Fundraising Ideas for Animal Charity

According to the Humane Society, there are 164 million owned pets in the U.S., and according to the data from 2012, about 62% of American households own a pet. Clearly our culture values companionship with animals, but some individuals fail to honor that value. Some domesticated animals live their whole lives on the streets, and others are abandoned by former owners who failed to secure a safe future for the pets they could no longer keep. Shelters often struggle to accommodate all of these homeless pets, and they need our help!

Millions of animals need a hero. Be one today!

Millions of animals need a hero. Be one today!

If you are a passionate animal lover, consider fundraising to help support a local shelter, of if you have an animal in need, crowdfunding for pets is a great way to the support you need. The financial assistance you provide could mean life or death for the cats and dogs that have already gone through hardship. With a little community engagement, you can provide funds to house and feed animals before they're adopted.

  • The ASPCA estimates that 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, 3.9 million of which are dogs and 3.4 million cats.
  • Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized.
  • 30 million animals die from cruelty, neglect, and exploitation in the U.S. each year, according to the Humane Society.

Six Great Animal Charity Fundraising Ideas 

  1. Hold an Event in Your Local Community

    Hold an event in your local community

    Consider charging an admissions price or asking for a suggested donation. You can plan something as simple as a barbecue or host an event tailored to your cause. Why not plan a 5 kilometer walk or run, and encourage owners to participate with their dogs? Ask participants to find sponsors who would be willing to donate a certain amount based on how fast they run the event. You could give out prizes for the dog-owner pair that finishes first, as well as for other superlatives, such as best dressed, most enthusiastic, or most raised. Publicize your event on your crowdfunding page, and have people RSVP by posting in the comments section.

  2. Hold a Media Contest

    Consider holding a media contest

    Perhaps as part of a larger event, solicit a photo contest in which households submit pictures of their pets that can win awards for different categories, and compile the winning photos into a calendar that donors can pre-order online. Or create an online contest in which you solicit the funniest video clips of pets doing weird things, and choose the best responses to feature in an outdoor viewing party where pets and their owners can socialize and grab snacks. Also, post some of your top picks to your crowdfunding page, and have people vote for their favorite in the comments.

  3. Give Your Time

    Give your time.

    Organize a dog walking service to raise money. Not only do you get to spend time with animals, but the money you make can go straight to your online fundraiser! Or get a group together to accommodate a broader range of customers, and raise more funds by recruiting more people to help. Other services such as pet-sitting, house-sitting, or training courses (if you're qualified to hold them) can help out pet owners as well as your charity. Also, consider offering these services to your neighbors and friends for free, but ask them to share the link to your fundraiser via social media. Sometimes publicity can do more for your campaign than an individual donation.

  4. Sponsor an Animal-Themed Art Contest

    Sponsor an art contest with an animal or pet theme

    One way to publicize your cause in your community is by holding an art contest. Ask participants to create an animal- or pet-related work that they'd be willing to donate to your campaign. Then hold an auction at which you showcase all of the drawings and paintings people submitted. Be sure to give online supporters a chance to buy a piece, too—build up excitement for the event by posting photos of some of the works online. And if a donor who doesn't live nearby wants to purchase something, allow them to make their maximum bid before the auction. Be sure to thank the people who donated to you!

  5. Organize a Dog Wash

    Organize a dog wash

    Another fun fundraising idea for pet charities is a dog wash. Like a car wash, have customers bring their smelly dogs by your home. Set up a kiddy pool full of water along with dog shampoo, or ideally biodegradable soap, and invite the neighborhood canines to take a bath. Kids may especially enjoy this activity, but make sure that you supervise them closely and ensure that the more spirited pets are handled by an adult. If you know someone qualified to give haircuts to dogs, enlist their services to provide a more well-rounded grooming location for customers. And ask patrons to donate to your YouCaring account in lieu of direct payment.

  6. Give Traditional Fundraising Ideas a Thematic Twist

    Give traditional fundraising ideas a thematic twist.

    Use popular fundraising tools, but relate them to the animals or the name of your shelter. “Penny wars” is a fundraising game in which teams try to make sure that their designated jar has the fewest pennies by putting coins in the jars of opposing teams. It can be adapted, for example, to be a dogs versus cats competition, in which contestants pick sides based on their preference. Other classic fundraisers include the lemonade or hot chocolate stand; come up with a creative name such as “le-meow-nade” or “hot paw-colate.” (See what we did there?)

Animal Nature

Crowdfunding is one of the most useful tools in your animal or pet charity fundraiser. It allows you to reach animal lovers from all over the world who share your commitment to humane treatment. Successful fundraisers require creativity, though, so look to unique and engaging fundraising ideas such as those above, which will capture the attention of your community and encourage people to get involved. If you haven't already started an animal charity fundraiser, launch your campaign today!