Met a stray cat that needs rescue? Go to our website to submit a Rescue Request
Want to adopt a cat from us? Here's how!
Come volunteer to clean the foster space and play with kitties!
Wish to give to Love Kuching Project? Deposit to our DBS Current Account 027-905975-3


Monday, October 23, 2017

#lovecatsgivelove by joining us as a volunteer!

"I needed something to call my own, I was dedicating too much time to just professional practice and school and needed something more personal to feel more fulfilled." Jialin, HR Volunteer and Foster Care Volunteer


#lovecatsgivelove

All of us at LKP want you to join us in giving love back because we love cats - through becoming a volunteer with portfolio just like us! We have a volunteer family here that we feel really connected to and want to tell you all about it so you would consider taking that step just like we all did.






In this blog post, we will share with you: what we are looking for, the teams in which we are organised within LKP, the portfolios we take up and a simple description of them, and how you can apply to become a volunteer.

We also have an informal recruitment open house on Sunday 29 October at 4pm, before one of our volunteer parties, held at our place in Joo Chiat (yes, see kitties!) especially for those of you interested in joining us as a volunteer. We have never done this before, so yes it is a big step for us too. Because we are a small and closed-admission shelter, we only ever have visits from volunteers, as well as donors and rescuers if they make an appointment - we only have 390sq ft of space including the human bathroom!

We want those of you considering volunteering with us to come and take a look, get the big picture and the details, before committing to a relationship with us and the cats we love. Our boss Elaine, as well as a few other volunteers, will give you "the grand tour" and answer your questions, no matter how many. Afterwards, you are also invited to join us for our volunteer party at the rooftop at 6pm - meet the people you may be working alongside, feel the vibe, eat some free food. You can register your interest for the open house (and get our secret address) by sending an email - see info below.

(Note: this blog post is not a recruitment post for ad hoc volunteering - you can join us for that anytime you are able through filling in this form.)


What we are looking for in a volunteer

Someone who is:
  • Open to learning new stuff
  • Seeking personal growth and meaning through volunteering
  • Works well in teams
  • Cares about humans, too - not just cats
  • Able to commit to the schedule requirements (as per the portfolio you are applying for)
Yep, that's mostly it! Apart from some of the portfolios below that state required technical or professional skills and knowledge, what we really care about can really be distilled down to attitude and availability. We are willing to teach you all we know.




Our Teams and Portfolios

We are currently arranged into 8 teams and are recruiting for all of them. Each team may have more than one portfolio. The teams and portfolios are described below.


The Foster Care Team is primarily looking for Foster Care Volunteers to commit to a once-weekly shift at nights from Monday to Saturday and afternoons for Sundays, on a fixed day every week. There is also a day shift from Monday to Saturday, for administering medication. The day shift Foster Care Volunteers also: top up cat food if necessary, do basic cleaning of the cattery, and clear poop from litterboxes. Day shifts are weekly on at least one day from Monday to Saturday


Foster Care Volunteers are bread-and-butter of Love Kuching Project; they look after the sick or injured stray cats or kittens in the cattery by providing their clinical treatments and medications, nutrition and supplements, cleanliness needs of their cat suites and litterboxes. These skills and knowledge bases will require initial training sessions, and continual learning and development.



The Rescue Team follows up with the Rescue Requests that the public submits to us via our website, which feeds to the team's Slack channels. The processes for managing Rescue Requests are carried out on tech platforms such as Trello which, like Slack, is available both on mobile and desktop. 


Rescue Volunteers need to contact these rescuers as and when they can after viewing the Rescue Requests; the liaison work is done remotely during free times the volunteers are able. Liaison with the rescuers is for finding out more details about the cats, ascertain whether the cases are the kind we take in, and if not, advise the rescuers on other options. Sometimes the cats need to put on a waiting list first, but either way, Rescue Volunteers will assist in the admission process to our cattery, as well as the discharge if applicable, at times convenient for both the volunteer and the rescuer, such as after work hours or on weekends as and when needed. 


The team is also looking for ERF Volunteers: our Emergency Rescue Fund (ERF) is available for rescuers who cannot afford to pay for the vet fees, but are able to foster the stray cat in their own home after the vet visit, or there is someone available from our Foster Network. ERF Volunteers meet the rescuers at our partner vet - The Animal Clinic at Telok Kurau - and decide on the diagnostic tests and treatment options, as presented by the vet. You will need to be free during opening hours of the clinic: Mondays to Fridays morning till night, Saturday till 5pm, preferably also during some daytime slots in the week in case of emergency cases. You should have some basic understanding of veterinary care for cats, that will be necessary for deciding how to spend the donors' funds to yield the greatest benefit for the cat without any unnecessary costs that do not add value to the care of the cat.



"I want to do whatever I can to help as many cats as I can for as long as I can." Esther, Assistant Foster Care Manager (Admin)



The Outreach Team handles our animal-assisted activity i.e. cat therapy programme where we bring the love of cats to humans that need it. The team requires Outreach Volunteers who have schedules allowing free weekday timeslots for cat therapy sessions, as many VWOs and organisations often require our service during weekdays and not just weekends, where we already have support of ad hoc volunteers. The team also showcases the therapy cats during pet events that LKP gets invited to, and these are often on weekends. You need not have your own cat to be assessed for suitability for therapy, nor even have a cat at all (yet!) as you can assist in handling kittens awaiting adoption at our cattery - we need a minimum 1:1 ratio of humans to cats during therapy sessions.

