Non-Profits

Non-Profits – Animal Welfare

Catnippers and FixNation

In 1999, my wife, Karn Myers, and I founded Best Friends Catnippers, an all-volunteer program of Best Friends Animal Society (www.bestfriends.org), which funds and operates clinics to sterilize feral cats and helps implement the humane practice of controlling homeless cat population growth known as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). We did this because of a love of cats, and a desire to contribute the improvement of our society, through setting an example that kindness to animals makes all of us better people.

After considerable study about TNR and other programs implementing this method in San Diego and Florida, we developed a business plan to launch our own program, which was embraced by Best Friends. We started with monthly, high-volume clinics, each doing upwards of 100 cats, then after three years went to a bi-monthly schedule, combined with our own “coupon” program, whereby, through my efforts, we raised considerably more money via grant submissions, so as to afford paying vets to sterilize the same number of cats each month that we were doing at our monthly clinics. By funding this program, and distributing City of LA vouchers, were we able to drive down our cost per procedure to under $22, and up our annual volume from around 1,200 cats to 2,600 in 2006, the last full year of this combined program. To date, the Catnippers program has fixed over 14,000 homeless cats.

In 2006, we began a dialogue with one of Catnippers’ principal donors, PetSmart Charities, about launching a full-time spay-neuter clinic to do what Catnippers had been doing for some 8 years on a volunteer model. Again, I took the lead in writing our business plan and grant proposals, and assembling a group of local donors (including Best Friends) to fund a new 501(c)(3) organization we named FixNation, Inc. (www.fixnation.org). This all came together, and with my wife serving as the Chief Operating Officer and day-to-day clinic manager, and me as President (thus far on a pro-bono basis), we commenced operations in July of 2007 in a temporary location, open 4 days per week with one vet. This became the first full-time spay-neuter clinic in California devoted to TNR and the homeless cat problem, and in the year we operated there, we accomplished over 7,000 sterilization procedures.

In August of 2008, FixNation moved into and began operating out of a permanent space we leased and built out to serve our needs as a high volume spay-neuter clinic and full-service TNR center for the community. Since then, we have accomplished another almost 5,000 spay-neuter procedures, immediately expanding to 5 days a week, and in October of 2008, to the equivalent of 2 full-time vets. Our goal is a minimum of 15,000 per year, and demonstrated reductions in the numbers of cats euthanized in local shelters. In this regard, we are working now on expanding our Board of Directors, launching an aggressive community outreach program, and increasing our efforts in the public relations area.

The annual cost for this operation comes to approximately $1.15 million, 90% of which is funded by charitable donations, from certain “anchor” donors, the list of which is expanding all the time, foundation grants, private family trusts and other contributors, the balance coming from paid services (tame cats) and LA City spay-neuter coupons issued by our sister program, Best Friends Catnippers. As co-founder, Director and President, I have been responsible for all of our fundraising and PR efforts to date.

Non Profit Services

Based upon the foregoing, which encompasses over 10 years of work on a sustained level, I have become extremely conversant with all aspects of the non-profit world. My experience in this area, which I now offer to clients seeking legal or consulting services, includes:

  • Direct interaction with some of the biggest players in the non-profit sector, including Best Friends Animal Society, PetSmart Charities and Humane Society of the U.S., as well as a myriad number of smaller 501(c)(3) organizations.
  • Formation and management of 501(c)(3) organizations; corporate governance structuring and counseling; procurement of IRS tax-exemption status; regulatory compliance ongoing; assistance as corporate Secretary and procurement of accounting and tax experts.
  • Preparation of successful grant proposals, reports and renewal applications from very small amounts, to applications for multi-year, multi-million-dollar commitments.
  • Work in other sectors in addition to animal welfare, including education and healthcare.
  • Counseling clients concerning the establishment of “animal trusts” as part of estate planning, and drafting all related instruments.

I have a very successful track record in this area, and would be pleased to help you with your non-profit challenges and goals.

  • Get In Touch

    (818) 340-0939
    Valcon International
    P.O. Box 26
    Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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