Horse Rescue Fundraising: Successful Techniques for Equine Welfare Initiatives

Why Fundraising is Vital for Horse Rescues

If you run an equine rescue, keeping on top of the costs will likely be an ongoing challenge. There’s the daily care of the horses, ponies and donkeys to consider as well as unexpected vet bills and medical supplies. You’ll need to maintain the stables and paddocks and buy new equipment to keep your animals well cared for and your shelter in good condition. 

Ongoing fundraising is vital to ensure you can continue to give your animals the best care possible. Here we’ll detail some in-person and digital fundraising ideas and explain how easyfundraising can help. 

Effective Fundraising Ideas for Horse Rescues

Here are some ideas to get you started. 

Sponsored Horse-Riding Events

A sponsored horse-riding event is the perfect idea to raise some funds for your rescue. You’ll need to decide on the route – consider one that works for both beginners and advanced riders – and promote it to the local horse-riding community. 

You can raise cash from the entrance fee for the riders and ask each rider to secure sponsorship too. You also have the opportunity to run food and drink stalls and to sell merchandise before and after the ride as well (try and do it in a loop, so people can come back to your stalls at the end). 

Equine Art Auctions

What better way to raise funds for your organisation than with a horse-themed art auction? You can run the event in-person or online, but either way you’ll need to secure some art to auction off. 

You can ask local businesses to donate, and you can collaborate with local artists to create one off-pieces for your auction. This has the dual purpose of promoting both the work you do at your rescue and the work of the artist. Or you can even run a social media competition for anyone to submit a piece of work to be considered for the auction. 

Once you have your art in place, if you’re auctioning it off online you’ll need to decide on the right software. If it’s an in-person auction, you’ll need a venue and a professional auctioneer to run the event. Either way, your promotion of the event will be crucial as you want to get the word out and generate some buzz around the artwork. Social media will be a helpful promotional tool, but you can also use traditional methods like posters around the local area and PR with local media. 

Open Farm Days

This is your opportunity to throw open your doors and let the local public see the fantastic work you do. For a simple entrance fee, they can come and interact with your horses, donkeys and ponies and understand more about what they’ve been through and what their donations can do to improve their lives.

You can combine this with other fundraising activities too, including selling merchandise alongside food and refreshment stalls. It’s also an opportunity to speak to people about your animal sponsorship programmes and to engage potential donors. 

Digital Fundraising for Horse Rescues

The digital world offers plenty of ways to help boost your fundraising efforts. 

Online Crowdfunding Campaigns

Crowdfunding is a simple option when it comes to equine rescue fundraising. It gives you a way to raise ongoing funds towards a specific fundraising total, using a platform like JustGiving, Crowdfunder or GoFundMe.

You can create a long-term crowdfunding page to raise regular donations or set up a one-off fundraiser for a specific campaign. It could be to look after one horse in your care or to raise money for some new facilities at your shelter. 

Central to effective crowdfunding is the messaging you use on your page. First and foremost, you need to explain your fundraising target and the importance of it. But you’ll also need to engage with people on a human level with emotive language. Why is your work so valuable? What have these horses been through? What do you do to change their lives? 

And then you’ll need to promote it effectively on social media and across your website. 

Social Media Fundraising

Social media is the perfect tool to promote your fundraising events and your crowdfunding campaign. You can use Instagram for visual content of your horses that can pull on the emotional heartstrings of your supporters. Facebook is ideal for photos and videos too, but you can also deep dive more into the work you do – it also has a handy fundraising tool where you can create a fundraising page and accept donations through the platform. Twitter is a good place to post updates on your latest fundraising drives and promote your events. 

The key with social media is to make sure you’re using the platforms you’re already active on and you’re not spreading yourself thin. If you’ve already built an engaged community on Facebook but don’t necessarily use Instagram, focus on Facebook as this is where your community already is. You can therefore spend your time engaging with them about your fundraising efforts, rather than trying to build a new community from scratch. Also don’t forget LinkedIn, as this platform is a fantastic tool to prospect and engage with potential corporate donors. 

You can also use social media to run digital only campaigns to supplement your fundraising efforts. Social media fundraising ideas could include a horse-themed photo competition or a competition to have a picture featured in your horse calendar for next year. 

Engaging the Community in Horse Rescue Fundraising

Here are some tips for getting the local community involved in your fundraising drive. 

Partnership with Local Equestrian Clubs and Businesses

Sponsorship is an effective way to help boost your funds. This could be a one-off sponsorship of your horse-riding event or a general sponsorship of your shelter. And what better sponsor than the local equestrian club? 

You may already have good links with the clubs in your local area, but you’ll still need to reach out with a solid elevator pitch of what you’re offering and how it will benefit them. Similarly, local businesses in your area hold plenty of potential for sponsorship of events or donations to your auction for example. When it comes to engaging with businesses in your area, your communication is fundamental. Whether you invite local businesses to an open day or you reach out to them on LinkedIn, you need to be super clear about what you’re offering. They will want to know about the work you do and exactly what their funds will be going towards, but they’ll also need to know how it benefits them. Remember to work on your proposition and refine it before approaching businesses. 

Involving Schools and Youth Groups

Children love animals, so it’s important to engage with schools and youth groups in your vicinity. Engaged children may be happy to volunteer at your rescue or at your fundraising events. And they may even want to help raise money with their own sponsorship ideas. 

Reach out to the schools and youth groups in your area and invite them to see the work you do first-hand. They can meet the animals and understand more about the importance of rescue shelters. It will be an educational experience for the kids, and it could be the start of a collaborative relationship with the school or youth group. 

How to Use Easyfundraising to Raise Money for your Horse Rescue Charity

At easyfundraising, we provide a simple and effective way for you to secure ongoing donations to supplement your other fundraising efforts. 

All you need to do is register your cause with us online. Once you do, your supporters can donate to you simply by shopping online with one of our 7,500+ partner retailers. They’ll need to create an account with us (if they don’t have one already) and select your charity as their chosen cause before they shop. The donation comes directly from the retailer, and it doesn’t cost your supporters anything. It also doesn’t cost you to register your charity. 

When it’s time to create your page, you can detail your fundraising target to give your supporters an idea of your goals. On your page, you have an opportunity to provide valuable information about your cause and the work you do. This is your chance to be as emotive as possible – tap into the power of storytelling and bring to life the plight of your animals and the reason your shelter exists. Your tone and language are crucial to creating an emotional connection with your supporters. You can also choose emotive imagery too. 

Then you’ll need to promote it on social media – we have a helpful ToolKit that can help you do just that. With easyfundraising, you can promote your cause to your existing supporters, but you also have the opportunity to engage with our wider community of supporters. There are 2.4 million people registered with us that may donate to you with their online shopping. 

Planning for Fundraising Success

Fundraising is vital to the future of your shelter, so you need to plan it effectively. Before you start your activities put a fundraising calendar in place. You can detail each month’s plans and events, and budget accordingly for each. Don’t forget to assign an achievable fundraising target next to each too. 

The animals in your care also offer an opportunity for you to get creative with your fundraising ideas, whether you choose to open up your doors and let people meet them or make them the stars of your social media fundraising. And don’t forget the power of digital fundraising platforms – like easyfundraising – to keep your funds ticking over to supplement your other fundraising efforts.