We are also looking to expand the Outreach team next year by adding another programme that also involves using the love of cats to benefit humans. We don't have all the finer details yet, but it is about mentoring and facilitating service-learning in young people doing a volunteer attachment with LKP. You can either assist in helping to research and develop this new programme, administrating it with the partner organisations and the volunteers involved, or be one of the mentors - for which you should preferably have a weekday daytime slot available weekly. Enquire more about this through emailing Elaine at elaine@lovekuchingproject.org



The Operations Team, or soon to be renamed as the FLOAT team next year encompassing the following portfolios: Facilities Management, Legal, Operations, Accounting and Admin, and Tech.


Two of the portfolios are new:

Facilities Management Volunteers are required to be in charge of the maintenance of our cattery's general facilities (e.g. aircon, air purifier filters, plumbing, fridge, fish tank and so on) through scheduling or even doing hands-on servicing and repairs. You will need to be at the cattery when vendors/contractors you schedule maintainence work for are on site, as well as for the ad hoc repair work. You should be pretty handy with maintaining indoor residential facilities and appliances.

The Legal portfolio is not about pro bono legal services, but you should know how to research statutes online and draft up simple agreements. We need this portfolio because we are ramping up our corporate governance in preparation for moving from registered society to registered charity status in 2019. This work is mostly remote, with some team meetings scheduled based on team members' availability.


Existing portfolios the team is recruiting for:

Accounting Volunteers, who need basic knowledge of financial statements such as income and expenditure. Familiarity with IRAS regulations on registered societies and charities will be a plus. You will be using the accounting software Xero. The work is a combination of remote work and work from the cattery where the files are.

Admin Volunteers are people who deal with filing, paperwork - both actual and virtual paper, processes that keep us "business-as-usual" You may also need to help input data to help the Accounting Volunteers as well as assist in administration of operational processes with the Tech Volunteers. This as well as the filing work requires time spent at the cattery once every 2 weeks at a time and day you are able to make it.


Tech Volunteers, for helping us move completely onto tech platforms, beyond just email and Slack assistance. This is to improve productivity in every team and among teams. This enables volunteers to do their job more easily, with less frustration but greater result, especially since time is extra-scarce for a volunteer-workforce. This work is mostly remote, with some team meetings scheduled according to every attendees' convenience.






The HR Team (that's us putting up this blog post!) is named "Human Resources" instead of "Volunteer Management" which is more commonly used in voluntary organisations, because we value the humans in LKP as much as the cats we serve, and see them as more than just volunteers - they are family to us. The HR team's purpose is to build and protect our LKP family culture, because it is unique and special for us. HR Volunteers take care of recruitment of volunteers, and integration of new volunteers; performance management to help volunteers know what they are doing well, very well, or need to improve in; learning and development administration support for all the teams; and care for the humans in LKP through organising events for the volunteers, giving volunteers appreciation gifts, encouraging self-care and care for one another through our #volliecare Slack channel and soon to come, a newsletter. We are looking for people with all kinds of strengths and skills, but the priority is that you have to love cat lovers as much as you love cats. Work is mostly done remotely, with occasional team meetings that are scheduled according to the team members' availability. We also have a nice boss, by the way...




"The vibe is different here... people are engaged, involved... open, relatable, fun and not intimidating."  Joh Ju, Events Manager




The Events Management Team plans, manages and carries out all external events in our calendar. These events include those that are solely planned by LKP, e.g. Tea With Cats at the cattery; pet events that we get invited to, where we have a booth to showcase our therapy cats and do some fundraising; also events in which we collaborate with other organisations. The Events Management Volunteer in charge of a specific event in the calendar needs to anchor the conceptualisation of the event theme and programme and plan for all aspects of the event, such that the other team members know how to assist the lead volunteer. Other aspects include: liaison with vendors and sourcing for corporate sponsors if applicable, coordinating with Marketing for the social media campaign for the event, preparing the logistics necessary. You also need to take charge of the transport of logistics to and from the event location if it is not held at LKP, ensure venue set up and be the point person for liaison with vendors, external organisers and other partners, and with LKP volunteers who may be helping out during the event itself. These events are normally held during weekends. You should have some experience with events management, either through your work or in your previous volunteering and CCA experiences.

We are also looking for a team manager for the EM team, as our current moves to a different portfolio next year. This is our first time recruiting for a managerial portfolio externally. You will be expected to perform the job of an Events Manager Volunteer in part, as well as be in charge of team management. All the volunteer managers are part of our Vanguard team, which is the support network and platform for leadership development. Vanguard meetings take place on the first Saturday of every month



The Fundraising Team handles the posting of fundraising appeals online, engagement with donors (saying "Thank you cat angel!") and is the liaison for merchandise partners that wish to donate to us. These are our three main income streams that we have developed alongside the LKP brand, with online appeals yielding the highest return. We want to scale up our efforts in these three areas, but it depends on how many Fundraising Volunteers we have, as the work is fundamentally people-centred. You will need to do writing of online appeals to post via blog and social media, manage fundraising campaigns, write and send out thank you emails, texts, and cards to our donors alongside their receipt (not tax-deductible) if they request it, as well as acknowledge receipt of their gifts. For merchandise partnerships, you will have to assist in reposting the merchants' campaigns for us onto our own social media channels. The work is mostly remote.

