SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals

Opportunity Statement


SAVE, a Friend to Homeless Animals, is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to protect the health and welfare of homeless companion dogs and cats. Founded in 1941, SAVE is one of the oldest and most respected humane shelters in New Jersey.

Through six core programs of Rescue, Shelter Adoption, Health, Welfare, Spay/Neuter, and Humane Education, SAVE focuses on the successful rehabilitation and placement of adoptable animals. For over 75 years, the organization has been steadfastly committed to strengthen the human-animal bond. It is the true heart of SAVE’s mission. There is now a unique opportunity to build on this legacy as a result of the successful conclusion of SAVE’s $3 million New Beginnings Campaign. The Campaign enabled the relocation of SAVE’s administrative and shelter operation from an aging, space-restricted facility to a new 12-acre campus 6 miles north of Princeton in Skillman, NJ. The move has been transformational. SAVE houses 100 dogs and cats at any given time, and finds loving homes for over 500 companion pets annually. A dedicated volunteer corps of over 350 area residents volunteer more than 4000 hours annually. School programming reaches almost 2,000 students each year. SAVE operates on a budget of approximately $1,200,000, employs a professional staff of 20, and is governed by a 17-member board of trustees.

SAVE’s Board of Trustees is seeking a new Executive Director to begin by late Spring, 2017. The position requires a skilled, experienced leader to guide SAVE into a promising future. Background information on the organization and the position requirements follow.

Application Deadline: April 10, 2017


SAVE’s mission is to protect the health and welfare of homeless companion dogs and cats.

The organization accomplishes this by overseeing six core programs of Rescue, Shelter Adoption, Health, Welfare, Spay/Neuter, and Humane Education. Together, this work helps SAVE substantially reduce animal overpopulation and the corresponding euthanasia of adoptable dogs and cats. SAVE operates as a limited admission shelter with contracts to serve Princeton, Lawrence, Hopewell, Montgomery and Cranbury animal control officers.


  • Founded:1941
  • Location:Skillman, New Jersey
  • Staff:20 staff (13 f/t and 7 p/t covering 5 administrative positions and 15 shelter positions)
  • Annual budget:$1,192,280
  • Revenue and Support: Roughly 75% from Contributions (47%) and Special events (25%) with balance including adoptions, municipal contracts, and foundation grants
  • 2016 Highlights: 449 animal adoptions, 263 dog or cat spays or neuters, 250 adoption days, 1725 school children participants from 16 schools
  • Volunteers:350 volunteers provide over 4000 hours of service
  • Board of Trustees: 17


In 1941, the small and bucolic university town of Princeton was undergoing dramatic growth and so was its stray animal population. Two forward-thinking animal lovers, veterinarian Dr. Cornelia Jaynes and her friend, Ms. Emily Myrick committed themselves, and their resources, to do something about it. They created the Small Animal Veterinary Endowment (SAVE) to rescue stray cats and dogs, shelter them on Dr. Jaynes’ farm, and provide neutering services. Dr. Jaynes had bequeathed her farm to the cause of her beloved cats and dogs. After her death in 1969, SAVE merged with the Small Animal Rescue League. Together the two groups built a beloved and respected shelter that for over 40 years provided happy endings for local homeless companion pets.

On February 21, 2006, SAVE merged with Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA), an organization founded in 1998 that concentrated on animal rescue and care in the Princeton area. The newly merged organization was renamed SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals and is now the largest shelter for companion animals in the greater Princeton region. Consolidating 75 years of community involvement and a shared philosophy and mission, the merger of SAVE and FOHA was a great example of collaboration and merging two like-minded organizations into one with depth and streamlined volunteer and financial resources. In addition to a not-insignificant economy of scale, the merger has led to a greater number of successful adoptions.


SAVE has just completed its transformational New Beginnings Campaign resulting in a new campus-style state-of-the art animal shelter and administrative offices. The new shelter was designed by experts from the Cornell University Shelter Medicine program and has resulted in increased efficiencies for shelter operation and overall program use. Key attributes of the new shelter include: Sophisticated air flow system, quality dog kennels that are spacious and easy to clean, light-filled kennel and work space, adequate meeting space for program and board use. The successful outcome of the campaign has repositioned SAVE as a regional force with the backing of significant community resources and a facility that greatly enhances mission-delivery.


SAVE has a full-time staff of 13 and a part-time staff of 7. Key positions include: Executive Director, Marketing Associate, Director of Shelter Operations, Humane Education Director, Animal Care Manager and Development Associate, Office Manager, Shelter Veterinarian and adoption counselors and caregivers.


The Board of Trustees is responsible for the fiscal and strategic oversight of SAVE and for hiring the Executive Director. The Board currently includes 17 individuals whose oversight and commitment ensures that SAVE’s operations are carried forward with vision and strong financial oversight. The board was instrumental in working with the departing ED on the successful conclusion of the New Beginnings Campaign. Their commitment to 100% participation in annual giving is an expectation of joining the board. Active Board committees include the Executive Committee, Finance, and Development.


SAVE is located in the town of Skillman within Montgomery Township, NJ. Skillman is home to Johnson & Johnson's Consumer Products company and the offices of Bloomberg L.P. Financial. A former farming community, Skillman is also home to all of the public school buildings for Montgomery Township - including SAVE’s closest neighbor, the new Montgomery High School. Skillman is located 6 miles west of downtown Princeton which is home to Princeton University and a thriving, historic downtown. A greenway of preserved open space and an extensive network of public access trails link Princeton to surrounding communities like Skillman and Hopewell.


