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Job Details

Foster Volunteer Coordinator

Company name
San Francisco SPCA

San Francisco, CA

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Foster Volunteer Coordinator


San Francisco


Job Descriptions:


The Foster Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for recruiting, training, supporting, and managing SF SPCA foster volunteers and providing support for Shelter Medicine Volunteers. The Foster Volunteer Coordinator is also responsible for managing the medical needs of foster animals in collaboration with the Shelter Medicine staff. The position reports to the Shelter Medicine & Foster Volunteer Manager, is a member of the Volunteer Services team, and works closely with Shelter Medicine and other departments to ensure that volunteering at the SF SPCA is a rich and rewarding experience.

Essential Duties and Functions:

Volunteer Coordination

Volunteers are the backbone of the Foster Program and expand the life-saving capacity of the SF SPCA. With the support of the Foster Volunteer Coordinator, foster volunteers are able to provide safe and enriching homes for the most vulnerable members of the SF SPCA shelter population. The Foster Program works primarily with underage kittens, puppies, and animals with chronic disease that can include both medical and behavioral challenges.

The Foster Volunteer Coordinator also collaborates with our greater Volunteer Services team by providing day-to-day support for, and assisting with the training of, volunteers involved in kitten husbandry tasks, as well as volunteers who participate in our Shelter Medicine Volunteer Program. Due to the nature of their work, these volunteers work closely with our foster team, and as such, the Foster Volunteer Coordinator should view them as a partner in providing the best care possible for animals who may be awaiting foster placement.

Functions of the Foster Volunteer Coordinator include, but are not limited to:

Maintaining an optimal number of foster parents through recruiting and retention strategies

Ensuring that foster parents can accurately perform the activities that are part of the Foster Program

Coordinating foster outreach events and similar activities

Celebrating volunteer contributions and accomplishments

Providing conflict resolution and problem solving support

Participating in recruitment, retention, and training of kitten husbandry and Shelter Medicine volunteers

Veterinary Medical Care

Able to learn and perform any nursing skills deemed appropriate for the Foster Program, including giving vaccines and oral treatments as required by foster animals, as well as triaging and recognizing medical symptoms with foster animals

Work with Shelter Medicine staff to ensure that all medical and safety protocols are followed

Able to communicate medical needs to volunteers and doctors effectively

Recognize when animals waiting for foster placement are on medication or other treatment, ensuring that foster parents receive the needed medical prescriptions and supplies and appropriate discharge instructions and training if necessary

Comply with all laws pertaining to controlled substances

Training and Development

Train and coach volunteers performing activities that are part of the Foster Program, kitten husbandry, or Shelter Medicine Volunteer Program by teaching classes or working one on one as needed

Work with Volunteer Services, Shelter Medicine, and Learning & Development staff to develop and implement curriculums, learning tools, and support strategies, particularly as our volunteer programs evolve

Schedule classes and activities for maximum coverage, effective onboarding of new volunteers, and on-going volunteer development and engagement

Monitor, evaluate and ensure volunteer work assignments are meaningful, safe and supportive of the Foster Program and Volunteer Services’ mission and goals


Maintain and manage volunteer data and records for the Foster Program in a cloud-based volunteer management system

Maintain and manage animal records and paperwork in both the shelter administration system and the medical management system, including, but not limited to scheduling appointments, updating housing locations, and associating foster animals with foster volunteers

Create new volunteer accounts in the shelter management system and volunteer management system

Produce timely foster volunteer and foster animal reports and data

Participate in regular Volunteer Services, Shelter Medicine and cross-departmental staff meetings as appropriate

Ensure supplies, offices, volunteer work areas and bulletin boards are attractive and regularly maintained

Assist with facilitating volunteer information sessions for recruitment of prospective volunteers

Assist with planning, promotion, and execution of volunteer appreciation events

Work collaboratively as a Volunteer Services team member with Shelter Medicine, Adoptions, Intake, Behavior and Training, and Marketing teams to assist with organization wide volunteer initiatives, one-time volunteer opportunities, events, and special needs


Provide and coordinate consistent individual and group communication with volunteers including emails and newsletters

Motivate and engage volunteers through regularly communicated appreciation for their work and successes

Develop, enhance, and edit volunteer collateral materials including class curriculums, training materials, guidelines, policies, and medical and behavior protocols

