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IMOM volunteer duties
Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:37 PM
IMOM volunteer work is more complicated than most people will ever realize. Over time we have developed a system that virtually assures that anyone who actually needs a response from us is contacted and no emergencies are left unaddressed. Please note the caveat – we hear from plenty of people who would rather send us emails than read the FA information on the website. If what they need is covered there, they receive a canned response sending them back. This goes for emails to both the GF committees and the Board of Directors. We just don’t have time to reiterate what is already documented for their use.
There are 14 members of the GF Committee. Nine take shifts during the week (several more than 1), while the other five of us are backups or floaters, filling in when needed. Vols are assigned either full or split shifts Monday – Saturday. Since we are scattered nationwide, the start and end coverage varies by time zone but generally someone is around 10AM – 11PM Eastern time. (Sundays are unassigned because they are usually quiet but if something comes in that’s critical, anyone available will try and respond. If it’s not critical, it may wait till the next day.) Note not every volunteer is online everyday - some are only available during weekdays, or some only evenings. Many are not available on weekends but the few of us that are do try to make sure everything timely is taken care of or referred to the next shift.
In my next post, I’ll tell you about the daily duties of a volunteer, and later some of the problems we encounter, and how you can help (and what not to do to help as well). Please feel free to comment or ask questions along the way.
Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:20 PM
The vol on duty archives all faxes, returns general calls to vets and handles all correspondence that is not regarding a case already assigned to a committee member. They also work with anyone during the initial application process, reviewing documents and presenting new cases to the committee. If an application is approved, the person on duty at that time becomes the “caseworker” or CW. They are the primary contact for the applicant from then on. Usually, anything needing attention for a case is left until the caseworker can respond unless a) it’s an emergency or we know the CW is not going to be online within the next day. In those rare instances another volunteer can step in, but we try to avoid that as the CW usually has the most background on any pet we’re helping.
Some days are very calm but others are crazy, with multiple cases in play at once. When that’s happening, everything is triaged to determine what pet needs attention first. If anything not critical is not done before the end of the shift, it’s referred to the next shift using a form we call a “recap”.
Regarding emails, everything sent to our committee address is delivered to each committee volunteer, including emails, faxes and phone messages. This assures that not only does more than one person see each email, but also guarantees that all communications are properly archived. All decisions are made with input from as many committee members as can reply in a reasonable amount of time: this will be more when time is less critical but less in an emergency, since we won’t hold a decision if a pet is in danger. Luckily we have worked together enough to usually come to the same conclusion anyway, so if time is a factor, we’ll proceed with just a few votes.
Next post will be how you can help us help applicants – and what actually slows things down.
Posted 30 June 2011 - 09:25 PM
As explained earlier, all email to the Board of Directors and our FA committees (we have two, one for our sponsor cases and one for the GF) are broadcast to each member simultaneously. Phone messages and faxes are delivered the same way, via committee emails. Emails are archived on two separate email systems, so even if someone's personal email is down, they can go onto one of two servers to find what's come in. In addition, our application requests and actual applications are stored in a third repository as well. This system allows us to easily research all communications quickly and helps assure that emails are not missed. But nothing is 100% foolproof. We are talking about the internet, after all.
Emails regarding an active case will either be handled by the CW or the vol on duty. However, there are times our systems fail and we don't receive something in as timely a manner as we should. If a person says they have not heard from us, please ask them to email the committee at gf @ imom.org. Please do not email us personally, or send a PM on the forum, or send us personal messages on Facebook or Twitter about anything that is time-sensitive because we as individuals may be away, and personal emails and messages may not be seen for days at a time. Many of us check our committee email several times a day so that is the fastest way to bring something to our attention. But please don't send multiple emails, or suggest that applicants do - that won't make us answer faster, it just slows us down.
The next installment will be regarding our financial aid process. As always, feel free to ask questions along the way.
Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:20 PM
Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:53 AM
Love, from AJ's Pride and Skeeter's Joy
Posted 20 May 2012 - 11:25 AM
There is far more involved to being a volunteer for IMOM than anyone can even imagine. We need people who can devote time and who are really serious about wanting to learn all of the behind the scenes work involved in operating a business like IMOM.
There will be announcements when we are ready to start a new training class.
Thank you for your interest.
Spay and Neuter -- It's the right thing to do!
From 1998 through 2009, 3.89% of IMOM emergency cases have been for something that could have been prevented had the pet been spayed or neutered.
Pyometra is a serious uterine infection that is potentially fatal and can occur in unspayed animals.
Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:34 PM
Posted 03 June 2012 - 04:26 AM
My experience includes writing the ad copy as well. I am sending my business card that I recently designed.
Also a sample of Father's Day window painting, a illustration from a children's poetry book my Mother wrote can be found in my gallery along with my awesome kitties!
I am a docent for the Moonridge Animal Park. However , I had heart failure and have not able to return to the animals just yet. I was able to help by donating jewelry to sell in the gift shop.
Thank you for being there , but what greater rewards can't get any better than a slobbery puppy or a wink from a kitty. Even a frog they all matter.
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