At the beginning of a new year, it is good we take a look at the financial condition of the Foundation.
The Foundation rescued 14 Kerries in 2016, which is less than the previous year, but in line with the last five years. It is far down from 2006, when we rescued 110 Kerries during the time the puppy mills were abandoning the breed.
We did not "leave any Kerries behind" as we were able to rescue all the Kerries that needed our help. A few years ago the Foundation polled our supporters and they overwhelmingly told us that they want us to rescue all dogs, no matter how old of infirm. We have been able to do so.
The average cost of care for our rescue dogs has been declining steadily. We are not quite sure why that is. The average age of the Kerries we take in has not changed much, nor do we skimp on the care we provide. It may simply be the luck of the Irish breed.
Th Foundation not only covers medical expenses of the dogs in our care ($9,111 in 2016), but we also pay for transportation ($1,105) and all foster family expenses.
While there was a drop in donors last year (149 vs 290 in 2015), the average donation per donor stayed about the same.
While we have over 2,000 Kerry owners in our database, which is about half of the estimated Kerry owners in the US and Canada, only 149 of them were able to contribute to the funding of our 2016 expenses.
At the middle of 2016, we were $10,000 in the red, and as usual,
most of our revenue came in in the second half of the year. Unfortunately, we still ended the year about $3,100 in the red. While we can handle
an occasional loss, we must be vigilant about our finances.
Luckily we have about $75,000 in cash reserves. Most of it is invested in secure CDs at various banks and with various maturity dates.
Much of our cash reserves came from bequests by people who put the Foundation in their will. We hope to keep on growing our endowment, so we need not rely as much on donations.
All our revenue comes from people like you and very little comes from commissions and interest.
15% of our income comes from merchandise sales. As always, our Kerry Rescue calendar is the greatest contributor to this revenue stream.
We have posted several new products on our web site (http://www.kerryblues.info/us-store) and more item will be available in 2017.
It is very satisfying to know that the Kerry community cares about the welfare of the breed.
The Foundation is very careful with our expenditures. While "rescue" uses half of our budget, our expenditures on the web site and newsletters fall under "education" and show a strong commitment to make sure that the public is aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the breed--before they get a Kerry. We like to think that our educational efforts have contributed, even if just a small degree, to the reduced need to rescue Kerries, when the owners realize the mistake they made by purchasing a Kerry.
In 2016 we launched our new web site, which made is more friendly for smartphone and tablet users. In fact about 40% of our traffic is from those devices.
The number of total visitors has increased dramatically with the introduction of our new web format. The average number of daily visitors is now over 1700.
The Foundation plans to continue the successful formula we have found in the years to come. The new President and new Rescue Director will bring
new energy to the Foundation.
The Board has stepped up its efforts to improve the training of volunteers and explore new marketing and fundraising ideas. We hope to be able to add a new Marketing Director who can focus on our campaigns and leverage the technologies and contacts we have built up over the years.
We welcome your ideas and comments, below.