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Running an Animal NGO - Survival Skills 101

If you're running an Animal NGO and struggling with naysayers, here are a few pointers that may help you survive, and most importantly, know that you are not alone.

Keep calm and carry on. Everyone else, will move on!

If you're running an Animal NGO and are struggling with naysayers, here are some known facts:

One: Public Wrath - Every NGO faces the wrath of self-entitled members of the public, most times from 'animal rescuers' themselves. 

Two: Badmouthing - People will often go to one NGO and badmouth another NGO to them. A smart NGO knows they do this to everyone, so to never feel happy that someone else, especially another animal NGO is getting badmouth, because tomorrow it will be you. 

Three: Unreasonable Demands - Several people are extremely unreasonable and have absolutely no respect for NGOs and somehow treat it as if its their personal tax money that's running the show. Some organisations take government funds, but I’ll speak for myself and many others who don’t. Most private NGOs do not get government funding or take it, please break your bubble that all NGOs run on your tax money. You cannot order around an NGO to do a certain thing just because you demand it. A good NGO is born out of passion and run with passion as well as practicality, besides anything else. 

Four: Overconfident Volunteers and Overzealous Activists - these individuals are more dangerous than people who stay away from animals. Learn to say No when you must. Stay away from gossip, keyboard activism and fruitless chatting sprees. You can be helping an animal in the time you waste tearing people down or duplicating animal resources. 

Five: Fundraising - While each NGO has its own policies and protocols for functioning, every NGO tries to raise funds for animals, and it is important and essential to help animals and continue working. You cannot treat an animal on fresh air and love only, no matter how much you would like to. Fundraising is challenging and stressful. NGOs are registered so that they can offer transparency as opposed to being unorganised and siphoning funds into personal bank accounts. Respect that they chose to attempt doing things in an organised way, for the love of animals. 

Six: NGOs have limitations. If you can't understand it, that's fine, but respect the fact that no one entity can save all. All they can do is try their best. 

Seven: The better you get, the bigger you get, the greater the number of people who try to run you down. The more animals you rescue/help, the more people you have to deal with... the more people you deal with, the more त्रास / pain you must anticipate. Learn to become zen. 

Key Code of Survival: Focus on the animals you have with you and do right by them. If you are certain that the animal with you is the ultimately beneficiary of your actions, pay heed to no one else. 

Keep calm and carry on. Everyone else, will move on :) 

Neha Panchamiya

Neha Panchamiya

Jeevoka member since Aug 2019

I am Founder and President of RESQ Charitable Trust, Pune, that provides aid to over 15,000+ animals every year. I believe that my style of work in the field of Animal Welfare can be described as ‘Proactive Activism driven by Action that is passionate yet professional and practical’. I also work with governmental and non-governmental entities alike, to influence changes in strategy, policy and work implementation with an aim to help animals beyond her organisations reach and with a long-term goal of reducing human-animal conflict. Besides my extensive work and experience in animal welfare, I juggle several roles through the day – A self-taught freelancing Graphic Designer and Media Consultant, Managing Committee Member of the Pune District SPCA, Hon. Advisor to the Maharashtra State Animal Welfare Board, a doting Mother and more!
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