Ten Things to Know about Fundraising for Zoe's!

FundraisingFundraising is arguably one of the most important parts of running a rescue, but it is often one of the most underutilized resources we have!

Rescue is full of long hours, hard labour, driving, and paperwork, so we rely heavily on the support of our volunteers and our followers to help aid us in our fundraising efforts. Fundraising is an invaluable gift that you can give to any rescue, whether you sell your handmade crafts, or put on a small-business event, your contribution to helping us raise money is a much appreciated gift of time and effort!

Zoe’s has the ability to help you make your fundraisers as successful as possible. We have a team of media experts, waiting on the side to tweet, share, and sell your event! We have experienced fundraisers, ready to give advice and helping hands.

What we don’t have, however, is a fundraising team at our disposal. Ultimately, we want to make your fundraiser effective, successful, and easy for you, but we don’t have the manpower to do it for you.

This being said, we have come up with a list of ways that we can help you help us! Here are some things to know when you decide to give us a helping hand:

  1. You are responsible for your fundraiser. From beginning to end, you are in charge of the whens and wheres and hows. We do not have the manpower to run your fundraiser for you, though we are here every step of the way to support you.
  2. Timing is so important! We know you want to help – and we want your help!! In the past, we’ve seen too many fundraisers running at the same time, or two fundraisers of a similar nature, and the public can get overwhelmed. Check with our media team to see if any fundraisers are in motion and when, and set yours up so it has it’s own time to shine.
  3. Marketing is essential. We do have a media team who can promote your event and help with some advertising, but you need to provide us with content and pictures. Use your networks to help you create posters and graphics, and then let us know what you want and when you want it. Telling us you’re doing a fundraiser doesn’t help us help you – we need to know what to share with the public and how to direct them to you.
  4. Online is more effective than offline. Create a Facebook event or a website we can direct people to. Sell products using an online ordering system, or provide an e-mail option to order products. Don’t expect the public to show up to fundraiser nights, rather, give them the most opportunity you can to get their business.
  5. Consider possible legalities and stipulations. Raffles and similar fundraisers often require a license from Alberta Gaming and Liquor, as well as age minimums surrounding who can purchase tickets. There are ways to avoid having to get a license, but they are relatively easy to get and may be necessary. Look into how to protect yourself before starting a fundraiser.
  6. Realize that what you can offer greatly impacts how likely you are to be supported. While we, and the public, appreciate and want to support all fundraisers, knowing that 40% or 60% of a small business purchase goes to Zoe’s is a lot more inciting than 10%. Every penny helps, and we want all those pennies – but the majority of people want to give as much as they can from a fundraiser. It’s just one of those facts that we want you to know.
  7. Sell at events! Our adoption events aren’t huge- but they are an opportunity to draw in a completely different crowd who is often looking for alternate ways to support rescues. Sometimes you aren’t ready to foster or adopt, but you’d love to purchase that dog print to hang in your living room, knowing 100% of it went to our animals!
  8. If you are a volunteer, look to expand your audience. There is a huge network of over 6000 supporters on Facebook alone, and thy are often an untapped resource for help! Keeping fundraisers to the Zoe’s volunteer group can at time be relatively disappointing. We are often exhausted from rescue work, and broke from the last fundraiser! Use these tips to expand your customers and clientele.
  9. Run everything by us first. We appreciate the help and want you to know how grateful we really are! However, you don’t know what is going on behind the scenes in terms of fundraising, marketing, or even ability to promote your fundraiser at the time. Using an example from a previous experience, we had a volunteer do a small-business fundraiser within the volunteer group only. As soon as she finished, a supporter told us she was doing the same small-business fundraiser for us and asked us to advertise. We did, of course, as she had already set it up and had posters and events on Facebook. Sadly, her fundraiser was ineffective as a core group of fundraiser supporters had already purchased her product a week before, behind the scenes.
  10. Join us! If you are interested in helping us kickstart a huge fundraiser like a silent auction or a festival, put in a volunteer application or ask to join the events team. We do a few large fundraisers a year, put on by and for Zoe’s Animal Rescue, and are always looking for more hands and ideas!