SAVE’s new campus is located on 12 beautiful and secluded acres in Skillman, NJ. The administrative offices are housed in the James Van Zandt House, a stunning example of mid-1800’s Italianate architecture. The house and surrounding lands were donated by a generous couple and their vision was to create an aesthetically pleasing and functionally efficient facility – for both animals and humans. The New Beginnings Campaign made their vision a reality. In addition to completing renovations to the Van Zandt House, an adjacent 8,200 square foot state-of-the-art shelter was constructed. Additional attributes of the new facility and campus include ample parking, walking trails, landscaped gardens and a pet memorial area.


As mentioned, SAVE’s work is concentrated on six core areas: Rescue, Shelter Adoption, Health, Welfare, Spay/Neuter, and Humane Education. Highlighted programs from 2016 follow.

  • Adoption Program -SAVE’s primary mission is to find a good home for every animal in its care. SAVE believes that every animal deserves a second chance. That commitment is the guiding force behind a comprehensive adoption program that includes community outreach, adopter screening, animal behavior counseling, and adoption follow-up services.
  • Spay and Neuter Procedures -SAVE strives to reduce the overwhelming number of unwanted animals that often become homeless or abused.
  • Humane Education -SAVE is committed to humane education, especially for area youth. We know that children who learn to respect animals at an early age grow into adults with compassion, respect, and empathy for all living creatures. Through our Partners in Empathy Training (PET), SAVE partners with local schools and organizations to teach the basics of humane animal care, companion animal behavior and communication, how to overcome fears and be safe around animals. Paws for Reading was recently launched to give young budding students the chance to read aloud to shelter cats and dogs.


SAVE has a number of strong collaborative partners. These include 16 schools where ongoing humane education instruction is provided, 5 neighboring veterinary clinics, including Dr. Michael Tokiwa at The Animal Hospital of Kingston and Blawenburg, for support with spaying and neutering, animal control officers from across our region, 4 host locations (including PETCO, PetSmart and other local pet stores) for over 250 adoption days.

In addition, SAVE sponsors a number of special events each year thanks to the ongoing support of many regional partners. In 2016, they included:

  • The annual Holiday Boutique at The Bedens Brook Club. Thanks to many local vendors and volunteers, the event raised over $28,000 in 2016 for shelter services.
  • Gala Benefit, Best in Show. Attended by 273 people, the event included a festive pet show theme, silent and live auction and raised $108,000 for the shelter.
  • Support of local events. SAVE operates in a region filled with many vibrant, important nonprofit organizations and, as such, participates in many of their outreach and education efforts. In 2016, those included: Carrier Clinic’s Walk for Hope, Arts Council of Princeton’s Communiversity, Kingston Fest, Montgomery FunFest, Ray of Light’s Cat on the Mat, Updike Farmstead’s Community Day and many more.


The ED will have the opportunity to work with the board to shape the next phase of organizational direction. In particular, the board is in the beginning stage of developing a new Strategic Plan. The Plan will establish goals and objectives to leverage the distinct opportunities brought by the opening of the new facility. The new ED will help develop SAVE’s vision and implement the organization’s strategic 3-5 year goals and objectives.

With this opportunity will come the challenge of raising endowment. New buildings come with increased operating costs. Raising endowment funds is a priority to ensure the long-term sustainability of SAVE. The initial steps of an Endowment Campaign are in place and it will be the next ED’s responsibility to work with a campaign committee of high-level volunteers to successfully conclude those efforts.

An additional challenge will be the roll-out of recommendations from the 2016 Marketing Plan. Key to their successful implementation will be developing ways to strengthen communication among all SAVE stakeholders.


SAVE has annual operating expenses of roughly $1.2 million. Of that, almost 80% is covered by a diverse development program that includes contributions (47%,) special events (24%,) and foundation grants (7%.) The balance is covered by adoptions, municipal contracts, and investments. The organization experienced a shortfall in FY2016 of $249,363 due to increased expenses associated with moving to the new campus. Specific expenses included: maintained two properties while waiting for the closing on the former site, increased staffing to support a larger animal population and physical plant, and accrued additional fees for insurance and medical coverage. While it was necessary in this instance to draw from reserves, the board operates on a policy that puts a 4% cap on the use of endowment interest for the operations. SAVE’s endowment currently stands just under $2 million. Quiet fundraising has already started behind an Endowment Campaign with a working goal of $4 million.


SAVE’s next Executive Director must be an experienced administrator with demonstrated leadership abilities, excellent management skills, and the following desired qualities:

  • A confident leader who can implement strategic opportunities that will advance SAVE’s mission.
  • A skilled administrator who is committed to collaborate with the Board, maintain organizational best practices, evaluate progress, and recruit, retain and motivate staff and volunteers.
  • An experienced major gifts fundraiser who will grow SAVE’s operating and endowment funds.
  • A dynamic, personable communicator who can clearly articulate SAVE’s vision and needs.


Application deadline: April 10

Selection of Semi-Finalists: April 17

Semi-Finalist Interviews: By May 1

Finalist Interviews: By May 22

Finalist Decision: June 1

Start Date: By or before June 30


Acting on behalf of SAVE, consultant Jamie Kyte Sapoch will serve as the liaison for all those interested in this position. Qualified applicants should submit the following information to no later than April 10, 2016:

  • 1. Cover letter discussing your interest and unique qualifications for the position

  • 2. Current resume

  • 3. Names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for three references (We will obtain permission from all semi-finalist candidates before contacting your references)

These materials should be submitted online only by the deadline of April 10. No calls will be accepted. After an initial review of applicants, the Search Committee will conduct a round of semi-finalist interviews. Finalists will be invited to SAVE for a comprehensive onsite half-day series of interviews with staff, trustees, volunteers, and donors.

Download a copy of SAVE's Candidate Opportunity Statement [436 KB}


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