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Old 11-12-2011, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,948 posts, read 19,478,577 times
Reputation: 7208

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This is a soft vent. I am an active foster parent for 2 rescue groups. One is very large and does a fabulous job of marketing dogs and raising funds. The volunteers stay connected by a message board. Every day there are break your heart appeals to take in more foster dogs. Then there are frequent fundraising efforts. Some of my fellow volunteers have given thousands and thousands. I drive these dogs all over town taking them to vets, doing meetings, attending pet fairs. I do fostersitting and also foster one or 2 dogs at a time. A few months ago they were appealing for a few special needs dogs' cost of care and I sent $100. Then one of my foster dogs had a ($650) big Vet bill and I just paid for it to help the rescue out. Now they are having a 11-11-11 fundraiser and asking all of us to donate $11. That's not a lot of money but geeeezzzz!!! And I feel so guilty not sending my $11. And it kills me when there are urgent dogs needing foster homes and they keep sending screaming emails that if someone doesn't take the dog it will die tomorrow. Sample email:

"KNOCK, KNOCK.....HELLOOOO....ANY BODY THERE???? ARE YOU JUST GOING TO LET THIS SWEET BOY BE KILLED AT THE SHELTER!!!!"

How do I handle my emotions and manage myself; both the money and rescue appeals bring me down and I have terrible days sometimes......
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,448 posts, read 31,537,716 times
Reputation: 8157
Dont feel guilty....you just paid $650!! Plus you donate time money $100 & home to thoses that need!
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:02 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,249,582 times
Reputation: 9611
I know it's hard, and the frequent appeals can seem overwhelming. It's hard turning down lots of charitable organizations, and more so when you work with them directly and see the good they do and know what a constant need there is. But just like you have to be tough and know your limits as to how many dogs you can care for, you have to know your limits financially. It's wonderful that some people can give thousands. I'm sure we all would if we had the money, but that's not reality for a lot of us. Since it's harder to ignore the individual appeals as a volunteer, try to not overdo it for any one appeal. Instead of spending the whole $650 on the vet bill, contribute as much as you think is appropriate for you and let them know how much the rest is. You're still doing more than many. I heard that a response rate of 2% to a charitable fundraiser is considered good, which is why they make so many of them. So don't compare yourself to the ones who do more than you can, just give yourself a pat on the back for all that you do to help.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,828,510 times
Reputation: 9586
this is one of the reasons i stopped affiliating wiht the shelter i used to work and then volunteer for...
they had my time, they had what energy i had and any spare cash i could find...and it wasnt enough.

i get it they need all the help they can get but pestering and guilt tripping thier volunteers who already give so much is ridiculous...
they should be getting the word out to the general public, not nickle and diming via guit the ones who are already giving.

personally id stop checking th message board and send the emails to the spam folder for a while, sounds like you need to take a step back, pat yourself on the back and remind yourself your doing a great job for the animals...
what matters is keeping your passion...
i still love the animals and i still try and get involved when i can, but being on the front line sapped all my enegry and the passion i had or the work...they drained every ounce of desire to continue out of me and that made it a bad situation for every animal around me too...not worth the stress...do what you can when you can but YOU and your family come first and if they want to try and guilt trip you im sure there are MANY shleters out there that would happily have such a dedicated volunteer withouth the guilt tripping for money.

i mean that goes for many volunteer organizations too not just animal based ones...
the seem to forget that your giving not only your time and money out of the goodness of your own heart not because you HAVE to...
they seem to get this entiled sense going on and forget their volunteers are just that, kind people with a huge heart giveing what they can when they can...there not employees or slaves, and volunteers should be cherished!
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,249,582 times
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You say you foster for two organizations, maybe you could focus more on the one that's not as aggressive with their fundraising, too. You say the other does well at raising funds, so the other really needs the help more, I would think.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:08 PM
 
6,307 posts, read 7,463,882 times
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You have to realize that you can only do what you can do.

NOW, IF YOU CAN GET THAT INNER VOICE QUIET....I WILL REITERATE

You can only do what you can do.

IMO, if you can sleep at night, knowing, in your own heart, that you have done what is in your power to do, you are WAY far ahead of most people in this world.

Honestly, I don't think that anyone with any sense in these rescues would think any less of you if you said, "nope, I can't do any more right now".

