Animal-care organizations often have limited resources to provide ongoing training and development for employees and volunteers, but there are plenty of free or low-cost ways to keep your staff members engaged on the job and to advance their skills.
In a recent Maddie’s InstituteSM survey of companion-animal care organizations across the country, 83 percent percent of executive directors said money is a barrier to providing training and development opportunities to employees and volunteers. Fortunately, there are plenty of free or low-cost ways to keep your staff members engaged on the job and to advance their skills.
1. Partner with other agencies.
Most animal welfare organizations have similar training needs for their staff and volunteers: customer service, animal care, record-keeping and fundraising. Reach out to groups in your area, and see what expertise is available through your own board of directors or staff, and put together a partnership to produce a seminar, workshop or hands-on training session.
2. Bring in outside guest speakers.
Animal shelters and rescue groups can pool their resources and hire an outside guest speaker to provide specialized training that would be of benefit to all.
3. Take advantage of free online educational opportunities.
Many animal welfare organizations, including Maddie’s Institute, present free webcasts and webinars, both live and archived, on a wide variety of topics from shelter medicine to customer service. Instead of having your staff members and volunteers take them individually, consider having a viewing party at the shelter or other suitable venue, and watch them together, followed by group discussion.