Regardless of rain or shine, dogs are always enthused about going for a walk. Please your dogs with a fundraising dog walk or run, get some exercise and give back to your community. Dog Walks are fun peer-to-peer crowdfunding events and are usually 5K or less in length. They are very similar in planning to organizing a walkathon, though there are some extra considerations as well as fundraising opportunities that come into play. Dog Walks can be exciting and fun events with costume contests, photo booths, food, and before and after parties.
Dog Walks are held by all types of nonprofit organizations to raise money for their cause. They are not relegated to animal shelters and services who love and support dogs. Yet such organizations are a clear fit for dog walk fundraising. Their popularity is on the rise, as they are a fun and appealing way to gather your community for a non-profit crowdfunding event.
Charge an admission fee to raise money, ask participants to raise money via personal fundraising pages, sell shirts, caps, water bottles, and leashes on your crowdfunding website. Below we share with you many activities and strategies to supplement and add to the success of your dog walk fundraiser.
Plan a Dog & Car Wash
Why not host a unique fundraising event which allows people to get their car and dog cleaned at the same time? When the necessities around a car wash are met in addition to a pet groomer being on hand, it’s a double win. Ask a groomer to set up adjacent to the car wash and see if they’ll offer their services for free or at a big discount to support your doggy walk. Charge a fee for both the car wash and groomer. Ask your volunteers to help. Raise money to support your dog walk in a fun fashion. This is another way to recruit crowdfunding participants.
Setup a Photo Booth
A photo booth at a dog walk is bound to be entertaining! The benefits aside from your guests having a great time are found in marketing and promoting your dog walk. Nothing shares the energy of a charity fundraising event more than photos. Great pictures of dogs and their owners having fun are sure to attract new donors and participants for next year.
Host a Dog Happy Hour
Crowdfunding teams meeting for drinks or a wine tasting event for extra fundraising has a few benefits. Everyone loves happy hour, and bars are a great place to recruit participants for a dog walk. Bring your dog loving friends together and meet new friends who may wish to become participants in your doggy walk. Friendships and passion for the event are deepened among the dog walk participants who have already signed on.
Include a Dog Costume Contest
A dog walk is a perfect opportunity to hold a dog costume contest. There are online vendors who sell dog costumes ranging from political figures to super heroes. If your walkathon is close to Halloween, creating a costume no one else has done before is a hit. Sell tickets to enter the contest and advertise prizes on your walkathon website.
Walkathon Vendor Booths
Sell Vendor Booths during the post-party and along the walkathon route for $75. Ask that each vendor promote the dog walk at least three times on thier social media platforms to help spread the word. Also these vendors can assist with in-kind donations for the costume contest prizes or dog paraphernalia raffle items.
Recruit Doggy Walk Sponsors
Sell Poodle Sponsor Packages (or Border Collie or any dog breed package) and include a company logo on all marketing materials for the event. Companies who purchase this sponsor package shall receive a booth, and promotion on the doggy walk crowdfunding website. Offer each company promotion via social media platforms and complimentary dog walk-a-thon entries. See our article on how to get sponsors to support a walk-a-thon for more information.
Utilize Walkathon Software
If you've been tasked with organizing a dog walk or walkathon, you may feel overwhelmed. There are many moving parts to coordinate; we're here to help get you started.
Peer-to-peer Crowdfunding software is a must for walkathons. DoJiggy Pledge is a walkathon software platform designed specifically for walk-a-thons and Dog Walks and any other type of event where individual and team participants solicit and track donations and pledges. Each of your event participants creates and manages their personal fundraising page and invites friends and family to support your organization through secure, online donations. Administrators configure a minimum donation goal for participants, as well as the types of donations and pledges accepted.
- Provide walkers with Personal Fundraising Pages to customize and promote your fundraiser - people love adding pictures of their dogs!
- Fundraising Thermometers and Leaderboards display Top Team & Individual fundraisers and promote competition, so you raise more
- Embedded Social Media Share links encourage walkers to share the event w/ friends and family
- Personal Control Panel allows fundraisers to manage their personal and team pages, email friends and family, and add check donations
- Easily enter checks and off-line donations at no additional cost
DoJiggy is the Industry Leader in Walkathon Software.
Find a Dog Friendly Cafe
Cafés with outdoor seating often allow dogs and even provide dishes of water for them. Perhaps a pet fashion show at a local café would be the perfect start to a beautiful partnership and your Dog Walk kick-off. Sell tickets to supplement your dog walk revenues. Offer the café a vendor booth at the walkathon to further your relationship and provide great coffee for the walkathon participants.
Sell Dog Themed Art
Sponsor an art sale with an animal theme. See if a local art gallery in your community will donate space for the event. Ask students and community artists to enter paintings and objects of arts to sell at the event. Invite the artists involved in your dog walk and ask if they would sell their work and donate the money to your cause. This is an idea for a silent auction or an art contest as well to supplement a dog walk.
Host Pet Parties
Gather your crowdfunding teams for parties and invite their dogs. How about a little party or picnic in the park to drum up new participants and raise the anticipation level for the event to come?
Cook Up a Dog Walk Bake Sale
Supplement your dog walk and recruit participants by holding a Saturday bake sale at a community center or school. Gather a team of bakers and plan the most delightful treats to sell. Make special treats for dogs! Sell them at the sale and offer them on your dog walk website.
Walkathon Dog Sitting
Offer a pet sitting area at your dog walk to bring in extra cash and control the hounds. Take special care to keep dogs and humans safe with separate areas for some, and a playground for all. This service may be offered on your dog walk website.
Host a Doggy Walk Raffle
A raffle is a fun fundraising idea to add to a dog walk. Sell raffle tickets on your website and at registration. Ask your local pet shops and larger retail vendors for donations. Branch out and raffle grooming packages or pet spa or boarding packages from local groomers and boarders. Perhaps they’ll offer packages to your organization at half-price to draw more business to their shop.
Make a dog quilt as a grand raffle item. Form a team of quilters and ask your friends and family to decorate each fabric square with an animal protection message. Perhaps a local crafts store would like to donate the fabric.
Sell Doggy Walk Calendars
With an annual dog walk, photos for a calendar will be aplenty. Offer a prize for the best dog photos 3 months prior to the charity event. This gets donors and participants involved in crowdfunding and they’ll share their excitement with friends.
Add information about your nonprofit mission, and facts that educate donors and supporters about your cause. Sell the calendars in your community, on your fundraising website and nonprofit website. They’ll present a great way to brand your nonprofit throughout the year.
More Walkathon Resources
We've outlined some basic steps designed to keep the dog walk planning process on track. Remember, big results are entirely possible with careful planning and execution.
- For detailed information about each of the topics and much more, download our comprehensive guide on: "How to Organize a Walkathon: Your Complete Guide to Hosting a Walkathon"
- See all of our walkathon fundraiser resources, including a Dog Walk download