How to Plan a Successful Adoption Event

February 18, 2014

Every animal shelter needs a little help sometimes, and successful adoption events can really raise awareness and money for your animal welfare organization.  But the keyword there is “successful”.  How do you take an event from average to extraordinary?

Here are some tips to help you along the way:

  • Decide on the Feeling.  Are you planning on having this adoption event in conjunction with a black-tie affair?  Will this be a casual day at the park?  Before you can proceed with the rest of the planning, you need to know what kind feeling you want your event to produce.
  • Find a Venue.  It’s not impossible to have adoption events without the animals present, but it’s certainly a lot easier to pull on potential adopters’ heartstrings when they can look into the eyes of those furry friends.  This can cause difficulty when it comes to finding a venue, however, as pets aren’t always as welcome as their human counterparts.  Sometimes venues will make concessions on their animal policies if you explain that you’re a nonprofit and let them know the purpose of the event.  If you’re having difficulty finding a venue, reach out to other organizations in your area that have similar causes for suggestions.  Often, they’ll be more helpful than not.
  • Get Help.  Adoption events can be huge undertakings, and you’ll probably be glad to get any extra hands that you can get.  Reach out to your donor base and your regular volunteers then spread the word via social media.  Often times you can find volunteers for one-time events that don’t otherwise have the time to volunteer on a regular basis.  Have a list of “occupations” on-hand before you ask for help, and as people start to offer themselves up, fill in that list so everybody has a concrete position and knows what they’re responsible for from the very beginning.
  • Have Your Event.  It’ll probably be a bit chaotic, but make sure you take a breath during your event to step back and smile and look at the magic you made happen!  Try to mingle and say hello as oftten as possible because donors and volunteers tend to respond well when they have a name and a handshake to put with the organization.

If you have other tips for planning successful adoption events, please share them with us in the comments section below or talk about it on our AWOIP Facebook page!

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