Employment Opportunities

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Overall Summary of Responsibilities:

Volunteers are critical to achieving Ruff Start Rescue®’s mission. Our 600-plus active volunteers work in every aspect of our organization, from cat caretakers, to transporting animals, to greeting guests at our fundraising events. The rescue could not operate without them. Recruiting, training, scheduling, nurturing, and retaining volunteers is crucial to organizational success.

The Volunteer Manager is responsible for volunteer program success and management, ensuring that volunteers are effectively utilized and continuously supported. This is a highly visible leadership position that requires a can-do attitude and a commitment to problem-solving. The Volunteer Manager interacts closely with all volunteers and staff, and must be approachable, friendly, upbeat, and a “people person.” The Volunteer Manager works closely with all department managers to ensure that the volunteers are properly managed, trained, and retained. The ideal candidate must be passionate about animal welfare and Ruff Start Rescue’s mission and goals.

This position also oversees the education department and facility management. This includes training, mentoring, growing, and promoting our education programs. Education is a vital part of Ruff Start Rescue’s mission. Facility management involves oversight with receptionists, cat caretakers, and facility maintenance. The position manages the office while working in an unstructured environment with numerous interruptions throughout the day.

This position oversees:
600+ volunteers
2-4 volunteer coordinators
10-12 cat caretakers
6 home visit coordinators
10-12 receptionists
15+ education committee members
1 cleaning position

Volunteer Manager Duties and Responsibilities

  • The manager is the volunteer’s first contact at RSR and, sets the tone and expectations for all volunteers.
  • The manager welcomes new volunteers to RSR through regularly scheduled orientation sessions, schedules volunteers into traditional volunteer roles, connects volunteers with their supervisors, and ensures that the volunteers integrate smoothly into their RSR department.
  • Work with department managers to recruit volunteers for all areas of the organization that require volunteer assistance.
  • Host a semi-annual volunteer management training for all staff.
  • Maintaining relationships and coordinating with various community agencies that are sources for volunteers.
  • Attending workshops/training on volunteer management and integrating relevant ideas back into the Rescue.
  • Communicating RSR policies and procedures to volunteers and correcting as needed.
  • Creating and updating volunteer protocols, SOPs, handbooks, and training materials.
  • Scheduling, organizing, and executing volunteer appreciation events.
  • Acting as administrator on the RSR Volunteer Facebook Group.
  • Overseeing the Community Service Program, supporting volunteers looking to complete court-ordered community service or school programs with mandated hours of service.
  • Coordinate all volunteer activities and meet with various departments (i.e., Events/Fundraising, Animal Care programs, Communications, Education, Operations, Vetting, etc.) to distinguish volunteer needs.
  • Handle inquiries for information about the volunteer program, including facility tours.
  • Ensure the volunteer database is accurate and has current information on each volunteer.
  • Maintain and update volunteer recognition programs and keep up with reporting length of service.
  • Oversee and manage volunteer coordinators who process new volunteer applications within 48 hours and work with applicants.
  • Maintain records related to volunteers and their activities by noting individual skills, abilities, special interests, while tracking training, volunteer assignments, and other related information.
  • Supervise, encourage, evaluate, and provide corrective action as needed to ensure volunteers are motivated and performing assigned duties effectively.
  • Fills the position for volunteer coordinators, home visit coordinator, transport coordinators, receptionist, and cat caretakers by posting, recruiting, training, and retaining these positions.
  • Confer with volunteers to resolve grievances and promote cooperation and interest.
  • Develop and oversee the program budget.
  • Coordinate/organize/attend corporate events and volunteer events.
  • Includes other duties as assigned.

Humane Education Department

General Description:

  • Ruff Start Rescue believes education is key to producing responsible guardians of companion animals. The rescue has an active education program offering interactive information to pre-school, elementary, and middle school students. We have also taken our message to high school students, daycares, boy/girl scouts, after school community ed classes, and senior citizens residing in assisted living facilities. Our mission is: “to help children and young adults become responsible, compassionate, and empathetic pet owners by educating them on pet care, adoption, and safety.” We hope to influence and educate the younger generation, so the future holds fewer homeless pets and more responsible pet owners. Our message includes education on adopting animals from rescues rather than shopping for them in pet stores and the importance of spaying and neutering animals.

