Help Fundraising Ideas

While the adoption donations typically cover the vet costs for the ‘average’ rescue dog, there are always extra expenses associated with dogs who require special care or surgery.  DPCA Rescue funds are available to subsidize some portion of the vet bills, but it is unlikely that DPCA Rescue funds will ever be substantial enough to be able to fully reimburse rescues.  Many rescues have become self-supporting via successful fundraising efforts.  DPCA Rescue encourages all rescues to evaluate various fundraising ideas and adopt the ones that are most applicable to your situation.  The following are just a few of the ideas that some of the successful fundraisers have suggested:

Sale of merchandise  (some rescues sell multiple items). The most popular items are: T- shirts , photos with Santadobe items, crafts, holiday cards, baked goods and dog items. Bumper stickers, posters, keychains, pins, sweatshirts, note cards, mousepads, candles and toys are other suggestions.  If you work through an organization like Cafe Press – they will do all the work of posting the items, collecting money, and mailing (smaller profit for the rescue, but a good way to go for volunteer-challenged smaller rescues).  Also consider having a piece of costume jewelry designed and reproduced – many artists will donate their time.  There is a woman who makes breed-specific fire rescue decals and will sell them at a discount to rescues: or email Merrill Ferber at [email protected] .  Get creative volunteers to make embroidered bandanas, doberman-shaped dog cookies, jars of dog cookie mix with cookie cutters and recipe attached.

Yard, garage, tag and flea market sales. Raffles are suggested as a great idea for making money – get the items donated(!) and auctions were mentioned  (both ebay/ internet and silent).  Another good raffle audience is the crowd that comes to the DPCA National Specialty every year (dobe quilts are popular and raise LOTS of money).  If you have a website for your rescue group, post a raffle item there.

Events. Adoption events (Adoptathons, Rescue Fairs),  Gourmet dinners, picnics, sport events, rescue reunion, annual banquet, and dinners were each suggested. 

Dog specific events are always popular. These include: microchip/ tatoo clinic, CGC test, and WAE test.  Tick dips are good money-makers because the costs are so low and the time is not significant.  Hold a dog wash(!) – get lots of volunteers, ask for a $20 donation, publicize….100% profit!  Offer to do nails too.

Donations – begging has NOT gone out of style when it is on behalf of the dogs! Patrons, collection jar, bucket brigade, and soda/ beer can collections.

Other sources of revenue included other groups. Some of these groups were all breed rescuesChapter Clubs and  a Community Group. Pet Smart was mentioned specifically. Even a pet shop might be a potential donor.

Newsletters and some associated media/organizational fundraising ideas are: Newspapers, Booths, Membership dues, annual fundraising letters and internet fundraising.

Charitable Trust – for those of you with a generous benefactor, this is a way to get some money set aside that can be used – tax deduction for the benefactor.

Poop Pool – This idea was really creative.  It is stolen, I mean leveraged, from the Akita folks.  They set up a large pen, put a dog in after he had just eaten, and sold 12 inch X 12 inch squares of the territory for $20 a square.  The winning square would get $500, the rescue fund would get the rest.  They had 196 total squares, so the rescue fund got $3500!!  (There were pre-defined rules about pooping on the lines, pooping while walking etc.!)

Leverage Your Other Abilities – Good at wrapping gifts?  Barnes and Noble will let you have a 6 hr. span in their stores in which to raise $$$!  They offer it during special holidays such as Xmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.  They provide wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, etc. and all you do is wrap the gifts for the customers, set out your little “tip” jar and that’s it!  B&N doesn’t charge for wrapping presents, it’s a courtesy to their patrons.  However, the customers are certainly allowed to “donate” to a good cause of the day.  One or two people can run the booth and it’s a lot of fun.  You call a couple of months ahead of the holiday to secure a date and time. You can also put out brochures, business cards  and photos on the table letting people know about your cause.