Do you have feedback or a question for the ARC Team? Raise it here and this will be seen by the core volunteer coordinators and stakeholders.
HOW DID ARC START?
Just like any small charity, we started very small a short while ago (2019). A single shed in Sydney doing “freecycle” (getting stuff from people that are throwing it out, to people that need it). We are part of an amazing and forward thinking rescue group (the MKC) that was being given too many towels and blankets, so we thought “what if we share this with others”. Thats as simple as it gets.
Other rescue orgs that shared our belief joined in and we started sharing broadly. Dog groups, Koala Groups, Roo’s, Chickens. We all had the same view. Help as many as we can. Thats when we became a collaboration.
We all started helping distribute product donations, then as we got too much fabric, we started a “Craft Guild” to make handcrafts for animals. That is how the craft guild started. Then we stared getting larger donations and every time we were offered supply we said “Yes” because we know someone needed it. It’s just about getting it from A to B.
When the fires hit, we had our act already together. We were very used to fundraising, we already had the relationships and the sheds ready for distribution. We had built systems and logistical knowledge. So we scaled out fast from there.
There were key things we all agree on
WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE ON THE TEAM
The ARC team includes specialist Animal Rescuers, professionals, volunteers and wildlife workers, all with the same goals. All the MKC team, many rescuers, many professionals all with a goal. To create scale that can support the broad rescue ecosystem. The team work in conjunction with peak bodies, major rescue organisations, thousands of individual rescuers and the care sector to respond with scale and help animals in need.
HOW DOES ARC FUND ITSELF?
ARC relies on the support and donations of the general public to operate. As such we our bound by governance guidelines to ensure transparency in our accounting and operations and meeting the ACNC requirements.
DO YOU GET PAID TO DO THIS?
No. The key ARC team members are all volunteers. They are not paid at all. We pour all funding into the support of animals in our network.
We have a small contractor base when we have time sensitive jobs, but none of the board members are paid.
We created ARC to support rescuers and the animals they care for.
Organisations and donors come to ARC as they know we can get right where they want to help with the right people, knowledge and supplier to immediately save lives.
HOW DID ARC GET THE PARTNERS IT HAS?
ARC engages positively with vendors and the community, all day, every day. We say yes and help as much as we can to give vendors and peak bodies the support they need.
We started very small in 2019 as a single shed in Sydney doing freecycle, getting stuff from people that are throwing it out, to people that need it. Just like most organisations, you can do the same.
The difference was that we avoided the common negativity of rescue and adopted a simple directive. Lets get this done.
We made contact with all the key organisations and we offered to help them. We didnt ask for a handout, we offered them support. Our first interactions with massive vendors and charities was when we said “we can help you, what do you need. We earned their trust by doing right by them and their stakeholders.
WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Keep doing what we are doing, get better at it, refine the process and bring scale to national response. It’s not impossible and it can be done with the resources and support that are at hand.
We encourage you to do the same. You will be surprised, when you treat people well and do good for others, how well you are treated in return.
We want there to be more organisations doing the same, the sector needs greater support and helpful groups.
WHAT CAN I DO THE MOST TO HELP ANIMALS?
Think first about your reasons for wanting to get involved in rescue. If you are genuinely here to help animals, you dont care about personal glory and you have a positive approach to working with others, it’s a great place to help.
You can search a list of your local rescue groups (click here)
HOW DO I DONATE PRODUCTS OR MONEY TO ARC?
You can make a financial or product donation here. Key things we need are money, food for animals (in pallets), medical supplies, containment and shelter. Transport and whitegoods are also a blessing to help the team move and store.
WHATS THE CATCH? THERE MUST BE A CATCH?
Nope, nothing. There is a massive team of volunteers behind these programs nationally and the only benefits they get from this is seeing animals and people helped, fitness from packing boxes, great experiences supporting animals and knowing it was a job well done.
Very often we ask our team “why do you do this” and they come back to those exact points. They want to use the knowledge and skills they have for good, create an outcome and make things happen.
We hope that you are here for the same, be good, do good and good happens to those around you.
We welcome any constructive feedback that can help animals and the people that support them.
WHERE IS FUNDING SPENT?
The majority of funding is spent on food for animals, enclosures, moving and storing food and donations/grants to rescue groups. Thats it. There is a very small admin overhead as we operate from homes and shared workspaces around the country.
In recent times this includes
ARC gathers feedback from requests and allocates support based on what donations we have available. This funding is not limitless, we are not a government department or centrelink, so all funding is reviewed for the best possible outcome. it is common we ask a few questions.
We have earned donations and we make sure they go where they have the best impact. Our donors trust us. We dont just give out money or product to people “just because demanded it or caused the most trouble on Facebook”. We are the custodians of public donations and we allocate them in a way that helps animals the most.
So sometimes we have to say no to an application.
When assessing an application or engagement we take into account the funding we have, the many ways it could be spent, the number of animals it helps and the long term benefits to the animals in care.
We also take into way that our team is treated by the applicant, feedback from the public, other rescuers, peak bodies and the quality of the general engagement. The vast majority of the requests we receive (when we have the funds) are supported and our programs cover large numbers of people
Occasionally people complain they are not getting support or engagement from the larger organisations, but the approaches they make can be adversarial, entitled or even aggressive. Their social pages are full of negativity and abuse. Charities are not obligated to give you money or support. If you are abusive, aggressive or threaten team members you will not get help. Think about the impact on your animals your behaviour brings.
If you need something our recommendation is first and foremost to fund raise, positively for it. Just like we have to and thousands of other organisations have to. That is, use GiveEasy. Givenow, Go Fund me or any of the many internet providers . . become a charity, grow your support base and get sponsorship for your cause.
Not only will you find that support does come in, but you also get better support from other organisations if you show you are also contributing.
Often we are approached by individuals from an org for support and funds that is to be diverted away from the organisation. This means problems are not managed and the outcome is not supported by the local area.
By checking with the orgs leadership we ensure we are not facilitating a splinter group or opaque work. We are not the rescue police nor are we a business restructure service. We just give food when we can.
Often we are contacted by people who advocate on behalf of others for supplies. This can become very complex and agressive as tiers and tiers of middlemen compete to be the “first” to win favour with a rescuer. What is important to us is the animal at the other end and who is looking after it.
Why can this be an issue?
As a custodian of the donations we need to ensure where they are going and the track records of the people involved. We will ask who the food is going to and how many animals they have. In a rare instance we will also check the site or the rescue group.