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Old 06-19-2009, 05:58 AM
261 posts, read 913,513 times
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Hey All,

I was wondering if anyone has experience with raising money for pet shelter projects. The local group we have become involved with is working to raise money to build a shelter. We do not have one within 3 counties of us. Has anyone done interesting fund raisers or found other sources for helping a project like this succeed? I would love to hear about your experiences. Thank you in advance for your time.
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:10 AM
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We've done bake sales which are good and help out w/ medical expenses for the dogs but unfort. the # of bakers is dwindling and not many stores let us set up outside them b/c it takes away from their bakery dept (in the stores) so it is a problem. Most of the bakers sell but it w/b good to have more of both so it doesnt all fall on a few. It's also outside under an awning so we're subjected to the elements. It also has to be coordinated w/ other groups. Have also sold dog-related items that have been donated (new collars, leashes etc).

Have seen people outside other supermarkets trying to solicit donations also (they'll give a list of goods needed as people enter the store, ie paper towels, cleanser, dog food etc), no baking is involved, sometimes they'll just have donation cans as you walk out the store, it's a little annoying as sometimes they're a bit too pushy and of course you have to coordinate it w/ the store and get permission in advance so you don't conflict w/ another group (scouts etc).

Will be checking this thread for more ideas later.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:10 AM
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,513 posts, read 6,030,946 times
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QF - It's tough in the best of times and this economy is not conducive to fund raising on a large scale.

Does the group already have the land? If so you might be able to find some grant money from larger foundations that support animal causes, ie Maddies Fund.

I know that the IRS has rules about how many years you get to raise money for something like this.

Last year I stumbled upon this group in Pagosa Springs, CO which is in a rural county with no major city and population to contribute. But in looking at their website they haven't updated in a year so perhaps they are stalled in their efforts.


In Floyd we've talked about the idea but in addition to the cost of land and building the facility you then have to have some paid staff and funds to keep the lights and phones on so for now it is just a dream. We've decided it makes more sense to put funds directly toward care of the critters, funding low cost spay/neuter, a TNR program, etc. (If my dogs finally come up with the winning numbers for tonights Lotto I'll be happy to share with you)

I know that in a nearby county they reached out to the community and one person who had no idea of the tremendous need came forward with a substantial chunk of $$ - I think it was $100,000. That got the ball rolling and then others began donating too. So there are money angels out there. Finding them is the challenge.

If there have been any other civic minder groups that have raised large sums in your community, such as Friends of the Library, see if you can find out who the major contributors were for that.

Who are the movers and shakers in your community? Someone from the Board of Supervisors, a major business owner? If you can get them (or more likely their wives) involved with your cause they can help bring the rest of the folks along.

I hope others who have achieved the dream will have some input here.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:31 AM
Location: California
10,090 posts, read 40,725,688 times
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Remember, you may need permits! Most volunteer groups get around the permits by holding a car wash...for our shelter, we did dog wash and asked for donations. This way, you are not actually selling anything and the county usually looks the other way. Of course, you always get the one or two jerks that refuse to donate after the service has been provided. Good luck with your fund raising!
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:02 AM
1,688 posts, read 7,839,561 times
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Qwerty - I just want to offer you an alternative "vision" perhaps. Zugor's mention of the powers that be made me think to add it here.

I live in a large, sparsely populated very rural, 100 + 10% ranching county. The biggest town, the county seat, has a population of approx 7000. Well, so they say, I'm still trying to figure out were 6500 of them are hiding.

I don't know the background - i.e. the how it all came to be - as we're new out here, but it is what I'd call a public-private partnership. The county or the town provided the building - not a purpose-built, no, but some disused building they owned in town. I don't know who did what exactly but I know that with the county's weight and clout behind them, they wrangled some deal with the local distributor of a national pet food. They wrangled some deal with one of the local vets for routine vax, spays & neuters, etc. I say "they" but I suspect most of it came down to one older woman who just does not take no for an answer.

I don't know all the political shennanigans that went on to establish the shelters, but I can image they were not few in number and it probably takes immense will-power not to end up throttling someone. But, at the end of the day, the shelters are there and serve the animals well.

At the cat shelter, volunteers do all the care-giving, cleaning, admin, ferrying to vets, being there for opening hours, etc. It comes down to a core of very dedicated individuals. I don't have the same working knowledge of the dog shelter (it's in a totally different location, well out of town), but as it goes under the same name, I suspect it functions more or less the same. The cat shelter is a no-kill; I cannot say with certainty for the dog shelter, but I think it is too.

The smartest thing the group of mad cat women (as I affectionately call them) did - given the where - was to form an alliance with a different feline rescue about 100 miles away in the closest city. It tripled the rehoming rate. Out here, quite literally, there are not enough people to sustain rehoming of the steady stream of homeless cats. I know the dog shelter is involved with sending some of their dogs to a women's prison in a neighbouring county for training to make them more adoptable.

Perhaps something along the lines of this type of arrangement is something to consider too.
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