Little Angels Service Dogs Fundraising Guide
Little Angels Service Dogs Fundraising Guide:
Welcome to the Little Angels Family of Fundraisers! We are here to guide you through the process of fundraising for your service dog! As you read over our ideas, you may have your own ideas that pop into your head! Please reach out and share these ideas-we may just add them to this guide! Also, feel free to adapt any of these ideas to work in your world.
Please remember, we have very strict guidelines we must follow to keep our non-profit status! Please DO NOT do any fundraising on your own without first running it by our Fundraising Coordinator, Darlene Drew. You can reach out to her at email@example.com for approval. We appreciate your cooperation in this important matter.
This guide is intended to help you think ahead as you move forward planning your fundraising. Included, you will find planning ideas, logistics, and lots of ideas and directions to implement those ideas if you so choose!
Some Important Notes:
1) When holding large events check in with our main office to inquire on liability insurance. Our insurance carrier generally provides coverage for outside events done by our volunteers, but it would still be best for us to confirm.
2) When accepting donations by check or cash be sure to enclose the donated amount with our donation form. This helps us record the information of our supporters, so they can receive a tax deduction. The form is located on the last page of this guide. Enter your solicitation code on the form before sending it out! This will help us keep track of where the donations are coming from.
3) Whenever you are holding an event at a local business be sure to ask the management if they would be able to support us by way of a Gift Matching program. This often doubles or triples the amount of financial support.
4) It is important that our volunteers are not soliciting funds specifically for any individual recipient due to the regulations of the 501c3 status held by Little Angels. This status allows all financial supporters to receive a tax deduction to the fullest extent of the law. If our volunteers or recipients do not abide by these regulations this status can be revoked from Little Angels.
5) In order to comply with these regulations, you are still be able to list or explain the disabled recipient’s disability, needs and goals of obtaining a service dog. However, make it clear that funds are being raised for Little Angels Service Dogs to train all service dogs that are able to help with that specific disability. If you have questions about this, please reach out to Darlene for an explanation.
6) We are in the process of updating our donation buttons on the Little Angels Website. If family, friends, businesses want to donate online please ask them to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org set this up. Please be sure to supply them with your solicitation code so we can track where the donations are coming from.
7) If you have ANY questions, please ask.
Fundraising can be a positive experience if you have a good support group, a plan and proper tools to execute the plan. Before deciding what kind of fundraisers you want to do, take a look at the initial questions and decisions that will have to be made:
1. What is the fundraising goal? Are you raising only for the Service Dog? Are you also expecting to raise for your travel expenses for Handler Training?
2. What is your time frame for raising the necessary funds? One month? 6 months? A year? Longer?
3. Do you have friends/family that have committed to helping you? Make and list and fill in the following for each person:
*What skills do they have that could be useful? Organizing, filing and keeping track of incoming donations.
*How much of their time can they contribute? What hours are best for them-weekends, weekdays, evening, daytime?
* What tasks are they comfortable doing? Phone calls to businesses asking for donations? Calls to family/friends? Writing letters? Posting on social media? Going into businesses to ask for donations?
Help from Your Community
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP!
The more help you have, the easier it will be both physically and emotionally. The good news is that there are people in your community that are willing to help! In fact, you frequently see them on a regular basis- your hair salon/barber shop, dry cleaner, coffee shop, health club, insurance agent, tax preparer, restaurants, car wash, doctor, dentist, pre-school, grooming salon, pet stores plus many, many more!
There are also some larger groups that may lend a hand:
*School: If your child is receiving a service dog this is a great venue to reach out to – even if it is the schools of your other children. “Pennies for Puppies” is an amazing way to introduce the idea of a service dog to elementary schools while educating the students about service dogs, preparing them for the fact that a dog will be at their school in the future, and by raising money in a fun environment.
*Work: If you will be bringing your dog with you to work this can be a wonderful way to introduce the idea of a service dog accompanying you to work while educating the employees and staff about service dogs, and by raising money in a fun environment. Employers also offer hefty gift-matching programs which can double or triple the amount of funds raised by fellow co-workers.
*Community Group / Church: Are you a member of a support group such as a church/synagogue, civic club (Elks, Lion, Rotary), VFW, PTA, home school groups, etc.? (These are a good source for people who want to volunteer, even if someone only wants to blog your upcoming fundraising events. They are also a great resource for holding your fundraiser or writing an article about your fundraising needs and upcoming events in their newsletters.)
