How to Organise a Successful Animal Adoption Event Fundraiser

The Value of Animal Adoption Events

Finding animals new and loving homes – whether they’re household pets or farmyard friends – is a huge part of most animal shelters’ missions.

Organising regular adoption events is a great way to promote an organisation’s work to the local community and hopefully rehome some of its rescued inhabitants. Whether you want to host one annually or several times a year, there are a few things worth knowing first.

Planning Your Animal Adoption Event

Making a solid plan for how you want to tackle your next animal adoption event is always a smart idea.

Setting Clear Goals for the Event

First things first, what do you hope to achieve from the event? Do you want to rehome as many of your shelter’s animals as possible or are there just one or two in particular that you’d like to find an adopter for?

Setting clear, consistent and achievable goals for the event is crucial from the very beginning. That’s because it’ll help you decide on the size and scale of the event which, in turn, will influence when you host it, where you host it and how you advertise it.

Adoption events are brilliant opportunities to fundraise too. Perhaps you have a specific project you need more money for? Try incorporating this into your overall event plan.

Choosing a Suitable Venue

It’s not just potential adopters that you’ll need to consider when choosing a venue. If you’re keen to have the animals present in person for people to see, you’ll need to choose a suitable, animal-friendly venue.

Often, it can be simplest to host the event at the shelter/rescue centre itself. Give it a bit of a spruce up, throw open the doors and invite the public in for an open day where the main goal is to get as many animals adopted as possible. 

Organising the Logistics

Planning any kind of event that involves animals can be a little more challenging. Here are some things worth thinking about:

Coordinating with Staff and Volunteers

You’ll need plenty of helping hands to successfully pull off your adoption event. This could be staff who already work at the shelter and are familiar with the animals or it might include new volunteers.

Make sure you know from the very beginning how many staff members you’ll need. Each of them will then need to be given a clear role and instructions on what to do on the big day. Some, especially new volunteers, may even need extra training. Make sure you organise this well in advance, so you don’t accidentally end up with a staff shortage.

Preparing the Animals for the Event

You’ll want the animals looking their best if they’re going to be adopted out. Make sure you properly prep them all before the big event.

First things first, you’ll want to assess their behaviour and make sure they’ll be happy being around lots of people. Nervous or aggressive animals may need to be kept separately or be introduced to people virtually via photos or videos before arranging in-person meetings at a later date.

It’ll also be important to give all the animals a health check before the event to make sure they haven’t got any underlying issues. Potential adopters will need to know about these as far in advance as possible. And, finally, nobody likes a stinky animal! Give your animals a bath and/or a groom if needed, so they look their very best.

Promoting Your Event and Fundraising Campaign

Want as many people at your event as possible? Here’s what you need to know about:

Marketing Your Animal Adoption Event

Once you’ve had the idea to throw an animal adoption event, you’ll want to make sure you get as many people there as possible. There are multiple ways to market your event, including emailing any existing sponsors and putting the message out on all your social media channels.

If you’ve struck up some partnerships with local businesses over the years, you could ask them to advertise the event via their social media or by putting up posters on their premises.

Integrating easyfundraising into Your Promotion

If you’re keen to earn some more donations for your shelter’s inhabitants during your adoption event, why not sign up to easyfundraising beforehand? Simply register your cause on the website and then get the word out – either via email or social media – about how it works.

You could also have an information booth or flyers to hand out at the event explaining how the community can boost your funds simply by shopping online with their favourite brands. It really is a win-win for everyone!

Hosting the Event

As well as careful planning, you’ll have a few things to consider on the day itself. This includes:

Creating a Welcoming Atmosphere

It couldn’t be simpler to create an inviting event space. Make sure you have plenty of signage and information dotted around, so people know where to go and what they’re looking at.

Having lots of staff/volunteers wandering around is also a great idea. Make sure they wear something recognisable, whether that’s a branded animal shelter t-shirt or a name badge, so people can identify them if they have any questions.

As well as giving people the chance to meet or learn about the animals your organisation helps, you might want to organise some fun activities too. This could be something kid-friendly like an animal-themed treasure hunt or, if you have some baby animals onsite, assisting with feeding or grooming.

Facilitating Adoptions and Donations

The main goal of your event will be to get the public to adopt or sponsor your furry, feathered or fluffy residents. You’ll need to make sure this is easily facilitated, whether that’s through sign-up sheets or dedicated information booths.

Depending on what type of shelter you’re running, you might be rehoming a dog, cat or other pet. You could also just be seeking people who will ‘sponsor’ animals and donate regular funds to take care of their food, medical care and other living costs. If it’s the former, you’ll want to have a couple of adoption counsellors on hand who can assess whether people are a good fit for the animals and vice versa.

Following Up After the Event

The work doesn’t end once the event is finished. To maintain long-term relationships with the community and identify if it was all worthwhile, remember to:

Thank Participants and Donors

Showing your appreciation to donors and anyone who has signed up for your adoption/sponsorship program is vital. This could be a simple thank you email or, if you want a more personalised touch, a handwritten note. Thanking participants will go a long way in ensuring they support your organisation for years to come.

Evaluate the Event’s Success

Want to know how well your event did? Make sure you thoroughly evaluate it afterwards. This could be looking at how many donations you received, how many animals got adopted/sponsored or even just footfall at the event itself.

It’s a good idea to ask any supporters for feedback afterwards too, whether that’s a short form via email or comments on a social media post. Having feedback – both good and bad – will help you improve any events you host in the future.

The Impact of a Successful Animal Adoption Event Fundraiser

Hosting regular adoption events can be brilliant for several reasons, from rehoming animals and securing extra donations for their care, to simply increasing awareness of your shelter/organisation and the fantastic things you do. Making sure you effectively plan an event, have enough volunteers and that you market it well will boost your chances of success in helping as many animals in need as possible.

Don’t forget that you can also maximise your donations by registering with easyfundraising. Searching for more ways to fundraise as an animal shelter or rescue centre? Check out our full guide here.