The Marketing Team
 has two portfolios: Content Creation, and Multimedia Production, and the team serves to manage the LKP brand. Content Creation Volunteers do so by writing blog, web and social media stories, and are also involved in engagement with our existing online audience, and in growing this audience. You need to be good at writing, and work is a combination of remote work as well as attending events and programmes for 'live' social media reporting. Multimedia Production Volunteers need to be proficient in one of the following mediums: design for both print and web, videography, and photography. You will be required to create works for various campaigns, which is a also a combination of both remote work and attendance at events, programmes or being at the cattery. For both portfolios, as Marketing Volunteers you will be from time to time designated as Campaign Manager for various projects and events both within the team and in collaboration with other teams. 






Just one more: this portfolio is not tagged to any team, but to 
Division-level Management  (but these senior bosses are still volunteers just like the rest of LKP). It is the Executive Assistant portfolio, and we are looking for one or hopefully two more. (Our first Executive Assitant is now a manager of the Rescue Team, partly due to the direct coaching that will take place through spending a lot of time working closely with the big boss.) One Executive Assistant will be assisting the next head of the Executive Division (which comprises of HR, Events Management, Fundraising and Marketing teams) with effect from next year. The second Executive Assistant would be supporting the head of the Operations Division (Foster Care, Rescue, Outreach and FLOAT teams) next year, who is also the president and boss of the bosses, adding up her number of Executive Assistant to two if you are the right one! This role is tricky as it has a fast paced learning curve, and you will often be juggling many tasks at a time. 

One of the responsibilities will be to act as communication liaison: to be the point of contact between the division managers, team managers, and volunteers and manage information flow. You will also have to help manage the bosses’ schedules and arrange team meetings or individual sessions on their behalf. When they are unavailable, the Executive Assistant represents the Division Managers in a gatekeeper role, creating win-win situations for volunteers and managers, providing direct access to the Division Managers' limited time. 

Another is to be the supporting role in inter-team and project teams that the Division Managers will be involved in, by managing important information for and from these teams, researching and organising the information to help in decision-making and strategic direction. You will need to handle matters expeditiously and proactively, and follow-through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressures. 

You are required to be good at administrative skills in order to execute tasks for the senior bosses, which tend to involve many variables. For the portfolio of Executive Assistant tagged to the LKP President, you will need to work alongside the existing Executive Assistant, which may require some meetings, otherwise there will usually be just meetings with your direct boss and meetings, events or programmes your direct boss is involved in. These will usually be outside of normal working hours as all would be also volunteer like you. There will be occasional meetings with external organisations that may occur during weekday daytime, though you will not be obliged to attend them if school/work clashes. All other work is remote



"I am very happy where I am with my boss, the LKP volunteers I have met, and the cats." Deborah, Executive Assistant to Elaine, President

Interested?

To apply for any one or more of the above portfolios, write an email to our President at elaine@lovekuchingproject.org with the following information:


  • Self-intro: Are you working, or studying, or both? What is your area of work/study? Do you have experience with pets or volunteering, and how were those experiences? Tell us all about who you are, we want to know you!
  • Strengths: What are you good at? These can be both technical or professional skills or innate strengths that may or may not seem related to the portfolio you are applying for. We believe that everyone has their own unique combination of strengths. Describe them to us.
  • Interests: Which portfolio/s are you interested in? And tell us why, too. Apart from the LKP portfolios described above, tell us about other things that interest you too. These may be what you are interested in learning, or area you wish to grow in personally or professionally, or simply your hobbies.
  • Passions: Why volunteering, why LKP, and why now? What drives you? What do you believe in? How does LKP's work relate to your own personal beliefs? What are your personal thoughts regarding animal welfare and social causes? In LKP, we believe that the portfolio you take on, whether it exists already or needs to be created for you, should be something you are deeply passionate about doing.
  • Schedule/availability: Are you able to commit to volunteering in the portfolio you are interested in, in terms of your time? We do not want your volunteer work to overshadow your health and your family and loved ones, but LKP commitment comes closely below those priorities.
  • Portfolio-specific requirements (if any), that you fulfill.
After the initial email conversation, you may be required to do an online video chat via Google Hangouts/Skype.

If you wish to come for this Sunday's recruitment open house, indicate your interest in the email too!

Oh by the way, tell all your cat-loving cats about this. We gotta catch 'em all. Share! Retweet! Favourite! Repost! Thank you! 💛🐱🎁🐱








Donate to our cause by making a deposit to our Love Kuching Project DBS Current Account 027-905975-3 or via credit card.
Donate food or litter to us at charity rates via Polypet
Please email fundraising [at] lovekuchingproject.org after giving.
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