How Do I Get Sponsors

July 31, 2014

Nowadays there are unfortunately more animals in need of support through sponsorship than ever before. This is especially true when it comes to cuddly creatures such as cats and dogs, since they make up for the majority of animals that are currently in shelters. Although those of you who work in animal care are probably are already well aware of this fact, what you may not know is that fortunately there are different things you can do to in order to find new sponsors for your furry friends.

So, since waiting around for someone to come along and adopt or help support an animal doesn’t seem to be enough anymore, here are some good ideas for getting great sponsors!

If you haven’t done so yet, then definitely get involved with some sort of social media. Whether it’s Facebook, twitter, Instagram, or any other well-known medium, it can be an effective way to convey your message to many people while using the power of an irresistible picture, and it’s FREE.

Approach local businesses and ask if they would like to get involved. Perhaps politely suggest that they put a small percentage of each sale towards sponsoring animals for a specified period of time and remind them that not only is it for a good cause, but it’s usually beneficial for businesses as well. This is because they can advertise their efforts and it’s been proven that patrons have a ‘soft’ spot for supporting such things.

Hold an event to raise money as well as awareness. Think of something fun that people in your area would be enthused about participating in such as a race or other contest. Another idea could be to setup a stand at local events like fairs and festivals, of course don’t forget to bring a few of the animals along, as they are after all the main attraction and will surely love the attention.

Another option besides seeking ongoing sponsorship is to have a drive, as it can be an effective way to bring in some essential items such as food, blankets, and toys, which are always appreciated.

Remember, regardless of whether you work in an animal shelter, hospital, or humane society, or are simply someone that could use a little extra help caring for your pet at the present moment, you always have options and there will always be hope for our little four legged friends!

Most nonprofit executive directors spend a great deal of time either worrying about funding, or working to get more funding. It’s a constant concern in the nonprofit world, especially for animal shelters where you have living creatures housed under your roof. Therefore, it makes sense to consider all the possible fundraising tools that are available to your organization, such as sponsors. Of course, not every type of fundraising methods is right for every organization, but here are some of the benefits of getting sponsors for an animal shelter.
Annual Income
There are all types of sponsorships with various benefits, but generally sponsorships renew on an annual basis. If you keep your sponsors happy, they will probably remain with you year after year. Not only will this give you an annual income stream, it can be depended on and included in budget forecasting.
Free Services
When a business has cash flow problems, they may want to donate goods or services instead. That’s perfectly fine. Remember, for every dime you save in vendor fees, the animals benefit. Just make sure that all these goods and services are things that you actually need, or that it’s one of your regular vendors. Some examples of goods or services that you might exchange for a sponsorship:
• Cleaning supplies
• Janitorial services
• Pest control
• Plumbing
• Roofers and building contractors (if needed)
• Paper and printing services
• Marketing
• Graphic design
• I.T. services
• Trash service
• Water
• Power/electric
• Telephone or cell phones
• Internet
Not to be over looked is the network you will build once you start accepting sponsorships. Certainly these companies participate for business reasons, but they also believe in your mission and genuinely want to help. Some examples of how this type of relationship can be beneficial to your animal shelter:
• Connections to important people in city and county government.
• Offers to assist the animal shelter in even more ways, such as donations of old (but very useable) office furniture and shelving.
• Free advice from these knowledgeable professionals regarding other services you should consider or more ways your organization can save money.
• Extremely prompt service when you have an emergency (plumbing or pest control, for example) – you have a relationship now; your logo is on their trucks after all!

Social media can literally save lives at your animal shelter, especially if your shelter is a kill shelter. Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest can help:
• Reunite lost pets with owners
• Save pets scheduled to be euthanized
• Bring in much needed supplies when they are most needed
• Raise money for needed health care for specific animals
• Help raise money and get volunteers during natural disasters
• Bring in funds to help save more animals
The best thing about these social media websites is that they are free to join and free to use. Your shelter can purchase ads to help promote adoption events or spay-neuter clinics, but these are not entirely necessary to effectively use social media.
Take Good Pictures
Social media is a visual medium. Just sending out a tweet that a Beagle has been found wandering down Main Street isn’t enough to grab Twitter users’ attentions and heartstrings. You need to take one or more photos of this lost beagle and post them on Instagram and Facebook, which support pictures. You can then link Twitter to these posts.
You do not need fancy camera equipment to take good pictures. It’s best to take a photo of a pet with a background that contrasts to the pet’s color. For example, black pets stand out best against pale colors. Digital cameras and smartphones take excellent pictures. You may need to get an animal’s attention with a squeaky toy or food in order to get the pet to stay still for a good shot.
Update Regularly
Social media is not a one-time only thing. You need to update your sites regularly in order to reach the maximum amount of eyeballs reading your important messages. You do not need to post every day, but once a week is the minimum you should do. Make sure you spend time not only posting requests or pictures of animals for adoption, but also answer questions sent to you from others.
If emergencies happen and no one at your shelter can post on any social media sites for at least a week, please note that on your social media sites. Apologize when you can for not doing the weekly or regular update as soon as you can. By following these netiquette tips, you will keep your followers from disliking you or stop following your shelter.

