Hosting a fundraiser can be a rewarding experience that not only raises vital funds for animal-related causes but also brings animal lovers together in support of a common goal. Whether you’re a dedicated animal rights activist or work or volunteer with a pet-focused organization, organizing a fundraiser can be a powerful way to create positive change.
In this guide, we’ll outline the five essential steps to consider when planning an animal-related fundraiser, from setting clear goals to following up with your supporters. Following these steps will help you host a memorable fundraiser that inspires stronger relationships with supporters and makes a difference for animals in need. Let’s get started!
1. Define your goals.
Setting fundraising goals is an essential first step in the campaign planning process because it provides a clear vision of what your organization hopes to achieve and adds accountability for tracking performance.
In addition to raising necessary funds for your cause, you might host a fundraiser to accomplish the following goals:
- Raise awareness and educate the public about issues related to animal rights.
- Create opportunities for donors to become more involved with your organization through advocacy, event attendance, or volunteer efforts.
- Highlight impact and progress made by your organization to gain trust and credibility with key stakeholders such as grantmakers, corporate sponsors, and major donors.
- Strengthen existing relationships with donors and attract new supporters.
While raising money is critical to supporting animal causes, these additional goals can help your organization create a sustainable and impactful approach to fundraising.
2. Narrow down your fundraising ideas.
Now it’s time to choose a fundraiser that will help you achieve your goals. Narrow down the focus of your fundraising ideas so that your target audience understands the campaign’s purpose and knows exactly how to lend their support.
Here are some popular, narrowly-focused animal fundraising ideas to get you started:
- Sponsor-a-pet fundraiser: For a small, monthly donation, people can financially support an animal until they get adopted from a shelter. Send pet sponsors regular updates about the animal’s well-being and encourage in-person visits so they feel more inclined to adopt or increase their level of giving.
- Animal yoga: Host an animal-themed yoga fundraiser in a local park where participants can exercise with animals eligible for adoption.
- Crowdfunding campaign: Launch an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a specific animal-related cause or project, such as building a new shelter or funding medical treatment for animals in need. Ensure that the crowdfunding platform features a built-in payment processor so you can automatically transfer donations to your account.
- Pet product sales: Create and sell pet products such as branded T-shirts, mugs, or toys, with the proceeds going to support your animal-related cause.
- Animal movie night: Host an animal movie night where participants pay to watch classic animal-themed movies alongside their own pets. This can be done virtually or in person, and snacks and drinks can be sold to raise additional funds.
Ensure that each of the fundraising ideas you’re considering align with your organization’s budget and goals before making a decision. Then, set a timeline and allocate funds to put the campaign into action.
3. Plan the logistics.
When planning the logistics of a fundraiser for an animal-related cause, you should begin by assembling and managing a strong fundraising team that oversees donor outreach, event planning, and animal care, among other tasks. Work alongside this team to nail down important details, such as:
- A venue: Choose a venue that is suitable for the fundraiser, such as a park, community center, or online platform (in the case of a virtual fundraiser). Ensure that the venue can accommodate the expected number of attendees and is animal-friendly.
- Activities and entertainment: Plan activities and entertainment that are related to the fundraiser and will engage attendees. This could include animal-themed games and animal training sessions.
- Sponsors: Solicit sponsorships from local businesses or organizations to help cover the costs of the fundraiser. In exchange, offer sponsors recognition on marketing materials or at the event.
- Volunteers: Recruit volunteers to help with the planning, setup, and execution of the fundraiser. Assign specific roles and responsibilities to ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal.
- Donations: Set up a system for managing donations, such as a secure online donation platform or donation box. Ensure that all donations are properly tracked and recorded for tax purposes.
Planning these details well in advance will help your fundraiser run smoothly, attract more participants, and raise more funds.
4. Promote your fundraiser.
With the logistics finalized, your organization can create a marketing and outreach plan to promote the fundraiser and attract attendees. Use these tips to effectively spread the word about your fundraiser:
- Adopt a multichannel marketing approach. Double the Donation recommends taking a multichannel approach to marketing to reach as many potential supporters as possible. This involves promoting your fundraiser across your social media accounts, email campaigns, direct mail outreach, and website.
- Engage with local businesses. Partner with local businesses, such as pet stores, vet clinics, or grooming salons, to promote the fundraiser. Display flyers or donation boxes at their locations and discuss the fundraiser with their customers to encourage support.
- Create consistent branding. Maintain the same logo, color scheme, typography, and campaign details in all fundraising-related communications. This type of consistent branding will make your fundraiser easily recognizable and memorable to the public.
To streamline this process, consider using automated tools like Gingr’s marketing software. By automating tasks like sending emails and SMS messages, you can ensure that your outreach is consistent and targeted. Plus, it frees up time for your staff to focus on other important tasks, such as caring for the animals in your care.
5. Follow up with supporters.
Your fundraiser isn’t complete without a “thank you” to donors. After receiving a donation, send a thank-you message or make a personal phone call to express your gratitude. Reference the amount they contributed and explain how their gift made a difference. For instance, you might say, “Thanks to your $50 donation to our crowdfunding campaign, we were able to provide shelter, food, and medical care to Milo, a puppy in need.” Showing sincere appreciation in this way will help increase donor loyalty and lead to long-term support for your cause.
You should also celebrate the successes of your team members and volunteers and show appreciation for their hard work. Recognize those who went above and beyond and celebrate milestones and achievements together. This will help to boost morale and keep supporters motivated even after the campaign ends.
By following these steps, you can hone your organization’s fundraising strategies and raise meaningful support for your animal welfare initiative. Remember to take the time to thank supporters for their interest and commitment to your cause, whether they served as a donor, volunteer, or team member. Doing so will foster a community of individuals who are committed to making a difference.