If you are reading this, then you are interested in volunteering with MaxFund. If you are already a volunteer, or aren't interested in volunteering, then you are probably on the wrong page!
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at MaxFund Animal Adoption Center, we are a no-kill shelter located in Denver, Colorado and rely largely on volunteers in order to operate and ensure animals are receiving the best care possible.
So... you think you want to volunteer at MaxFund?
It's no mystery that MaxFund survives and thrives because of the help from its many great volunteers. Without them we just wouldn't be able to do all the functions the shelter requires with the staff the shelter has budget for. Volunteers allow MaxFund to help more animals find loving homes and to help them enjoy their time at the shelter even better!
If you haven't done so already, you should familiarize yourself with who MaxFund is and what our mission/goals consist of. There are a few pages on the MaxFund website that will help you become more educated about MaxFund. Among others, they are the MaxFund Story (the story of how we began and the basics of the shelter), the MaxFund FAQ (Frequently asked questions about MaxFund), and our Charity Navigator Page (that proves that we are among the best non-profits as far as how we use our money).
|Are you a minor (under 18), interested in volunteering? Click Here|
|Are you needing to complete some court-ordered community service? Click Here|
|Are you looking to complete some community service hours for a school project? Click Here|
What we expect from our volunteers...
The community expects a lot from MaxFund, and MaxFund expects a lot from our volunteers.
|We expect our volunteers to be self-motivating, self-starting, and self-driven. Because our volunteer coordinator is a volunteer himself, the time simply is not available to contact volunteers to sign them up for shifts, assign duties, or schedule them for events, etc. Volunteers are expected to take the initiative on their own to get into the shelter on a schedule that works for them and make every attempt to help out when possible.|
|We expect our volunteers to be committed to the mission of taking in sick/injured animals, making them better and adopting them to loving homes within our adoption guidelines. We will discuss the MaxFund mission and goals during the orientation if you are unfamiliar with them already.|
|We expect our volunteers to make every effort to volunteer at least four hours a month, or 12 months per quarter (so if you can't volunteer for two months we'd ask you to volunteer 12 hours the third month). Volunteers may contribute as much time as they'd like, but we hope you can find time in your schedule to help at least that often.|
|We expect our volunteers to seek out ways to help, unless you already have a way of helping in mind. If you are unsure of what to do with your volunteering time after going through the orientation feel free to ask the coordinator but specific duties won't be assigned you, we expect you to find something you want to do, and do it!|
All of our volunteers must be fully devoted to this mission and always represent MaxFund in a positive light. If you do not feel that you can completely commit and stand behind MaxFund's mission, then MaxFund is probably not the right fit for you. If you feel that you won't be able to fulfill these expectations, perhaps consider contacting the coordinator for clarification or assistance.
Procedures for getting started as a volunteer...
There are some procedures in getting started as a volunteer, be sure you read these thouroughly to make sure correct procedures are followed.
1. APPLICATION - The first step to becoming a volunteer is to complete an application. These applications can be found at the shelter or by downloading the application (Adobe Acrobat Required.) Please fill out the application in its entirely, including references and signing the last page.
2. TURN IN APPLICATION - Once you have completed your application, take it in to the shelter and turn it in to the front office. If you can possibly do this on a weekday, that would be preferred (on weekends the staff is typically overwhelmed with adoptions). At this time, we ask that you have a look around the shelter, perhaps even visit with some of the animals to decide if this is the type of place you see yourself volunteering at.
3. BE CONTACTED & SIGN UP FOR ORIENTATION - (Please note that because of the amount of applications we receive it may take some time before we can contact you for an orientation). We can only handle so many new volunteers per month, so we typically have a backlog in getting volunteers in to the shelter. Based on which applications we receive first, as we have room we will contact you to sign you up for the orientation. Because the spots in these orientations are limited, we ask that you take seriously getting signed up for an orientation. If you really aren't really that interested, please don't take a spot from someone else who is. The orientations are scheduled for a full day (typically 9am-3:30pm) and we ask you to be able to attend all day. If you are signed up for the orientation and for whatever reason are not able to attend, please let the coordinator know so we can allow an alternate to attend!
