6 Fun Ways to Raise Money for Shelters

Maggie Marton
by Maggie Marton
Grab some friends, family or coworkers and make all the difference in the lives of shelter animals. Get creative and get crafty with these fun ideas that will help raise money for shelters.

Most shelter and rescues rely on donors to operate. You can help boost their financial support by hosting your own fundraiser. Here are six fun ways to raise money for your local shelter.

Host a bake sale.

There’s a reason schools have annual bake sales. The profit margin is incredibly high because the costs are so low. Make arrangements with an existing event—like a farmers’ market or craft fair—to set up a table, and get volunteers to bake goodies for people and pets. With donated treats, the only real investment is your time. The rest goes to the shelter.

Sell crafts.

Purchase table space at a craft fair or hold an online sale. Volunteers can make their favorite crafts, from ornaments to knitwear, to sell for donations. Wrangle kids to whip up shelter animal themed crafts to really draw a crowd—and donations. Quick tip: Some craft and art fairs set aside a certain number of free tables for nonprofits and fundraisers. Track down a calendar of events for your area and be among the first to request that freebie space to cut down on costs.

Related: How To Help Dog Shelters When You Can’t Adopt

Hold a yard sale.

Solicit donations of yard sale items from friends, family and neighbors. Be sure to advertise the sale online through sites like craigslist.org and on Facebook, and put up signs around town. Clearly state that the proceeds are going to the shelter to generate buzz. On the day of, in addition to collecting money from sales, set up a donation jar so that people who don’t find anything to buy can still give.

Host an online auction.

No yard space? No problem! Hold an online auction. Gather up donations from businesses, artists, friends and family, and list them online through a site like ebay.com. Be sure to tack on shipping fees so that bigger donations go to the shelter rather than the cost of hosting the auction.

Related: 7 Ways a Shelter Dog Can Improve Your Life

Wash cars.

This is a great fundraiser for teenagers to host. Pet-friendly businesses or business owners who don’t operate on the weekends can usually be persuaded to allow a car wash to operate in their parking lot. The kids can make signs and spread the word, plus do the actual washing of the cars. Don’t set a price; instead, allow patrons to donate an amount they choose. People will almost always donate more than the kids would have charged.

Strut your stuff.

And your mutt! Host a fashion show with a local clothing boutique. If the shop owner allows, consider integrating Fido fashions, as well. Sell tickets and, if your town permits, set up a bar to sell drinks to turn it into a fun, festive, fashionable atmosphere. Bonus: If the boutique has a mailing list, work with them to send out official invitations to turn it into a formal function.

Keep in mind: No matter what type of fundraiser you choose, you must be upfront with donors and attendees about how much money is going to the charity and how much is going to cover costs. Before planning is underway, loop in the organization as well so that they’re on board. Oftentimes, they may have additional resources to help promote the event (like, via email to their mailing list).

Maggie Marton is the definition of “crazy dog lady” and an award-winning writer based in Bloomington, Indiana. Obsessed with dogs, she writes for numerous pet-related publications and is active in animal welfare. When she’s not reading about dogs, writing about dogs or walking dogs, she loves to hike and nap—both activities usually with her dogs. Maggie lives with her husband, John; Emmett, a pit mix; Lucas, a shepherd mix; Cooper, a pit mix; and Newt, the lone kitty (who, of course, runs the show). You can find her online at OhMyDogBlog.com.

Maggie Marton
Maggie Marton

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