Fundraising for your animal shelter doesn’t have to be all work and no play! In fact, hosting a fun-themed fundraising auction is a great way to engage your local community and raise money for your shelter’s goals. And what could be more fun than fundraisers that revolve around animals?
Fundraising ideas for animal shelter auction
There are many ways to raise money for animals in need. However, running a shelter takes a lot of funds, and large fundraising events like auctions are often the best option to bring in critical donations. Here are a few ideas to make your animal shelter auction a hit!
Pet adoption event
Bring some adoptable animals from your shelter for an adoption auction event. Allow visitors to meet and greet with the animals and consider adopting them. Seeing and interacting with the animals in need will be very impactful and will motivate people to give or adopt a furry friend of their own.
Sponsor a pet fundraising event
Many people who attend your fundraiser won’t be able to adopt a pet. Instead, give them the option to sponsor a pet at the shelter instead. Allow guests to purchase a donation package that includes a certificate, photo, and bio of the pet they are sponsoring. They then receive regular updates from the shelter about their pet and can even visit their pet at the shelter.
This is a great way to engage guests who cannot adopt an animal but still want to support your cause. You can use a fundraising platform like MaxGiving to create an online adoption page, set up recurring donations, and track sponsors easily.
”Sell” items for shelter animals
When guests are purchasing tickets to your auction on your fundraising event page, offer the option to add on an item that you need for the shelter. For instance, guests can “purchase” a leash, a bag of food, or a toy for the shelter at checkout. You could also add these items for sale on your fundraising page, but instead of getting the item, guests get a picture or a postcard of an animal at the shelter using the item they purchased.
On your page, add a section detailing what it costs to provide for animals at the shelter. Many people don’t realize how quickly things like food, bedding, and vet bills add up over time. When people see itemized expenses for caring for these animals, they are more likely to donate and purchase needed items for the shelter.
Animal art gallery auction
Ask local artists to donate art featuring animals for a silent auction. Guests can bid on the artwork and take it home, knowing they helped contribute to a noble cause. If you have an artist in your community, they may be willing to donate a commission for you to auction at the event, such as a custom portrait of the winner’s pet.
If you can secure artwork from a well-known local artist, make sure to showcase this on your auction page and in your fundraising event advertising. MaxGiving event fundraising software offers a customizable event page where you can easily highlight artwork or other unique features of your fundraising event.
Host a pet-friendly auction event
Get your guests in the giving spirit by hosting a pet-friendly auction event. This is perfect for an outdoor venue. Invite people to bring their pets so that they can get their whole family in on the fundraising action! Provide a designated spot for pets to use the bathroom and enforce a leash-on policy to help the fundraising event go smoothly.
Create custom merchandise
Sell custom T-shirts, hats, mugs, and other merchandise featuring your organization’s logo or cute animal designs. You can also offer items with a pet-inspired message such as “Adopt Don’t Shop” or “Rescue More Animals.” Sell these items on your event fundraising page and at your auction event.
Auction item basket raffle
Create themed gift baskets filled with items related to animals. Guests pay a flat fee for each ticket and enter a drawing to win one of the baskets. Basket themes could include “Pet Pampering,” which includes pet treats, grooming supplies, and toys, or “Outdoor Adventurer,” which includes outdoor gear and items tailored for an active pet. Each basket can also include a gift certificate to your shelter or animal-related business.
This is a great way to increase the value of smaller auction items and create fun themes that guests will love.
Animal-themed fundraising calendar
Put together a calendar featuring photos of animals from the shelter or from community members who have adopted pets. You can offer this for sale during your fundraising auction event and allow guests to bid on a spot to have a picture of their pet in next year’s calendar. This is especially good for fundraising auction events early in the year.
Doggie bag wine pull
Wine pulls are a popular fundraising strategy that many nonprofits incorporate into their fundraising events. Offer guests the option to purchase a mystery bottle of wine at checkout. Cover the bottles with a wrap or a bag covered in paw prints to add fun to the wine pull and tie in your animal theme. Arrange them on a table or set up a wine wall and allow guests to select a random “doggie goodie bag” containing their bottle of wine.
When you sell tickets to your fundraising event using a fundraising platform like MaxGiving, you can offer guests the option to add on their goodie bags when they purchase their tickets. You can also use the software to track which guests have purchased doggie bags on the night of the event.
Emotional fundraising event material
Fundraisers that connect people with animals have the power to pull heartstrings and encourage donations. Set up an area with information about each animal looking for a home, special stories or videos showcasing the animals you’re helping, and photos of pets being adopted by their new families.
By showing how your organization’s work has positively affected the lives of animals, you can inspire people to give to your cause.
Pet photo booth
Make your animal shelter fundraising event even more fun with a pet photo booth! Allow guests to take pictures with adoptable animals from your shelter.
You can also offer themed props for people to use in their photos, such as paw print glasses, costumes, and signs with funny sayings. Allow people to take home prints of their photos for a small donation.
The key to fundraising event success: getting the help you need
Remember, to run a successful auction, you will need a talented, professional benefit auctioneer. They will be able to keep the crowd engaged with fun auction activities and will strike a balance between keeping the auction moving and getting maximum donations for each item.
Hiring a professional benefit auctioneer will help you raise more money for your animal shelter and make the event an enjoyable experience for all. It is well worth the investment to hire someone with the skillset, knowledge, and enthusiasm needed to run a successful auction.
You’ll also need an online or mobile fundraising platform like MaxGiving to collect and track donations and host a seamless auction fundraising event. MaxGiving is convenient and easy to use and provides you with the tools you need to reach your fundraising goals successfully.
Plus, it is specifically designed so that you can create a custom auction event site in just a few simple steps, upload an unlimited number of auction items, and easily set up auto-bid, buy-now, text notification options, and more. With MaxGiving, you’ll have everything you need to make your animal shelter fundraising event a “tail-wagging” success.
Contact us to learn how you can get started with your free demo today!