My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Ahimsa Foundation, Boston, MA, USA
This is a long overdue testimonial to the wonderful work of the Ahimsa Foundation.
I'll forever be grateful to Ahimsa for funding a TNR/spay-neuter program for community cats in Virginia. A friend and I had launched our region's first TNR program in 1997, at a time when anything other than trap-kill for community cats was still controversial. We had no idea what we were leaping into, and we had little to no fundraising experience, but the need was great in our community.
Somehow we heard about the Ahimsa Foundation, and in early 1998, we wrote and submitted our first-ever grant proposal. I still remember the joy we felt when we received an acceptance letter and check from the Ahimsa Foundation. It was more than the money; it was knowing that another organization believed in what our small, all-volunteer group was accomplishing. Receiving that first grant from Ahimsa bolstered our confidence and encouraged us to apply for more grants and expand our fundraising in other ways. I remember talking to Aina Allen at Ahimsa Foundation and how kind and helpful she was.
While I moved to Maryland in 2003, the Virginia program is still going strong, and I'm still active in grassroots TNR programs, since I soon discovered the need was just as big in Maryland. More than 20 years after I applied for that first Ahimsa grant, I still spend most of my free time helping to trap cats for spay/neuter and raising money for these programs that save so many lives and prevent countless cats and kittens from being born. And I credit the Ahimsa Foundation for providing an essential morale boost in my early years of TNR work and ensuring that I didn't give up.
Review for Friends Of Montgomery County Animals Inc, Germantown, MD, USA
A wonderful organization run by some smart, effective volunteers. Since I moved to Maryland, they have funded spay/neuter surgeries for several cat colonies I've come across, enabling me to get these colonies sterilized and stop countless litters of kittens from being born. Very impressed by how responsive, caring, and organized FMCA is. When one of the cats I trapped had a plastic slurpee lid embedded around her torso and needed additional vet care, FMCA stepped up to cover the costs. As someone who has been involved in animal welfare volunteer work for more than 20 years, I can wholeheartedly recommend this organization to people who are interested in volunteering or donating to this charity.
Review for Voices For Animals, Charlottesvle, VA, USA
Voices for Animals is an all-volunteer animal protection organization that's been around since 1984. The reason for its long-term success is the passion and commitment of its volunteers. On a shoe-string budget, Voices for Animals accomplishes more than many organizations with full-time staff. It runs a feral cat spay/neuter program that sterilized and vaccinated nearly 1,200 cats in Central Va. last year. It coordinates the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival and Dog & Cat Adoption Fair, an annual event that attracts 5,000-6,000 people. It raises awareness of local and national animal protection issues, and inspires people to take action to create a more compassionate, humane world.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I've seen a marked decrease in cats surrendered to the local shelter. I've seen people who were desperate for help sterilizing a group of cats receive help through the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter program, and I've seen healthy, nonbreeding cat colonies as the result. I've met people who became vegetarian or reduced their intake of animal products after attending the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival, and dozens of dogs and cats from local shelters and rescue groups find forever homes at the adoption fair.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Make it larger and expand its reach. For the volunteer and financial resources they have, Voices for Animals accomplishes an amazing amount of direct care and advocacy for animals. It would be wonderful to see this organization grow even larger.