Keeping shelter animals housed, fed, and medicated takes a lot of resources. Training and foster programs add to the overall cost as well. Animal adoption fees don’t cover operational costs, because they are meant to be reasonable to encourage adoption. For this reason, animal shelters are always in need of fundraising campaigns. Fortunately, there are some tips to keep your fundraising efforts fresh.

Humor In Your Ads

Everyone has seen advertisements for shelters that emphasize how much the animals need our care. While it’s true, the ads don’t always need to be so sad. People tend to respond better and more often to things that make them smile.

Design your brochures and flyers with fun-spirited animal pictures. Use the critters in your own shelter for this. You can add bow ties for fun, or ribbons and hats. Find the most creative person there to think of interesting ways photograph the animals.

Use Your Animals In Your Campaigns

A relatively famous “personal ad appeared” in the newspapers a few years back. It was of a single female was looking for companionship. She turned out to be a Doberman Pinscher, and the humane society who posted the ad on her behalf got media attention, donations, and offers to adopt her.

People are more likely to give if they see where the money is going. Introducing the animal’s lets people feel like they are contributing to an individual animal’s success instead of an institution, which might encourage increased donations. Include biographical information about animals under your care, as this makes it more personal.

Get Creative With Your Logo

Some logos are iconic, and some logos blend into the background. However, they all started with some amount of creativity and someone behind the design. Does your shelter already have a logo? Check it for clarity and creativity. You will want something with a lot simple lines and striking imagery. Brainstorm with your team for the best logo you can come up with or get help from the professionals.

Build An Impressive Booth Kit

Many fundraising campaigns involve booths at local fairs, conventions and farmer’s markets. Don’t have a bare booth! Make sure yours is complete with banners, table talkers, and flyers. You want visitors to have information for how to help.

Remember, the points of your fundraising efforts is to bring attention and funds to your cause. This is your opportunity to showcase all of your organization’s hard work. Be sure it’s not just a table and a handmade sign.

Collaborate With The Local Pet Supply Stores

Take advantage of potential partnerships with other related organizations. How about pet stores? Ask if your local pet supply store will consider giving their customers loyalty cards, with a percentage of each purchase benefiting your animal shelter. Some patrons will be more likely to buy products from a place when they know some of the proceeds go back to the community, especially animals just like their own.

Provide merchandise with your shelter’s name that they can sell and kick back some of the profit. May be you can put up a banner advertising for both the store and your shelter together. It’s a good opportunity to create a partnership that will help the store, your shelter, and the community as a whole.

Print Up Donation Forms In Bulk

One of the keys to successful fundraising is making it easy to donate. Consider using custom-image self-addressed envelopes. These can be give out by mail, at a store, at events, or even in your own office. It’s one less step that a potential donor will have to take on their part, and plus you can brand your shelters logo.

Get Creative With Yard Sales

Yard sales don’t just need to be for selling old things in your house and garage. Take advantage of the high foot traffic to set up a table off to the side to garner donations or interest in your cause. Get professional yard sale signs out at least a week in advance of the day you want to hold your yard sale. This will drive more traffic, and thus more potential donors for the animal shelter.

Get creative with the yard sale. You could even set up your sale so that a percentage of the proceeds go to your cause. What better way to help the animals out while also clearing more items out of your home?

Renew Your Mailing List

Every nonprofit needs an updated mailing list, which means you should revise yours on a regular basis – at least one per year, if not twice. Send out thank you notes to people who donated in the past to confirm their addresses. Make sure you have a form for getting people’s contact information with your booth kit and that you give the forms to businesses that are helping you.

Use email and social media as other means to keep in touch current and interested donors. People might be more inclined to send you a quick address update if you keep this communication channel active. You don’t want to miss out on donations because you sent your materials to an old address.

Once you have your revamped mailing list, also revamp your mailings themselves. Freshen up your flyers regularly with community updates, new animal photos, changes in staff, other announcements of interest, and anything else that readers might like to know about. Creating a newsletter, even if basic, is a great way to show past donors how they helped you out. It might also entice new donors to be more interested.


Obtaining the resources you need to run an animal shelter is an ongoing process. Because animals are living creatures, they can’t survive without continuous support from humans in charge of their care. Using all or most of the tips above will be a surefire way to add life to your fundraising campaigns, and ensure the animals don’t go hungry.