*Meet Up Pets: there are thousands of Meet Up Pet members. Just Google the words “Meet Up Pets” and you find all types of groups in your area. These are the people you can invite to your events, ask for donations or sponsoring. They can even help spread the word on their Facebook and Twitter pages.
*Street Fairs/Farmer Markets/Swap Meets: A great way to meet lots of people. Do not pay for a booth, instead, explain that you are there to promote Little Angel Service Dogs and that you are promoting funding that will go towards a local resident who needs a service dog. You should be able to get a space at no charge or possibly share a space. This is a good way to promote your on-line and upcoming events. People can also donate at the event. (Caution – do not bring food items to raise money unless you have a health permit). If you are artistic or crafty you make some handmade crafts to sell as well.
*Veterinarians: Not only are they dog friendly, they are usually open to helping a good cause, especially if it includes someone in need in their community. They can help raise money through “Doggy Bone Donations” (similar to the shamrocks you buy at grocery stores) and they may have an extensive base of email addresses they can reach out to-ask if they can spread the word. We can also provide you with brochures to set up at these different locations. You can also contact: Animal Hospitals, Pet Hotels/boarding, dog and cat groomers, dog trainers, pet stores, feed and tack stores, dog and cat breeders, etc.
*Community Bulletin Boards:Attach fliers wherever you can, dog park, grocery store, dry cleaners, laundry mats. Independent retailers who love their pets may also hand out fliers to their customers. Avoid most national type chain store or franchise since they must abide by company rules.
*Professional Affiliations:Are there animal clubs in your area? Animal rescues? Animal shelters? Remember, these groups are also trying to raise their own funds, however some may have resources they can give you or even volunteer names and numbers to help you out – Don’t forget to Ask!
Your local newspaper is a great way to reach out to your community. Press releases can be forwarded to your editor about Little Angels Service Dogs and your need for a dog (and your upcoming event). Be sure to contact the food editor on any events that will be held at a restaurant. Later, you can invite them to your fundraising event for a follow up article. While you’re at it contact your local radio station to do a public service announcement. Maybe your local celebrity DJ will come out to your fund-raising event. If so, make sure everyone knows he is coming. While you’re at it, invite the mayor, city council members, police and fire deputy. People that are respected in your community bring legitimacy to your fund raiser. It will also bring many people to your event. This is where you will need the DJ.
People and companies are willing to give their time and resources to help a good cause. But they won’t if you don’t ask them! To get the funds or help you must ask for it!
People like to help others in need-it makes them feel good. For companies it’s good public relations. It shows that they care about their community and is also an effective tool to gain new customers. By showing that you will acknowledge their contributions to the community they will show more interest in contributing to your cause.
It’s Your Fundraiser
The following pages are filled with ideas on preparing and planning for your fundraising. You can read and implement it as is, use parts/pieces or discard altogether. This is your fundraiser and you need to have fun and be comfortable with your journey.
During your fundraising process, please remember to always clear everything with Darlene-even if it is an idea from this packet! You can reach out to her at Darlene@littleangelssd.org. She will guide you through the process and be sure everything is in sync with the non-profit laws for fundraising.
FUNDRAISERS IN DETAIL
Don’t wait-You can start on these this week!
*This is one of the easiest fundraisers to do! All you have to do is print and stuff envelopes! We have a fundraising form letter already written out for you to send to businesses. This can be an amazing tool for fundraising! When done correctly, it may be the only fundraising you ever need to do! Just send us an email and we will send you the letter with instructions. We recommend sending this letter to all local businesses, businesses you or your spouse do business with, businesses anyone in your family has connections to, etc.
*We have a separate fundraising letter for friends and family. This can easily be changed into an email if you have separate email and physical address lists. Please contact Darlene for exact directions. Again, send this to EVERYONE you know, your parents’ friends, your in-laws’, friends, your friends’ families, etc. The more people the better-you never know who is an animal lover and wants to help someone with a disability, etc.
*We also have donation forms you can send with your letters. These make it easy for your donors to fill in the information needed and for you to keep track of all donations.
