Fundraising is a daily reality for most nonprofits, and nonprofits that serve animals are no exception. The good news for animal-oriented nonprofits? There are lots of creative fundraising ideas that will put the spotlight on your furry or scaly friends. Here are five fun ways you can raise money for animals:
1. Partner with a local business.
Local businesses love giving back to the community, and that includes animals, too. If there is a business in your neighborhood you visit on a regular basis, try approaching the owner to inquire about a fundraising partnership with your organization. This partnership doesn’t have to be complex. You could simply ask to set up a table outside their store and hand out information to interested customers. Explain your organization’s cause to the customer, and ask if they’re willing to donate. Feel free to expand on this idea. Maybe the business owner would love to donate a small portion of their profits for a day or they’d let you host a donor party in their location. You never know until you ask!
2. Host a rest and relaxation event with animals.
Many studies have proven that animals can decrease rates of anxiety and stress. Basically, they’re adorable stress-relief balls. Schedule a day where community members can spend some time relaxing with animals in your shelter or rescue operation. If your work is purely advocacy-related, this would be a great opportunity to partner with local shelters to host an event and find animals forever homes. Examples of this include “Dogs + Donuts” or “Cats + Cupcakes.” You can even be more adventurous and do something like “Lizards + Lemonade.” (Don’t you love alliteration?) The possibilities are endless.
3. Hold a pet photo shoot.
Lights, camera, action! Pet owners want to collect memories and what better way to do so than with a photo? The idea is simple. Let your network know you’re fundraising in advance, grab a camera, get a nice backdrop, and shoot! If you use a Polaroid camera, you can give the images to the owners on the spot in exchange for a donation to your animal-oriented nonprofit. If you have stronger photography skills, you can always develop the photos for later delivery after some editing.
4. Organize a community pet wash.
What’s great about a community pet wash (aside from the adorable animals covered in bubbles) is the necessary tools are few. All you need is a hose, some pet soap, a kiddie pool, a gentle brush, and some animal clients. In terms of location, you can always reach out to businesses. They may be interested in offering you a space or if they’re an animal care center, a free stall for the day. Essentially, you have options, so use them. Make sure to get your friends and families involved. The more available hands, the better!
4. Set up an animal-thon.
Thons are a fun and interactive way to raise money. Essentially, a thon is a fundraising challenge in which participants collect donations from friends and family in exchange for reaching a goal. A bird rescue nonprofit, for example, could host a bird-a-thon. Fundraising participants would secure donations for each species of birds they find or the number of birds they spot in total. You can use your own judgement to determine the criteria and scoring.
5. Start an animal sponsorship club for recurring, monthly donors.
This is a brilliant way to generate a steady source of funds for your animal-oriented nonprofit. Ask your donors to adopt or sponsor an animal in exchange for a monthly donation. GlobalGiving partner APOPO does just this, letting donors adopt a trained mine- or disease-detecting rat for $7/month. Each adoptee has a name, birth date, and specific mission. Adopters receive a welcome pack, an adoption certificate, and monthly progress reports.
Learn more about GlobalGiving’s Paws + Claws matching campaign for animal-themed projects.
Featured Photo: Help Rescue Shelter Dogs and Cats by Berkeley East Bay Humane Society