Organising an animal shelter fundraiser is no walk in the park. It is even more challenging when it is your first one. But before delving into the details, what is fundraising?
Fundraising is the process of seeking financial assistance for a noble cause. The funds can be sourced from individual donors or charitable organisations. The art of fundraising has seen so much evolution since the early days when people would take on the streets with bowls in hand to ask for donations. Nowadays, there are more varied and sophisticated ways to source donors and get funds.
Running an animal shelter is no easy feat. Between the food, toys, and medical supplies, an animal shelter can be quite an expensive undertaking. Rescuing animals and taking care of them is a noble duty, but it can be financially overwhelming for a single individual. It is best suited as a community undertaking, which is why fundraisers are a critical part of animal rescue.
As an animal rescue, how do you go about creating a successful fundraiser?
Tell your story
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to kick off and create awareness around your cause. Donors need to familiarise themselves with your cause and feel emotionally connected to it before they donate.
Most charity organisations use storytelling as a means to introduce themselves to the donors. An organisation like World Animal Protection uses storytelling to highlight the plight of animals worldwide and the need to rescue them. If a potential donor visits the organisation’s homepage, they can get a clear picture about animals suffering and how they can help change that by donating.
Storytelling for charity organisations isn’t limited to telling a story about how animals are being abused or neglected. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Success stories are another aspect of storytelling that is quite popular with charity organisations. Let’s face it; everyone loves a happy ending and what better way to give your donors a happy ending than sharing your success stories. These uplifting tales also act as social proof that you and your charity are doing something worthwhile with donors’ money.
Sea Shepherd Global is one of the charity organisations that has mastered the use of success stories to show their impact in protecting marine life. When you visit their page, they have a full page dedicated to success stories. There, they break down their mission in detail and highlight challenges that they come across.
Specify your needs
Being ambiguous about your fundraising needs and goals can hurt your fundraising efforts. You need to give a clear picture of what you need and what you intend to achieve with the fundraiser. Otherwise, you will look unorganised, and donors will not trust you enough to donate to your cause.
Every reputable charity organisation has a defined cause that they stand for. Sea Shepherd, for example, stands for marine wildlife conservation. World Animal Protection Limited, on the other hand, stands against animal cruelty and exploitation for entertainment. When requesting for donations, both these charities are very clear on what your donation will help them achieve.
Just like any other fundraiser, creating a fundraiser for an animal shelter requires you to have a clear mission. Do you want donations for food, medical supplies, or toys? If you call for volunteers, do you need them for medical check-ups or for grooming and feeding the animals? Do you need permanent homes for some animals in the shelter? Whatever it is you need, the last thing you want is to be coy about it. Do not be afraid to get specific with your needs. You would be surprised at the number of people who will come out to help even when your needs seem absurd to you.
Make your donors feel involved
Donors cut cheques because they care about your cause and want to get involved. Many people who donate don’t do so because they have money to spare. They give because they feel that your cause is worth contributing towards. The least you can do for your donors in return for their kindness is to make them feel involved.
Take the example of World Animal Protection Limited. Their call for donation is “Become an Animal Protector Today.” By referring to their donors as Animal Protectors, the charity gives the donors the feeling of inclusion in the animal protection effort. It also makes the donors part of a great cause which, in turn, gets them invested in seeing it succeed.
Sea Shepherd kicks up the donor involvement a notch higher with a few unique strategies. For starters, Sea Shepherd offers a range of options for how people can get involved in protecting the oceans. People can donate money and supplies, volunteer, or buy official merchandise. Sea Shepherd also refers to its donors and volunteers as part-time heroes, making them feel they are part of the organisation’s fight to protect the oceans.
Purchasing Sea Shepherd products is also a surefire way to get people invested and help spread the word about the cause. Wearing the organisation’s merchandise or displaying one of their stickers shows that the commitment to their cause goes deeper than donations. It also gives free publicity to the charity, which can result in more contributions.
All things considered
Whether you are looking to raise funds for your community animal shelter or raise awareness of animal protection, it’s great that the animals have you fighting in their corner. Animal shelter fundraising does not only get rescue shelters their much-needed resources, but it also helps create consciousness of the plight of animals all over the world. Because of the awareness created by animal shelter fundraisers, more people can donate and volunteer in their local animal shelters to ensure that the rescued animals get adequate food and medical care, and eventually permanent homes.