Digital Fundraising for Animal Shelters and Rescues

Guide: Digital Fundraising for Animal Shelters and Rescues

Table of Contents

Animals are cute and fun to play with, but many are not so lucky to be a part of a happy household. They need the help of animal shelters and rescues that provide a temporary home to those who are on the street. An invaluable asset to any community, the good work of animal shelters is not always recognized, but with over 6 million animals being accepted by shelters annually, they need all the help they can get.

Hard work and good intentions don’t guarantee funding to keep the shelters alive. One way that animal shelters stay active is through the work of volunteers and fundraising. Animal shelters need to get quite inventive when fundraising is concerned. From crowdfunding to dog walks, dog washing, pet raffles, pet care classes, pet sitting, and other similar events.

To help animal shelters in their work, we have compiled a list of digital fundraising ideas for animal shelters.

Why is Digital Fundraising Important for Animal Shelters?

Building donor relations in the past took a lot of time and effort. Animal shelters often didn’t have the staff and resources needed to find a donor and care for the animals at the same time. Digital fundraising opens many doors to reach out and find help.

Raise Awareness

You can increase involvement by reaching more people through social media and online fundraising campaigns. Through crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising, the community becomes more aware of your animal shelter’s work. This, in turn, raises awareness, and the community is likely to act on behalf of the shelter.

Improve Donor Retention

Many digital fundraising techniques can increase the involvement and retention of donors. Recurring donations and gift matching are just some of the ways donors can get involved without much effort on their side.

Increase Donations

If there is one thing donors appreciate is convenience, and digital fundraising offers just that. Another thing is they want to be appreciated and know they matter. Digital fundraising has allowed for offering donors convenient options and, at the same time, contacting them to thank them. This often leads to an increase in donations.

Digitized Fundraising Made Easy

With the appearance of the pandemic and turning more to digitalization and technology, fundraising has also gone digital. Let’s explore some of the ways that animal shelters can take advantage of digital fundraising.

Customize and Brand the Donation Page

If the animal shelter is to be recognized and remembered, then it should have a unique and branded donation page. Be sure the page reflects the specific campaign or program. It is a way to build trust with donors, which may lead to fruitful future cooperation.

And be sure that your donation page is mobile-friendly. Spending a lot of time on mobile phones, it’s understandable why a big percentage of online donations are made from mobile devices.

A Donor-ready Website

Animal shelters should make an effort to anticipate the traffic on their website and be sure that their website is donor-ready. This means that the donate button should be prominent throughout the website. Use the upper right corner of the webpage to place the donate button, especially on your homepage.

Make it big, visible, and eye-catching by using bright colors, and use either ‘Donate’, ‘Support’, or ‘Contribute’ as a call to action. Use a short and compelling action above the button, but don’t crowd the button with too much content.

Use it on every page because you never know what might inspire someone to donate. Be sure to also incorporate it in every communication you use, from emails to blog posts.

Launch Crowdfunding Campaigns

Donors don’t like feeling like a piggy bank that is shaken down for money when needed. Crowdfunding campaigns offer the possibility to raise money for specific projects and reach out to donors who care about them. Send updates to donors on the progress of the online fundraiser or add a goal meter to track the progress.

Create a Matching Gift Possibility

A powerful method to encourage people to align their philanthropic efforts is by providing matching gift programs. Matchmaking donations are one way that companies can support the charitable causes their employees are involved in. In most cases, employees are unaware that their employer has matched their gift.

This can easily be done if you make gifting easy by optimizing the donation process. One way is to set a time limit to reach a certain amount before companies can match. A sense of urgency sometimes encourages donations and follow-ups on the campaign’s progress.

Use Facebook Live For Digital Fundraising

One of the many tools that animal shelters can use for fundraising is going live on Facebook. The possibilities are endless. Make it a weekly live broadcast where you will introduce animals for adoption. Go live during rescue missions or show how injured animals are cared for by your staff.

You can choose numerous topics to engage an audience and encourage them to press that donate button you have added to your live session. Inspire followers to share and possibly encourage them to organize fundraisers on your behalf.

Facebook Birthday Challenges

Celebrations and holidays are a good time to ask followers to contribute to your cause. Audiences respond well to real-life stories and are sure to complete them with visuals. Loyal supporters will appreciate you posting flattering features and powerful stories. Once shared, this will increase your audience.

Create birthday challenges between donors for bonus funds and matched donations. Make it a friendly competition and experiment to see what will bring results. But don’t overload followers to the point that you get them annoyed or frustrated. And be sure to say thank you! Prepare a personalized thank you video about how a donor has helped your cause.

Write Inspiring Fundraising Emails

Fundraising emails never go out of style when it comes to digital fundraising because it is a cost-effective way of reaching large audiences. But emails won’t be effective if they are not opened. The subject line should be powerful and catch the attention of the receiver. Be sure to personalize the message and keep it short to make the impact clear.

Be sure to tell a compelling story, use a single call to action, and create an effective closing. Be sure to add visual content and make it easy to give.

Discover TikTok Fundraising

Social media profiles are great for digital fundraising; however, reels and TikTok are the new best thing. With just a bite-sized video, you can reach millions of users globally. Start with building your presence on the platform and engaging followers. Videos and visuals are known to be effective in people retaining information.

TikTok is helping nonprofits and charities spread awareness of their cause. Users can add nonprofits to their profile, put stickers on videos, and live stream encouraging viewers to donate. Sign up with Tiltify, which partners with TikTok to enable online fundraising.

Use this platform to promote your cause by adding a link to where you want your viewers to go. Increase website traffic which in turn increases donations. Create a video for a specific campaign and link it to the donation page. The possibilities are endless.

Event Registration Forms

Try preparing stand-out event registration forms to increase attendance and boost the audience’s interest and donations. Use a user-friendly form builder like Canva to create event registration forms. They have easy-to-use tools and hundreds of free templates that are easily customizable to your requirements.

Finding the Right Payment Processor

Fundraising is as good as the payment processor used. Finding the right one among the many popular brands may be challenging for animal welfare organizations.

PayPal is a well-known payment processor used for any type of transaction. Is it made for fundraising? Yes, because it is a recognizable brand that installs trust with donors. Nonprofits can easily set up accounts and get favorable fees depending on their sales volumes. However, donors without a PayPal account have to register, which may lead to lengthy donation processes.

Stripe is another accepted platform for online fundraising. Integrating with the nonprofit’s CMS, donors can leave credit card information on the donation form found on the website. This information will be automatically passed to Stripe for processing. One setback with Stripe is that the transaction fees for nonprofit payment processors are in the high range.

GoFundMe is another popular platform used for fundraising by nonprofits. It’s a crowdfunding platform that ranks highly and is an excellent tool for raising money. An easy-to-use platform that allows fundraisers to easily embed the campaign in their website and increase traffic. However, anonymity is not an option when donating, and campaign organizers must meet specific withdrawal requirements.

Shelters United: Creating Fundraising Ideas for Animal Shelters

This list of fundraising ideas for animal shelters is a little contribution to this invaluable community. We encourage our members to be active and use fundraising to collect the funds needed to help all animals and send a stronger message. By working together and spreading awareness to a wider audience, we are closer to helping as many animals as possible.

Being the only cooperative buying program, the goal of Shelters United is to assist rescue groups and nonprofit animal shelters and make their work easier. By becoming a member of our community, shelters and rescue groups save money through group negotiating.

As a community, we support our members with discount pricing and occasional free products from manufacturers. Join us today, and let’s all make a difference for animals in need.

Our members saved an average of $2,100 on supplies in 2021
Join our free buying group
to unlock thousands of discounts on products needed to heal, protect, and adopt out healthy pets
Join our free buying group
to unlock thousands of discounts on products needed to heal, protect, and adopt out healthy pets

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This is your chance to put those hard earned donor dollars back in your pocket.

Tell us about your organization and name a few products you’d love to find a discount on. We’ll see if we can get it cheaper for you.

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This is your chance to put those hard earned donor dollars back in your pocket.

Tell us about your organization and name a few products you’d love to find a discount on. We’ll see if we can get it cheaper for you.

"*" indicates required fields