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Chelsea Staley: Basics to know about shelter finances and HR

Guest: Chelsea Staley joined the Petco Foundation team as the Director of Lifesaving in May 2020. Chelsea oversees the Foundation’s grants team and supports animal welfare organizations nationwide. Before joining the Foundation, Chelsea served as the Executive Director of Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association in West Virginia. She also has an MBA from the University of Charleston.

Main question: What basics should shelter leaders know about finances and human resources? 


  • Essentially, nonprofits are businesses. Their mission is different, but they still only run well when using sound business practices. 

  • Financial stewardship and trust with donors are crucial, so it can be worth contracting with a skilled bookkeeper and accountant. 

  • Hire people who align with your mission. Recognize signs of stress in employees and reach out to them. 

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  • Progressive discipline or corrective action can be hard when you are starting out in a leadership role because most of us avoid conflict. Thinking about corrective action differently can help. You want the person to keep their job and, to do that, they need to follow protocols. You are offering them opportunities to grow as an employee. It’s your job to stand up for the animals. If an employee is dropping the ball, the pets can’t alert you. You need to monitor performance and speak up on behalf of the animals. It doesn’t have to be confrontational, but there need to be consequences for poor performance.



Recorded September 22, 2020

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