Education Manager Duties and Responsibilities

The Education Manager is responsible for overseeing the Ruff Start Rescue Education program.

  • This individual will manage the education committee, including but not limited to; recruiting and communicating needs with volunteers, arranging for presentations, reaching out to potential presentation locations, responding to general education inquiries, and maintaining direction for the education program.
  • This person will also cover other committee positions as needed, requiring an understanding of different roles and responsibilities within the committee structure.
  • Takes an active role in the Ruff Start Rescue staff team and acts as the liaison between the two committees.
  • This role requires someone motivated and passionate about the work of Ruff Start Rescue and the role of education in making a difference for animals.
  • Works with Marketing/Communications Manager to share information regarding the excellent work the committee is doing and the mission behind it.
  • Works with the media on telling our story.
  • Develops and oversees program budget.
  • Holds quarterly junior volunteer events on-site in Princeton for minor volunteers.
  • Attends monthly meetings with the Education Committee on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm. These meetings take place at the RSR office in Princeton, Minn., or an agreed-upon location determined by yourself and committee members.

Office Manager Duties and Responsibilities: (Cat Caretakers, Receptionists, Maintenance)

The Office Manager is responsible for ensuring the Rescue can adequately operate and continue our mission in our workspace. This role consists of recruiting, and “staffing” volunteers in areas needed to help with the upkeep, the public, the cats, donations, cleaning, etc.

  • Responsible for recruiting, retaining, and rewarding receptionists and cat caretakers.
  • Responsible for all oversight and putting a system in place to handle anyone that comes into the building other than staff (the public, fosters, volunteers, etc.).
  • The Office Manager duties consist of all oversight on filling and retaining the cat caretaker roles. If a cat caretaker cannot come in for a shift, the Office Manager is responsible for filling in for them or finding a replacement.
  • The Office Manager should ask other staff members or receptionists to help with these responsibilities.
  • The Office Manager is responsible for ensuring a schedule and duties are being completed by those within the office promptly.
  • This position is responsible for oversight on all incoming donations, recording them, and inventory.
  • There are daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks to keep up on the office available to delegate to receptionists willing to help.
  • The Office Manager is responsible for finding and maintaining volunteers to assist with lawn care, snow removal, garbage service, and facility maintenance.
  • Oversees the office cleaning schedule.

Specific Job Skills and Requirements:

  • Qualified candidates must have a minimum of 2 years of volunteer management experience.
  • A passion for making a positive difference in the lives of animals.
  • Non-profit experience a plus. Animal welfare or related field a plus.
  • Proven experience working with the public, developing and maintaining excellent relationships to support goals/mission.
  • Strong public speaking and teaching skills, with both large groups and in one-on-one situations
  • Enthusiasm, positivity, a “Can do” attitude, and the ability to motivate people
  • The ability to stay calm, collected, and professional in stressful or emotionally-charged situations
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Experience working with social media platforms and mobile devices
  • The ability to multitask and work in a hectic, fast-paced environment
  • Comfort providing constructive feedback and implementing disciplinary action when appropriate
  • Flexibility regarding work duties and openness to changing organizational priorities and programs
  • The ability to be a team player and work collaboratively with other departments and personalities
  • Willingness and ability to work hands-on alongside volunteers as needed to complete tasks such as cat caretaker, taking photos of animals, cleaning crates, putting away donations, and other time-sensitive, physical tasks
  • Ability to work productively in an unstructured environment with frequent interruptions
  • Must be comfortable with developing and implementing team concepts in work situations.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Smartphone required with access to the internet, email, and Facebook at all times.
  • Maturity, good judgment, and a professional personal appearance.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Represent the mission, goals, and policies of RSR creatively and energetically.
  • Must have a valid MN driver’s license.
  • The ability to lift 50 lbs, bend, stoop, kneel, squat, twist, reach, and climb steps.
  • Proficiency in Google Suite and Microsoft Office, including Word and Excel.
  • Has the ability to take initiative and work with minimal supervision and direction at times.
  • Essential considerations for this position include understanding why individuals are motivated to volunteer, how volunteers and staff work together, and how adults learn new tasks and skills.
  • Ability to build and maintain good rapport with internal teams, volunteers, and handle situations with confidence, tact, and resourcefulness.


