3 Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser Ideas for Animal Shelters

Animal Services

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Animal shelters absolutely kill it on social media (here’s why). They have an endless supply of great pictures, and they consistently get amazing engagement from their audiences. Nonprofits who focus on animal welfare also tend to have a solid base of volunteers and donors. We know engagement is the key to a successful P2P event. How can nonprofits turn their engaged supporters into inspired fundraisers?

The first step is to plan a fantastic P2P event. Here are a few unique ideas for peer-to-peer fundraising events and ideas for making them a success.

Pick a Fantastic Fundraising Idea

Animals shelters have so many options! Here are three ideas for an animal shelter peer-to-peer fundraiser. Which one could work for you?

Event Idea: Animal Walk-a-Thon

Walk-a-thons are a classic peer-to-peer fundraiser. If you’re a fundraiser, invite your supporters to bring their dogs!

SPCA Florida is based in Lakeland, Florida (our hometown!) and does this event every year. Their Walk for Animals is a popular event every year; you can learn more about their fundraiser here.

The walk-a-thon is a sight to behold, with hundreds of participants and their furry friends trekking around a local lake. Sponsors and vendors set up tables to share information. Participating fundraisers have fun earning unique badges and even swag for their efforts, and the dogs always have a blast.

Animal walk-a-tons are tons of fun. Grab some bags (for, um, accidents), gather your leashes, and have fun!

Event Idea: Grooming Marathon

You’ve probably got a base of volunteers that give shelter animals baths, trims, and general care. Run with that idea!

Instead of a walk-a-thon, try a groom-a-thon.

You can spiff up your own animals and offer adoption services at the event itself. Donors can bring their own pets by the event to use your grooming services or to see the animals that are up for adoption. Include a few different options like:

  • Dog washes
  • Nail trimming for cats and dogs
  • Wing clipping for birds
  • Trimming or hair cuts
  • Adoption tables
  • And more!

Are you looking for a way to raise money, offer a service, and have fun with a bunch of animals? This could be your ideal fundraising event!

Event Idea: Pet Costume Contest

Invite participants to make costumes for their pet and include pictures on their fundraising page. Then, invite others to vote for their favorite costume by voting… with their wallet! Take a note from Central Florida Speech and Hearing’s fashion show; votes are $1 each, and the most popular pet is the one who raises the most money. This fundraising event has a ton of potential because:

  • Pet owners can show off their pets and their creativity
  • Donors love supporting a good cause
  • It’s got tons of share-ability — who doesn’t love cute animals? In costumes??

You can boost participation even more by offering incentives for winners. Think of prizes you can offer participants and their pets, like gift cards to local animal boutiques, grooming services, or pet supplies. You can also reward multiple categories like best costume for dogs, cats, and “other,” cutest outfit, funniest costume, etc.

Make Your Fundraiser a Success

Make the most of your engaged base of supporters to be successful! Here are some ways you can keep participants inspired.

Get Participants Excited

Your supporters are passionate about animal welfare. Reminding them what their time and effort will support is key to keeping them engaged! Keep participants and donors in the loop by sharing how you’ll use their money. Will you spay and neuter strays in the area? How many animals will you feed with the proceeds? Can money be used to subsidize adoption fees for animals who need a forever home? Will you use the money to improve your clinic?

However you use it, people love knowing their money and effort will make a difference. Show them how you’ll make that happen!

Offer Incentives (That They Actually Want)

Participants love supporting your cause. But they also love little incentives that reward them for their efforts! Incentives don’t have to be fancy or expensive to work. In fact, one of the easiest ways to reward fundraising efforts is purely digital. SPCA Florida set up custom badges their fundraisers could earn for reaching different milestones. Their badges were tailored to the event and featured animal paw prints and other pet-related imagery. Participants battled it out to hit different fundraising “levels” and major badges like “Top Fundraiser.”

Small incentives also work. Think about offering prizes like:

  • Raffle tickets for drawings
  • T-shirts and other branded swag
  • Pet toys
  • Food or grooming supplies
  • Gift cards for your services (if you have a groomer or clinic)

SPCA Florida offered something simple and inexpensive: they had a table where participants could choose a neck kerchief for their dog. Seeing the dogs all decked out in colorful kerchiefs was a highlight of the event!

Make Yourself Available

This is a small detail that can make or break your fundraiser. Just having a point of contact for fundraisers is critical! Your fundraisers may need help setting up their fundraising page or have questions about how to share your event most effectively. Make sure your participants know who to call with questions. You want fundraising to be as easy as possible for your fundraisers, and this is the #1 way to make that happen.

Focus on Participant Engagement

This is the key to a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser! We wrote a whole article about how participation is the #1 element in an event (check it out right over here!). This is true for animal shelter fundraisers, too. Build an engagement plan for your event. Spending your effort on keeping participants engaged and inspired will pay off!

Learn More about Animal Shelter Fundraising Tips

We love animals! Our team even has a whole Slack channel dedicated to sharing pictures and gifts of our pets. We especially love nonprofits who focus on animal welfare.

Qgiv works with some of the coolest animal shelters and animal advocates in the world. That’s why we wrote this article about fundraising tips for animal shelters. Read it here!

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