The GiveSmart Blog

Your One Stop Shop to Fundraising

15 Animal-Themed Fundraising Ideas

Posted by Ashley Shaw on 2/21/17 11:21 AM


If you are planning a fundraiser for your animal shelter, then you may be trying to come up with some animal-themed fundraising ideas so that you can attract all those amazing animal lovers out there - because they are the ones who are going to really keep you afloat.

But thinking of something relevant, fun, and workable can be tough. That’s why I have created this list of 15 types of fundraisers you can plan for all the animal supporters in your town.

Have fun!

15 Animal-Themed Fundraising Ideas

Idea 1: Have a Dog Wash


Car washes are often successful ways to raise smaller amounts of money. Right?

So why not turn this successful event into an animal theme by making it an animal wash instead. (Or a car and animal wash to really get some business.)

Idea 2: Host an Animal Talent Show


One of my personal favorite ways to watch people raise money is through talent shows. You get some people singing, dancing, whatever, and then people vote on the winner by donating money. The highest earner gets first place.

You can do the same at your animal-themed fundraiser just by substituting pets in for the talent. Let people show off how awesome and talented their pets are, all while raising some much needed cash.

Idea 3: Don’t Just Walk-a-Thon: Paw-a-Thon


You probably see info on walk-a-thons all the time. That’s why this one is a no-brainer:

Put a spin on the standard walk-a-thon by getting people to walk with their pets. After all, they need to take them out for a walk anyway, right?

They might as well help a good cause while they are at it.

Idea 4: Offer Pet Walking Services


Maybe, instead of getting people to walk with their dogs, you (and your team of volunteers) can do it for them.

Think about having a special where, for a limited amount of time or on a set date, people can drop their pets off to be walked. All the money goes to your shelter or organization.

Idea 5: Give People a Night Out by Pet Sitting


If walking is just not your thing - or you think your potential donors don’t want to miss out on the bonding experience of walking with their pet - consider giving all your donors a night out by offering a pet sitting service for a night or weekend.

Idea 6: Set up a Pet Picture Day


Who doesn’t want pictures of their favorite furry family members?

Get a real photographer who is willing to donate some time, and set up a day where people can come in and have a professional photo taken of their pet (or them and their pet.) They can buy the pictures and the profits go to your shelter or cause.

Idea 7: Be Fancy at a Fur Ball


If you want to do something a little fancier, think about hosting the time-honored Fur Ball. People can get dressed up and have a fancy evening, but Fluffy or Mittens is still welcome.

A good idea for this is to find a pet-friendly hotel that will allow you to host a ball for your two-legged and four-legged guests.

Idea 8: Put Together an Animal-Themed Auction or Raffle


Whether you host a silent, live, or online auction, it’s always a good idea to have animal-themed items if your charity caters to a predominantly animal-friendly audience.

Here are some examples:

  • Pet spa certificates
  • T-shirts with animal puns on them
  • Pet tags, leashes, toys, etc.
  • Pet food
  • Certificates for medical procedures or grooming packages
  • Pet resort outings

The list could go on and on.  

(But if you want non-animal-themed ideas, make sure to check out my earlier posts with 150 silent auction items ideas.)

Idea 9: Get Some Animal Art


Have a contest where people submit their animal art (whether that means the animals made it or people made it about animals.)

Auction off the art, and give a prize to the highest earner.

Idea 10: Have a “Bark” Sale


Just like car washes, bake sales are always a good way to raise some money fairly quickly. Make your bake sale pet themed by offering treats for pets.

Sell dog biscuits, cat nip, and pet cookies. Plus, if you get some really great pet food ideas, you can collect the recipes, and sell a pet food-themed cookbook.

Idea 11: Laugh it Up at Yappy Hour


Happy Hours are so passe. Make yours more thrilling by hosting a “yappy” hour. Get together with a local, pet-friendly restaurant or bar, and set up a night where people can come in with their pets -  and hopefully a portion of the proceeds can go to you.

Idea 12: Make Your Adoption Event a Fundraiser


How many times has someone gone to your pet adoption event knowing they couldn’t adopt a pet for a valid reason?

(They don’t have time. They aren’t allowed to have pets where they live. Or whatever their reason.)

They still love animals, though, and that is why they are there checking out all your adorable guys who they wish they could take home with them.

Make sure you give them ways they can help besides taking home a pet. Set up information about donation programs or volunteer opportunities at the event to help out your shelter even more.

Idea 13: Be Afraid at a Howl-o-Ween Ball


If it’s around Halloween, then a fun idea many shelters do is throw a Howl-o-Ween Ball. The guests and their pets get to dress up!

In addition to selling tickets, think about combining this idea with idea two. But instead of raising money through a talent show, raise it by allowing people to vote on the best costume.

Idea 14: Put an Animal Spin on a Classic Theme


Take whatever type of fundraiser you want to host, and then give it an animal theme.

  • Have pets as your decorating theme.
  • Play with an alliterative name (Pinot and Pets, Wine and Whiskers, The Guinea Pig Gala, etc.)
  • Encourage an animal-themed dress code (everyone dresses in animal print clothing or animal costumes, etc.)  

Idea 15: Do Whatever, But Make It Pet Friendly


No matter what you do for your fundraiser, make it pet friendly.

  • Having a carnival? Invite pets.
  • Hosting a barbeque? Have some food there for the furry fellows.
  • Throwing a black tie event? Get some black ties for the animals, too.

Wrap-Up Thoughts

Whether you use these animal themed fundraising ideas or come up with your own, we are sure your event is going to be super successful and fun.

And no matter what type of event you are throwing, if you want more help with your fundraiser, download our free ebook: How to Host an Amazing Event. It’ll walk you through every step you need to take to throw an awesome event!

Get Free Event Planning E-Book

Topics: Tips and How To's, Animal-themed Fundraisers

Tell Us What You Thought...