Italian Greyhounds love nothing more than to play with other IGs. As a meetup/play group coordinator, you will help get local IGs out of the house to get some exercise and socialize. And, it allows IG owners to talk about all of the crazy things their dogs do, or get help with problems or questions they may be facing.
Meetup coordinators help identify where a play group will occur, such as a local dog park, indoor play area or boarding facility or even a private home with enough space to allow the dogs to run. The typical play group meets for a couple of hours every month or two, or sometimes only a few times a year depending on the number of attendees. A meetup can involve games for the dogs, prize giveaways, small fundraisers for rescue, costume contests, or even a potluck or barbecue for very active groups. Some groups who meet around the US even have themes for their events such as the circus, fashion shows, and many other creative ideas which allow both the owners and dogs to have fun.
As part of our adoption process, our volunteers make a social visit to each applicants home to ensure that it would be a safe place for our foster dogs to live. Each home visit takes approximately one hour to conduct and allows adopters to ask questions, and receive feedback on things which are identified during the application process which may need modified as part of owning an Italian Greyhound. It is also an opportunity for our volunteers to "get to know" a family, and to check any fenced areas are secure prior to placement of a foster dog. Volunteers who conduct these visits are called upon only when an application is received within a reasonable distance from their home, usually less than an hour of driving in most areas. Transportation to/from the applicant's home is provided by the volunteer including any cost for gasoline, public transport, or tolls which may be incurred. (However, they may be tax deductible when itemizing your income taxes each year too.)
Italian Greyhounds come from all areas of the state, from cities to very rural areas. Therefore, we do occassionally need people to help move a dog from one location to another, generally an hour or two in any direction. The dogs may need to be surrendered by an owner who can no longer care for them, "sprung" out of a shelter, or moved longer distances to where a foster home is available. Or, sometimes as part of a transport a dog may need a place to stay for one or two nights until the next leg of the journey can take place. Transporting is an occasional volunteer activity which occurs only when the need arises to move a dog, and can happen anytime of the year. It provides flexibility to those who want to volunteer, but don't have time to commit to more time intensive activities, and generally only occur a few times each year in any given area. As a bonus, any miles driven while transporting an Italian Greyhound on behalf of IG Rescue can be deducted as an itemized expense on annual taxes.
As a non-profit, we can host booths at pet retailers any day or weekend of the year as stores like Petco, Petsmart, Tractor Supply, Pet Supply Plus, Upco, and many local shops too who want to encourage pet adoption. The great thing about volunteering at booths, is that this is a completely flexible activity which can occur any day of the week, and for only a couple of hours at a time. Many people do not know about the Italian Greyhound Rescue (or any other breed-specific groups), and by hosting a booth at a local store you help our adoptable IGs find homes. At the booths we generally have adoptable pets available for people to meet, have information available about the breed, and collect free-will donations. Sometimes a retailer will sponsor our group as part of a national fundraiser, which can help pay for vetting the dogs in our care. So, if you love to talk about your Italian Greyhounds, or show pictures of your dogs to everyone you know, then consider helping at an IG Rescue booth.
We need enthusiastic people to spread the word about Italian Greyhound Rescue, and reach out to both people who are already pet owners (or IG owners) and to people who are not already pet owners or may not be aware of the pet rescue concept. Reaching out to veterinary clinics is a great way to connect with pet owners for a few reasons: 1) Their clients may be looking to adopt an animal. 2) A client may surrender a pet to them, and they may try to adopt it out. 3) Some veterinary clinics act as a local shelter in rural areas and don't know of rescues serving their area. Churches are a great way to reach people who are not pet owners, or those who are not aware of IG Rescue, and allow us to reach out to people who may not regularly attend events, go to pet stores, or find us online. As a coordinator for either veterinary offices or churches, you will help to spread the animal adoption message by making contact with locations, and by providing brochures or business cards which can be distributed to the people visiting those venues. This volunteer activity is something which can be done at home in your spare time.
Helping with social media is an ever changing opportunity, given the number of websites which people use to communicate. We need people (more than one person) who are familiar with the latest and greatest social media websites and want to shout about IG Rescue! Let them know about new arrivals in to rescue who are available for adoption, who has found a home, upcoming events, fundraisers, and about anything else you can imagine. If you regularly use one or more of the sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, VK, Flickr, Vine, Meetup, or any number of other existing or emerging sites, then this is a great opportunity to use your skills for the greater good and spread the word about adopting pets.
In many areas, donations are available which we can use for the Italian Greyhounds in our foster homes. These are non-monetary items such as dog foods, medicines, flea and tick preventatives, or even towels donated from local hotels which can be used as bedding in kennels to keep the dogs warm and in a clean space. In the past, pet food manufacturers, warehouses and manufacturers have all made donations which have helped save thousands of dollars for IG rescues everywhere. Other donations which can be collected include small electronics, printer or toner cartridges, and even used shoes, all of which can be turned in to funds to keep our program operating. Collecting donations is an activity which can be performed from home, but reliable transportation is needed to help collect or disperse the items, and ship them as needed.
Donations only pay for part of the veterinary bills which our group incurs every year, and we would be so lucky to have someone who can help apply for grants to help keep our program running. Our group could qualify for grants from endowments, private or local foundations, or other sources. As a volunteer grant writer, you would be able to help locate grants to which we may qualify, collect the necessary information, and submit the application paperwork needed. And, someone who can follow through on post-grant procedures to prove how any gifted money was used according to the guidelines of the grants received.
Do you love to plan big parties and get-togethers? Ever thought about organizing a Italian Greyhound party, rescue reunion, or annual event? These parties are a lot of fun, and generally attract people from nearby states once they are held a few times. Someone responsible for organizing such IG gatherings would identify (fenced) locations where the events could be held, plan activities or games, and help coordinate any other aspects of the events.
The biggest time of year for charitable giving is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Organizing a holiday donation can actually be done months in advance, by putting together a holiday card that is mailed to Italian Greyhound owners, or by sending out an email campaign. This role involves identifying festive pictures for a card or email, and composing an overview of the previous and upcoming years related to IG Rescue, as well as providing information to supporters on how to support a homeless Italian Greyhound during the holidays.