How Santa Cruz SPCA accepts online registrations for their youth volunteer program: PAWS

Promoting Animal Welfare with Students (PAWS)

Photo credit: Sydney Lindquist

Are you searching for an event registration system for your nonprofit organization? In this success story, we had a chat with the Santa Cruz SPCA to learn more about how they use Event Espresso for event registrations through their WordPress website for one of their programs: Promoting Animal Welfare with Students (PAWS).

Who is the Santa Cruz SPCA?

Since 1938, the non-profit organization Santa Cruz SPCA in sunny California has promoted the well-being of animals and people in their local community. They’ve done so through programs for advocacy, education, and adoption. One of their programs is Promoting Animal Welfare with Students or PAWS, which is an engaging volunteer program for young students.

In the book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell talks about the value of hands-on learning with children:

“Good teaching is interactive. It engages the child individually. It uses all the senses. It responds to the child.”

The PAWS program with the Santa Cruz SPCA helps local youth learn through the care and socialization of animals in the shelter. The children can create memorable experiences and learn from staff, each other, and the animals.

What were things like before Event Espresso?

Brenna from the Santa Cruz SPCA shared with us how they use Event Espresso to solve the daunting tasks around managing event registrations and event attendee data so that that can maximize the benefits of each event and program they offer.

Before Brenna found Event Espresso, she invested some time in researching different event registration plugins to consider for her organization’s WordPress website.

Brenna told us:

“We had been using a forms plugin and we were not happy with it as an event manager so I researched the plugins for WordPress and it seemed that Event Espresso was the best fit for what we needed!”

The next step involved starting a conversation with members of her team to talk about how Event Espresso could help the Santa Cruz SPCA with their events.

Brenna shared:

“I had to convince the rest of my team that it would work which was easy to do as it was so user-friendly and accessible.”

How the Santa Cruz SPCA uses Event Espresso

Event Espresso is a versatile event registration plugin and helps the Santa Cruz SPCA with various events throughout the year such as online registrations for community service, volunteer orientation, summer camp, and more. Promoting Animal Welfare with Students (PAWS) is their youth volunteer program.

With a handful of sessions across a few weeks, children that participate in PAWS learn valuable skills like patience, compassion, and confidence through the training of animals. And they are offered from September through May, so children have opportunities to engage with furry animals during most of the year.

Parents can choose a session that is a good fit for their schedule and child to start an online registration for PAWS quickly.

Registration options for different multi-week sessions

The parent can then continue through registration checkout including sharing registration details and making a secure online payment, and a few minutes later, their child will be confirmed for PAWS.

When asked how she would describe Event Espresso to a friend, Brenna shared:

“Very easy to manipulate to make it fit your needs and is so easy to manage on the back end as it shows all your registrants and can even print out your event lists. I was able to teach myself how to use it by watching the demos and reading the forums. Plus, the support through documentation, forums, and one on one help has made it easy to troubleshoot.”

How to set up events with different registration options through Event Espresso

At Event Espresso, we know that learning something new on your WordPress website can be challenging. We’ve invested in resources to help you along with your events including a getting started guide that walks you through the installation process and on to publishing your first event, setting up various types of registration options and tickets, and more!

Plus, our support team is responsive and can help you if you get stuck and need some help moving forward with your events.

Check out the video below to see how to set up a similar event like PAWS which has different registration options for various dates.


Would you like to accept registrations for your charity and nonprofit events through your WordPress website? Organize your nonprofit events with Event Espresso today or reach out right now to start a conversation about your next charity event.

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