Cause ‘4’ Celebration: Nutmeg turns four!

Founder’s Report 2018

May the Fourth be with you!

Okay, I’m a little late in sending you that Star Wars-themed greeting, but there’s a reason I’m bringing it up again. This May marks Nutmeg’s fourth birthday! How quickly the time has passed since our humble little charity incorporated with the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office on May 14, 2014.

At Nutmeg, we’re always looking for new ways to fulfill our stated mission of “caring for needy animals everywhere,” both around the world and around the corner. However, this time of year provides a natural opportunity for a brief pause to reflect on the work we’ve done to this point, focusing on the past year’s activities in particular.

Highlights since our Annual Meeting of the Nutmeg Board of Directors in April 2017 include:

  • Setting a new organizational record by providing nearly $2,500 in relief supplies/services/inventory to needy animals and partner organizations over the past 12 months;
  • Partnering with and providing inventory for a trio of new animal welfare organizations, the Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home (Scotland), Dublin SPCA (Ireland), and Kissane Sheep Farm (Ireland) after visits to all three properties in May 2017;
  • Unveiling Nutmeg’s beautiful new logo in August 2017 (professional graphic artist services provided free of charge);
  • Hosting our second annual autumn wine-tasting fundraiser in Providence, R.I. that generated more than $3,000 in October 2017, surpassing our goal for the event, and drawing nearly three dozen attendees (an increase of more than 50 percent from the previous year);
  • Boosting the total number of individual donors who contributed financially to Nutmeg from 44 the previous year to around 60 in 2017 (including a number of anonymous and Facebook donors);
  • Adding a third recurring (monthly) donor, an international contributor from London, U.K.;
  • Ordering the production of more than 100 customized, travel-sized, packable water/food dishes from partner organization Billy Wolf NYC, the first pieces of merchandize bearing the new Nutmeg logo;
  • Purchasing and having delivered a sophisticated microscope for the Jerusalem SPCA animal shelter (partner organization since 2016), which replaces the failing original one they had been using to help them with medical diagnoses for their furry patients. This is Nutmeg’s third time providing assistance to JSPCA.

Nutmeg is on the threshold of milestone Year 5, and while we aren’t going to any galaxies far, far away (sorry, couldn’t resist another Star Wars reference), our charity is headed somewhere new and entirely apropos: our fifth continent – South America!

In June, I’ll be spending 10 days in Peru for vacation, but also to investigate the animal welfare situation in that country and hopefully do some good works while on the ground there. I’m anxious to seek out any fellow advocates and organizations to expand Nutmeg’s global partnership base.

Other short- and long-term goals include (but, as always, are certainly not limited to):

  • Finalizing plans for our third annual wine-tasting fundraiser in autumn 2018 (Friday, October 26 at Gasbarro’s Wines in Providence… save the date!) and researching ideas for additional future fundraising initiatives;
  • Gaining accreditation for Nutmeg as a certified organization with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance and the watchdog website Charity Navigator;
  • Recruiting new volunteers to assist with various Nutmeg projects;
  • Looking for new and additional merchandizing opportunities for Nutmeg logo branding;
  • Increasing our social media presence and overall public profile;
  • Resuming work on the new North Providence animal shelter facility, which (for reasons beyond our control) was placed in abeyance by town political leaders last year;
  • Launching a program to travel with medical professionals who can provide free veterinary care to distressed animals in the world’s neediest places.

The more I travel this world, including my home state of Rhode Island, the more I realize there’s so much work for us to do. That’s why our organizational goals must remain ambitious, because too many animals continue to suffer needlessly. Admittedly, it sometimes feels overwhelming, but I’m buoyed by the many hard-working volunteers and compassionate contributors who sustain Nutmeg. Please join them… we always need more good people.

As our fifth year in operation dawns, I’m proud that Nutmeg continues to maintain and deliver on our founding pledge to allocate no less than 75 percent of every donated dollar todirect relief supplies and support, and to keep each and every generous donor informed about how, where, how much of, and on whom their contributions were spent.

Meanwhile, we’re constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to provide for the world’s neediest animals, increase our visibility as an organization, build our global network of partners, raise necessary funds, and attract talented individuals to augment our efforts. If you have any ideas or motivation to join us, please reach out any time.

While our fourth year proved Nutmeg’s most productive thus far, I’m anxious to report back to you a year from now on everything we do ahead in Year 5. I assure you, we’ll be aiming for the stars. ETS