*If you love writing and would like to write your own letter, feel free. Just remember to have it approved before it is sent out.
Pick up donation jars at your local Staples, Dollar Store, Target, etc. Print out your story to attach to the donation jar (remember notto say the money is for you but that you are fundraising for Little Angels). Or reach out to LASD and we can send you a printout about Little Angels. You can take these to local businesses in your area and ask if they will display your jars. You can arrange to go back once a week to pick up your donations. You may want to ask them to put your donation jars in a safe place at night. Some great places to leave these donation jars include local gas stations/convenience stores, veterinary clinics, pet stores, local businesses, schools.
Little Angels Service Dogs Doggy Bones
This is similar to the Shamrocks you buy in grocery stores. Call an Office Supply Stores or school supply stores and see if they will donate construction paper. Cut paper bones large enough for people to write their names on. 2,000 should do it. Band them up in groups of 50. Go to 40 businesses- veterinarians, animal hospitals, pet stores, independent grocery stores, etc. Ask them if they will support you and sell your dog bones for service dogs for $1 each. When a customer buys one they write their name on it and a message and it can be taped to the wall (you may need to supply tape-get that donated too). At the end of one month go back to the stores, count the bones left at that business and collect the difference. If a store runs out before then, have them call you for more. If they request more, give them some more and come back in another month. Keep track of all the addresses so you don’t forget anyone. 2,000 bones=$2,000. This can also be done in a school environment. Each classroom can have dog bones at the teacher’s desk and students can buy their bones to hang on the classroom wall either before or after school. OR the dog bones can be purchased in the main office and the students can hang them in the school hallways.
*When you are visiting the business, it may be a good time to set up those donation bins too!
Online Silent Auction
You will need donations for this unless you have something valuable in your attic. Items can be sold through eBay and similar Silent Auction sites. If you have a friend or family member that is familiar with eBay they can help. Once your items sell or are bid on, you can send the funds collected to Little Angels.
Everyone has stuff they do NOT need!! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!! Check your basement! Check your attic! Check your closets and drawers! Ask friends and families for their stuff!! Set up a good ole’ fashion yard sale. If it’s in the fall, sell warm cider too! Summer? Ice cold lemonade! Make sure you have donation jars out and about! Let everyone know you are doing this for a charitable cause-they will be more likely to pay the price you are asking.
You can have a bake sale held after church services. You just need one volunteer to bring cupcakes and sell after each service. The easiest and most profitable are cupcakes. If you decorate them with a simple pre-made decoration, you could sell around 24-48 cupcakes after each service at $3 each. Sell flavors like “Bark Chocolate”. You can find “puppy picks” on amazon to put on each cupcake. Cookies and brownies are also easy. You can find puppy face decorations at www.pastrychef.com Add bottled water to sell with them and you could bring in some serious money. Other places where bake sales are popular-high school/elementary school cafeterias during lunch. Have the school advertise the bake sale and what it is for (especially if it is your child’s school). You may even have parents reach out to bake for it! School sporting events-you can sell baked goods, prepackaged goldfish crackers, cookies, trail mix, water, Gatorade for the fans. Make sure to clear this with the school. In addition to the items you are selling, have donation jars!!! PTA meetings, town meetings, school meetings, outside of grocery stores, Walmart, etc. (be sure to get permission from the management!) There are times that not putting a price on each item works in your favor also. We’ve held bake sales and said everything was by donation and people tended to put more money in the jars knowing it was going towards a good cause!
Pennies for Puppies/Classes for Canines
Contact your children’s schools/youth groups and ask if they would be willing to allow you to begin a Pennies for Puppies fundraiser. You can purchase clear donation tubs for each classroom and send a flyer home with the children. Basically, the children bring in their loose change from home. Whichever class brings in the most change will receive a pizza party for their class. This fundraiser has brought in $1,200.00 in just two weeks from an elementary school.
This fundraiser can be adapted for high school as well. The bins can be set up for each class (freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior) and called “Classes for Canines.” You could even have a separate bin for teacher donations, so they can get in on the competition also! Each class has a large bucket in the front office to put loose change in. The buckets can be brought out to the cafeteria at lunch, at home sporting games, events, pep rallies, during homeroom class representatives can walk room to room collecting donations to put into the buckets! Make it fun and exciting! Turn it into a big competition! Each day during morning announcements or end of the day announcements have someone announce which class is currently winning! This is a perfect event to incorporate into homecoming or winter carnival activities!
