client: SF/SPCA  |  product: class leading hospital


When this Bay Area institution, known for being the definitive go-to place for cat and dog adoptions, found themselves needing to support and fund not only their own evolving business challenges but also those associated with the new state-of-the-art Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center, they recognized major changes were in order. Changes that would begin with a seemingly simple redesign of their public website and then ripple out through all their related business systems including content management, customer relationship management, marketing and fundraising.


The San Francisco SPCA had for its many years functioned effectively as a low-profile organization that advocated for animal rights and found loving homes for stray and neglected cats and dogs out of their SOMA location – often confused with Animal Care and Control and referred to as ‘the pound.’ There was little awareness of the veterinary services the organization provided even though the facility had been in operation ever since the SF/SPCA opened their doors in 1868. All of this represented more of an annoyance than a critical business challenge until the pet industry exploded in the mid-90s. Now they were not only facing increased competition for adoptions, services and basic veterinary care but also for the highly crucial donor contributions. On top of it all, the organization had received a large gift in the form of a new veterinary hospital that would revolutionize animal welfare services in the Bay Area. The hitch was that this non-profit organization would now have to support itself as well as a new veterinary facility, which meant big changes were in order across the board. The small, grass-rootsy organization needed to change their business model, capture market share, evolve their internal processes and implement the necessary internal systems to meet the new challenges without losing their ‘heart’ along the way.


Starting with a complete overhaul of their public website, Sprout began to bring order to the chaos that was the SF/SPCA’s primary means of communicating with their constituents. Conducting competitive research and extensive interviews with representatives from both inside and outside the organization, Sprout constructed an organizational structure that was intuitive and easy-to-comprehend for the general public while also being flexible and extensible to accommodate the needs of each department and their future growth and evolution.

In conjunction with the public website redesign, Sprout built an integrated Content Management System with complex Customer Relationship Management capabilities. Starting with a thorough exploration of the SF/SPCA’s constituent base and the various opportunities for engagement, Sprout documented the constituent lifecycle, which outlined the evolution from unaware Bay Area resident through mobile adoption visitation, animal adoption and training, volunteering and finally donor. Armed with this insight, Sprout built an integrated CMS/CRM tool that eliminated internal redundancies and inefficiencies and enabled a much more streamlined, sophisticated and holistic relationship with constituents.

When the new Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center opened, the SF/SPCA was able to provide an unprecedented level of veterinary services to the dogs and cats of Bay Area residents. But with that great opportunity was the harsh reality of the cost of operating such a facility. Sprout conducted extensive competitive research both in San Francisco and around the Bay Area to understand where opportunities existed to build, educate and engage a new, previously undefined market for the SF/SPCA’s unique mix of veterinary services, dog training, adoption and animal welfare advocacy all contained within a trusted, non-profit Bay Area institution. A 3-year marketing plan was developed that focused outreach first on awareness, second on acquisition and finally increased engagement across the organization’s services.


The SF/SPCA’s updated internal processes and systems are enabling the organization to meet the rapidly (and continuously) changing needs of their business and allowing them to focus on the work of advocating and caring for animals. The integrated content management and customer relationship management systems have provided the SF/SPCA with a reliable way to know and interact with their constituents holistically and track them across all touch points for the duration of their relationship. Finally, the updated marketing strategy and 3-year marketing plan has set them on-course to grow their constituent base and position the organization, once again, as the definitive go-to place for animal care, advocation and services.


Project Focus

Business Process Mapping
Business Strategy
Change Management
Market Development

Honestly, these guys surprised me. Everytime we needed something they provided it. CRM, ‘not a problem’, PR Firm, ‘sure we’ll make a call’. Marketing Plan, ‘got it’. They did get it...the organization truly benefited; they are truly friends to the Animals of San Francisco.
— Jan, previous SPCA President/CEO