What Does Spiderman and Fundraising Have in Common?

July 25th, 2012

We appreciate these tips offered by Network For Good in their November 3, 2011 issue. Thank you to Animal Shelter Fundraising for publishing in your July 25 newsletter, “What Spider Man and Marvel Comic Super Heroes Teach Us About Fundraising Appeals” .

The Journey You Are On is a Superhero’s Story
By Katya Andresen

 

stan lee spidermanStan Lee, former President and CEO of Marvel Comics, recently reflected on how to weave a great story.  He boils it down to a few elements that create a page-turner:

1. A good guy trying to do something
2. Facing insurmountable odds
3. Who keeps getting in trouble in his quest
4. So the reader keeps wondering “How’s he going to get out of this one?”
5. Until after a lot of suffering along the way, there is a victory of sorts

Stan Lee focused his career on superheroes, but this advice surely fits your story.  If you are trying to advance a cause, you know it’s a heroic struggle.  You are on a journey to a far-off destination that may never be reached in your lifetime – an end to poverty, disease or prejudice, for example.  There are a lot of obstacles along the way, and the quest is fraught with challenges.  But you have your small victories, all the same.

Are you telling your organization’s story as a dramatic struggle against the odds and celebrating the victories along the way?  You should be.  Take it from Marvel Comics-you’ve got a rip-roaring page-turner all around you.  Tell the tale with the drama and high stakes it surely merits.  Because you want everyone pulling for you, each step of the way.

“So that’s how you make coffee beans?” Learning from a Coffee Maestro

July 19th, 2012

Mr Mariposa Coffee, Jerry Caputo (left) surrounded by his many aromatic creations. Russell says, "mmmmm.....coffee."

Jerry is truly a Coffee Maestro. He told us not to call him a Master. He prefers to reserve that title for folks like Mr. Illy and Mr. Peet. Although Maestro is generally reserved for musical masters, after watching Jerry Caputo, owner of Mariposa Coffee in Mariposa, CA near Yosemite Valley, roast coffee with his special (and secret!) process, it was really like a watching a musician. The finesse in his touch, I didn’t even realize there was room for such rhythmic gestures. It was a little like watching someone practice tai chi. What do I mean? Watch this short video of Jerry putting his final touch to a newly roasted batch of Mariposa Coffee.

How did we find Jerry? While on a trip to Yosemite, we drove past a little shack on the main highway to our inn. We drove passed it several times, actually, before we decided to check it out. A few steps inside the small cabin, Jerry says (like we were local neighborhood folk), “I’m just about done with a batch here (or something like that). Wanna wait a few minutes…or come check it out.” We were technically tourists, and we thought to ourselves, “WHAT A TREAT!” Maybe locals get to watch this all the time, but we city folks who do love a good coffee experience were squealing with anticipation to see some real coffee roasting!

Jerry’s been making coffee the same way for decades. According to Jerry, 10-15 years ago when he first started Mariposa Coffee, there were probably roughly under 300 coffee roasters in the entire nation. And now, the total in California alone is likely in the thousands. The amazing thing is, Jerry still makes coffee the same method as he did when he first started, perfecting his technique here and there, taking a few hints from folks like Mr. Peet.

And if you can believe it, 1 lb of Mariposa Coffee will cost you under $10. And another thing you won’t believe, Mariposa Coffee does not yet have a website. We hope this is the start of a aromatic relationship!

 

Memorable Day with Muttville and SF Giants Pitcher Tim Lincecum

July 3rd, 2012

a special baseball card we made for Muttville's star, Timmy

A special day for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, July 1, 2012, will go down in Muttville history for a once homeless senior dog named Timmy. A week ago he was an abandoned stray. Last Sunday, he became a star! The chosen, long haired mutt now had a special advocate helping him find a new home… SF Giants star pitcher, Tim Lincecum!

