An Interview With Jane Hoffman, President and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC's Animals was founded in 2002. Members of the animal law committee at the New York City Bar Association initially contacted (then newly elected) Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s transition team. At the time, the euthanasia rate at the city shelters was 74 percent, and it was clear a new approach to animal welfare was needed. After initial talks, the alliance organized as a public-private partnership with the City of New York, but its funding is 100 percent private. Mayor’s Alliance works with 160+ nonprofit animal rescue groups and shelters in the NYC area, ranging from the ASPCA to neighborhood-based rescue groups.
More than 41,000 animals enter Animal Care & Control in NYC each year. Working with the groups and shelters that participate in the Mayor’s Alliance, the organization has succeeded in reducing the euthanasia rate at its city animal shelters from 74 percent to 33 percent between 2002 and 2009.
FundRaising Success: How do you fund your mission?
Janet Hoffman: Our largest funder is Maddie’s Fund, The Pet Rescue Foundation, a family foundation funded by Workday and PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl.
In addition to funding from Maddie’s Fund, we receive a generous grant from the ASPCA, as well as grants from several other foundations and organizations. We are also very appreciative of much-needed contributions from individuals.
FS: What are the biggest challenges your organization faces as far as fundraising is concerned? How do you overcome them?
JH: The euthanasia rate in NYC was so high when the Mayor’s Alliance was first formed that we had little time to focus on fundraising. We received several generous grants at the start of our work that allowed us to focus on the task at hand. Over time, we’ve needed to move fundraising more toward the center of our efforts, which means changes to our website, a focus on social media and marketing — and a general shift in our thinking. It’s been an adjustment for all of us, but we’re highly motivated to build on the success we’ve achieved so far and not allow a slide backward.