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Fun Fundraising Events

Kathy Murray


Show Me the Money!

When it comes to earning money for a cause, animal welfare advocates are a creative bunch who really know how to put the “fun” in fundraising. We took our cue from them when brainstorming for these crafty cash-earning ideas. Whether you’d like to raise money for your local animal shelter or wildlife rehabilitation center, or just help your elderly neighbors with the expense of animal care, there’s a money-making method just waiting to be tapped. The best part about these fundraisers is that you’ll get to spend some quality time with your human friends while helping animals.

High-Profile Fundraisers
Folks at the Delta Humane Society in Stockton, California, know that food and wine tasting events can be as entertaining as they are lucrative. Work with your local restaurants to get a break on the bottom line and then give all proceeds to charity. Those who prefer dining at home can take a lesson from the Blue Mountain Humane Society in Walla Walla, Washington. The organization published a collection of recipes sent in by its members as A Dash of Kindness Cookbook. Get your favorite epicures to contribute to your cookbook for charity.

If haute couture is your thing, a fashion show may be a runaway fundraising success. The Humane Society for Seattle/King County in Washington holds an annual “Tuxes & Tails Celebrity & Pet Fashion Show and Auction” to help bring in the dough.

Is there a motorcyclist or classic car aficionado in the family? Maybe an event like “Cruisin’ for Claws and Paws” is your fast lane to fundraising. Held last April at the Harley-Davidson dealership in Orlando, Florida, the rally raised $4,000 for the Orlando SPCA. As part of the rally, riders traveled about 30 miles to two locations to collect pet food for the SPCA’s “Chow on Wheels” program, which helps feed pets of seniors in need. A similar event could be held with classic cars. Also consider vehicle and boat donations, which have become a big source of income for SPCAs across the country. You can facilitate donations in your city or town so that proceeds go to your animal charity of choice. Decide if you will take any vehicle or just those that run and are registered with the motor vehicle department. You can hire someone to handle picking up the vehicles, dealing with motor vehicle departments and selling the cars or boats, and then donate the extra money.

Move over, Tiger Woods! The SPCA of Central Florida held its successful “Paws on the Greens” last May, at about the same time the Riverside [California] Humane Society Pet Adoption Center held its “Fore the Animals Golf Tournament.” Contact your local golf course to inquire about hosting a fundraising event on its greens.

Events Great and Small
Kids aren’t the only ones who enjoy getting their pictures taken with Santa Claus. Grab an instant camera or a digital camera with an instant printer and ask a kindred soul to dress up as jolly ol’ St. Nick and “say cheese” with neighborhood pets. You can even enlist the help of your local pet store to set up the photo-op.

Know a few bookworms? Used-book sales always draw a crowd – and a profit. In fact, the Sacramento [California] SPCA holds two of them each year, one in the spring and one in the fall.

Drawings and raffles are easily tailored to benefit the animal world. For example, dream dog houses that were donated to the Humane Society of Central Oregon were put on display in a mall before a drawing was held for them last April.

Spread the word about direct payroll deductions to charities. You can work with your employer so employees can contribute on a regular basis.

Though never a fun subject to discuss, bequests in wills are extremely beneficial to animal charities. Many people leave money to their humane organization, sometimes in memory of their own animal companions. Encourage your friends and family members to consider incorporating their favorite shelter into their wills.

Kathy Murray is a freelance writer in Nevada City, California.

© 2002 ASPCA

ASPCA Animal Watch – Winter 2002

Courtesy of

424 East 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128-6804

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