How to start a fundraiser for an animal shelter?

How to start a fundraiser for an animal shelter?

How to start a fundraiser for an animal shelter?

What is an animal shelter and why do they need fundraising support?  Animal shelters provide humane care and health services for domestic animals needing protection and shelter. Primarily they are devoted to finding furever homes for the abandoned and reuniting lost pets with their family.  Read on to best serve your cause for saving our furry friends and do an animal shelter fundraiser.

When it comes to staffing a shelter, a few are paid but mostly they are volunteers. These people are animal lovers who volunteer their time (and money) to help care for the animals just like they would at home with their own pets.

Communities depend on animal shelters to keep abandoned and lost pets off the streets.  The number of animals taken in by shelters doesn’t fluctuate with the economy – whether times are good or bad, the animals come.  Shelters are non-profit, charity organizations that rely heavily on donations, volunteers and adoptions.  What happens if the shelter’s operational support dries up?   It would not be pretty – imagine animals running amok on the streets unloved and unhealthy.   

Luckily the world is filled with the noble animal lovers.  Animal lovers are passionate people with huge hearts.  Animal lovers are the animal shelter’s super heroes. Animal lovers will fight tooth and paw to keep their favorite shelter(s) functional and the animals safe.  Animal lovers want the world to share their passion and will frequently light up the phone lines, email and social media with animal shelter fundraising events.

What is fundraising? 

  By definition, fundraising is an organized activity of soliciting financial support for a cause or purpose.  Fundraising can also be more than just asking for money – it’s a way for organizations to connect with the community and build a foundation of (continued) support.   

What do animal shelters need most?

  • Financial support
  • Volunteer time
  • Donated items* – items that free up cash for operational expenses.   *food/treats, blankets/beds, cleaning supplies, pet toys, etc.


What are common methods to raise donations for animal shelters?

  • Pet photo shoot
  • Pet calendars
  • Pet sitting 
  • Yard sales
  • Silent auctions
  • Raffles 
  • Coupon book
  • Pancake breakfast
  • Events – think Dog/Cat Walk or Animal Art Festival. Collect registration fees and pledges.

What are the most profitable & efficient fundraisers (require less man-hours and expense)

  • Sell t-shirts online
  • Fundraising letters/emails and social media posts
  • Crowdfunding
  • Sponsor a Pet programs
  • Local restaurant partnerships
  • Donation stations at local pet stores, vet clinics, schools, churches
  • Activity workshops – dog/cat/goat yoga

How to create and run a fundraiser campaign?  

  • Determine your cause and why
  • Chose a fundraising platform (online, events, etc) 
  • Set a goal, and if necessary a budget
  • Develop a plan: the who-what-when-where-how
  • Define a strategy for sharing your fundraiser with the masses.
  • Tell your story – this is your compassionate appeal for donations
  • Develop a Team, assign tasks, set deadlines.
  • Launch and Review/Optimize along the way.
  • Thank your donors, publicly and with personalized letters.

Tips for your animal shelter fundraiser story:  

  • Keep it short and sweet, positive and engaging. 
  • Tailor your story to the medium of distribution (ie: letters, email, social media, etc)
  • Speak to your audience – educate, inform and inspire them to care about your passion. 
  • Answer the who-what-when-where-why-how questions.
  • Focus on the benefactors of your fundraiser, the animals.  People love the animals not the building or organization.
  • Include a good photo image that communicates your message.
  • Provide motivation to give –  the warm & fuzzies, guilt factors, the tax benefits, the sense of connection and belonging, etc.
  • Make the Ask – people generally don’t give until asked. 
  • Make the Ask Specific – what do you want them to do or give. 
  • Give your story an engaging, captivating title.

Fun Facts

  • Dog lovers are called canophiles.
  • Cat lovers are called felinophiles.
  • Dog nose prints are as unique as human fingerprints.
  • Cats walk like camels and giraffes…both right feet first, followed by both left.
  • Animal lovers hold conversations with their pets, which seems crazy to non-pet people.
  • The Beatles song ‘A Day in the Life’ has a frequency that only dogs can hear. 
  • An orange tabby cat named Stubbs was the mayor of an Alaskan town for 20 years (1997-2017). 
  • Animal lovers have fabulous fashion sense…for pets.

What We Do

We make the process so easy to sell shirts for charity causes it really sounds to good to be true. We create your custom online store; the store presents your product and your cause and takes orders and payment.  Here is an example.
We then print your shirts and ship them to your customers. Think about it: you do not have to hire a website designer. You do not have to create an online portal to accept paypalcredit card payments. No time is spent on your part collecting the order, guessing quantities of sizes, collecting funds, dispersing the product correctly, etc. etc.
The only thing you have to do is go to your mailbox and get your profit check. To tell you the truth, this is a game changer. If you have ever been put in charge of a t-shirt
order before you know this to be true.

Are you ready to get started?

For those under 35 years of age, we understand: you do not want to talk to a human. That is why we offer an online form to fill out to let us know what you and your
cause is all about. (note: we do not just do fundraisers, we sell tees for any organization and purpose). If you are old school, please contact Mandy, who handles
all things administrative. She will get your questions answered and get you rolling on your free online store. It is truly exciting! See some of our other blog posts about
some of our success stories.

Hit Us Up

Mandy Martinez

Mandy Martinez


Mandy is all things admin + production management + customer service.  Need to talk to someone about your order?  She’s your girl.

Fundraiser Tees! Such a great idea, easy no-hassle way raise money. Working with Fundraiser Tees is a no-brainer - the team is knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. The webstore and t-shirt design the artist created for me were top-notch, he is very talented.

Tim Alan

Pin It on Pinterest