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From Where I Sit: Rich Anderson

August 8, 2023, The Association

In this new Guest Voices column, animal welfare professionals share the top 3 trends they’re seeing in the industry. Rich Anderson of Anderson Impact kicks it off.

When I launched Anderson Impact Nonprofit & Philanthropic Consulting in October 2022, it was the culmination of working in the nonprofit sector for 32 years, where much of my time was spent in the fundraising and marketing space. I spent the last eleven of those 32 years as CEO of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League (PAARL) in West Palm Beach, Florida, where I got to use my fundraising and marketing skills to talk to an audience that loves their animals and often will support animals before they support people. However, the percentage of donors supporting animal welfare is small in comparison to donors who support other nonprofit causes. The pool is much smaller for animal welfare dollars, which can make the work challenging at times.

That’s why I wanted to use my experience to help other nonprofits grow and thrive, and have greater impact. In this role, I just recently secured a new humane society client, and I’m wrapping up a five-month project with another animal welfare organization that has helped strengthen their fundraising programs and identify a new CRM platform to better support those efforts.

From my perspective and area of expertise, the top three most important trends in the animal welfare sector are:

The competition for quality people has never been higher for businesses across the country. The same is true for animal welfare.

The norms or expectations of younger generations have changed. Every organization needs to adapt. This means that leaders may need to shift or reset their expectations. This plays into the competition for quality people. For example, more people in the workplace are seeking flexible schedules and hours, or remote work options. People are asking for things that even three, four or five years ago would never have been considered necessary. This is requiring nonprofits to be nimble and understand the requirements for satisfying changing needs. It can be very difficult to get nonprofit leadership on board with these changes. 

Nonprofits and animal welfare organizations are becoming more aware of the investments they must make in their teams. It’s not just about investing in the animals. Organizations have to provide professional and personal development opportunities for staff to have a more content team and to reduce the amount of turnover. This includes investing in mental health and wellness support. Most people outside of animal welfare do not realize just how stressful the work is.

Rich Anderson is a nonprofit executive who believes in the power of collaboration on the smallest and largest scales to affect social change and improve our world. Anderson brings more than 30 years of fund development, marketing, and leadership experience to his philanthropic consulting business, Anderson Impact, the last eleven of those 32 years as CEO of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.

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About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.

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