Welcome to the Premier Issue of SNIPPETS, the E-Newsletter of United Spay Alliance!

In This Issue:
• Up to Speed with USA
• USA Launches with New Director Search
• Fix By Five Update
• Crowdfunding, Anyone?
• Communications Resource

Leaping Up to Speed with USA

Since We Last Met…
Following last year’s Summit, we have been working hard to obtain funding to hire a director who will be working directly with you — the state leaders — to help with problems and issues, and to decide upon the most effective direction for United Spay Alliance. We know public education is needed; too many people still do not know when to ‘fix their felines’. There are still large “black holes” without affordable spay/neuter services. And you have told us you can always use help with funding ideas and successful models. We have heard you, funding for the director is now in place, and we are ready to move forward!

Momentum Builds for USA Launch with Funding Support
Many exciting changes have occurred the past several months as United Spay Alliance officially launches this month, thanks to the generosity of grants from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, Summerlee Foundation, the Animal Rescue and Resource Foundation, Marian’s Dream Philanthropy for Animal Advocates, and individual donors. We are awaiting fulfillment of a major pledge from another foundation. Additionally, we are thrilled that an anonymous donor has issued a challenge grant starting now and ending May 30, 2016. This donor will match any gift one-to-one up to $5,000! This will help support communications and fundraising initiative support for the USA network, including potential crowdfunding hosting. We are grateful to all these visionaries who recognize USA’s emerging role as the national thought leader of the Spay/Neuter movement — and its coalition of progressive state spay programs that save millions of lives of companion pets.

USA Infrastructure
Working with Elaine Tselikis, Consultant and Animal Advocate, the USA Steering Committee has been strengthening Board governance, organizational structure, and communications to set the groundwork for our new direction and future staffing. Among many focal points, Elaine has written successful grants for USA and has facilitated business planning. She manages social media and the USA blog has and initiated the new Web series Changemakers. We hope you read — and share — this series, which features affiliate leaders who tell compelling stories of how their teams help animals and communities in their unique regions of the country.

Summit Update
At last spring’s successful USA Summit in New Orleans (facilitated by Kathi Daniels of Spay Illinois) it was decided to not conduct future summits every year. Because USA will be focusing on capacity-building and affiliate needs under new leadership over the next year, the date for the next Summit will be determined sometime in 2017. You will be asked for input on workshops, breakout sessions, and offerings. Please note that we do not anticipate offering wet labs at that Summit.

USA Officially Launches with Search for Innovative Director to Lead Organization
United Spay Alliance seeks a dedicated, passionate and experienced Director to lead and grow the recently incorporated nonprofit, currently comprised of a coalition of 29 affiliated State spay/neuter programs. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Director will provide overall management, planning and leadership of the national organization.

The Director will be committed to animal advocacy and ending euthanasia. S/he will interface and collaborate with state affiliate spay/neuter leaders to analyze, establish, strengthen and administer policies, communications, initiatives and services that will fortify and advance the work of affiliate programs – including exploring regions to develop new state programs where no spay/neuter services exist. S/he will also work with the USA Board and Committees to develop and administer standards of Board governance, strategic planning, and budgets.

Applicants from Northern New England are preferred to allow for the ability to meet with the Board President monthly. However, qualified candidates from any part of the contiguous United States will be considered for this part-time, non-exempt telecommuting position. Resumes will be screened through April 8, 2016. Recruitment will continue until the position is filled by June 2016.
*Update July 2016: This position has been filled, and we welcome Bruce Myers as the new Director of the United Spay Alliance. See the announcement at our Facebook page!

Update: Fix Felines by Five Months
At the January North American Veterinarian Conference, Marian’s Dream — partnering with Joan Miller of Cat Fanciers’ Association — organized a focus group with veterinarians from the AVMA, AAFP, AAHA, Banfield, VetCor, Cat Fanciers, and Veterinary Information Network. The purpose was to discuss the Fix by Five Campaign and best-practices for the timing of cat spays/neuters. Topics included: Current recommendations (6 months and older), which are varied and arbitrary; Pre-pubertal spay/neuter is safe; There are health benefits to spaying prior to first heat; Scheduling the spay at the end of the kitten vaccination series can benefit clients and veterinarians. FMI CLICK HERE. Watch your e-mail for further updates on this important initiative!

Crowdfunding, Anyone?
We know state spay programs are always seeking and implementing creative and ongoing ways to raise funds. USA is exploring the possibility of hosting our own crowdfunding page, exclusively for spay/neuter programs in our network.
Interested in learning more? (Just learning — there’s no commitment) CLICK HERE to contact us. Depending on the number of replies, we will pursue more details and follow up in future communication.

FREE Communications Report
Which communications goals and tools are most important to your nonprofit spay/neuter program? What’s the link between fundraising and communications? How how often do you to send appeals and newsletters (both print and e-mail)?

These and numerous other questions, tips, and data are shared in the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. We’ve uploaded this free resource from Nonprofit Marketing Guide and have made it available for you to explore ideas you may find useful for your program. To download the FREE 33-page report, CLICK HERE.