Foster Volunteer Coordinator

    • Job Tracking ID: 512912-623982
    • Job Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Job Level: Entry Level (less than 2 years)
    • Level of Education: BA/BS
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: June 07, 2018
    • Years of Experience: Up to 2 Years
    • Starting Date: ASAP
    • Campus Location: Mission
    • Status: Regular Full-Time
    • Department: Header: Volunteer Services
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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

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


Salary and Benefits:

The salary for this position depends on the length and breadth of experience. Eligible for full benefits package including: PTO and holiday pay, medical, dental & vision insurance, life insurance, long-term disability, tax-deferred retirement plan, pre-tax commute expense deductions, pet bereavement leave, discounted veterinary care, as well as employee discount on retail, pet supplies, and dog training classes.