Spring is a great time to schedule fundraisers for homeless pets. Animal shelters or animal lovers who want to help homeless pets can plan events outdoors with adoptable pets in attendance. Think of fundraising events you can sponsor every year and begin a tradition in your community. Consider several events which include couples, families, kids, and singles.
Celebrate Spring Flowers on Behalf of Homeless Pets
Order small bouquets of flowers grown in your area from a local landscape company or nursery. Work with your local supplier to accept a lower profit margin. Sell daffodils, roses, or bunches of spring flowers at local retail stores, grocery stores, churches, schools, etc for the benefit of your local shelter.
A nonprofit here in Santa Fe conducts a fundraiser in which bunches of daffodils are sold for only $6; they sell these at several retailers, including grocery stores and Sam’s Club. Think of businesses with lots of traffic so the flowers move quickly.
Garage Sale for Homeless Pets
Take advantage of spring cleaning to benefit pets in your area. Find a place for your garage sale that’s indoors or at least has a cover, such as a community center, recreation center, or farmers’ market facility. Advertise in your local paper, both print and online, the shelter’s website, bulletin boards of veterinarians, pet food stores, schools, and churches. Have pets available for adoption at your weekend garage sale. Be sure to provide donors with receipts for their donations.
Home or Garden Tours
Many communities offer home or garden tours to celebrate spring. You can organize a tour easily. Charge a fee for these tours and present adoptable pets at each home. Be ready to accept donations “in honor of” or “in memory of”. Many homeowners who invest in their landscaping love to share it with others. No matter where you live or what size community, there are always homes or gardens others would like to see. To make these events generate even more revenue, have on hand items you can sell on behalf of the animals, such as art, food, etc.
Team Up with Your Farmer’s Market
If you have a local farmer’s market, ask if you can set up a table this spring and summer on behalf of homeless pets. Sell items to benefit pets and include an opportunity to donate to the local shelter. Perhaps you can offer a ‘thank you” item to anyone who donates at least $50, such as a bouquet of flowers, preserves, or jelly from one of the local vendors or farmers.
These farmer’s markets draw many people and are especially enjoyable when there are a variety of activities and items for sale. Our farmers market has many flowers, food items such as preserves, jellies, cheese, etc. in addition to the fresh produce. Ask about setting up an area with adoptable pets at these events.
Sponsor a Walking Tour in Your Community
Is your community a tourist town? Many communities have a collection of restaurants, art galleries, antique stores, museums, etc., of interest to tourists. Organize tours for tourists on behalf of homeless pets in your area. Ask local hotels to place flyers about these tours at their front desks and advertise in any tourism-related publications. You may even get additional donations from animal lovers who enjoy the tour. Provide information about your shelter, including photos of your pets and the financial struggles you face in this economic environment. Find volunteers to offer these tours at the height of your tourist season. Be sure to check with local ordinances concerning any permits or licenses you need.
Sponsor Tours for Local Citizens
If your community doesn’t attract tourists, organize events for locals to generate funds for homeless pets. For example, every community has buildings and events of historical significance. Organize a scavenger hunt in which participants must know the history of your area. If you’re in a rural community, you could include ranches, farmland, historic churches, etc. in your hunt. Charge a fee to participate and think of at least one more way to generate revenue, such as selling food or art items at some of the historic locations.
Participate in Local Spring / Outdoor Events
Most communities celebrate spring and summer with at least one outdoor event that combines food, a sporting or physical activity, flowers, etc. Contact the organizer of events in your community and arrange to participate with a booth to sell items for the local shelter, educate the public about the homeless pets in your area, accept donations, and present some adoptable pets if possible. Organizers and sponsors of these events usually advertise for several weeks; many locals have a tradition of attending these events as a family. You will probably be required to pay a fee to participate; ask if you can get a reduced fee. If that isn’t within your budget, send emails to your supporters and donors and ask for help.
Find a way to spread the word! In your communication, mention the number of people who typically attend these events and what you hope to accomplish in terms of donations and adoptions. Start a tradition of annual participation in these local events.
Sponsor a Community Event Just for Pets
If your community or shelter doesn’t already sponsor an event for the benefit of homeless pets, consider starting one this year. What is your area known for? What do people celebrate?
For example, if you’re near the ocean, sponsor a weekend event based on seafood and fishing. Sponsor a contest for the best crab cake recipe, ask restaurants to participate with donations for each person served, sponsor cooking classes based on seafood recipes, sell artwork of ocean scenes and fish by kids and professional artists, etc. Think of many activities that would appeal to a variety of people. Work with different businesses which can be responsible for conducting their own activities and contribute to homeless pets by offering a percentage of their proceeds for the weekend.
Conduct an Auction or Raffle with Outdoor Related Prizes
Team up with a local restaurant or hotel to provide space and refreshments for an auction or raffle. Outdoor prizes could include horseback riding lessons, landscape design, guided mountain hikes to a backcountry location, outdoor grilling classes for 4 couples, flower gardening classes, organic vegetable gardening classes, golf lessons, etc.
Conduct Classes to Help Homeless Pets
Offer a series of classes with an outdoor theme throughout the spring and summer to raise funds for pets. These classes could include dog training, pet photography, outdoor (Plein air) oil or watercolor painting classes, organic gardening, how to use a GPS, outdoor grilling, etc. Think of several popular activities in your area and ask locals to donate their time to teach some classes. Ask your local newspaper to help advertise these classes; you can probably get a discount or maybe even pay nothing. Many newspapers publish a section or listing of upcoming events in which you can submit your events/classes at no charge.
Find nineteen more fundraising events here.