We also have information on how to provide an assembly for the students and staff on the education of service dogs, and the fact that your child will be attending school with their dog. This fundraiser and assembly can prepare them in more ways than one.
*This same idea can be used with adults within your work place. Each department in the building can raise their funds! The assembly is simply changed to an ‘educational seminar’ and the pizza party may also include salad for the winning team.
Dance for Dogs
There are two different options that work for this event title. First, ask your local high school or middle school to host a school dance on a Friday evening (most do this once a month already). Ask that the entrance fee for that one dance be contributed to Little Angels Service Dogs. Make sure they play songs like “Who let the Dogs Out” “Hound Dog.” You could also make human friendly treats in the shape of dog bones to sell. Have your child help make doggie goodie bags to sell as well. Make sure you have multiple donation jars out for additional donations.
You could also contact a local dance team. They may be willing to put on a dance show (like a recital but on a smaller scale) to benefit Little Angels. You could split the ticket sales with the dance company and ask if you can head up the snack/beverage table. You can either have baked goods or prepackaged food and snacks for sale. Having donation jars set out at the event will increase what you bring in!
Cans for Canines
Pick up cardboard boxes or another type of collection container. They should be large and fit many cans. Touch base with your high school booster club and ask if you can collect used soda cans and plastic bottles at their ticket office, snack shack, etc. All you need to do is label the box with a sign to explain why you are collecting cans and bottles. You may even ask the art department if they could decorate the collection containers for you! See if the school will put out an announcement in their newsletter or during daily announcements reminding students to dispose of their cans in the boxes provided. You could also put extra boxes/collection bins in the school store, cafeteria, and around the building. The ticket offices for your local sports teams, the snack shacks and the school store are also great places to put your donation bins and your doggie bones!
*This one can pay off big, even though it may not seem like it initially. The cans collected at one high school can bring in $500.00 each week.
Dog Days at Work
Everyone should implement this fundraiser. It requires very little of your time. Have everyone encourage their employers to do this.
This is like “Bring Your Child to Work” except you are going to bring your dog. This is even more successful if your network of family, friends and volunteers approach their employers to allow their employees to bring their dogs to work for a day. Everyone doesn’t have to schedule on the same day. Everyone who wants to bring their pet (dogs or caged birds, turtles, rabbits, hamsters, etc.-cats are questionable because of the dogs) will be required to donate $10 to participate. Present this as being similar to the now popular “Dress Down and Donate Day” where companies allow employees to dress in jeans or comfy clothes one day a week if they give money for the company to donate to charity. The company can also match the donations. Employees should bring proof of immunizations for appropriate animals. Leashes should also be brought. They should keep caged animals caged when not being held-you don’t want a pet mouse scaring anyone! Everyone should be responsible for bringing their own food and water dishes and leashes. No muzzled dogs or aggressive dogs should be allowed. An animal free zone should also be provided for those who are allergic.
A group did this in Colorado. Eight companies participated, and three companies matched the donations. Altogether they raised $7,500!!
Dine to Donate
Many restaurants, coffee shops, and bars now have nights set aside to help charities trying to raise funds. On that night, the restaurant agrees to donate a portion of the sales to you. Depending on the type of restaurant, these can be set up very differently. Some ask you to pre-sell tickets for the event and you get a portion from those sales only. Others give a flat rate for the entire evening-such as 10% of sales for the evening. Some pizza places donate $1-$2 for every pizza sold. Coffee shops may donate $1 per cup of coffee. You can ask if it’s possible to set up a silent auction on that evening with donations you have collected around town (spa day, tix to a sporting event, bath basket, gift cards to restaurants, etc.). Make sure to advertise your event and have everyone spread the word for you-social media announcements are free and reach so many people! Remember-donation bins should be everywhere the night of the event!
Cornhole for Canines
Cornhole is the latest and greatest game! The beauty is it can be played indoors (with ample space) or outdoors! Get teams to sign up ahead of time. You then create an elimination tournament. Each team needs to pay an entry fee. If you can find a brewery to host the event, you can arrange to also receive a portion of their food and beverage sales for the evening. If you have your own place to hold the event, you can ask a food truck to come in and give you a portion of the sales. You can take this one step further by adding items for raffles and/or selling tickets for a 50/50 fundraiser. You could even add a tournament off to the side for children/junior players to take part in.