Regularly reads Shelter Medicine emails for updates on disease and patient care

Keep all affected society departments and teams, both staff and volunteers, informed on Foster Program enhancements, challenges, policies, and protocols. These departments may include: Shelter Medicine, Spay/Neuter, Community Cares, Hospital, Adoptions, Intake, Behavior and Training, Facilities, Learning & Development, Marketing and Development


Ensure a safe work environment; following all safety guidelines and modeling safe work practices (to include animals, equipment, drugs, chemicals, radiology, sharps, biohazardous material)

Train volunteers on all safety protocols, modeling safe work practice

Take immediate action to address any safety concerns that could put a staff member, volunteer, client, animal, or the organization at risk

Maintain a clean, healthy, and sanitary work area; follow all pest and rodent control protocols. Participate in keeping the SF SPCA campus clean and well maintained.

Customer Service

Practice and encourage the humane treatment of animals

Provide prompt, courteous, and consistent customer service to our internal and external clients at all times

Provide quality customer service to clients, volunteers, and staff while actively promoting our mission, services, programs and events

Build and maintain strong relationships with foster parents

Promote donation and giving opportunities as appropriate

Diversity and Inclusiveness

Work effectively with individuals and colleagues from diverse communities and cultures

Open Communication

Facilitate open, direct communication throughout the Society.

Embrace and promote the Society’s BLISS direct communication program.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

Work is performed throughout the SF SPCA campus with regular exposure to animal kennels, shelter, and veterinary settings

Regularly bends, reaches, kneels, sits on floor, crouches

Requires ability to speak clearly and loudly to groups inside, outside, in small and large spaces

Exposure to disinfectant solutions when in kennel areas

Subject to animal bites and scratches while handling animals of questionable temperament

Regularly sits at computer stations and operates electronic equipment

Occasionally lifting and carrying of animals weighing up to 50 pounds

Regularly moves about the campus to coordinate work

Consistently exposed to animals in the workplace and animal allergens under conditions with limited alternatives available

Regularly works in personal protective equipment (PPE): primarily gloves but occasionally isolation gowns and/or booties

Exposed to infectious and zoonotic pathogens

Reporting Relationships and Contacts:

Reports to Shelter Medicine & Foster Volunteer Manager with dotted reporting line to Shelter Medicine Manager

Required Experience:

Education and Experience:

Bachelors Degree, qualifying work experience may be considered as an alternative

Preferred one year experience in coordinating or developing programs

Minimum one year experience working directly with animals

Previous experience as a volunteer and supervising volunteers preferred

Previous customer service and training experience

Veterinary medical knowledge preferred

Available to work weekends regularly, and evenings and holidays as needed

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Outstanding leadership and interpersonal skills

Demonstrated ability to supervise, train and motivate people

Comfortable working in a veterinary environment

Commitment to the mission, values, goals, and success of the San Francisco SPCA

Skilled at creating and delivering innovative and engaging training

Ability to comfortably speak before groups of people

Ability to communicate skillfully and effectively with diverse communities of staff, volunteers, and donors

Solid computer skills and database experience

Ability to work in a fast-paced work environment, embrace and foster change, problem solve and multi-task

Ability to calmly and efficiently handle situations ranging from routine to emergency

Working knowledge of low stress handling and restraint techniques preferred

Working knowledge of dog and cat behavior preferred

Understanding of animal welfare issues preferred

Keyword: Non-Profit, Animal Welfare, volunteer coordination

From: San Francisco SPCA

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Company info

San Francisco SPCA
Website :

Company Profile
As the fourth oldest humane society in the U.S. and the founders of the No-Kill movement, the SF SPCA has always been at the forefront of animal welfare. As a result of our efforts and those of our community partners, San Francisco has the lowest euthanasia rate of any major city in the United States. No adoptable dog or cat in San Francisco goes without a home, even if they have medical or other issues. In 2014 we merged with Pets Unlimited, a likeminded animal welfare nonprofit in Pacific Heights. Their organization included a nonprofit veterinary hospital that provided significant financial assistance to pet guardians in need, as well as a small adoption center. The original SF SPCA campus in the Mission, and the additional campus in Pacific Heights, are now working toward the same shared mission and goals.

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