.  It takes tons of time and effort to put together a proposal plus the endless demands once you get a grant to promote the Grant Maker.  Just because it welcomes everyone to apply doesn’t mean it’s actually an inclusive opportunity.  RED FLAG.

4.) Change Demands in Pet Welfare Requires Staff Most Can't Afford.

There’s a lot of talk groups happening promoting change demands and progressive shifting but not a lot of well funded organizations actually “gifting” resources like behind the scene staff or specialists to organize and implement these changes for organizations that literally cannot manage a single additional responsibility.  If there are solutions that need to happen in pet welfare, it needs to be motivated by the funds to make them happen – not just text and conversation.   RED FLAG.

5.) Stewardship Targets Privilege.

Having fancy honors and recognition solely for being able to donate a certain amount of money is racist, sexist and completely tone deaf by today’s standards of diversity, equality and inclusion.  There’s a serious misalignment in pet welfare about the emphasis on systemic recognition when on one side, there’s a hard push to negate social status or class when considering adoptive homes but on the other a hard push to seek out higher net worth donors by creating recognition (ie, $500+ kennel sponsors, $10,000+ Platinum Donors, etc) based on required financial contribution to be “approved” for said titles.  If this doesn’t (intentionally or not) advocate targeting a class of privilege based on race and gender, I don’t know what does.   The “no barriers adoption” agenda seems to just serve pet welfare’s best interest if we’re going to still promote stewardship based on donation barriers.  RED FLAG.

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