I was truly honored to be one of the four Muttville representatives to meet two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. He was a genuine, down-to-earth, animal loving gentleman that won our hearts. And we believe Muttville’s senior dog cause won Tim’s heart.

I created three items for this special day: a unique Timmy baseball card (shown on left), reminiscent of one of Tim Lincecum’s Topps cards ; a 40-sec video that was played on the Giants jumbo screen(!); and a Limited Edition Muttville baseball tee in Giants colors, worn by our proud Muttville volunteers. We gave one to Tim, too. I hope he wears it!!

 

Read Marie’s blog article for Muttville about Timmy’s big moment, and see the whole day captured in photos in this slideshow:

Marie Featured in Grouchy Puppy’s “Influencing Positively” Interview Series!

June 20th, 2012

We were so honored when Sharon Castellanos, founder and publisher of the blog Grouchy Puppy and Editor-At-Large for Life + Dog Magazine, chose Marie to be featured in her “Influencing Positively” Interview series! Sharon has been a strong supporter of animal rescue, and a great friend to Muttville and its senior dog cause. Her dog Cleo, a proud senior, helps “mom” promote Muttville’s motto, “senior dogs rule!”

Thank you Sharon!

Read the original article on Grouchy Puppy’s website.

June 19, 2012

Influence Positively Interview – Marie Rochelle Macaspac

SmallClubsDayOff

Marie is the owner of Switchblade Creative Studios, a design and marketing agency that specializes in working with nonprofit organizations and socially responsible businesses. She also co-manages Small Club, a walking/boarding/daycare service. With Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, Marie volunteers as a foster caregiver, outreach member, and the team leader for marketing & design, and social media. For San Francisco Animal Care and Control, Marie offers support as an Animal Caregiver and provides Marketing and Social Media services.

Marie Macaspac’s passion is an inspiration to many within Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and beyond. She gives her time & talent helping unwanted senior dogs find homes. By fostering more than 40 dogs in her own home as well as offering care and shelter for foster/hospice dogs whose end is near, Marie’s heart is huge. Marie is a designer and is responsible for the accolades Muttville receives when our marketing efforts are noticed – Muttville’s website, the design of Muttville’s shirts, postcards/posters announcing an event, the concept for an event, and the design of the fast-growing Facebook page – these are just a few examples. She team leads the Marketing volunteers, overseeing video production, photography production, working with other people who give their marketing talents so that older dogs can be re-homed.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A quiet sunny warm day surrounded by nature, either the beach or the woods, with a handful of my furry friends enjoying the day with me – my girl ocean blue and all of our fosters/friends…..strolling without a care in the world, just being free and happy…

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be and why? probably a dog. Either a cattle dog or a shih tzu – or a cattle-shih tzu mix! i’d like to know what its like to be cute and cuddly, and equally smart and clever

What is your pets most treasured possession? my dog, ocean, who is an aussie, values most…being in school! yes, she absolutely loves to be in class. she values above all things learning new tricks and being helpful. I guess on that note, if she had to love a possession, she loves to wear her backpack! she carries muttville cards, my keys, her leash….and she feels like she is doing good and being helpful, which ultimately is what makes her happy.

Your proudest achievement so far? The first thing I think of is how much I love being a foster mom. I’ve proudly fostered over 40 dogs to date. Even when I think about it, I can’t believe it! And along with that experience, I value so much what I have learned hospicing dogs with cancer. Even though it was heartbreaking when I lost Collette (read my story of collette), everything I learned about helping dogs with cancer is a gift, and I have since been able to offer guidance to other hospice parents, Muttville mutts, and doggy moms and dads with their cancer dogs.

Who are your heroes in real life? When I was 6 or 7, I loved James Herriot who wrote All Creatures Great and Small, and then when I was 10, I discovered Jane Goodall and I have been a fan ever since. I never dreamed that I would work side by side with anyone as amazing as them, and here I am today – working with Sherri Franklin, who has changed the future for thousands of senior dogs as a result of founding Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. I am in awe of all I have witnessed these last 5 years, and so honored to be a part of it.