I'm going to say this, and I do hope you don't take offense, because that's not the way it's meant at all...but you're an easy target. You obviously have a huge heart and have gone above and beyond the call of duty. With the economy the way it is, and also with the way these things work, you'd be one of the first called upon. It is up to you to simply say, "no, I can't do it at this point". And, that's cool, really it is. These organizations are up against a wall, and they are scrambling. But, you have to keep yourself healthy and above water, in order to be helpful to them in the years to come. IMO, there's nothing wrong with giving the "high sign", saying "enough for the moment".

This does not detract from what you have done, and are continuing to do for these rescues. NOT IN THE LEAST. Everyone has their breaking point, and you've come to yours. No problems with letting them know. Don't let the guilt get to you. Really. Please.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,244 posts, read 14,031,515 times
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What you've done so far is so beyond anything any foster ever does. I was giddy when I had fosters willing to cover the cost of food or preventatives for their foster each month. You need to realize you can't save them all, no matter how hard you try, and there are worse things in the world for an animal that being euthanized. That was probably the hardest thing for me when I started rescue. In the back of my naive little mind I honestly thought I was going to single handedly change the world and save them all.

Do what you can and what you're comfortable with. That rescue should be falling over itself in gratitude to you so far. Forget the stupid $11. You've paid your $11 for the next 60 years. If the pleas on the board bother you, let the Director or Foster Coordinator (whoever you contact with problems) know that you can't continue to be on that board; it's just too much. I'm sure they've got your phone and e-mail if they need you.

I never had a board for my fosters. We kept in touch via e-mail. I never appealed to them for a dime or assistance in anything. When they began fostering part of the foster application asked what they were comfortable with in terms of the number of dogs they wanted to foster. So when we had a dozen adopted I'd send them the list of dogs I could pull at the shelter and ask if they had a preference on one they'd like to foster. If they were willing to foster whatever I brought within their set criteria (sex, size, coat type, breed, etc) I didn't bother sending them the list unless they wanted it. All dogs came to my house for 2 weeks minimum quarantine, vetting, and evaluation and then on to fosters when they were ready. I didn't see any point in worrying my fosters with the dogs that weren't going to make it out alive. They did me a big enough favor by fostering. It's my job to be burdened with the faces, not theirs. They know what goes on in shelters. There's no need to rub it in.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,416 posts, read 5,140,601 times
Reputation: 7231
Assuming that the requests for money are via email I would just tell them to remove your name from that distribution list. In fact they can and should create a separate list that excludes all the foster people, it's not hard to do.

People who foster know darn well that the organizations are always in need of money and they can choose to donate if and when they want to and not be badgered all the time when they are already doing so much.

Thank you so much for all you are already doing. It's plenty.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:30 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,359,957 times
Reputation: 30387
Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
Assuming that the requests for money are via email I would just tell them to remove your name from that distribution list. In fact they can and should create a separate list that excludes all the foster people, it's not hard to do.
^^^This! Fosters shouldn't be on fundraising lists. Fosters already give their time. Many contribute financially via caring for their fosterdogs. By having fosters on the fundraising lists, rescue organizations risk burning out and driving away their foster parents. Since there wouldn't be a rescue without foster parents, these rescues are out of line. I think you need to be assertive and tell them they are draining you---and quite possibly draining their other fosters too. They should be grateful they have people who will foster. Guilting them into donating extra cash is sad when the organization should have the fundraising skills to reach new donors outside of the organization.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,948 posts, read 19,478,577 times
Reputation: 7208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
^^^This! Fosters shouldn't be on fundraising lists. Fosters already give their time. Many contribute financially via caring for their fosterdogs. By having fosters on the fundraising lists, rescue organizations risk burning out and driving away their foster parents. Since there wouldn't be a rescue without foster parents, these rescues are out of line. I think you need to be assertive and tell them they are draining you---and quite possibly draining their other fosters too. They should be grateful they have people who will foster. Guilting them into donating extra cash is sad when the organization should have the fundraising skills to reach new donors outside of the organization.
so, the group that is constantly soliciting is for the dog breed my DH loves. the rescue that never solicits is for the breed I love. I usually alternate between the 2. I do feel having my DH loving the dogs is key to being able to continue fostering. So, I know I won't have any success in getting the one with the message board to stop with the endless pleas. If I end my subscription to the message board then I am not kept up to date on pet fairs, etc. But, after getting your input I am thinking that's what I have to do.

Like everyone else, I have lots going on in my life and this is a stress I simply don't need. My DH would like us to take a break from fostering for a while (last foster went home on Saturday and I am scoping the next one or two) with the holidays coming. But, of course, that's when the volume of dogs are surrendered or put outside to live....... still, a rest from Rescue may be in order
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