Foster families give so much to the animals in their care, and although they probably aren’t looking for recognition, it’s still nice to acknowledge their lifesaving work. Here are ten free (or inexpensive) ways to show your gratitude for all they do for your organization.
Keep Them in the Know
Foster families love nothing more than to know how their former foster pets are doing! Be sure to share any updates you receive, including any photos or videos that can then be forwarded to foster parents.
Ask for Their Feedback
A great way to show your foster families you appreciate and value them is to ask their opinion. Plus, it’s a great way to show them they are integral to the growth of the program and helps them stay invested.
Shout Out on Social Media
One of the quickest and most public ways to recognize foster families is by doing a shout-on on social media. Consider highlighting one foster family a month, or more, depending on how many foster caregivers you have.
Re-Gift a Donation
If your organization gets a surplus of perishable food (pet or human) or other items that you won’t be able to use in a timely fashion, share the bounty with foster volunteers.
Pen a Thank-You Note
There’s nothing quite like an old-fashioned, hand-written note sharing gratitude for a job well done. Be sure to make your message personal by referring to the foster dog or cat by name and recounting any achievements or cute stories about the pet.
Create a Service Project
Shelters are often approached by service clubs asking for ways to help from off-site. Consider having these community members make thank-you cards or care packages for foster families. Packages could include treats for both humans and pets.
Make Special Foster T-Shirts
Next time you order logoed t-shirts for volunteers, make a batch for foster volunteers with phrases like “I’m a Furry Foster Parent” or “Ask Me About Being an Adoption Ambassador!” This is a great way to acknowledge your foster families’ hard work and promote your program at the same time.
Be a Reference
You could be the perfect reference for your foster volunteers since you can personally attest to their trustworthiness. Your words of praise could prove invaluable in the marketplace or on a college application.
Contact Local Media
Do you have a foster family with a good media hook? Maybe they’ve reached a fostering milestone (fifty fosters!) or took on a tough case that resulted in a happy ending. Contact your local media and share their story.
Give ‘Em a Break
As tempted as you may be to ask a foster family to take on another foster pet right away after one gets adopted, give them an opportunity to decompress. Some foster parents won’t want a break, and that’s okay, but taking the pressure off will prevent foster burnout in the long run.