On July 12th, we held our first "Coffee with the ED" session at Coffee depot in downtown Cheyenne.
BDAR is approaching a ten year anniversary. We have grown from a start up that very few people believed would succeed to a beloved nonprofit organization celebrated across the community.
We've also had time and opportunity to see the strengths and weaknesses in our program, the realities of what an all-volunteer approach can support, and the needs in our community that still aren't being met by available resources.
This Fall, our staff and Board will convene to draft a strategic plan and goals for the next 3-5 years. We're at a crossroads and wondering which way to go. We need the community's feedback and support to decide on a direction and make the leap of faith to move toward it.
That's what the coffee hours are for. They are an open dialogue session, a chance to talk about what's working and what's not, what's sustainable, what the upcoming challenges are, what the resources needed to meet them may be. It's a chance to take a look at our current programs and services and compare them to the needs of the community to see if they align.
Last night's discussion was great, and the half dozen or so people who came and stayed the whole time engaged in a very positive and hopeful dialogue. Topics we covered included:
- The current processes and procedures governing the operation of our volunteer, foster, and adoption programs
- The uncertainty of our current facilities. We may need to leave in Feb. 2019 or we may have the opportunity to expand our occupancy to the entire building. In either case, we'll also need to add our own veterinary services rather than rely exclusively on private partnerships for those.
- The risks and challenges associated with a permanent reliance on volunteer foster families given our rural community and small population.
- Current volunteer needs and limitations we face regarding outreach and education efforts
- Community cat management
- Funding challenges and development strategy
- Advocacy and lobbying
It was a lot of ground to cover in an hour and a half. But it was exactly what we were hoping for . We came away from it with some new connections, some new volunteers, some new points of view.
We are going to continue the conversation again in August. Please join us on Wednesday the 16th, again from 5:30 - 7:00pm. We'd like to thank our friends at Coffee Depot for creating a welcoming space for us and others in the community to gather.
See you then.