The 140 year-old Charleston Animal Society was the first animal protection organization in South Carolina - and one of the first in the nation!
Founded in 1874, the organization was orginally intended to prevent cruelty to animals. Today, they find homes for homeless animals, fight animal cruelty, contain outbreaks of deadly disease through rabies vaccination programs, prevent the birth of unwanted animals through focused spay and
neuter programs, and help youth understand science through a Veterinary Science Initiative, among other programs.
Today, our VolunteerSpotlight shines on Steve O'Brien, Director of Volunteers and Emergency Services, who uses VolunteerSpot's online signup sheets to organize volunteers and keep them informed.
Please tell us about your organization and your volunteer needs.
We have thousands of registered volunteers - some of whom (a few hundred) volunteer on a regular basis, and some who volunteer periodically for special events or projects. Many of our volunteers are engaged in helping the dogs and cats in our care to find homes (such as through socialization/feeding/walking, in temporary fostering, helping in our spay and neuter clinic, and with off-site events and fundraisers.
Explain how you use VolunteerSpot to coordinate these volunteers.
We use Volunteer Spot to inform volunteers of special events, meetings, and projects, primarily. We typically use it for 6-12 of these opportunities per month. I create the event, days, times, etc. and send the information and links to sign up to our volunteers through a "blast" e-mail. I like to make sure that the sign-up process is easy for the volunteers. Volunteer Spot allows me to lay out the basics of what the volunteers will be doing and to ask them to sign up for small blocks of time. they can sign up for multiple shifts and days - or for just one. Volunteer Spot is easy to use, from my perspective and from that of the volunteers (according to feedback from them).
What’s one piece of advice you have for volunteers or their leaders out there?
Most organizations that have volunteers helping out would love to have the volunteers contribute to program improvements and to their "job descriptions." We often need volunteers to lead projects and work groups. One of the best ways for volunteers to contribute is for veteran volunteers to lead and mentor new volunteers. Volunteers should ask how they can do more.
Why did you decide to use VolunteerSpot?
Volunteer Spot was in use by our organization before I came along a year ago, but I understand that my predecessors liked how it is so user-friendly. I agree, which is why I still use it.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know about your organization or volunteering?
As volunteers already know, there is often more ways to help out than those published or offered by an organization. Let the Volunteer Director/Coordinator know how you can help!
We salute Steve and all the other volunteers out there making a difference for our furry friends. If you're using VolunteerSpot, write and tell us about what you're doing and give us a chance to shine our Volunteer Spotlight on you!! Just email us at [email protected].