5 Fundraising Ideas for Your Animal Rescue League

Animal Rescue Leagues need donations to be able to save and support the pets that they take in. Shelters need to raise funds on a consistent basis in order to continue caring for needy animals. 

Dog Holding Money

Many shelters struggle to collect enough donations to accommodate the homeless and helpless pets they acquire. While crowdfunding is always a great way for ARL’s to raise extra funds, there are certainly plenty of other supplemental ways to obtain donations.

Everything is a worth a try when raising money, so don’t limit yourself! Need some inspiration for your own furry fundraiser? Here are 5 fun ideas to get you started:

  • Ask For Donations
  • Hold a Yard Sale or Bake Sale
  • Promote a Pet Photo Contest on Social Media
  • Hold an Animal Fashion Show
  • Hold a Dog Wash


The most common way charities receive donations is simply by asking for them! The best way to keep past donors engaged is to ask for donations in a newsletter.

If money is especially tight, you can send an appeal letter to your mailing list with a call to action signifying more money is needed to provide resources for the pets in your shelter. In this case, it’s important to convey a sense of urgency so that your potential donors understand the situation. Likewise, it’s important to be positive and personable as it’s easier for the recipient of the note to understand and relate. Sometimes, requesting a specific amount of money is successful in sparking donor action. By suggesting $5 or $10 and explaining exactly what that money will pay for, a donor will understand how they are able to support your cause.

Setting up a booth at an event in your community can be a great way to not only raise awareness and collect donations, but also encourage interest in new volunteers who can help out the shelter in their free time. Any help, whether it is time or money, is greatly appreciated by an ARL.

Some donors may be more willing to donate if they receive something in return. Thus, selling yummy treats at a bake sale, or used home furnishings in a yard sale may be a good way to target that audience.

To tie in the pet theme, make some dog treats, or sell some cat toys at the yard sale!

Need even more product fundraising ideas? Look no further!


Hold a pet photo contest on social media! In order to qualify, participants must post the picture and tag your shelter’s handle, but also make a specific donation to the shelter. Winner can get a prize for their pet using some of the funds collected.

Another way to take advantage of technology is to have participants pay to submit funny videos of their pets to your website!


A fun, fresh idea to spice up a typical auction or raffle event is to hold an animal fashion show! Pets can dress up in silly outfits and they can be auctioned off to guests. During the auction, people can also put their name in different raffles for other pet accessories or toys.

Once you’ve decided what you’ll be hosting, you can start planning your event!


Our favorite idea for Animal Rescue Leagues to raise money for their shelter is to have a dog wash! Similar to a car wash, people can bring their pets over for a quick cleaning in exchange for a small fee. Professional groomers are expensive and may require appointments weeks in advance, so a cheap, quick, and convenient option is always desirable for pet owners to keep their furry friends smelling and looking great!


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