Little Angels “Dog Bowl”
Hold a bowling tournament. This could be as simple as approaching a bowling league and have their members go out and get their existing sponsors to donate ten cents for every pin knocked down. It can be for one game bowled. For example: if you have 8 bowlers per lane and four lanes are played and the average score is 120, their total donation would be $384. Play two games and it doubles to $768. Of course, leagues are bigger than this. If each member signed up additional sponsors, your total could more than double. There should be an award ceremony for highest team score and individual score, most strikes, most gutter balls, etc. The league members should reserve and pay for their bowling- not you. You could also set up a similar event on a weekend afternoon for school-aged children. Each child gets donations per pin they knock down!
Little Angels “Dog Run”
If you are an “Easy Rider” or just like motorcycles than this might be the fund raiser for you. Approach your local motorcycle clubs. Your local Harley Davidson dealer can probably give you names. In fact, go to all of your motorcycle dealers and chopper shops. While you are at it, ask them to sponsor the event. The course should have a starting location and wind around the country side and finish at a park or other area. The clubs will have ideas on location and the course. The ride should conclude with a BBQ for everyone. You can do this yourself, but if you hire a BBQ catering company, make sure you add the price per head into the ticket price of riding. You could also have a food truck attend and get a percentage of their sales. Secure a band or some type of music. The clubs can sell tickets to the event or take payments through their websites. You can also set up other fun and activities that will bring in additional money. You should charge $25 for riders and an additional $15 for passengers.
You can also do this event with classic car clubs or bicycle riding clubs.
Little Angels Animal Walk for “Service Dogs”
Participants can either pay an entrance fee of $20 for adults, $10 for kids under 12, or they can get businesses to sponsor them. Kids can get family members/neighbors to donate (must meet entry fee or more). Use a hiking trail or park for this. Do not have anyone walk on a public street (for safety and insurance reasons). Have your local bottled water company bring water and cups with their logo. Finish the walk with food (think food truck) and entertainment and games. Make it a fun event. Be careful of holding this in a public area, you may need a permit. Participants can bring their dogs, parrots or any other appropriate animal. Have a dog training exhibition, invite the SPCA, etc. Advertise everywhere-at churches, Dog Park, restaurants, Facebook, newspaper, store windows, office buildings, etc. It is possible to end up with over 100 walkers or even hundreds. All participant sign ups should be done in advance, so you have
an idea how many people will show.
Local newspapers are always looking for stories in your community. This is a great way to expose your cause! You can also have a story written about you and your need for a service dog. You can list a contact email, number, or a link to your Red Basket page for donations. If you are holding a fundraising event this is a great way let everyone know about it! Invite the reporter to come back on the day of your event.
You can contact your local news station and ask if they would be willing to cover a story on service dogs and your cause in raising funds. Because the public is so fascinated with all the new and different ways that dogs can assist, this is usually a story that stations love to cover. We can provide them with video footage and interviews for their editing. You can have the station provide a link to your Red Basket page or advertise an upcoming event you are hosting.
The following two fundraisers are not for the faint of heart or for those that do not have a lot of time to put into the efforts. Fundraisers of this magnitude take a lot of work, a lot of volunteers and a lot of time. However, those that are able and have help can make a lot of money on these events!
Contact a local golf club in your area and let them know you are interested in setting up a tournament for charity. Many will have paperwork and information to share as they have likely hosted these in the past. Advertise your event on social media, ask the golf course if you can hang fliers on their bulletin boards, etc. Depending on the size of the event, the number of golfers, you will determine if there would be a benefit to hiring a DJ to announce any prizes (hole in one, farthest drive, etc.). Some golf clubs will even add a dinner or luncheon after the event. This cost would be added in to the original ticket price for each golfer. You may have friends that have been to golf tournaments in the past. Ask for their help in setting up the logistics such as hole sponsors, raffle prizes, etc.
Fall Festival for Fido
This event can be adapted for any season.
