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Case Study

Workshop Facilitation for Animal Welfare Summit

Seattle Humane

Promoting the human-animal bond by saving and serving pets in need, regardless of age, ability, circumstance, or geography.

The Challenge

Founded in 1897, Washington state’s Seattle Humane has long served with compassion as they care for pets and the people who love them. While its traditional measure of success was based solely on the number of animals saved and adopted, the many new methods in which they keep pets in loving homes is now part of their evaluation.

Regardless of having greater impact, Seattle Humane wished to understand where animal needs were still not being met within their King, Snohomish, and Pierce tri-county region.

So they sought a way to pull together all of the area’s government and private agencies focused on pets to define those needs, prioritize what to work on together, and discuss what changes may help.

Saddled with now-stale pre-Pandemic relationships, Seattle Humane also desired an effective way for service providers in the tri-county area to reconnect and move forward with clear opportunities to work together.

When they connected with CauseMic, they needed answers to four broad questions:

  1. How do we structure a facilitated session to engage with a broad group of animal welfare organizations in the tri-county area?
  2. How do we ensure that one voice (Seattle Humane) doesn’t dominate discussions involving service gaps?
  3. How do we work together to determine where in the area there is a need for pets and/or pet-owners that is not being met?
  4. How do we get input into what working together and/or partnering looks like for each organization? 

Our Solution

CauseMic facilitated the multi-organization summit workshop as a neutral third-party, one that specializes in bringing all voices forward with none dominating the discussion.  Our structured approach kept things focused yet open, innovative, and solution-oriented as follows:

  • CauseMic’s problem-solving framework allowed the group to identify the most pressing problems to maximize the effectiveness of the time together.
  • CauseMic’s How Might We approach helped participants reframe challenges into potential solutions and then prioritize the best candidates for follow-up after the summit.
  • CauseMic’s collaboration with Seattle Humane included breaks for connection, breakout sessions, and strategic seating arrangements. This enabled a balanced approach between (a) relationship building and (b) working on potential issues and solutions with diverse perspectives.

The Results

By any measure, it was a successful, one-day facilitation that participants variously described as: Hopeful, Inspired, Sense of community, Shared goals, I feel energized, Connection, Activated.

Participants identified existing community resources that enable organizations to make better referrals and develop specific complementary partnerships.

It was a day of positive connection among groups across the animal welfare community in the three counties, laying a solid foundation for working together  on future challenges.

Fifteen of the organizations subsequently gathered for a second summit, building off the work of the first. Ongoing, periodic meetings are planned.

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"We so appreciate your joining us and helping facilitate this event. It was such a benefit for our team members to be able to focus on participating and really invest in the outputs of the day. We could not have pulled this off without all your partnership and expertise.” 

Seattle Humane

KC Caine
Project Manager, Strategic Planning

Make the most of your top-level meetings.

Adopting an inclusive workshop process helps ensure the best, most feasible notions surface from all your meeting participants. With CauseMic’s expert, facilitated structure, you’re well on your way to a successful, solution-oriented gathering.

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