Senior Dogs Rockin’ Photo Shoot at the Fillmore!

June 18th, 2012

Misty K at The Fillmore's soundboard with Mark Rogers

Thanks to Pet Food Express, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue got a very special day at the famous and historical music venue The Fillmore for a fun “music-themed” photo shoot. The photos will be showcased at this year’s 2012 San Francisco Pride Parade, where Muttville mutts and volunteers will be cruising their Muttmobile, a 2012 VW Beetle given to them by Oprah Winfrey, and special guests Jane Wiedlin and Gina Schock of  The Go Go’s are joining them to support senior dog rescue.

April 17 was a FUN day with music, mutts, cameras, lights, and…THE FILLMORE!! Muttville Senior Dog Rescue teamed up with Pet Food Express for a special series of “My Mutt” photos, and will be showcasing them at this year’s SF Pride Day parade and future events thereafter.

Ocean at The Fillmore

Model senior mutts Pepper (parents Jen and Steph), Ruby and Scrabble (mom Yoko), and Misty K (dads Joe and Rafael) took over The Fillmore and did their best rockstar poses. Photographer Mark Rogers made sure they were in their best light. Fillmore crew Tony, Deanne, and Amie made sure the venue was set up with the same rockstar treatment that every band receives who graces the stage. They offered delectable treats in the green room to keep them energized.

My dog Ocean came as part of the assisting crew, but we had fun sneaking in our own shots…heehee. She did such a great job assisting, Mark gave Ocean her own rockstar shots too. She will be joining the series with photos at another historical venue, Bimbo’s (or Bottom of the Hill. She’s still deciding.. “plush bar or dive bar”?)

2012 HSUS Animal Care Expo and Animal Welfare Marketing

May 30th, 2012

Switchblade/Muttville's Marie Macaspac, HSUS CEO/President Wayne Pacelle, Muttville Founder/ Executive Director Sherri Franklin, and Muttville Public Relations Publicist / Board Member Patty Stanton

The Humane Society of United States hosted their annual Animal Care Expo this year in Las Vegas last week (May 21-24). Representing Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I attended with Muttville founder Sherri Franklin and Muttville’s publicist and Board Member Patty Stanton, and we were ready to soak up all that we could learn in two and a half days about animal care education.

In comparison to the Best Friends Animal Society “No More Homeless Pets” Conference  in October, this conference was geared more towards SPCAs, municipal shelters, and human societies across the nation and internationally. We met an organization from Guatamala, and rescues based in the U.S. that rescue animals from Iran and Romania.

It was interesting to venture outside of the Marketing track and learn about fundraising techniques and business organization topics. Found Animals talked about their venture in retail, opening a store in Southern California in a mall. HSUS’ session on hosting an Adopt-A-Thon was very useful, and we are currently implementing a few new ideas learned as Muttville gets ready for Maddie’s Matchmaker Adopt-A-Thon, coming upon June 9-10. Keep an eye out for some unique promos from Muttville!

As a result of what we learned at the Animal Care Expo, Switchblade plans on expanding Muttville’s retail ventures, which can potentially be an effective revenue stream. On the retail topic, we were all wearing our Muttville and “Senior Dogs Rule” gear, which drew in quite a bit of attention, including some heartfelt tears from folks who were touched by our “senior rescue” focus. Three women from Puerto Rico approached me after a session, and they wanted their own “Senior Dogs Rule” tees!

We met a company modeled similarly to Switchblade called the Oklahoma Media Group, that owned a division or subsidiary called The Social Animal, focusing on animal welfare marketing and fundraising. Yes, we took many notes at their workshop, and truly enjoyed their advice on email marketing, social media, and content. Made my wheels turn…what should I call Switchblade’s animal welfare division? (Suggestions are welcome!)

It is always inspiring to be in a room full of animal advocates. Patty and I are always thinking ahead, and next year we hope Muttville can participate with some sessions on senior animal care (there was none this year). What do you all think? Nashville, here we come!

