Funds Low? Fundraising and Adoption Planning

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Were your holiday donations as much as you hoped for? With so many animal shelters and rescue groups in desperate need of funding, it may be time to rethink your fundraising plans and adoption events. Arrange events you haven’t tried before. Partner with other animal rescue groups or other nonprofits in your community. Here are a few ideas for the new year.

Plan an ongoing community effort such as a foster program for the pets of deployed soldiers. We owe these men and women so much for their sacrifices. They shouldn’t have to give up their pets! Establish a special friends group to coordinate this effort.

Start planning right now for a Valentine’s Day event if you haven’t already. See these articles for ideas:

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids
Celebrate Valentine’s Day by Increasing Pet Adoptions and Fundraising

Research any grant possibilities your group may qualify for. Many foundations and community foundations have recently posted (or will be soon) their criteria for 2010 grants. Be ready to complete your application.

Where to Find Grants (on our website)
Finding Grants (on our blog)

Have you considered starting a thrift shop to sell donated items to raise money for your local shelter? This is a substantial commitment in terms of renting retail space and stocking donated items to sell. Two new thrift stores are opening in our area to benefit homeless pets. One will benefit a specific shelter. The other will offer grant money to a variety of animal rescue groups. These two are in addition to a shelter-owned thrift that’s been in business for several years. (I’ve been told that this thrift store is one of their primary sources of revenue. It’s a very busy place!). Other nonprofits have thrifts here as well. This area may be on the verge of saturation. Check your competition carefully and try to find out how their business has been in this economy.

Plan adoption events at offsite locations you’ve never considered before. Could you partner with another shelter or rescue group to do this? Earlier this year, the Albuquerque newspaper sponsored an adoption event for shelters and rescues all over New Mexico. Hundreds of pets were adopted.

Set up a Facebook page to try to reach teenagers and other animal lovers in your community. Maybe you could recruit a group of teenagers to be responsible for your social networking. A new group of volunteers and donors may be waiting; you just haven’t reached out to them in the way they get information.

Plan to participate in at least one new holiday event in 2010. The planning often starts months ahead. Think about community-wide events, church, school, mall events, etc., that might be possibilities. Did you notice holiday activities this season in your community that you could partner with next year?

There’s still time to participate in the Iams Home 4 the Holidays program.

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