Choosing and Working with Offsite Adoption Partners
This is Part 2 of 4 in a series
A true partnership is mutually beneficial for both parties. In the case of offsite adoptions, the shelter or rescue gets access to a partner’s customers, opening up a potentially new audience of adopters. In return, the shelter partner has the opportunity to align with your reputable organization, establish goodwill in the community and promote its business to both new adopters and your supporters.
Each community is different, but in general, these types of businesses can make good partners:
- Pet supply & food stores
- Pet photographers
- Pet boutiques
- Riding stables
- Supporters with local businesses (pet-related or not!)
Setting up the Relationship
Bucks County SPCA in Pennsylvania knows a lot about creating successful partnerships—they have approximately six offsite partnerships going at any given time. According to Linda Reider, executive director, you want to create a lasting partnership, so it’s important to approach the relationship with care and understanding.
She recommends asking partners for input and tailoring the partnership accordingly. And remember to start small—you both want your first attempt at partnering to be successful, so consider starting out with only one or two cats.
- Meet in person
- Dress like you would for an interview
- Set up an appointment time and stick to it
- Be specific about what you want (are you setting up a center, a one-time event, who is providing care for the cats, who is processing the adoptions)
- Provide partners with a brief written explanation of the program, including goals and responsibilities
- Share how partnering with you will benefit them (goodwill in community, potential new customers, acknowledgements in your social media/newsletter, etc.)
- Keep the communication lines open
- Designate a point person on both ends to handle communications between your organizations
- Check in frequently at first to make sure things are going smoothly
- If need be, adjust protocol based on input from your partner
- Share your gratitude and successes with your partner
Behind the Scenes
In order for the relationship to run smoothly between you and your partner, make sure your program is designed for success, and be mindful of the following:
- For locations with multiple cats, have ready a supply of suitable cats to keep the partner “stocked”
- Reasonable adoption fees (Bucks County charges $25 for senior cats, $50 for adults and $75 for kittens)
- Quick and easy adoption process (24-48 hours at most)
- Provide post-adoption support to adopters
- 60-day money back guarantee on all animals
- Dedicated pool of volunteers and/or professional staff to run program
- Monthly adoption events to generate more publicity—both for the animals up for adoption and your partner
We have lots more on this subject:
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