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Who put "Fun" in Fundraising?

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

When I first started the animal rescue as an LLC I was very careful to limit the amount of times I asked for money donations. I personally did not feel right acting like a non-profit when we were an LLC. While we operated as a non-profit with all the money going towards the animals and their care, I didn't want to lead on our supporters that we were something that we weren't. If individuals wanted to support us I always asked for supplies. Cat food, dog food, blankets, towels, you name it, we probably needed it at some point.

The only time I really asked for money was if we had a medical case that I knew we couldn't help with out donation support. And thankfully the community always came through.

But now that we are a 501c3 we can ask for donations. We can host fundraisers. And its OKAY! But I hate it. When I started the animal rescue I said I would only do it if we could support ourselves without donations. Operating as an LLC taught me how to do that. But now we have transitioned and I almost feel like a door has opened and I have no idea where it leads.

The truth of it is, most animal rescues rely on the support of their donors to survive and Pay the bills. I feel thankful that in this moment, donors would be aiding us in advancing our programs and creating new ones. If we are able to gain a strong donor base I dream of what we could do. I can think of a few.

Start a low cost spay and neuter clinic.

Start a pet food bank for low income communities.

Start a fund to help small rescues GROW.

Start a fund to help cover emergency vet bills for individuals facing hard decisions.

Start a FREE transport branch to rescue dogs and cats from Southern shelters.

Start a fund where we pay individuals Pet deposits for apartments so they can keep their pets.

So many ideas!

But how does an animal rescue grow a major donor base? That is something that I have been working through right now. Do we post the sad heartbreaking stories to pull at peoples hearts. Sometimes that feels manipulative. Do you post the fun stories of love and happiness? But what would motivate someone to become a donor then? Animal rescue is a HARD business. Yes, at the end of the day it is a business, because if there is no money in the accounts you can't pay the bills.

To everyone who has been with us for a while, thank you, we know we have a lot of growing and learning todo. For those of you wondering how you can get involved? Here are some ideas that I know a lot of rescues could utilize:

- Donate your time.

- Offer to run a booth at a farmers market/event to promote the rescue

- Offer to take animals to vet appointments

- Run errands

- Go to the rescue if it has a location and offer to get your hands dirty

- Foster

- Help with transport days (these are HARD days and extra hands are always welcome)

- Host a fundraiser in your community benefiting the rescue

- Bring your local shelter worker flowers, coffee, a hug... You don't know how much we need that sometimes.

- Share, Comment, Like their social media posts

Feel free to message us with comments or questions. Have a topic you would like me to blog about? I am here for suggestions. My goal is to open up my heart and our rescue to the ins and outs of our weeks and days. Please comment or email me if you like the blog! It is encouraging.

Thank you All!


Daria Veenstra

ARK Pet Rescue

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