local nonprofit organization is no longer considering closing after receiving nearly $40,000 in donations in December.
The Humane Society of Johnson County was at risk of closing this year due to a lack of donations and volunteers. But with the help of the community, the organization has raised enough to cover the shelter and pet food pantry through the year, Humane Society board president Janet Gorrell said.
The nonprofit handles pet adoptions, which match about 300 pets with owners per year, educates pet owners about the humane treatment and care of animals and runs a pet food pantry for low-income residents who cannot feed their pets. The organization also has a program to spay and neuter feral cats to keep the cat population under control in the county.
The nonprofit needs about $150,000 to run each year and relies on grants and donations. Typically, the organization receives $2,500 in donations per month for general operations. The rest comes from grants or other fundraising efforts.
Last year, the organization was not getting enough volunteers and foster families for pets, and donations were not covering its monthly expenses. In addition, three board members retired at the end of the year. Officials were concerned and said the organization may need to close.
In December, the organization raised $12,900 in its annual “Do Nothing” ball, and another $38,000 in donations were received, Gorrell said. About 10,000 pounds of pet food also was donated as well as 300 rolls of paper towels, cleaning and office supplies. The organization also welcomed four new board members to replace the three who retired at the end of last year, and hopes to add another one or two members to fill the nine-person board, she said.
Fundraising efforts will continue throughout the year to make sure the organization does not find itself in the same dire financial situation that it was in less than three months ago, Gorrell said.
“We’re set pretty good for 2015, but not to the point where we’re fully-funded,” Gorrell said.
“The community really stepped up, and even Johnson and Marion County came to our aid.”
And they will try to raise awareness of what they do and how to help.
The Humane Society has enough space for about 35 to 45 cats at its Franklin location at 3827 Graham Road but has foster families help take care of dogs brought in to the organization. The nonprofit still could use more foster families and volunteers, Gorrell said.
With new board members, the nonprofit is more energized and has new ideas for fundraising and awareness, Gorrell said.
When the organization was in trouble last year, Gorrell discovered most residents don’t know that it exists, she said.
“This will be our year of education,” Gorrell said.
“As far as 2015 (goes), it looks pretty bright for us.”
Members of the organization will attend more functions throughout the community so residents are aware of their programs, including low-cost spay and neuter services and the pet food pantry.