Our Favorite Animal Shelter Fundraising Ideas

Our Favorite Animal Shelter Fundraising Ideas

We all love our furry friends. They serve as our loyal companions and give us so much joy and laughter over the course of our lives. Sadly, there are plenty of wonderful animals still stuck in shelters in countless communities. These are loving creatures who are all looking for their forever homes. While living in a shelter may provide solace to them so they aren’t stuck on the streets, it takes a lot of money to keep such places open and care for everyone. That’s why animal shelter fundraising ideas are important for many shelters, rescue groups, and animal-related organizations such as those that work with service animal training. 

animal shelter kittyLooking to start fundraising for an animal shelter, rescue, or animal service organization? Have a look at these animal shelter fundraising ideas we’ve put together for you to use in your next campaign. With these mission-driven ideas for animal shelters and organizations, you can help out the animals and the people who work tirelessly to keep them safe. So have a great time taking care of some adorable dogs and cats–and maybe even bring one home!

Host a Dog Walk & Costume Contest 

Dogs walks are a classic way to raise funds for animal shelters and rescues and imagine the fun you’d have by combining one with a costume contest. This is best done on a cooler day, so no one overheats, with there being prizes lined up for those best-in-costume. Everyone gets a good laugh with the overloaded cuteness of the pup parade, and the shelter gets more funding for it. 

Learn how to organize a walk-a-thon and read our great dog walk fundraising ideas. The more fun, the better! 

Fundraising for Animal Shelters via Dog Walks

Wash-a-Pup Day

Spending a warm, summer day splashing around with dogs and getting them clean is an awesome way not just to have fun, but to raise money for your local shelter. Have people pay entrance to come in and wash their dogs as well as some of the dogs from the local shelter. Charge extra for things like shampoo and soap, and get ready for a fun day raising funds and giving the pooches a fun time getting bathed, since they probably need it, those stinkers. Towel them off and have them feeling good and fresh, and rest easy knowing that you did a great thing for the benefit of your local shelter. Note – don’t even think of trying this one with the cats!

Create & Sell Paw Print Merchandise 

animal artSelling dog and cat-made merchandise is a great animal shelter fundraiser. One awesome idea would be to get a bunch of blank items, be it paper, canvas, or mugs, and get a hold of some non-toxic paint. Get people interested in your event and charge them to come in and paint with the dogs. You could have them paint on the paper, but the best idea would be to get the paint (finger paint would be best for this) and rub it onto the dogs’ paws. This way you can stamp their paws onto the paper for an adorable paw print effect! Sell the items or auction them off after they are finished. 

Make Some Furry Friend Calendars 

Get a photographer and graphic artist together and create a furry friend calendar. All the cats and dogs at the shelter can be featured on a calendar month. You can either do group photos with lots of pets on a page or have pages with one pet in costume. You may even be able to print several editions of the calendar so everyone gets their own shining moment. You can sell the calendars after they’ve finished production, with all of the funding going to the shelter. This is also a great way to get the pets featured so they can be adopted more easily! Just be sure the calendars are ready to sell by December as a holiday fundraiser for the shelter. 

Sell calendars or custom pet merchandise for animal shelters with an eCommerce store

online stores

Host a Pop Up Cat Cafe 

Get in touch with a local cafe to see if they’d like to book a day with you to host a cat cafe. Set up the cafe with a nice space for the shelter’s cats. An entrance fee is paid by anyone who would like to attend, and this comes with one free drink and two hours in the cafe. The time is spent playing with the cats and getting to know them. This is an awesome way to get cuddly with the kitties and thus get to know them more. Those who are fond of them can put in adoption papers immediately. All proceeds from ticket sales go to the shelter as well.

Offer Pet Sitting Services 

dog sittingTaking care of pets can be a difficult task for people who are already juggling so much in their day-to-day lives, especially at work. This is a great opportunity to set up pet sitting days where volunteers take care of pets and their owners pay a fee for the services. It frees up a lot of time where people ordinarily wouldn’t have any and the pets get a chance to make a new friend. Send all the profits made to the shelter and it will be a great way to raise funds.

Host a Pet Raffle

Everyone loves raffles and they are so easy with our raffle websites! To start, you will just need to secure some pet-friendly prizes from local sponsors. These can range from creative pet-specific gift baskets (think Cranky Cat baskets or Pampered Pooch baskets) to cat trees and dog beds, to an annual supply of pet food, or pet grooming and boarding passes. Even if you don’t have the time to secure in-kind donations for a pet raffle, online 50/50 raffles work great for animal shelters.

Sponsor a Dog on a Crowdfunding Website 

Animal shelters can easily put up a crowdfunding website that highlights some of their adorable animals. Create a page for each dog or cat that is awaiting adoption and people can donate to your organization on behalf of one of the animals. This platform gives supporters the ability to share fundraising pages on social media, for more exposure and easy mobile giving. Everyone loves to share pictures of cuddly animals! Crowdfunding campaigns are a tried and tested means of getting emergency funds for an animal shelter campaign. 

Sell Dog Treats or Host a Doggie Bake Sale

That’s right, get your cook on for the pets! There are many successful pet bakeries these days, as people love buying healthy, homemade treats for their dogs and cats. Your organization can create doggie cookies and sell them via an online store and at the shelter. Take a look at these 25 simple dog treat recipes to start. This is another great idea around the holidays, as people like to buy stocking stuffers for their pets. Package the cookies to look great for whatever holiday is coming up. Getting repeat customers is key here – so get feedback from pet owners and make your pet recipes shine.

We Offer Great Options for Animal Shelter Fundraising 

DoJiggy Crowdfunding Options

Conclusions on Fundraising for Animal Shelters & Rescue Groups

We hope that you’ve found our animal shelter fundraising ideas useful. Keep in mind these are our top ideas that include dogs and cats – but many organizations host bowl-a-thons, charity poker tournaments, and virtually all kinds of fundraising events for the animals. Fundraising for animal shelters can be fun and satisfying if you can get organized for the sake of all the lovely pets looking for their forever homes. Your local community will be so much better for it, and the shelter will have the means to keep doing its good work.

Still Looking for Animal Shelter Fundraising Ideas?

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Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.

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