  • Optional insurance options available after the probationary period - you pay 100% premium at a discounted group rate
    • Short term disability
    • Life Insurance
    • Dental Insurance
    • Accident Insurance
    • Hospital Indemnity Insurance
    • Critical Illness Insurance
    • Cancer Insurance
    • Vision Insurance
  • Health insurance - RSR pays 50% of the premium after a 90 day probation period.
  • A retirement package is offered with up to a 3% match.
  • Vacation Leave upon completion of probationary period - 10 PTO days/year starting.
  • Professional Development courses covered up to $200 annually.
  • As part of the leadership team, we send staff to the HSUS Animal Care Expo every other year to continue to learn and grow our mission. Must be willing to travel and attend the expo for five days. All expenses paid (after probationary period).
  • Professional Development courses covered up to $200 annually.

Salary: $35,568

Availability: Salaried/40+ hours per week

Monday - 9am - 5pm
Tuesday - 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 12 - 7pm
Thursday 12 - 7pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

Volunteer orientations twice a month at alternating locations. This applicant will need to access emails outside of office hours when urgent situations arise or when volunteers under their department need to get a hold of them. This applicant also needs to be available if a volunteer cat caretaker falls through as the backup.

Reports to: Director of Operations

How to apply: Submit a cover letter, resume and three professional references to apply@ruffstartrescue.org with "Volunteer Manager / Education Lead / Office Manager" in the subject line.
**Candidates who do not follow application instructions and/or do not send all requested documents will not be considered .**

Volunteer Opportunities

Board Member

Board Member

Reports to: Board Chair

Role: To serve as a voting member of the Board of Directors

Term:Two Years

Time Expectations:

  • Attend and participate in monthly board meetings.
  • Participate actively in one or more committees of the board. Provide feedback and input to committee reports.
  • Attend scheduled board retreats, planning meetings, workshops and other board development activities.
  • Attend, support and participate in at least two signature organizational events, the annual holiday event, and the fundraising gala.
  • Ability to check your organizational email several times per week and respond in a timely manner.



  • Show passion in furthering the mission of Ruff Start Rescue®.
  • Stay informed about the organization’s mission, services, policies, and programs.
    • Engage actively in strategic and policy-making decisions.
  • Make a personal annual financial contribution of at least $1,000 and assist the organization in finding additional donation sources.
  • Participate and support any capital campaigns.
  • Follow developments in community, economy, government, etc., that may affect the organization.
  • Promote the organization to others and participate in fundraising.
  • Build working relationships that contribute to consensus.
  • Suggest nominees to the board who can make significant contributions.
  • Assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities by ensuring adequate financial resources; oversee financial and risk management.
  • Select, evaluate, appoint and, if necessary, terminate the Executive Director.
  • Monitor the community and professional image of the organization and provide feedback to the board and leadership.



  • Board members have no individual authority separate from the board.
  • Board members are expected to support decisions of the board, regardless of personal desires and/or opinions.



  • Devote adequate time to faithfully perform the responsibilities of being a board member.
  • Set policies for organizational operation.
  • Establish fiscal policy and boundaries, including budgets and financial controls.
  • Provide adequate resources for the activities of the organization through a commitment to fundraising.
  • Develop and maintain a communication link to the community by acting as an advocate.
  • Ensure that the organization's Articles and Bylaws are being followed.
  • Be familiar with the organization's goals, objectives and programs.
  • Read preparation materials prior to each board meeting.
  • Make sure the organization keeps a written, permanent record of all board official actions.
  • Be certain the organization is fulfilling all aspects of its nonprofit and tax-exempt status.
  • Know the budget, budget process and financial situation of the organization.
  • Pursue action if there are warning signs that something is wrong.
  • Ask questions concerning those policies, practices, issues, and circumstances you do not understand.
  • Insist on meaningful board meetings with full disclosure of operating results.
  • Require the organization to engage competent legal counsel.
  • Require all committees to make reports at the board meetings, when appropriate.
  • Authorize appropriate indebtedness for major programs.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Review the organization's insurance program.

How to apply: Submit a cover letter, resume and three professional references to apply@ruffstartrescue.org with "RSR Board Member" in the subject line.
**Candidates who do not follow application instructions and/or do not send all requested documents will not be considered .**