10 Fundraising Ideas to Benefit Your Local Animal Shelter

Who says you need to donate your own money? You can make a real difference by taking the initiative with one of these fantastic fundraising ideas.

Donate the proceeds of your garage sale or bake sale to your local shelter. By: latteda

Sometimes, donating to an animal shelter isn’t as easy as opening your wallet or purse, especially for those of us on a budget. Fortunately, there are other ways to raise money and help out the homeless animals in your community.

1. Raise Funds Online

The idea of asking for cash is a little discomforting, even if you’re not weaving through a crowd shaking a donation can. However, online fundraising through websites such as GoFundMe is a simple, if not fun, experience.

If your friends and family are willing to share the fundraising link on social media, you may meet — or exceed — your goal in no time.

2. Have a Bake Sale

Bake sales may be old-fashioned, but I’ve never been able to pass one up without snagging at least 1 goodie. Bake sales are not only a sweet way to raise money for an animal shelter, but they’re also great at getting more people involved in the cause.

3. Online Shopping Donations

Did you know that as a seller on eBay you can opt to donate any or all of the proceeds from your sales to a charity? The tax-deductible donation is taken right out of the final transaction, leaving you with more time to list your next auction.

Amazon.com has a similar opportunity for anyone wanting to give to charity hassle-free. AmazonSmile offers the same products at the same price but will donate 0.5% of your purchase to your preferred charity.

4. Yard Sale

Yard sales are a quick and easy way to earn a few extra bucks. But often the purpose of the sale is to unload a bunch of clutter. The money is just a bonus.

If you’re happy enough just to see that pile of 1980s whitewashed jeans finally leave your life for good, then consider passing that happy feeling on by donating the proceeds to your shelter.

Because most yard sales occur in the summer, right around puppy and kitten season, your animal shelter is sure to need extra help.

5. Organize an Event

Shelters and rescues regularly host fundraising events throughout the year. From those events, shelters gain exposure and recognition, adopters, volunteers and lots of donations.

Consider creating your own charitable event:

  • A 5K fun run
  • A movie night (entrance fee is a donation)
  • A dance competition

Collaborate with shelter volunteers, friends or other members of your community to brainstorm ideas.

6. Donations as Gifts

If you’re like me, you always fall short on suggestions when people ask for gift ideas. Or maybe your child’s birthday is coming up, and she really doesn’t need any more toys.

Instead of asking for traditional gifts, consider asking for cash donations. You can request charitable contributions for all occasions, like:

7. Sell Arts or Crafts

If you’re handy or artistic, you may have considered selling your crafts at fairs or online. Or perhaps you’re already established and want to find new ways to market yourself.

If you donate all or some of the proceeds from your sales, you are not only helping pets in need, but also you will pull in a little more attention from buyers who like to make a difference.

Watch the kids at this public school raise funds for their local animal rescue in this video:

8. Car Wash

A couple hours of your time on the weekend could mean a few hundred dollars for your animal shelter.

Gather some willing friends to create a car wash fundraiser. Set a minimum fee per wash or just ask customers for a donation. Make sure to explain the great cause.

If you speak with shelter staff beforehand, they may be able to send a representative with a couple of adoptable pets.

9. Donate Items for Auction

If you have furniture, art or anything of value that you no longer want, contact your shelter before getting rid of it. You may be able to donate it for the shelter to auction off. That saves you the hassle of finding a buyer. And — a big plus — you’re helping the animals.

10. Create Donation Canisters for Local Shops

Reach out to local stores and restaurants to see if they would keep a donation canister at their register. The loose change that customers drop in can add up quickly.

Benefiting the Entire Community

With many of these fundraising tactics, you can create awareness about animal shelters in your community and inspire others to not only donate but also create their own fundraising efforts for the cause. For pets, pet lovers and shelters, this can only be a good thing.

Allison Gray

View posts by Allison Gray
Allison Gray gained a wealth of knowledge about animal welfare issues and responsible pet care during her nearly 5 years of work for an animal shelter. She is a writer, photographer, artist, runner and tattooed remedial knitter. Allison also has been researching, testing out and perfecting nutritious pet treat recipes in her kitchen for Petful since spring 2017.

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