Fundraising Ideas for Rescue Dogs

by Lisa Brei

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    As a dog rescue organization, there are many things you need to keep your shelter afloat. Let’s face it, without money and goods, your shelter will not succeed. It’s not cheap to feed, bathe and provide health care for animals, but with some creative fundraising ideas, you can earn money for your dog rescue shelter.

    CapPOOCHino Day

    Approach your local coffee house about sponsoring a "CapPOOCHino Day," where a percentage of their proceeds from coffee sales that day will go to your organization. You might have better luck with a local coffee shop rather than one of the big name merchants, as the local coffee shops are more likely to jump at an idea that earns them free advertising and good will in their local community. Earn even more money by soliciting items from nearby businesses to raffle off at the event.

    Wags and Wheels Car and Dog Wash

    For this event you’ll need space to wash and dry cars, as well as space for doggy baths, access to a water source and an area to showcase your dogs up for adoption. Your best bet is to approach a gas station in the area. Solicit donations of pet shampoo from your local pet supply store, and see if a local groomer in the area will donate services for toenail clippings for an additional small fee, such as $3.00, that will also go to your organization. Charge a flat fee for each type of wash.

    Yappy Hour

    Ask a local cafe or restaurant that has an outdoor patio to host a “Yappy Hour” event, where patrons can bring in their dogs and enjoy discount food and drink specials. Ask the manager to donate a portion of their proceeds for the event, and/or charge a small admission fee at the door. Make sure to have doggy treats and bowls of fresh water at the event. Solicit donations of items from local pet supply stores, such as gift certificates for grooming, dog food, collars, leashes and other items to have as raffle or door prizes.

    Get the Word Out

    According to, the key to success with fundraising events is publicity. If the business that is donating their space, services and products knows they will be prominently featured in fliers, press releases, banners, t-shirts and other items, they will be more likely to agree to sponsor your event. Before approaching a business owner or manager, come up with a solid marketing plan so they will understand how this event can benefit their business. Advertise the event by creating fliers and posting them in other businesses in the area, libraries, preschools and daycares, pet supply stores, hair salons, health clubs--anywhere you think a large number of people will see them. Contact your local media with a simple press release to make them aware of the event.
    On the day of the event have a table out front with information about your organization. Inquire whether it's feasible to cordon off a couple of parking spaces to use as an adoption area, and have your foster dogs present for on-the-spot adoption.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Lisa Brei is a freelance writer who has written for "Los Angeles Family" magazine, "L.A. Parenting" magazine and various nonprofit newsletters and blogs. She frequently covers education, family travel, gardening, children's health and infertility. Brei holds a Master of Arts in education from University of California, Los Angeles.

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