Monday, January 4, 2010

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Rescue Group?

Do you know how much it costs to run a rescue group? We are all volunteers, so no one receives a salary (although our goal is to change that in 2010!). So, what expenses do we have?

1) Vet costs - Each new pet that enters AARF needs vet care upon becoming an AARF foster pet. Our average cost of initial vetting is roughly $350 per dog and $300 per cat. Ongoing vet care is less, but every pet needs monthly flea and heartworm preventative, regular vaccine updates, and trips to the vet for any emergencies or illnesses that arise. Our vet costs average $1500 per month.

2) Program costs - You know and love the AARF programs like Kids N Kritters, Casper's Fund, and Silver Paws. While we have grant money to pay for the surgery costs with Casper's Fund, all of the rest of our programming costs come from our general budget. Often, our programming is limited only by the availability of funds. With additional support, we could visit more schools, take in more senior pets, and fix more pets. Our monthly program costs not covered by grants average around $800 per month currently, but we really need $1200 per month to expand the programs

3) Administrative costs - We wish we didn't have them, but we do. We have to pay to print brochures and business cards, host our website, mail adoption packets, have a bank account, etc. We try very hard to keep those costs to a minimum, but we can't run a business, even a non-profit animal rescue business, without them. Our monthly administrative costs are currently a small portion of our budget at around $250 per month, but we still have to cover those costs.

4) Miscellaneous costs - How often do you have unexpected expenses in your monthly budget? That happens to us, too. We try to have maintain a cushion of at least $500 for unexpected vet emergencies or program costs, but for most of 2009, we didn't have the funds to maintain this fund. Your donation can help us rebuild our emergency fund.

So, at a mimimum, it costs about $3000 a month to meet our expenses. Can you help us meet that goal?

Think about possible ways you could donate without even noticing. Maybe you can give up one fancy coffee drink a week, and commit to donating $20 per month. Maybe you forgo one meal out per month, and donate $30 a month. Maybe you can save your change throughout the month, and donate $5 each month. Or maybe you are in a more fortunate situation, and you are able to commit to a helping us reach 5% of our budget each month ($150).

Whatever amount you can and want to commit, we need you. Every dollar does make a difference to that dog, cat, puppy and kitten who is facing euthanasia at a county shelter. It makes a difference to every child who learns how to be compassionate toward pets during a school presentation. It makes a difference to every pet who is fixed through Casper's Fund.

We need you in 2010. You know we are trying to create a world where every pet matters. We can't do it without you.

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