Fun, creative fundraising ideas for animal rescue organizations!

Are you fresh out of ideas to raise money for your animal rescue organization? This article takes a quick peak at 5 tried and true ways to have fun while fundraising for the pets in your care:

#1: Calendar Featuring Adopted Pets

People who adopt one pet are much more likely to adopt another in the future, as well as donate to your cause or pitch in for foster or volunteer efforts. Hopefully you are collecting contact information with your adoption programs and using it to periodically reach out to let past adopters know about upcoming events at your organization or shelter, for more information on the many reasons to adopt a shelter dog check out this article.

One fun way to get them even more involved is to invite them to participate in a calendar contest. Ask them to submit some cute photos of their adopted pets enjoying life in their forever home. Then have a small group select the 12 best photos for a promotional calendar for your organization. Then you can sell the calendar for a small fee at local events, over your mailing list, and even at the counter if you happen to run an animal rescue shelter.

#2: Host Pet Training and Care Seminars

Regardless of what types of pets your rescue features, there are experts such as professional dog and horse trainers, veterinarians, groomers, and even pet daycare organizations in your area who would be enthusiastic about getting in front of pet owners in the area. Many such professionals would be willing to donate their time in exchange for the ability to pass out their business card and gain local visibility with pet lovers in your community.

Think outside of the box and start by communicating with the pet professionals in your area to find out if they are particularly excited to teach a specific class related to pet care and build a regularly scheduled monthly or weekly event to offer a diverse offering of classes and workshops. Examples could include:

  • Puppy Training 101
  • Positive Reinforcement Training for Dogs
  • Care Tips for Improving Quality of Life for Senior Pets
  • First Aid Primer for Dog, Cat, or Horse Owners
  • How to Give Your Dog a Basic Haircut
  • The Basics of Horsemanship

#3: Pet Portrait Event

If you are able to find a professional or aspiring photographer in your area who would be willing to donate their time, or work for a small fee, you may be able to set up a small studio for a monthly pet portrait event hosted at your shelter. Consider looking for inexpensive or donated items to use for props and set up a different theme each month to keep the event exciting and fresh.

Images from your pet portrait event may also be used for a promotional calendar for next year’s winter fundraiser. Offering homemade doggy biscuits and other fun pet friendly baked goods is another way to boost sales at your pet portrait event so you get the most of this opportunity to build a community of pet lovers around your rescue organization.

#4: Partner with Local Pet-Friendly Businesses

If you live in most any metropolitan area, it is likely that there are many pet-friendly restaurants, pet boutiques, or doggy daycares that offer services for our furry friends. Many of these businesses are owned and operated by animal lovers who would be thrilled to partner with local rescue operations to host an event such as a doggy social, training class, or a party for pets.

The sky is the limit in terms of generating funds and increasing your organization’s visibility through such events. Both your organization and the business will benefit from the cross promotion of the event on your social media networks. It is also an excellent opportunity to sell goods with a certain percent of sales set aside as a donation to your organization. And, it’s a great opportunity to solicit donations and get the word out about your work to help animals in need in your community.

#5: Dog Walk-a-thon

If you are blessed with a large number of volunteers and community members that want to get more involved with your organization, a dog walk-a-thon is an excellent way to put them into action raising money for your group.

Simple to organize, this type of event does require some dog friendly walking areas such as a nearby nature trails or pet friendly walking paths. Be sure to provide refreshments and have a table to sell items such as baked goods, promotional items, and dog toys to raise additional money for your cause!

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A Successful Fundraiser of Any Kind Requires Reach

No matter what kind of fundraising event you plan for your animal rescue organization, it will only be successful if you get the word out to the people most likely to want to participate.

Take advantage of national events such as #GivingTuesday to build your network of volunteers, adopters, and donors. And, make the most of social media to make sure that your generating engaging content that your target audience is sure to connect with.

About the Author: Sharon Elber is a professional writer and received her M.S. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech and has worked as a professional dog trainer for over 10 years.

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