Speak to your town officials and reserve a public park. Set up the park for a fun day out for families. You can include face painting; make some easy children’s games where they can win prizes (ducks in a kiddie pool, darts, shooting basketballs) rent/hire a jumpy castle, have an arts and crafts stations where children can paint pumpkins, sell hot cider, cider donuts, etc. Book a food truck to be there as long as you get a % of their sales. You can make this event as involved or simple as you would like. You can either charge one price for admission or sell tickets to each individual booth. Everyone working at the event should be a volunteer-high school students always need community service hours and this is a great way for them to get those hours! If this is an event you are particularly interested in-please contact Darlene as she can guide you through the entire process!
Yard Sale Fundraiser
Collect gently worn clothes, home goods, and collectibles and host a yard sale. If you have valuable items like first-edition books or signed collector’s items, you can hold an auction for the top-tier items at the end of the day. Reach out to local celebrities or philanthropists for high-ticket items-signed books, signed artwork, etc. To generate buzz around the event, take pictures of the items and post them on social media.
Dine for Dogs
Ask local businesses to donate breakfast staples like muffins, fruit, bagels, and coffee. Next, have supporters and their networks place orders and then enlist volunteers to deliver the goods. Create a menu that demonstrates impactso your supporters know what their donation provides. For example, a $20 donation gets you a bagel, a piece of fruit and coffee delivered andpays for a dog’s vest or high value treats for a month. To cut down on deliveries, target an office building or a school so the meals are being delivered to one place.
Customize the event to your mission by including a thank you card with each order, bringing a rescue pet along for delivery.
Organize a scavenger hunt and send participants running all around town. You can stick to the classic scavenger hunt where people have to find and collect items or you could go digital and have individuals or teams simply take a picture of an item or location. Each person or team will need a camera, pen and paper (to write their names to prove they aren’t using a fake photo), and a garbage bag.
Charge a registration feein advance and offer a head start or hints in exchange for donations on the day of the hunt. Assign bonus points for the individual or team who collects the most donations along the way!
Give It Up
To demonstrate how the smallest donation can make a difference, ask fundraisers to give up a daily beverage or meal and donate the money they would have spent to a worthwhile cause instead. Provide supporters with data showcasing the impact of $5, $10, $20 donations. Then encourage them to share their activity on social media and ask their networks to take action too.
Intensify the appeal by asking supporters to participate for a certain number of days or encouraging them to meet a personal fundraising goal.
Anyone who has attended trivia night at a bar knows that the stakes are high when it comes to public quiz competitions. Ask a local restaurant or pub to host a trivia night and round up your supporters for a night out that supports a great cause. Ask that participants form teams in advance and raise a minimum amount as their registration fee. Then charge an entrance fee for anyone not participating in the competition. Group people into different teams to see who can gain bragging rights andraise the most money. If you can guarantee a crowd then the venue may agree to share a portion of their food and drink proceeds with your nonprofit.
Ask each team to fundraise a certain amount to participate and to come geared up for some serious dodging.
Movie Night at Home
Invite supporters and their friends and family to a movie night. Sell movie tickets for $25. Included specialty popcorn and an adult beverage or something similar. Gather items to raffle off during pre-planned intermissions. Have donation jars throughout the space.
If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that the do-it-yourself aesthetic isn’t going anywhere. Gather talented friends and family members to help create and sell your crafts, whether they are bracelets, buttons, keychains, or housewares.
As a tribute to the days before recipe phone apps, you can crowdsource recipes from different supporters, and even across your organization, to compile a charity cookbook. Ask supporters to include a dedication, doodle, or note with each recipe submission so that the book feels unique and personal to your organization. Reach out to local graphic designers or students to help design your cookbook.
Google: MEET UP PETS (to find pet related businesses and organizations.)
Yellowpages.com: Find pet related business in your area under these headings: Veterinarians, Animal Hospitals, Pet grooming, Feed Stores, Pet stores, Pet boarding and kennels, Pet sitting, Pet training, dog training, Animal health products, Animal shows and organizations, Pet Breeders, Dog day care, Dog and Cat grooming supplies, Animal Shelters, Dog walking, Animal rescue, Pet boutiques, Pet Shops,
Here are some websites on how to approach a business to sponsor you:
Articles of Interest
www.squido.com/service-dog-fundraising (A letter of a young woman’s journey to raise funds for her service dog)