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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Longevity and Succession in the Cat Rescue Business

We have been in the cat rescue industry business for 5 years thus far and we don't intend to abate. This means that we do have a strategy for ensuring Love Kuching continues to be around until there is no longer a need in cat rescue that we can rise up and meet. This is going to be a long read, but it will share with you the plans that will ensure Love Kuching's survival and commitment to cat rescue.

Incorporation
From the day we decided to become an entity for local cat rescue, we looked forward to becoming a legal organisation. Not only does incorporation solidify our existence on paper, it creates greater accountability to donors and greater access to resources from both the government and the public. We have not stopped working on our plan for incorporation. At this moment in time, our Admin & Donor Care Volunteer, Molly, is mapping with Co-Founder Elaine the pathway to incorporation. Financial transparency is one of our core motivations in moving incorporation forward. Through incorporation, there will exist greater internal controls to prevent fraudulent activity. Any occurence of fraud in charitable work is instant death for the cause. Every move towards minimising opportunity for fraud is a step towards ensuring more felines in need can be cared for.

Volunteer Management
With the recent increase in spatial resources via the new foster space, we have been able to focus more on recruiting volunteers to increasingly better our fulfillment of cat rescue objectives. Volunteer management is critical because of various critical reasons. Firstly, donor perception of a non-profit organisation with a reliance on volunteers is that the NPO does not squander resources on salaries and vendors unnecessarily. Secondly, effective volunteer management goes beyond publicising a call for help on social media and delegation of duties; it means providing a good volunteering experience for valuable volunteers to ensure volunteer retention and a growth in volunteer recruitment. Thirdly, statistics in non-profit industries show that most volunteers also become donors, hence volunteer management is closely tied up with fundraising - the key to an NPO's very survivability. Volunteers are also closer to the inner workings of the cat rescue business, and therefore become more educated about cat care and welfare and become advocates in their social spheres of influence in furthering the cause. This is especially important because the 4th tenet of Love Kuching's mission is to share with cat owners on cat care in order to improve the welfare of pet cats.

Staff
Cat rescue is a service-oriented industry and therefore eventually we will have to pay for good labour. Not only will this improve the perception of our commitment to cat rescue work, it also prevents fraud. Fraud occurs when the fraud triangle exists: opportunity, motivation, rationalisation. A properly compensated worker will be less able to rationalise fraudulent activity because he or she will seldom feel, "I do so much for this organisation but receive too little, so taking some spare change is okay." Likewise, the motivation factor that is financial burdens on a person working in an NPO is managed better because a salary will be able to help a person pay his or her bills. An ethical and organisationally just compensation scheme is also more able to attract and retain talent that is crucial for serving the cause further. This ensures longevity of Love Kuching in the cat rescue industry. At present, Andy is working a full-time job and serves at Love Kuching on a part-time daily basis. Elaine works for Love Kuching full-time and works for herself on a freelance basis. Plans are in the works to be able to fund a three-figure combined monthly salary for both humans, the framework of which can be copied for any staffing needs in the immediate future. More details soon.

Leadership
Infrastructure and mentoring will eventually lead to founders Elaine and Andy being 'out of a job' - this is good leadership. Love Kuching should one day be able to thrive without the founders doing anything more than an advisory role. How this happens is through leadership that multiplies and perpetuates the skills and values of our work today. By multiplying ourselves through leadership, we make sure that more and more people who can carry out the mission of Love Kuching will be built up. As founders, our goal is to eventually see Love Kuching auto-pilot its mission. We believe that leadership goes beyond delegation of duties; it is about building a legacy that can exist even without its founders.

If you managed to read this far, thank you. Knowing the long term goals and guiding principles of any charitable entity is very important in helping you choose whether or not to support its cause. This is why we are sharing our longevity plans. Will there be dedicated folks tomorrow at Love Kuching to love the cats in our lives and neighbourhoods? You bet.

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