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Joy Smith: Creating partnerships with other groups & agencies 

Guest: Joy Smith is the founder, president and executive director of FieldHaven Feline Center, a shelter, rescue and spay/neuter organization in Northern California. It was founded in 2003, and the shelter facility was created in cooperation with the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to be a model for improving the health, safety, and adoptability of rescued cats. With devastating wildfires in Northern California, the organization has been a lifesaver for displaced cats. 

Main question: Why is developing partnerships with other organizations so helpful to groups, agencies, and communities? 


  • Reach out to other organizations in your community and start talking about ways you can coordinate and support each other – this is especially important for disaster planning. 

  • Cultivate a team of volunteers who are willing and able to step up when disaster strikes. Your staff will still need to perform all of their essential duties, so having a disaster team will minimize disruptions at your organization. 

  • ​​You don’t have to be a big organization to develop local partnerships and to play an important role in disaster planning. 

  • Understand that  government agencies don’t have the same flexibility that nonprofits have so things can sometimes move more slowly. 

  • Partnering with government agencies can benefit your organization as it can sometimes open doors to funding that you otherwise would not have been able to access – and it can help you to get such partnerships off the ground by pointing out that government agencies can generally save money by having you take on some of the work because of your organization’s better capacity and skills at handling some situations.



Recorded November 24, 2020

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