First Time Holding An Animal Welfare Fundraiser? 3 Tips For Successful Planning

3 August 2015
 Categories: , Articles


If you have just decided to host a fundraiser for animal welfare, then you may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. Try to relax and remember that you are doing a good deed and the rewarding feeling of helping mistreated and homeless animals will be worth all the hard work you put into planning the event. If you are hosting it alone, spread the word, and you are bound to find a few volunteers who want to pitch in for a good cause. Here are a few tips for success. 

1. Form a Budget and Donation Goal

When holding your first fundraiser, you likely don't know exactly how much everything costs. That is normal, and you can find costs easily today by looking online and making a few phone calls. It is important to form a complete budget before contacting potential sponsors so you know exactly what you need from sponsors and so you are taken seriously. 

Main expenses for a fundraiser include:

  • Venue. A conference center is a great place to hold your fundraiser, and many have discounted prices for non-profit fundraising events.
  • Food and Beverages. Serving food and beverages can help you get more people into your event, so look into catering companies and their prices or what the conference center charges for in-house catering. You can include a meal in a ticket price and make money immediately on tickets before the event even begins. 
  • Miscellaneous entertainment. While serving a good meal and drinks can be enough to get people in the door, extra entertainment can attract even more donors. Consider a live band, a DJ, or even a magician to give everyone a good show. 
  • Decorations and Sponsor banners. Decorations can be sparse, but sponsors may want their name on a banner that is displayed at the event. 

There are fundraiser expense templates you can download free that can help you make sure you haven't forgotten a single expense when planning. Once you form your budget, you will know exactly what cash you will need to come up with before the event, and you can then choose a donation goal. If you are not raising money for something that has a specific cost, like the cost of building a new animal shelter, then a goal is not completely necessary. However, a goal can help keep you and the crowd motivated to hit and surpass a goal that you come up with. 

2. Acquire Funding

If you don't have the cash yourself to put into the fundraiser, then a good way to fund the event is by asking for sponsors. When raising money for animal welfare, good companies to contact about a potential sponsorship opportunities include local pet shops, veterinarians, animal hospitals, and even grocery stores. Don't be afraid to also reach out to the "big guys" and contact the corporate offices of large chain stores.

You will have to decide what you will give your sponsors in exchange for their donations, although typical rewards are very inexpensive and include mentioning and thanking them for their sponsorship throughout the event and showcasing basic banners with their names and logos on them at the event. 

3. Choose and Book the Conference Center Room

Conference center rooms are often booked months in advance, so when you want a good selection of room options, you need to book one as soon as you know you have acquired enough sponsorship money that you will be able to hold the fundraiser. 

First, find a conference center that provides everything you will need for your fundraiser and has extra amenities that you seek. For example, some conference centers provide tables, chairs, and even decorations that can make your job hosting the event much easier when you don't have to purchase and/or rent all of those items separately and find volunteers to help you lug them in and set them up before the event.

Also, some conference centers also provide beverages for just a small extra fee, including adult beverages, and some even provide catering . A conference center that provides these extra services can help your event run much more smoothly. For example, if you have people who want to join your festivities at the last minute, it can be much easier to provide them a meal and beverage when the kitchen preparing the items is right in the same building. 

Once your conference room is chosen at a venue like 4H Conference Center, you can begin advertising and selling tickets and looking forward to the big day. Remember that all your hard work planning and executing your fundraiser will pay off when you raise a lot of cash for animals in need and know you worked hard toward a self-less goal.