Raising funds for animal shelters is not a lot different than fundraisers for other organizations, but animal shelter fundraisers are unique and actually have some advantages over other fundraising campaigns.
Supporters For Animal Shelters
Animal shelters have the advantage of having a wide potential support-base. Animal lovers are everywhere, and many are very dedicated to issues of animal welfare. And while animals lovers, breed supporters, and activists should certainly be called upon, animal shelter fundraisers have larger appeal and success if they reach out to a wider audience.
- Start the appeal list with known supporters, animal groups, and breed associations/supporters. Be careful, though, that someone’s very strongly-held beliefs will not deter the average person from participating in a campaign or event.
- Look in-house at group members and volunteers for annual appeals and donations and for volunteer support to run a campaign.
- Appeal to the general public through advertising and fund-drives, and by hosting educational events, recreational events, and sales.
- Appeal to local and national businesses; some will match funds raised, and others will be willing to sponsor an event for advertising rights (animal food and supply companies will be the best bet).
Some Notes About Animal Shelter Fundraising
It seems that people who give to animal shelters have different expectations of shelter personnel than they do of other groups they might support. Often, animal shelters have to work harder to convince people that they need money and support.
- Animal shelter personnel need to display a knowledge of their function, of animal care, and of why their particular group has such a large need. Volunteers should be well-versed in animal care matters and in their basis of need. Prepare volunteers to speak to the public during campaigns not only to educate, but also to prove the group’s credibility.
- Pet-related events are very well suited to animal shelter fundraisers because they provide an inherent opportunity to educate the public (thereby furthering the cause and reducing the need), grow animal support overall, and show the shelter as an organized, reliable, and credible organization.
- An aspect of animal shelter fundraising that should never be overlooked is in-kind donation. Cash is hard for some people to part with, particularly if they can’t be sure they can trust how an organization will spend the money. But animal shelters always have big supply needs, and donations of foods, bedding, dishes, and toys can be just as good as cash to buy them. For a shelter with particular needs, a well-publicized and detailed list of acceptable goods with collection/drive details will ensure that the group gets usable goods.
Animals in need can’t speak for themselves; and few animal shelters have the funds necessary to fulfill the needs of their in-house populations. But with targeted animal shelter fundraising plans, animal shelters can raise the funds and supplies needed to complete their mission.