Animal shelters do a whole lot of good in this world. With care and adore, they take animals in and find them good homes. Animal shelters are selfless, loving, and significant. But because they are nonprofits, animal shelters can struggle to get sufficient donations and funding. Without money, they are unable to help all the potential pets that need them. With a creative photo calendar fundraiser, these four shelters raised thousands of dollars towards their cause. We did a little Q&A with four shelters from all around the U.S. and asked them a little bit about their successful fundraiser!
The San Diego Humane Society
The San Diego Humane Society, with three different campuses and two different off-site adoption centers, is a private nonprofit organization that helps adoption and shelter of homeless animals in California. This animal shelter provides education to adults and youth, and offers animal assisted therapy. The SDHS delivers many different programs and services, from medical services to micro-chipping and pet loss support groups. The SDHS has been around since 1880 and has campuses in Escondido, Oceanside and San Diego. Its two adoption centers are located inside Petco stores in El Cajon and Oceanside. The San Diego Humane Society also offers cruelty investigations throughout San Diego and the animal services contracts for the Cities of Oceanside, Vista, Escondido, San Marcos, and Poway. This animal shelter really has it all, they make sure both their pets and their customers are happy, healthy and excited.
1) Why did you decide to do a calendar fundraiser? It began over 16 years ago as a donor appreciation piece, however with the implementation of photo entries for a donation entry fee, it quickly evolved into an income generator as well.
2) Was it successful? Yes, we receive over 400 and sometimes over 500 photo entries per year, and the community is always eager to participate by entering their pet’s photo.
3) How much money did you raise from it? Last year, we raised over $93,000 to support the San Diego Humane Society’s mission to promote the humane treatment of animals, prevent cruelty to animals, and provide education to enhance the human-animal bond.
The Copiah Animal Shelter
In the heart of Crystal Springs, Mississippi is the Copiah Animal Shelter. This non-profit volunteer based, limited intake shelter provides medical care and housing to lost and abandoned animals in Copiah Country, a rural county comprised of several small towns. Not only do they provide spay and neuter for their animals, they search for good homes for each and every one of their animals. Copiah Animal Shelter promotes the importance of spay/neuter to reduce the overpopulation of homeless pets. For only opening in 2011, the Copiah Animal Shelter is making a positive difference in saving animals’ lives!
1) Why did you decide to do a calendar fundraiser? We saw another small town animal shelter featured in an article about a successful Photo Contest and Custom Calendar Fundraiser. Other nonprofit groups in our area had cookbook and food fundraisers; no group had produced a custom calendar with a photo contest. We researched the details, and thought a calendar featuring the publics animals, along with some Shelter animals, would be a unique and more engaging fundraiser, and that we could make a profit, even if a small one, our first year. It’s also a product that people use all year long, with our Shelter name visible every day!
2) Was it successful?/How much money did you raise from it? Yes, our calendar project was a success! It was a lot of work, especially since it was our first year, and with only a few volunteers working on the project. Even in our small towns, with the Photo Contest entry fees and fun competitive voting at $1/vote, and Calendar Advertisers and Sales, we exceeded our conservative profit expectations by almost double! Most of the Calendar Sales were to people whose pets were featured in the Calendar and Shelter supporters. They purchased multiple calendars for family and friends holiday gifts.
We love our Calendars and get great feedback on our design and quality of the product from Gordon Bernard Co.
Source: Copiah Animal Shelter
The Dane County Humane Society
You can find the Dane County Humane Society in Wisconsin. This compassionate groups mission is simple: “helping people help animals.” With over 7,000 animals in the shelter, this humane society is a unique one. Not only do they provide care for the typical sheltered types, such as cats and dogs, this shelter helps exotic species farm animals, small mammals, and injured wildlife. Not many shelters can say the same about their services! The Dane County Humane Society also works hard with organizations in Wisconsin and throughout the United States. They reunite over 1,000 pets with their owners yearly, and have committed themselves to stand behind their work and take full responsibly for their actions. This shelter is clearly a unique and successful one!
1) Why did you decide to do a calendar fundraiser? DCHS decided to do a calendar fundraiser because we saw it as a unique opportunity to not only provide a cool, local product for our local supporters, but also as a way to spread the word about our mission here at Dane County Humane Society, and to spotlight some of our alumni pets that are now in the forever homes.
2) Was it successful? Our calendar is always successful due to the amazing feedback and support we get from DCHS supporters.
3) How much money did you raise from it? We raise close to $15,000 every year through our Calendar Photo Submission Contest and calendar sales throughout the fall/winter.
The Montgomery Humane Society
Montgomery Humane Society is located in Montgomery, Alabama. From puppies and kittens, to adult cats and dogs, this shelter can set you up with the perfect match! They take their volunteers seriously and provide tips in helping find your lost animal. From a Walk N’ Wag to Christmas Gift Wrapping, this animal shelter holds many events to promote their services. They give great tips about why it is important to spay and neuter your pet, as well as offer affordable services.
1) Why did you decide to do a calendar fundraiser? To have another avenue to raise funds of our homeless pets. Everyone who owns a pet loves to show them off and to have them in a calendar is just another way to show how much they love their pet.
2) Was it successful? Yes, this is our 16th year and every year we raise more and more.
3) How much money did you raise from it? Last year we raised $42,000 (this does not include the sale of our calendars which is around another $7,000)
Source: Montgomery Humane Society
As you can see, for all four shelters, the photo calendar fundraiser was a huge success! They were each able to make it unique, and get their supporters to buy and contribute. Photo calendars can be used by other organizations too, it is not limited to animal shelters only. This fun, creative ,and necessary item is sure to be a success for your organization!