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7 Tips to Help Rock Your Animal Shelter Fundraiser

7 Tips to Help Rock Your Animal Shelter Fundraiser

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I am in awe of my friend Candice.

Every year, she throws her whole heart into raising as much money as she can for her local shelter by participating in the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA Walk to Save Animals. She sets her fundraising goal high and works tirelessly to achieve it. In fact, she is consistently one of the shelter’s top fundraisers. She’s the kind of advocate and volunteer every organization wishes they had.

Clearly, she’s a fundraising evil genius, so I did what any self-respecting blogger would do and badgered her until she agreed to share her tips.

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Luckily, she’s good people and totally welcomed the chance to talk about how she gets her fundraising goals met and shine a spotlight on the Arizona Animal Welfare League, the oldest no-kill shelter in Arizona.

The AAWL has some really creative approaches to funding their shelter. Phoenix locals can take training classes from accredited trainers. Their on-site, full-service, veterinary clinic helps support the animals in their care, as well as providing low-cost services to the community. They’ve partnered with Frye’s, so you can help animals in need just by doing your grocery shopping. They have an impressive education program, hosting kids camps, birthday parties and more. They work with Freedom K9 to help provide service dogs to veterans. It’s not hard to see why Candice is a volunteer and a passionate supporter.

So, how exactly does Candice bring in the benjamins to help animals in need?

She *claims* that she doesn’t do anything more than “beg on Facebook”, but after watching her in action for more than 7 years, I think it’s a little more than that and her successful fundraising methods are the inspiration for this post.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Shelter Fundraiser

1. Set an ambitious goal and tell people why it matters to you. People are exposed to a ton of causes every day. Tell people why you care about this cause so much and why they should too.

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2. Put a positive spin on it. One of Candice’s tricks is to remind everyone how close she is to meeting her goal. It’s really easy to think “$2000 is a lot of money, my donation won’t make much of a difference.” By highlighting how every donation gets her closer to her goal, Candice makes her big goals seem a whole lot easier and everyone’s donation seem a lot more meaningful. (Plus, thank your donators is just good manners and tagging your donators means their friends see your post, as well as yours.)

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3. Break that big goal down into little goals. Everyone loves to help you achieve a milestone. By creating lots of little milestones, you can inspire more people to donate and put you over the top. Most people can’t donate $300 to put you over your total fundraising goal, but a lot of people will donate $10 to put you over a mini-goal.

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4. Add a donation link to your email signature. Seriously you guys. Even something as subtle as this can yield big results. If your company will allow it, add it to your company signature as well. (And hey, why not ask if they support donation matching while you’re at it. A lot of organizations do!)

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5. Highlight why your cause is awesome. The AAWL is kind of an awesome shelter with a lot of really cool programs in place. Share what makes your shelter special. People are more likely to donate when they are inspired by the shelter’s mission, message and passion. (click on either image to learn more about the inspiring programs)

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6. Fundraise offline. Yes, your Facebook friends are awesome, but you can’t rely on that alone to help you meet your goals. If you spend time anywhere that other humans hang out, find a way to share your message. For example, Candice works in a busy office and every year, she creates a giant thermometer on her door, tracking her progress and sharing why the AAWL is so important to her. Consider it her real, live Facebook wall 😉

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7. You’ve got talents! Use ’em. Candice is super handy in the kitchen and loves baking for her dogs. (This is why we are friends, amongst about 7 squillion other reasons.) Every year, she hits the kitchen and bakes a ton of homemade dog treats to give to co-workers and friends, in exchange for a donation. She displays them in a jar on her desk or packages them in cute dollar store containers to make them extra gift-worthy.

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(Psssssst, while Kol’s Notes Dog Treat Recipes are not allowed to be used for commercial sales, we would LOVE if you used one of our recipes to raise funds for your shelter.)

Even if you aren’t a baker, you can harness your own talents. Knit blankets, sew  dog toys or sweaters, make cards – whatever you’re good at! Think of creative ways (like this awesome one) to get kids involved.

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pinThe real key to Candice’s fundraising success? Passion.

It’s not Facebook posts or fresh baked dog treats. It’s her. She loves her shelter, she’s a proud volunteer and when she’s telling you about why she’s involved with AAWL, her passion shines through and you can’t help but want to help her reach her goal. Every shelter needs volunteers like Candice and every town needs shelters like AAWL.

How do you help your shelter raise funds?

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Candice has just started the 2019 fundraising push!

If you found her tips helpful, PLEASE tell her.

Help her support the AAWL and animals in need by making a tax-deductible donation.

Make your donation here.

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