I have just finished writing a column for NZ Dog World magazine about the issue of demographic change in the veterinary medicine sector.
And then in my Linkedin newsfeed pops up this article about a rescue group in Utah that is winding up. It’s founder and stalwart is retiring after 13 years…
…and the rescue group is ceasing its operations as a result.
Something that ‘experts’ warned for quite a few years is upon us – demographic change. In the next 10 years, many Baby Boomers will be retiring. They’ve done their bit and it’s time to slow down and enjoy life.
The problem is – the Gen X and Millennials that are living their lives have different pressures and priorities. Gen X are dealing with aging parents, educating their children, and retaining full-time employment to pay for their own retirement. Millennials have different priorities too. They may have aspirations to buy a home in a rising housing market; they are integrally connected to technologies of all types, and they don’t ‘volunteer’ the way previous generations did.
Rescue groups and those involved in re-homing need to take heed.
Succession planning is important if your rescue group is to survive. This means an honest look at business processes and how they relate to the current generations with disposal income and the ability to support your efforts.
Digital presence is a must; as is content curation – the provision of new and regular content.
It’s a real shame to see groups winding up; but there will probably be more who don’t survive the rapid change in their memberships.
Need help? I’m an experienced not-for-profit and public sector manager as well as a canine massage therapist and entrepreneur. I’d be happy to work with your group to facilitate the development of action plans for your future.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand