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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was volunteering one day, and Laurie came to me asking for ideas. We're running off of donations now, and if one of our animals gets sick, we cannot afford to treat them.

My mom came up with a couple ideas... she's a huge scrapbooker... so she came up with the idea of adoption cards (that people can purchase when they adopt an animal) and things like note cards and bookmarks...

We already sell cat toys and blankets. Once a year we have a dog walk, an auction and a yard sale. Right now we're doing a "Have a Heart" campain where if you donate, you can write a dedication to a deceased pet.

Any ideas?
 

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Maybe some of the volunteers/workers can do a sort of doggie bake sale, where you all make some dog treats one day and then put them into a big container so you can sell them.

Also, maybe you can buy dog toys and sell them in addition to the cat ones. You can get them from the dollar store and then sell them for $2. Not much, but its something. I buy toys from the dollar store all the time, and so long as its not a very thin plastic, it lasts a while.

Your mom seems like a crafty person, maybe she could make picture frames? The frame can be bought again at the dollar store. :p She could paint it, cut & glue little dog/cat things on the frame, and then sell it. I know I would buy one.
And maybe you can charge extra to have the pet's name on it and make it custom.

If you have a website put all of the things you make on the website, that way if someone sees it, but doesn't necessarily want to adopt a new pet, they can still stop by and buy stuff for the pets they have already. =D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The picture frame and doggie bake sale sound like neat ideas!

Selling these things in a place other than a shelter is a bit difficult... our town has a mall, but because of high rent and the fact that they put a Walmart up across town *grr* the mall doesn't have very many customers anymore. We tried to sell tickets on a cat and dog basket for SETA and we sold more through family and friends then we did at the mall.

The animal shelter does have a website... it's just a matter of asking the president if we're allowed to promote things like that.

Im excited now.
 

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In conjunction with the shelter's Web site, you could create a small merchandise store at cafepress.com. I believe that, for free, you could have one of each item they have in your store, featuring a shelter logo... or maybe an adorable photo of someone's pet (that's been adopted from the shelter--with their permission, of course) and/ or a catchy slogan. What's nice about this is there is practically no start-up costs, as long as you know someone who could create a cute design for a t-shirt, etc. using Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, etc. I believe cafepress takes care of printing and shipping the items to the people that order them.

If you want to post more than one design of each item--say, a coffee mug with two or three cute designs--I think that requires a paid account at cafepress, but you could start with the free limit and see how it works.

There's also eBay's Giving Works system, which lets you sell your wares on eBay and donate a percentage (or all) of the proceeds to charity. You could round up other volunteers to sell stuff they may not want anymore. Charities themselves can post/sell auction items, too.

There's also Photos with Santa, or Photos with the Easter Bunny events around the holidays.... those can be popular.

Just a few ideas. Good luck!


ETA: Don't forget about etsy.com, especially if you're creating handmade items like notecards, etc. Etsy is an online martketplace that specializes in handmade items. Your handmade notecards might do well there, especially if people know the proceeds will benefit a charity.
 

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You could approach Smarter than Jack, about selling their books. They produce books containing smart animal stories which are sent in by people from all over the world, and half of the profits from each book is donated to animal charities. Here's the website:

http://smarterthanjack.com/mainsite/Home.html

You'd want to click on 'charity partners'.

The books are great reads. I've even submitted a few stories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We did pictures with Santa over Christmas and we also did a coat check, raffle, and giftwrapping at the mall over the holidays.

What drained our funds was an outbreak of upper respiratory in November. We lost a few cats and majority ended up on medication, which is expensive. Rest in peace Buddy and Tabby.

What I'm going to do is compile everything and then take it with me to the shelter on the weekend and I'll let people know how it goes.

Meanwhile, if there are any more suggestions... wow... I'm overwhelmed in a good way.
 

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How about 'name' a soft toy ie teddy bear with a small prize?.

Car Boot stall.

Raffle.

Ask someone like a dog behaviourist/ dog trainer nicely to donate time.
 

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Sponsorship. Invite local businesses(or big businesses with presence in the local area) to "sponsor" a kennel. Work out a fixed price that you think you could get (maybe start at $100 per year and see how it goes). In return for the sponsorship, they get a plaque (or laminated piece of cardboard etc.) on the door of the kennel so visitors can see their generosity, thanked in your publications, and are entitled to refer to themselves as your sponsors. It is easier to get this kind of sponsorship if you (a) have a lot of visitors passing through (best to either accurately record visitor numbers if you have a lot, or otherwise attract more by organizing say quarterly events or "open days" at the kennels where people can meet the dogs and there are a couple of things going on (raffle, craft stall, face painting etc.) or (b) get a lot of publicity through local press. We used to try to get at least 1 animal per week mentioned in a local paper as needing a special home. If you can write well, it is a free way for them to fill column inches. Something like (good picture) X was abandoned (explain horrible circumstances) he likes... and is looking for a special home where... and is currently being cared for at Y santury courtesy of our generous sponsor Z.

Something else we tried was an annual newsletter, with a specific campaign, sent out to people we knew supported the national organization or had previously been interested in us. This year it was for a dog in foster care who will need heart medication for the rest of its life. Your respiratory disease would be a useful kind of cause for this. Basically the entire thing was 1 double sided A4 page, with one black and white picture, with information about how the charity was run, what it did, and why in general it needed public money. Details of events that had been run, and events that were planned were provided. Then at the end there was a specific article about the ill dog, and a request for money. It does cost money to send the newsletter, and in reality usually just about pays for itself, but often a few of your volunteers will print it, and it helps raise public awareness and attract customers to your events. A much cheaper way of doing this is by emailing the newsletter, but less people will read something emailed , and it is likely you have a greater list of supporters' addresses than emails.

See if you can get involved with a local school. Many of them have a charity day or week, or might be interested in holding some kind of event for you. Rather than going straight to them and asking them to use their kids to raise money for you, invite them to have a field trip to the kennels, or offer to do a presentation at the school on the work of animal charities in the community and how to care for your pets.

Final advice, if you dont see enough people going through the mall, ask walmart if you can set up outside one day a month or something with collection boxes. Usually they will let you take a dog or two along aswell if you are outside. Large petshops (petsmart etc.) are also good for this. If you decide to send a newsletter, you can also take this opportunity to collect addresses from people who might be interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow...


I'll have to ask about sponsering a kennel... a few of the rooms have donation plaques above the door, but not individual kennels. I don't know how that will work because we are never full, and every once in a while, the cats get moved around...

We have a newsletter for members... here's the site for the shelter by the way if anyone is curious: http://www.shaid.org/

The Walmart idea is a good one
 

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The SPCA I volunteered at for a while did the whole kenel sponsorship thing and it worked really well. Some people liked to sponsor a kennel on behalf of a pet they had, or one who had died. They put up the photo of the pet on the front of the kennel, with a little message like "This kennel is sponsored by Joe and Jane Bloggs, on behalf of their beautiful friend spot, may he rest in peace". It was very touching.
 

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Another thing that worked really well for my local SPCA was publicity in the local free newspaper. Each week this paper donates a little space and the SPCA nominates a pet of the week, and has a photo with a little description of this pet (one who's ready to be adopted) in terms of its temperament, and the type of home and care it will require. I would imagine that the pets of the week are adopted quite quickly. It's also an oppertunity for the SPCA to mention the types of things that they need donated in particular for that week, for example if they have a lot of puppies they would need extra puppy food. Then people who donate pet food regularly at the supermarket donation bins will know what to buy.
 

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See what free features you can add to the website along with promoting the for-profit ventures. The free stuff will bring people in. For example, if you offered a 24/7 "lost pet" announcement service. When someone finds a lost animal, they can just hop on the website and find out if anyone has posted about missing it. With the lost/found ads in the local newspaper, finders may have to wait a day (or more, if it's a weekly paper) to read the lost ads.

Many newspapers are now inviting school districts to post snow day and other school closing announcements on the newspapers' websites. This brings people onto the websites and in contact with the for-profit services.

I don't have any brilliant ideas for the website other than the lost pet announcements, but if you put heads together with your coworkers, I'm sure you can identify some needs in your community. I can't imagine why the president wouldn't be in favor of expanding the profitablity of the shelter. Just make sure the reasoning is clear. It's not about wanting to fiddle around on the computer. It's about helping as many animals as effectively as you can.
 
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