“8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses” by Geoffrey James

April 23rd, 2012

We are re-posting this excellent article from Geoffrey Jamesoriginally published in Inc. Magazine. We all aspire to be an extraordinary boss, and if we aren’t there yet, this article is a great inspiration for guidance.

sherri franklin muttville

Sherri Franklin, Founder and Executive Director of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, is one of my examples of an extraordinary boss

 

The best managers have a fundamentally different understanding of workplace, company, and team dynamics. See what they get right.

 

A few years back, I interviewed some of the most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management secrets. I learned that the “best of the best” tend to share the following eight core beliefs.

1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.

Average bosses see business as a conflict between companies, departments and groups. They build huge armies of “troops” to order about, demonize competitors as “enemies,” and treat customers as “territory” to be conquered.

Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers … and even competitors.

2. A company is a community, not a machine.

Average bosses consider their company to be a machine with employees as cogs. They create rigid structures with rigid rules and then try to maintain control by “pulling levers” and “steering the ship.”

Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community–and company–at large.

3. Management is service, not control.

Average bosses want employees to do exactly what they’re told. They’re hyper-aware of anything that smacks of insubordination and create environments where individual initiative is squelched by the “wait and see what the boss says” mentality.

Extraordinary bosses set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies.

4. My employees are my peers, not my children.

Average bosses see employees as inferior, immature beings who simply can’t be trusted if not overseen by a patriarchal management. Employees take their cues from this attitude, expend energy on looking busy and covering their behinds.

Extraordinary bosses treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm. Excellence is expected everywhere, from the loading dock to the boardroom. As a result, employees at all levels take charge of their own destinies.

5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.

Average bosses see fear–of getting fired, of ridicule, of loss of privilege–as a crucial way to motivate people.  As a result, employees and managers alike become paralyzed and unable to make risky decisions.

Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they’ll be a part of it.  As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards.

6. Change equals growth, not pain.

Average bosses see change as both complicated and threatening, something to be endured only when a firm is in desperate shape. They subconsciously torpedo change … until it’s too late.

Extraordinary bosses see change as an inevitable part of life. While they don’t value change for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees and organization embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business.

7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.

Average bosses adhere to the old IT-centric view that technology is primarily a way to strengthen management control and increase predictability. They install centralized computer systems that dehumanize and antagonize employees.

Extraordinary bosses see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships. They adapt their back-office systems to the tools, like smartphones and tablets, that people actually want to use.

8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.

Average bosses buy into the notion that work is, at best, a necessary evil. They fully expect employees to resent having to work, and therefore tend to subconsciously define themselves as oppressors and their employees as victims. Everyone then behaves accordingly.

Extraordinary bosses see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.

Switchblade’s “What Did We Tweet This Week?”

April 22nd, 2012

SlideRocket Contest Honors Muttville 3rd Place & $5000 Prize

April 17th, 2012

Kudos to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue & our amazing Marketing team that created this Sliderocket presentation that won the senior mutts 3rd place and $5000! Our dedicated, talented volunteers – Celine who crafted the engaging presentation, Kira who photographed all the lovely photos and who also is on the Tweet team, plus all the supporters who voted and helped spread the word by Facebook, Twitter and our email campaigns to get the votes that rose us to the top – an amazing example of social media marketing working for good!

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue knows how to market. One of the best presentations in terms of creating an identifiable (and lovable) brand, Muttville entertains the viewer and pulls at their heart strings at the same time. The judges loved Muttville’s visuals, particularly the backgrounds, coupled with giant, easy to read fonts that build with just the right tempo. And of course a fun music track keeps you watching.” Thank you Sliderocket!

We’ve been asking folks to Watch and Share to win this contest for 2 months! Please continue to watch and share simply to spread the joy of senior dogs!

Switchblade’s “What Did We Tweet This Week?”

April 15th, 2012