As the Honorary Chair at this year’s annual Gala/Furball, I am very proud to say that it was a pleasure to work with this organization. Their passion, dedication, and hard work is highly commendable. It was a wonderful, well organized event that was enjoyed by all who attended. It was also very successful as a fund-raiser and achieved financial goals.
I reviewed an earlier comment in November of 2012 regarding “shill bidding”. I was confused by this posting. I have participated at many of FCCO Gala’s as a bidder/donor and I have never seen this behavior as it is described. These are professional events with a dual purpose to- raise funds to support the mission and to provide a fun evening for all who attend.
As the Honorary Chair for this year’s Gala, I was very involved with all aspects of it. I can assure anyone that this behavior of “shill bidding” did not take place. What did take place was a group of very generous people donated items for the gala – both silent and oral items. The attendees bid on these items with the proceeds going to fund the mission of FCCO. Certainly both the donors and staff want to see each item bring in as much money as possible, but there is very little they can do in this regard except to continually share their mission and to appeal to everyone to help and support.
Unfortunately, negative comments such as this one on “shill bidding” can tarnish the reputation of a wonderful organization. FCCO is one of the most professional, dedicated, honest organizations I have worked with and they would never do anything as described.
Review from Guidestar
I have volunteered with The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon since about 2008. In that time I have witnessed extreme care and concern to spend donor money wisely. I have been part of the Furball Committee where we all were brining in coupons to buy supplies and reusing items which have been used for years, to save all the money we could so as much money as we raised, would go directly back to help the cats. It has been my experience that FCCO takes their fiduciary responsibility to the donors and supporters very seriously. I wouldn't hesitate to support this organization with my time and/or money and have encouraged many others to do the same.
I was asked to be on the board several years ago since I had experience with animal welfare in Portland. I was absolutely amazed at what these folks can do with their budget. The amount of cats they are able to help with such a small agency is laudable. They use their volunteers well, expect a lot from the board, and run a professional, successful organization. I have since moved from Portland but have only the best things to say about FCCO. Your donations are well used.
I was have been a volunteer at the FCCO fundraising event, called Furball. It is a large even with bidding Auctions to raise money to fix cats. I have first hand knowledge of an illegal practice that is condoned by the Board and the Director at this event. What they do at this event is call "Shill Bidding." The Board members and key people bid on items without any intent on buying the items, it is just to run up the prices for the honest bidders. I was working at the Check Out Station during the auction and a very expensive painting with a retail value of probably $1000 came through but the person who WON the item wasn't going to pay for it. The person was the Board President Kris Ellingsen. She was bidding on the item only to run up the price for the other person who was bidding and wanted the item but she bid one too many times and got stuck with the item and she wasn't going to pay for it. I volunteered again the next year and was told by this one lady that they have seen this before and that all the "insiders" know about this. The Manager/Director, Karen gives signals to people of when to bid and when to stop. I wanted to continue to volunteer at the FCCO clinics so I wrote an anonymous letter to the Board expressing my displeasure about the unethical practices and they should apologize pubically to their supporters for thier behavior. To my knowlege they haven't done this. All of this is for the animals, but do they have to stoop to illegal and unethical practices that pose a negative light on them. I think they would do fine without all the secret bidders to defraud the honest ones. It makes people wonder what else do they do that is dishonest to the public. Those two women who run the organization really need move aside. At least I want other people to know about this and found this way to review a charity.
Review from Guidestar
From what I've seen, the FCC of Oregon is a first-class organization. I had several strays and ferals in my neighborhood. When I chose to become their caregiver, FCC was there to help with low-cost surgery and vaccinations so these cats could be healthy and happy in a well-populated neighborhood. I was happy with their services and all the people I met who provided the services. Well done!