Annual Survey Results

Adopted December 3

GRR Annual Survey Results 2016

Survey Results

Earlier this month, I sent out a short survey to our members and adopters.  The survey was also made available through Facebook and our website.  It was meant for people who have interacted with our organization in the last year and who might like to provide feedback.  The survey gave opportunities for respondents to rate some aspects of the way we do business, provide commentary, and give their opinion regarding community-wide issues.

Firstly, thank you to everyone who took the time to give their feedback.  In all, we had 43 responses to the survey.  The information we gathered was very helpful and will help shape our work for the future.  Right now, I’d like to briefly share my thoughts looking on the survey results and give you some idea of what our organization is working on in 2016.

Here is a link to the survey results which you can review yourself: Survey Results.  I did not include any of the commentary, as some of it was personal and not meant for a broader audience.

Our first question in the survey was simply, “What do you think is the overall purpose of Great River Rescue?”  We asked this question because we want to know if the community knows what we are here for.  Based on the responses, most respondents have a pretty good idea that we are an animal shelter interested in caring for lost and abandoned dogs and cats and working to prevent pet overpopulation and animal abuse.  The flaw in our survey is that respondents already have had interactions with our organization and therefore have some familiarity.  In the future, perhaps we will do more of a broad and random survey to get a better idea of how the overall community perceives our purpose.  Nonetheless, we are pleased that most of the respondents know our purpose, and we will continue to spread our message.

Later, we asked about the public’s image of our organization, if you believe we provide quality animal care, and if you think we act ethically.  As an organization, we have worked hard over the last several years to improve our public image.  We have done that by being open and honest with the community about our work, instituting some polices that protect our ability to provide quality care, and holding ourselves to a high standard of ethical and professional behavior.  I believe that we have great people within this organization and we are doing great work.  We are far from perfect, and there are times when we mess up, but we will hold ourselves accountable.  I am thankful that many people are taking notice of the good work we are doing.  I know that we have made a lot of progress with our image in the last few years, but that work will never stop.  We can always do better, and we will always strive to be a responsible community resource.

We asked respondents to rank community issues in order of importance.  There was a mixed response to this question, but the issue identified as the most important was working to prevent animal abuse and neglect.  Not surprisingly, this is also the most complex and difficult challenge to confront.  Generally, Great River Rescue approaches this problem indirectly.  By taking in abused and neglected animals, spaying and neutering each pet, and getting them into homes with responsible pet owners, we try to reduce the possible incidences of abuse and neglect.  The truth is though, that animal abuse and neglect is a societal problem that requires a wide response from multiple sources including government, public groups, and individuals.  As an organization we will continue to teach responsible and ethical treatment of animals.  We will also look for opportunities to bring people and groups together to fight this ugly problem.  If you are interested in becoming more involved in preventing animal abuse and neglect, I encourage you to learn more about becoming a Humane Agent with the Minnesota Federated Humane Societies.  They are in desperate need of more agents for Northern Minnesota.  Learn more here | Minnesota Federated.

We also asked about our annual fundraising events giving respondents the opportunity to let us know which is their favorite.  The main thing I learned from this question is that most respondents either don’t have a favorite event, or don’t attend any events.  Over the last three years, we have raised about $20,000 each year from our fundraising events.  We are pleased to raise that money, but I definitely see an opportunity for growth there.  I think we can do a better job of promoting our events.  This year, I hope that we can do more to get the word out about our events and I hope they can be fun and interesting events.  Of course, I don’t know exactly how we will do that, but I will work hard to make our events the best they can be.

Finally, we asked what you think our greatest needs are as an organization.  The most prominent response was a need for financial donations.  Truthfully, we are doing much better financially than a few years ago, but yes, that is our greatest need.  As a community nonprofit, we depend on support from individuals and businesses to keep doing our work.  Our budget continues to increase because of constantly increasing expenses and it creates a huge challenge to constantly increase our revenue.  Again, I will work as hard as I can to ensure this organization is fiscally sound, but it is a huge undertaking.  It will take the work of this whole community to keep this organization alive and thriving.  Fortunately, over the last 39 years, the community has shown that they think this organization is important and does make a difference.

Again, thank you to everyone who provided responses to our survey.  Many of you put some kind and heartfelt comments too.  I am especially thankful for your kind remarks.  We will continue to reach out to you, our community, for feedback and suggestions.  We only exist because the community believes in the work we do.  We want to make sure we are doing the work that the community expects of us.

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