Animals are always popular at an event, but some venues are not always able to accommodate them or if you’re on a tight budget they may not be at the top of your priority list. We’re going to take a look at some alternative options when it comes fundraising with your community’s own furry, feathered or even scaly friends. Yes indeed, there are a number of ways to raise money with a pet fundraiser.
Some of you may remember when it was not unusual to have a ‘kissing booth’ at fetes or fairs. It’s not a particularly politically correct thing to have these days. None the less, gave us the idea of swapping the person with a dog and have a Smooch a Pooch, where you can pay to get a ‘kiss’ from a four legged friend or two instead. Also a cute idea for valentines day! This could also be incorporated into a photo booth – take a snap as you receive the smooch.
It’s like a fashion parade but with pets instead. It can even be themed to go with your event like for Halloween. Enlist a panel of judges to award things like the best-dressed pet, cutest pet, most unusual pet, furriest pet, friendliest pet etc … maybe even have an obstacle course for the more agile pets to complete. If you are not able or allowed to have animals at your venue, set up a wall or noticeboard where people can submit a photo of their pet into different categories and have a voting booth to allocate the awards. You might even be able to replicate this online by setting up an album on your groups Facebook page. People who can’t attend to still be able to vote and you could create a calendar of the winnings pets and sell it.
Cow Poo (or Horse poo) lotto
Does someone you know have a pet cow or horse that you can borrow? Click here to find out how this one works.
Dog Food fundraiser
Some pet food companies offer rebates to your group on orders placed with them. A great ‘set and forget’ style of a fundraiser.
Pet Shampoo fundraisers
Work in a similar way to the dog food fundraiser where the supplier will rebate your group for orders placed.
Have a social “Yappy Hour”
Like Happy Hour at the bar, this one features drinks and a friendly atmosphere where you can invite all your dog loving friends. Make it a dog-friendly event if possible and charge a small entry fee and combine with raffles or a silent auction.
Hold a dog-and-car wash
Turn your ordinary old car wash into a dog and car wash. Charge a fee per pair (dog + car) and have separate dog washing and car washing stations. As an ‘add-on’ way to make some extra cash with this type of fundraiser, you can pair it with a bake sale or second hand stall or something similar—people waiting for their car (and dog) to be washed will likely purchase something else while they’re there.
Have a walk-and-paw-a-thon
A variation on the standard walk-a-thon, this one incorporates dogs and people in an event similar to the RSPCA’s annual thousand paws walk. Participants are sponsored ahead of time for a certain amount for each kilometre that they walk keeping in mind that they are sponsoring the ‘pair’ – the walker and the dog. The walk-a-thon day itself can be made into an event if you have enough volunteers and could include a sausage sizzle afterwards with drinks or bake sale or even merchandise for your group.
Have a pet picture day
Find a local photographer that will donate his or her time to take pictures of people and their pets for a fee. You could also get a local office supplies store to donate supplies like photo paper and ink for printing the photos. You could even arrange for photos to be printed on t-shirts, mugs, calendars, phone cases and so on. We have a number of suppliers that can do this for you.
Have a ‘Bark sale’
Instead of a bake sale 😉 if you, or someone you know enjoys cooking, you can have a dog bake sale. Find a dog (or cat) treat recipe and make enough batches and varieties to sell to the dog owners. You can even set up a ‘barkery’ to sell your dog treats online.
The fine print:
- Some schools have a blanket no dog/pet policy so make sure you check with your school first before organising any pet fundraiser where animals will be on school grounds.
- Check department of education guidelines for your state and any legislation that goes along with their policies for example in Queensland, ‘Principals, staff and other persons in charge of animals are obligated under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (Qld)(the Act) to promote the responsible care and/or use of animals, and have a duty of care for those animals.’ – Queensland Department of Education and Training policy and procedure register.
- Ensure the animals are well looked after and there is plenty of water, shade and quiet spaces available.
- Dogs are probably the pick of animals for these type of events, but make sure that you are clear in your advertising that animals attending must be pet and people friendly to avoid any potential incidents.
Whatever you choose to do, we hope your pet fundraiser is a barking success!
aka the Fundraising Whisperer
Originally published 8 August, 2017
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