Top Animal Fundraising Ideas to Raise Awareness & Funds

According to the AVMA 68% of American families have at least one pet. It’s also estimated by the APPA that last year, American pet owners spent a total of over $120 billion on their pets! Needless to say, we love our animals! But owning a pet is costly. So, when we want to…

  • Adopt or rescue a new pet
  • Cover the medical expenses of a sick or aging pet
  • Support a local animal shelter or rescue

We often turn to fundraising. Here are the best fundraising ideas for animal shelters, pets and animal rescues.

Paw-some Fundraising Ideas for Animal Shelters

Most pet owners are very proud of their furry (or scaly or feathery) friend. So, animal photoshoots are a great way for animal shelters to fundraise. Here’s how:

  • Ask a local photographer if they’d voluntarily photograph pets and families. A Saturday or Sunday event would be best. Consider segmenting the time slots (i.e. 1-2pm for cats and 2-4pm for dogs)
  • Invite your community to come have their photos taken with their pets! To advertise for the event, hang flyers in local coffee shops, bakeries and meeting places. Then post about the event on the animal shelter’s website and social media. Also, post in your community’s Facebook page, if you can!
  • On the day of the event, clear out a space in your facility with a nice backdrop or set up a simple backdrop. *Pro tip: You’ll want to host the photoshoot away from where your animals live, as this will help keep things calm.
  • Charge pet owners appropriate rates for their portraits. Remind them the funds go directly to the shelter. You can charge $10 for individual pet portraits or $15 for photos that include the family and pet owner(s)!

Oftentimes, when an animal arrives at the shelter, it has an unknown name and backstory.

This is a great opportunity for your animal shelter to run naming contests! First, post a photo of a new pet on your social media. Then ask community members to submit potential names for the pet. Tell them to add a small donation with each name!

This is an easy fundraiser that kids can take part in. So consider reaching out to the local elementary school to advertise your contest!

Everyone has their preference! So you can capitalize on this age old rivalry. Here’s how: Start asking local shops if you can partner with them. Ask them to put up a tip jar with two separate containers – one for #TeamCat and one for #TeamDog.

The cashier may also want to tell customers that proceeds are going to your animal shelter! Then be sure to give the donations to the intended type of pet!

Start an Animal Fundraiser →

Purr-fect Pet Fundraising Ideas

The average dog grooming session costs about $60! Help your neighbors save some cash while doing good and host a backyard grooming session. Here’s how:

  • Reach out to a local groomer, asking if they’d be willing to voluntarily groom dogs for a few hours. See if they have a coworker or two who may also want to help!
  • Invite your neighbors! Offer to groom their dogs for a small donation, which they can bring in cash or send to you electronically. *Pro tip: Post in local online groups, hang signs at the dog park and local pet shop and invite friends with dogs.
  • For the event, you’ll likely want a shady outdoor location with access to a hose or plenty of water. There’s also an opportunity to segment the event by dog size (i.e. 1-2pm little dogs, 2-3pm medium sized dogs, 3-4pm big dogs).

There are many online platforms and mobile apps that make it easy for pet owners to raise money. Most have special fundraising categories created specifically for pets and animals. This makes it easier for potential donors to find pet-specific campaigns.

Popular crowdfunding platforms for pets include: AngeLink, GoFundMe and SpotFund.

When setting up a campaign for your pet, be sure to…

  • Upload clear and compelling photos of your pet
  • Come up with a catchy animal fundraiser name
  • Write a detailed fundraiser story of why you’re raising the funds
  • Explain what the funds will cover
  • Share your fundraiser’s link on your social media

One of our favorite pet fundraising ideas is to set up a canine-friendly bake sale at your local dog park. You can sell a combination of pet-themed human treats and actual dog treats.

We’d recommend…

  • Bringing a high table
  • Keeping your treats in containers
  • Choosing a popular day with clear weather
  • Accepting both cash and electronic payments

Start an Animal Fundraiser →

Dog-Gone Fun Fundraising Ideas for Animal Rescues

Family-friendly outdoor activities make for excellent fundraisers! And you can add to the fun by including pets! You’ll want to establish a race course, entrance fee and potential prizes.

To prepare for the event…

  • Reach out to the local public park
  • Advertise significantly ahead of time
  • Make a contingency plan in case of poor weather

At the event, you can host a fun “hydration station”. Here, runners and walkers can donate extra for dog treats, frisbees, or tennis balls!

College students love having pets visit the campus, especially during finals week! Reach out to a local college and ask if they’re open to hosting some sweet, well-trained dogs for an afternoon. Explain that these pups can lighten the students’ mood and relieve some stress.

Set up a puppy playpen in a popular location on campus and ask students to make donations to play with the puppies.

*Pro Tip: Many college students use Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Here’s an example of a successful puppy campus visit!

Depending on your facility and space, you’ve got options. Your animal rescue could host a family-friendly pet-themed trivia night. Or grab the popcorn and set up a pet-themed movie night.

Either way, set a donation-based entrance fee and market the event weeks beforehand!

Start an Animal Fundraiser →

Round of A-Paws These Animal Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising can be an intimidating task for many people and organizations. But we hope these 9 animal fundraising ideas make the process fun for you. You can start an animal fundraiser today for a pet, shelter, or rescue. It only takes a few minutes and can have lifesaving results!

Successful Animal Fundraisers on AngeLink

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