The cost of operating one rescue shelter or humane society runs tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, and consumes thousands of hours of paid and volunteer labor. Despite revenue from adoption fees, private benefactors, and some municipal funds, fundraising events are one of the primary methods of bringing in the money require to operate these organizations.
It would be foolhardy to try and claim that this will be an exhaustive list of “Every Fundraising Idea You’ll Need” but this is a list of a few events that might spark your imagination for fun and creative ways to raise money for your group. Feel free to comment with events that have been a success for you and make this a one-stop-shop for inspiration and raise some serious money.
Check with your municipality for any restrictions or special licenses required for any events you are interested in hosting.
Please be advised that the links might expire over time, I will try to keep them working.
Hot Dog Eating Event – sell wrist bands for all you can eat (hot) dogs!
Dog Bowl – Bowling night with a silent auction for pet items.
Holiday Pet Pictures – Free emailed picture or print-on-the-spot for a charge.
Host a Cookie / Bake Sale – Human and pet treats for all; highly sweet, gluten-free, sugar-free, commercially and hand-made treats. Sell individually, by the pound or by baker.
Barktoberfest – Rochester, NY hosts this walk/run/exhibition/agility challenge event
Barktoberfest – This Virginia-based organization has a Mutt Strut walk/run, canine and human contests, and on-site exhibitors and experts.
Woofstock – Music, bands, dancing, carnival food, and, of course, pet friendly and showcasing adoptable friends.
Lucky Break – Billiard fundraiser from an Arizona Rescue.
AmazonSmile – 0.5% of everyday qualifying purchases go to the charity of your choice.
Boot Scootin’ Pet Benefit – Live Country music, BBQ, slot machines, cocktails, and wagging tails.
Benefit Wines – Lucky Dog Rescue partnered with BenefitWines.com for their own range of wines featuring an adoptable dog and biography on the label, with a portion of each bottle going to the Rescue.
Donation Vest – Dress a loveable pooch in a bright vest with little pockets for donors to stuff with bills; why not get the beneficiaries involved!
Tshirt Campaign – Powered by booster.com, the Texas Sweeties raised money with a catchy t-shirt design
Yappy Hours – Partner with a restaurant with a great outdoor area, ask them for a donation for human treats, bring some pet treats, and have a social hour!
Mohawks for Mutts – Raise money from people and get a mohawk, crew cut, or shaved head at a time and place with everyone watching!
Mingle 4 Mutts – A singles event where you mingle under the guidance of a professional matchmaker, and proceeds go to a great animal cause.
Putt4Paws – organize a golf tournament like the Paws4You rescue in Miami, FL