4 creative ways to fund your animal rescue

You know it and we know it.  Finding sustainable sources of revenue to support your animal rescue operations is hard work.  But if you’re reliant solely on adoption fees, you’ll quickly realize that your model is unsustainable and you’ll quickly be looking for new ideas to keep the funding flowing in.  So you’ve gotta think creatively and work collaboratively to get some other sources to support your life-saving operations.

Here are some ideas to spark your thinking and we’d love to hear your ideas!

  1. Partner up – You’ve probably noticed the trend lately is going pet friendly. So jump on the bandwagon and help your local businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition. Know a local coffee shop that would allow you to bring a dozen cats over to let them roam around and interact with customers? Ever considered approaching your local hotel to have them foster one of your awesome dogs literally at the hotel? Both of these partnerships help you and the business you’re working stand out from the competition and engage people in ways they did not expect. Featuring your animals in these settings makes them more likely to be adopted, and it allows you to call attention to your need for funding outside of the normal space of a shelter or animal expo. If you’re working with a restaurant or coffee shop they could challenge people by donating a portion of the proceeds to your organization to incent them to help even more.
  2. Challenge Accepted – People love a good challenge. Competition is what drives us so how do you use that to your advantage? We’ve all heard of the high school principal that has their head shaved if their students read a certain number of books so why not use this tried and true method to secure some funding for your ongoing operations. The key to this type of fundraising tactic is to think shock factor. What if you hosted a Chef’s competition that required using dog food and dog treats as the main ingredients? Or if you held a competition where you’ll cut off one hair on your head for every $$ raised (the average human head has 150,000 hairs)?
  3. Go big or go home – Big events are what draw people in.  They allow them to get out of their house, bring their kids and have some fun on a weekend.  They are also great news fodder for your local T.V. and radio stations who love to feature fun, family-friendly things to do with the kids.  So how about a MasterChef Pet Bakery challenge where you invite the local pet bakeries to go head to head to make the best animal edible cakes according to fun themes that you come up with?
  4. Bring out the kid in you – Many of the most successful events are geared at kids.  Ever considered an art contest for kids and pets?  You could allow kids and their pets to paint on canvas, display them for all to see and even host a real-time auction to purchase the best prints.  You can even couple it with a dog wash after the painting to get both kids and animals clean.

Fundraising is definitely an art more than a science.  Take ideas and build off of them for the best chance for success.

What’s your favorite fundraising idea?  Tell us and share with the community.