This article is sponsored by DogFest.
Do you want to make a difference in your community? Start with hosting a fundraiser where the profits go to an animal shelter or other pet-related organization. Organizing a fundraiser doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun!
Determine the cause
There are countless shelters and organizations that would benefit from your donation. Choose a cause that’s close to your heart. Make sure you know the background of the cause you’re fundraising for. The more passionate you are, the more excitement you will bring to the cause! Research pet organizations in your area who accept donations. Be sure to call ahead of time and ask them to approve the event and invite them to participate. Never assume that they will want to. Many organizations may already have a lot on their plate already and may not be able to participate. But, they may give you the go-ahead to have the fundraiser, even if they can’t participate! Do your research to make sure your event doesn’t conflict with any other events in your area.
Pick your theme
Think about the type of people you want to attract, and what activities they would most enjoy. Consider a competitive sporting event (like bowling or a golf tournament), yappy hour in someone’s backyard or a local restaurant, a dog and car wash, a costume party, or a doggie pool party, or even a cornhole tournament. The possibilities are endless! Pick an activity that makes you excited to host the event. Your positive energy will radiate to everyone who attends your event. Remember, no one wants to be at an event where the host is bored.
Form a team
A fundraiser isn’t an event you can do all on your own! Be sure to recruit someone who is good with a budget. This may be common sense, but make sure you pick people who are good team players. Have regularly-scheduled meetings to make sure the event planning is running smoothly. Remember that changes in plans might come up and your plan may need to be updated. Keep an open mind, and take your teams’ ideas into account, too.
Set a budget
There will be expenses that you need to pay for, such as
- Tents, tables, and chairs
- Food and drink
- Sound system
- Signs, flyers and digital advertising
- Sports equipment, if needed
Set a budget, and be sure to stick to it! In order to actually make money to donate to an organization, you will need to come up with a price for tickets so that a profit is made. If you end up losing money, then there was no point in having a fundraiser in the first place. Be sure to have a bucket for donations to earn more money towards your cause. If possible, have a door prize to encourage people to buy tickets to your fundraiser.
Contact local businesses and petpreneuers to ask if they will sponsor your fundraiser. Offer to feature their business on your website or on brochures in exchange for a large donation or a door prize. Be prepared to offer different price points for different forms of coverage. Invite them to come to the fundraiser, too! (And tell them to bring all of their pet-loving friends!)
Spread the news
Tell everyone you know about your event, including strangers! You never know who you will meet, and you could gain new friends in the process. Make colorful flyers and post them around town, especially at pet stores, parks, community bulletins, and animal shelters. Contact local news outlets like your local newspaper, news channel, and radio station. If you are Facebook savvy, create an event page and invite all of your friends to your fundraiser. Also, create a hashtag on social media to make your event gain attention online. To rake in more money, create a GoFundMe for your cause so if someone can’t attend your event, they can still donate to your cause.
After the event
Contact everyone who helped at the event and thank them for their time and money. If possible, share how much money was raised. Meet with your team and discuss the successes and failures of the fundraiser. Talking about what can be improved can make your fundraiser even more successful next year!
Dogfest is an event in Baltimore, MD for dog lovers of all ages. Proceeds from Dogfest benefit Baltimore Humane Society.