Top Fundraising Ideas for Animal Shelters and Rescues

The Importance of Fundraising for Animal Shelters and Rescues

It’s not just our fellow humans that need our help. There are countless animals in the world – from endangered species to mistreated working animals and unwanted pets – that all need a little bit of assistance to survive and thrive.

Animal shelters and rescue centres play a vital role in ensuring these creatures enjoy the quality of life they deserve. Almost all rely on the goodness of the public to fund them – whether that’s through regular donations or a charity event.

Fundraising plays a particularly important role in most animal organisations. As well as more traditional methods of raising money, there are numerous online platforms (including easyfundraising) that can make a huge difference. Here we’ll take a look at a few ways to help raise a little extra cash for animal rescue shelters.

Online Fundraising Ideas

Harness the power of technology in your fundraising with these three simple tools:

Crowdfunding Campaigns

If there’s a specific amount of money you need to raise, crowdfunding could be the way to go. This is a form of online fundraising where people can choose to donate what they like directly into a fundraising pot, usually to meet a specific target.

As well as being a fantastic way to raise money for certain projects (e.g. the building of a new kennel for a dog rescue centre), you could also use a crowdfunding page to continuously fundraise for general costs/overheads.

Online Auctions

Planning an online auction can be a very lucrative fundraising option. These work by using some an online bidding platform (such OneCause or QGVI) to sell items or experiences to the public. The highest bidder will win the auction and the proceeds will be donated to a good cause.

When it comes to securing items to sell at an animal shelter online auction, you could approach some local businesses for donations. Does your charity support a specific animal? You could theme the auction items around it. For example, a dog rescue centre could get items from local pet stores or secure a voucher for a popular dog-friendly hotel.


Another simple way to use tech to boost your donations is with easyfundraising. Simply register your cause on our site and then encourage your supporters to sign up. Every time they shop with one of our thousands of partner brands, they’ll automatically raise a little bit of money that’ll be popped straight into your fundraising pot.

Event-Based Fundraising Ideas

Throwing an event is a brilliant way to get the local community involved in your animal shelter’s fundraising efforts. Why not try hosting:

Animal Adoption Events

Whether your charity has rescue animals who need rehoming or it’s an organisation that supports endangered or maltreated animals in faraway countries, organising an animal adoption event is always a brilliant idea.

Not only do adoption events allow you to raise funds for animals in need (and find them brand-new homes if they’re rescued pets), but they’re also fantastic for raising awareness of certain animal rights issues.

Many people love the idea of ‘adopting’ an animal from abroad. This usually involves donating a set amount of money each month to support a creature who is being rehabilitated in a rescue centre or sanctuary. 

Charity Runs/Walks with Pets

A charity run or walk is a popular pick for fundraising. Why not give it an animal-inspired spin by asking participants to walk with their pets? A charity dog walk can be a very fun and sociable event for all involved. Simply ask each person taking part to be sponsored by their friends and family. That sponsorship money can then be donated straight into your animal rescue fundraising pot.

Creative Fundraising Ideas

Fancy thinking outside of the box for your next fundraising event? Here are some innoative ideas:

Sponsor-a-Pet Program

Many people aren’t in a position to adopt a pet. Also, some animal shelters look after animals which can’t be easily rehomed. One way to raise some funds to support these animals in need is with a sponsorship programme.

A sponsor-a-pet program usually works by people donating a set amount of money – either as a one-off or regularly – to help fund an animal’s care. This money might go towards food or be used to help pay for vital medical care. You could promote your charity’s sponsorship program on your website or via your social media pages.

Themed Fundraising Campaigns

Everyone loves a themed event! Whether you fancy throwing an animal-inspired family fair where people can come dressed as their favourite creatures or you simply use the seasons to decide your theme, there’s no shortage of ideas. 

You could even organise a fundraising campaign to name your newest rescue animal by getting people to donate £1 to suggest a name. Other ideas include:

  • A charity movie night where you screen a popular animal-themed film.
  • A themed carnival with lots of colour and games. 
  • A bake sale where all the cakes and cookies are decorated like animals. 
  • A quiz night where most of the questions are related to the creatures your shelter rescues.

Community Partnership Fundraising Ideas

Getting the community involved with fundraising is a brilliant way to make some extra cash and spread the word about your charity.

Partnerships with Local Businesses

One effective way to quickly boost your shelter’s funds is to secure partnerships with local businesses. This could be a one-off arrangement for a certain event where a shop or café agrees to supply you with discounted (or even) free food and drink.

It might also be possible to strike up a long-term partnership with a business. This could be in the form of a sponsorship deal or it might involve them donating a percentage of their sales to your animal shelter. Most businesses are happy to help out a good cause, so it’s always worth approaching them. Even better if they’re related to your charity in some way – think local pet shop or doggy day care centre!

School or Club Fundraising Partnerships

Making people more aware of animal welfare issues is also a big part of fundraising as it can help protect them from suffering in the future. With this in mind, why not approach a local school or a sports club to get them involved with a charity event?

This could be something simple like asking if you can use a venue for free. Or it could see you gaining a few extra volunteers to help at an event or with day-to-day tasks at the shelter. You could also offer to host educational talks about what your charity does to make the community more aware of why rescue centres are so important.

The Power of Creative Fundraising

Most people want to support animals in need. However, with people sadly having less and less money to spend on charity initiatives in recent years, your fundraising efforts must be effective, well-planned, and as creative as possible.

Thankfully, there are so many ways to get people aiding animal shelters that are in desperate need of funds. From online crowdfunding campaigns where they can donate as much or little as they want to themed events like movie nights and sponsored walks, you’re sure to find the perfect idea for your unique cause.

Don’t forget to register with easyfundraising too. It’s a really simple way to boost your funds – and it requires minimal effort from both you and your supporters.