Animal Welfare Professionals

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How do you get donations?

  • 1.  How do you get donations?

    Posted 03-07-2023 08:50 AM

    Hi everyone! What are you beat methods of getting donations? I just started a rescue about 3 weeks ago and I've had a whopping $14 in public donations. I've been posting on Facebook, Craigslist, Reddit, Instagram (although that is more recent), and more! I don't even know where to go from here. I'd love to hear methods that work for others as you're getting started 


    Kara Schmidt
    Paws and Claws Pet Rescue

  • 2.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 03-07-2023 09:20 AM

    One of the easiest way we have found is to sign up as a non-profit on FB.  This allows you to post a donate button on each of your posts and there is no fee taken out.

    Jonna Spatafore
    Shelter Director
    Marion County Humane Society

  • 3.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 03-08-2023 07:50 AM

    Hi! We occasionally do medical fundraisers on Facebook. We write the rescue story and what is going on with the dog and then post what we have had done for the dog, including lots of pictures and then also show the invoice from the Vet to show our charges. We include the donate button on Facebook and also put the link to our website and also our PO box for those that want to mail a check. They are usually very successful and helps with our high vet bills. 

    Laura Ward
    Foster Coordinator
    A Path 4 Paws Dog Rescue

  • 4.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 03-11-2023 03:35 AM

    In my opinion, the best thing you can do is build a social media following.  We use Amazon and Chewy to keep wish lists of items needed up to date and post our needs to social media with links to the wish list.  We have very good luck with people sending us donations through those lists.  If you're able to attain 501c3 status you can then raise money on Facebook as well.  Last year we were able to raise $27,000 by adding the "donate" button to social media posts.  It really works!  Your first step is to build a strong social media presence and go from there.  Good luck!

    Kelly Eckerle
    Dubois County Humane Society

  • 5.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 03-13-2023 03:42 PM

    Donations are a tough come by. Most of our donations are made by family or friends we've made out in the world who support what we do, or are pledged donations for saving death row dogs from shelters. 

    I am looking at creating little trinkets or keepsakes in exchange for donations, and try to brainstorm to put together like a newsletter with updates, and membership gift packages in exchange for recurring donation commitment. 

    The big thing though, I feel.. is getting out in your community, making friends, continuing conversations, etc - don't allow yourself to get overwhelmed with the "non-public outreach" work (cleaning, soliciting donations/foster/adopters online), because you end up pleading to a very stagnant pool and your immediate social circle generally can only help so much, only have room for so many dogs or ability to help with xx emergency. It is crucial to always have someone with good people skills out there interacting firsthand. 


    Best of luck! 💓💓💓

    Mariah von Weigert
    Dog trainer/rescue owner
    Wolf Creek Dog Rescue

  • 6.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 03-29-2023 09:14 AM

    Hi Kara,,

    Welcome to the animal rescue world! Make sure you register your 501c3 with Candid and charity navigator and other chairty hubs. When you first try to register, it will send you to hub. That usually takes a couple of days to get approved.
    As far as donations and  fundraisers. What is your rescue about? Dogs, cats, other?

    Post stories and pictures on social media to get the audience drawn.

    Also you can start with a small fundraiser such as a raffle.  Easter basket? Go around small business to ask for a donated item such as a gift card, bottle of wine etc. to complete a basket.
     Check your local market events and pop up shops, set up a tent with a raffle, a puppy and a donation box.

    Claudia Padilla
    Founder and Executive Director
    Happy Bunny Project

  • 7.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 03-30-2023 02:11 PM

    Hi Kara, do you already have your nonprofit status? When I started my nonprofit I used GoFundMe to raise the money I needed for the startup business expenses. Now I use a wide variety of methods: Facebook and Instagram fundraisers and donate buttons; FlowerPower fundraising; See's Candies; there are numerous restaurants that offer fundraising opportunities (Chipotle, Panda Express, Krispy Kreme, just to name a few); Giving Grid and CauseVox let you set up fundraising platforms separate from your own website. You can ask local bars and restaurants if they'd be interested in hosting a fundraiser; there are some coffee companies that might partner with you (one is called Grounds for Hounds, there's also one about kitties, but I don't remember the name), and Trupo Treats is a vegan candy company that does some similar partnering; you can design t-shirts and other products at (you can even create several designs and create your own "store"), and I think Custom Ink does something similar. If there are any businesses you frequent, you could ask about having a donation jar at their checkout counter. 

    Best of luck to you!

    Johanna Spielman
    Founder of Jamie Brianna's Legacy Fund

  • 8.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 03-31-2023 08:18 AM

    We have used Hugo Coffee - big pet lover; Hayward popcorn - their stuff is really good and reasonable.  We have also done pampered chef which brought in good funds.

    geri golonka
    Tiny N Tall Rescue
    St. Charles, IL

  • 9.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 06-18-2023 09:25 PM

    Geri, Does Hayward Popcorn participate in fundraisers for individual organizations? We have promoted online sales of popcorn where we received 50% of the proceeds for our nonprofit, but I didn't see a link for anything like that on Hayward's website. Let me know your experience with them. Thanks!

    Laura Pelegrin

    Board of Directors

    betterTogether Forever

    Glendale, CA

    Laura Pelegrin

  • 10.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 06-19-2023 08:59 AM

    Hi  Laura - yes Hayward Popcorn does fundraisers - they have a fundraising site -

    you can also contact:

    Vicki Dugan
    Director of Fundraising
    Hayward Gourmet

    geri golonka
    Tiny N Tall Rescue
    St. Charles, IL

  • 11.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 04-02-2023 06:50 AM

    Our "no premises/no staff" nonprofit does a lot standard fundraising: social media asks, a gala each year, etc. My area is an online Facebook auction every two months. I solicit items from our volunteer base and from friends and then schedule 30+ posts on a stand alone Facebook Private Group. I try to make the posts funny/cute/provocative etc. Auction runs for a week and then I spend a weekend delivering to local winners. Out of towners pay shipping.  As well as raising about $1,200 every 8 weeks, we're finding it builds community for the nonprofit and works as a marketing tool. April will be our 11th auction. 

    Volunteer Grant Writer
    Central Virginia Regional Rescue

  • 12.  RE: How do you get donations?

    Posted 06-20-2023 09:47 AM

    During COVID, we started doing Facebook LIVE Auctions with live video feed of items, and viewers would bid on the items in real time. It really fostered a sense of community during a time of isolation.  This once-a-week event scaled up to two, and now three times a week, complete with a newly opened Re-sale/Re-Tail store!

    Erin Hooks