4. INTERVIEW & APPLICATION PROCESSING - Volunteers or staff will check over your application to make sure everything is complete, conduct an interview to make sure you are familiar with what to expect and to ensure you are a good match. These volunteers will also check references and approve you to attend the orientation.
5. ORIENTATION The orientations are a full day training. They involve approximately 2 1/2 hours of general shelter training and familiarity, 2 hours of dog handling, and approximately an hour regarding cat handling. Even if your interests are specifically related to dogs or cats, we do ask you to attend both dog handling and cat handling in case your interests change and to sure all volunteers have at least a basic understanding of both types of volunteering. You can view and download a copy of the Volunteer Handbook here (please print and bring a copy with you to orientation): Volunteer Manual
Please note - a MaxFund membership is a requirement for new MaxFund volunteers. Membership provides benefits, such as a subscription to our monthly newsletter, Paw Prints, which is one of the ways we communicate with volunteers. Memberships begin at $25.00 a year ($15.00 for senior citizens). You can read more about membership levels on our Membership page here: https://www.maxfund.org/donation-page/?type=membership Please bring $25.00 ($15.00 for seniors) to the orientation so that you can enroll in and pay for your MaxFund membership. If you are already a member, please bring proof of membership, such as a current Paw Prints newsletter addressed to you.
6. MENTORING/HANDS-ON TRAINING - At each orientation you will likely be introduced to at least one volunteer mentor - specifically a cat mentor and a dog mentor. The volunteer mentors are experienced volunteers who are specifically interested in helping out new volunteers as they become familiar with the procedures and the shelter. You will get their contact information and they will get yours. We do ask that you make an effort to meet with the mentor within a week or so. If you are interested in working with both cats and dogs, we ask that you meet with both a cat and dog mentor (most mentors are specifically one are or the other).
YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN! - After meeting with a mentor at least once (more if you prefer) you are on your own! You are welcome to come in when the shelter is open to volunteers as it works with your schedule. You are asked to commit at least 4 hours per month but are welcome to give more at your convenience
Once you are a volunteer
There are many things that volunteers can do at the shelter. You can check the Volunteer Board at the shelter for daily tasks that you might be able to lend a hand with. Some of the specific opportunities we are looking for can be found on the Volunteer Opportunities page. The primary role of volunteers at the shelter however is animal comfort and care. Staff's primary role is helping adopt out animals and keeping the shelter clean, whereas the volunteers' primary role is making sure the animals are comfortable and socialized. This might mean playing in the cat rooms, walking dogs, or socializing new litters of puppies.
We do ask that all of our volunteers contribute at least 4 hours every month. This is 1 hour per week or one half day per month. Volunteers have several months to make up these hours, so if you aren't able to come in for a few months you can make up those hours during a later month. We realize not everyone can come in every week and we are as accomodating as possible. Volunteers are welcome at MaxFund seven days a week, 365 days a year from 8am to 5pm. The MaxFund volunteer program is very flexible in that most volunteer duties can be done without having to sign up (with the exception of training classes, fundraising events and lobby greeter duties) so you can drop in for a few hours here and there when you have the time - the animals and the shelter staff will appreciate it!
Because we are an informal program, once you have gone through the orientation you are able to come in when you want, do what you want while you are there, and leave when you want. No "shifts" are required, and the scheduling is wide open. You are also allowed volunteering freedom with what tasks you perform, so if you feel like walking dogs for a few hours then playing with the cats, that is fine! Because we don't have the staff for it, you do not have a volunteer supervisor or manager while volunteering at the shelter, but resources can be found if you need guidance or assistance through the staff or the other volunteers at the shelter.