Animal Rescue Animal Shelters Fundraising

Fundraising for Animal Shelters During a Pandemic - Part 1

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Michelle Fournier

In this unsettling, challenging time animal shelter are finding themselves in the thick of struggle in  many areas. From the restriction of the number of volunteers in-shelter on the daily, to an incredibly quick pivot and adoption of new technologies which ultimately allow for adoptions to continue,  the incredibly important act of fundraising has taken a back seat, yet is vital to the sustainability and long term success of all shelters.  While we know fundraising during a pandemic is rife with challenges, we want to offer an opportunity to look at it from a fresh, creative, fun perspective so you can start to get funds rolling in and operations back on track.

It is important to remember that during this time, your donors haven’t lost their passion for animal welfare as evidenced by the surge in pet adoptions during quarantine, with some shelters reporting a nearly 200% increase in adoptions year-to-date. Yet, the economic impact the pandemic has taken on individuals and businesses alike can not be ignored. For this reason, it is critical to take a fresh look at fundraising with a compassionate and creative eye.

Get Virtual:

Just because we can’t congregate in large groups in person at this time, doesn’t mean we can’t attract a large audience for an event. With the acceptance of video conferencing and virtual events, there is a whole new platform on which to build a fundraising effort.

Virtual Pajama Day

Have your followers donate $5 and submit pics of themselves and their pet in PJ’s! Their pics will be included on your social media and website. A super fun and engaging way to raise some money and get a ton of shares and likes in the process! (Extra points for matching PJ’s 😊)

Virtual run | walk

Set the distance, and watch the money pour in. Virtual runs | walks are all the rage these days with race season being largely canceled across the country. Your entrants will log miles on their own time, gather sponsors, get fit and raise money. Be sure to include race updates on your site, and remember, everyone love the podium at the finish.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt 

Such a fun way to engage your supporters no matter their age, curate a list of 10 things they need to take a picture of themselves next to, such as a local statue or landmark, or an event they are participating in, such as a donut eating contest. From there they submit images, pay to play, and you share the fun with your followers. This is an event the entire family can get in on. Get creative and enjoy the show.

Virtual Meet & Greets

Traditionally held for potential adopters, open this Virtual Meet & Greet up to donors. Allow them to meet and virtually interact with the animals their funds are helping, once they see the pets and feel a connection, their inclination to help won’t be stopped.

Virtual Shelter tours

Peel back the curtain of your shelter, let your donor see where their money is going, offer them insight into the day-to-day, introduce them to paid employees and volunteers. This is a great way to show donors where their financial commitment is contributing and brings in a human connection which can be missed in fundraising.

There is no better time than now to entertain people, get their thoughts moving in a new, fun direction even if only temporarily. They will surely appreciate your efforts, and your bottom line will be the benefactor.

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