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PetSmart Charities: Collective Impact Initiative

Case Overview

FSG helped PetSmart Charities, Inc. (PCI) design and plan for launch of a collective impact initiative to address pet homelessness in communities across the United States.

The Challenge

Pet homelessness is a complex and pervasive problem. It is local in nature and requires the concerted action of multiple players to address all the critical levers that can influence rates of pet homelessness, such as spay and neuter and adoption programs. PCI is committed to solving the problem of pet homelessness and seeks to build the field’s capacity to address the issue in humane and sustainable ways.

PCI recently come to understand that, in order to leverage all of its assets and effectively tackle these complex problems, it would require help in creating a collective impact approach. So PCI engaged FSG to help develop a collective impact approach to solving the issue—one that is designed to engage many key stakeholders. PCI is uniquely positioned to catalyze a collective impact approach because it offers three core strengths: 1) PCI is a recognized philanthropic leader in the field; 2) it has developed deep expertise in key program areas; and 3) it has established a reputation as a respected neutral convener among animal welfare organizations (AWOs) in the field.

Approach & Solutions

FSG explored the potential for holistic, collective impact efforts to reduce pet homelessness by targeting different types of regions across the U.S. FSG started by helping PCI narrow the list of potential regions for focus by conducting high-level secondary research and applying screening criteria, established in partnership with PCI staff. FSG continued to hone the list of priority markets through high-level research and targeted interviews designed to explore the landscape and activities of local players; key needs, success factors, and challenges; likely opportunities for collective impact; and other relevant criteria. Ultimately, FSG developed a roadmap which PCI could follow to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Assess collective impact opportunities within different types of regional markets
  2. Develop an approach for organizing groups in select pilot communities
  3. Achieve collective impact

FSG also developed negotiation guides and benchmarks for PCI to use in partnership with animal welfare organizations for its collective impact work. Based on FSG’s materials and recommendations, PCI will focus on testing and refining its approach to collective impact in select pilot communities going forward. PCI will then replicate and consolidate efforts in other communities. PCI plans to expand its collective impact approach in several regions across the nation in the long term over the next five years and beyond.

About PetSmart Charities

Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues and promote healthy relationships between people and pets.

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