Keeping your animal healthy is one of the big responsibilities of dog ownership. Pet safety encompasses more than just keeping your dog from running out into the street, it includes disease prevention as well. Getting your animals vaccinated is a big part of keeping them safe and healthy. Vaccines are essential even for dogs that spend most of their time indoors. Some diseases are airborne and animals can be infected even without spending a lot of time outside.

Ways that a dog could get highly contagious diseases include:

  • Trips to dog parks
  • While being groomed
  • While at a boarding kennel

Diseases that Can be Prevented with Vaccination
A number of diseases can make your dog sick and can even be fatal if you do not keep their vaccinations up to date. Consider the fact that without the right shots, your dog may be susceptible to:

  • Distemper
    The first symptoms of this disease will usually be vomiting and diarrhea, which may then progress to pneumonia. There is no cure for distemper, so dogs will have to be vaccinated. It is recommended that a distemper shot be given prior to a dog being exposed to other dogs. After the first series of four shots, a dog will need boosters after the first year and then one every three years.
  • Parvovirus
    Transmitted via feces, parvovirus attacks the dog’s white blood cells and intestinal tract. Even in cases where it is not fatal, parvovirus can cause lifelong heart problems. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. The vaccine is administered as a series of shots every three to four weeks from when the puppy is six to eight weeks old to when it is 16 weeks old. After that, there will be a one-year booster and then boosters every three years.
  • Rabies
    Aside from ensuring pet safety, vaccines can also protect the health of people in your household. Rabies is a deadly virus that attacks the nervous system and can be transmitted from dogs to humans. The initial vaccine may be administered to dogs as young as three months old. There will be a one-year vaccination along with annual boosters. Rabies is fatal for dogs 100 percent of the time.

You should note that every dog’s lifestyle and environment is unique; not every dog needs the same set of vaccinations. Take your dog’s risk factors into account when coming up with pet safety measures.



It is getting harder for animal rescue shelters to keep an inflow of money to continue doing the noble job that they are involved in. However, when an animal rescue shelter involves and engages the local community for support and fundraising, adoption events can turn into a grand success.

Making fundraising fun and innovative is a good way to generate excitement among volunteer, staff members and the local community. Here are some fundraising ideas that you can use for your animal rescue shelter.

1. Animal Art Exhibition
Get local artists to create animal-related art and volunteer to exhibit them at the shelter. Get the artists to price their artwork reasonably and also negotiate with them to donate a part of their money to the shelter.

2. A Dog Wash
Distribute flyers in the neighborhood announcing a cheap dog wash for all dogs. It is a good way to engage dog lovers and get the community together in a fun and festive setting. Even encourage dog lovers to participate in helping you wash and groom the dogs that come to your shelter.

3. Dog or Cat Walks
This type of fundraiser is a fun and exciting way to generate money for your animal shelter. It looks to bring animal lovers and their dogs or cats together, so that they can socialize, exercise and also enjoy a few goodies. Make the dog walk more exciting by getting local stores and shops to donate prizes for raffle draw and contests.

4. Bark Sale
We all know pet owners live to spoil their pets. So hold a bake sale for dogs and their owners at your shelter. Make sure there are treats for humans and pooches, so that people can buy what they want. You have the option of baking the goodies yourself with the help of your staff and volunteers or you could ask the local bakeries and cake shops to donate cakes, cupcakes, cookies and muffins.

5. Beauty Contest for Adopted Pets
Host a beauty contest for pet owners, who have adopted pets from your shelter. Charge a nominal entrance fee for participants and use this money for the programs that you run at the shelter. Also, have a counter for food and beverages, so that you can rake in more money during the contest. Get some judges to judge the animals on a makeshift catwalk. Then charge the winners a nominal amount to get their photographs taken.

6. Pet Supply Drive
Make banners to hang in different parts of the town to inform the local community you are looking for treats, pet food, grooming products, new pet toys, blankets, baskets and other items for the animals living at your shelter. Place bins outside your shelter, that encourages animal lovers to drop the items. If you want, you also can sell these items at your shelter to generate revenue for the shelter.

7. Host a Themed Party
Host a theme party at your animal shelter for pet owners, animal lovers and others. Make sure you sell tickets to the party in advance. Price these tickets reasonably and also have tickets available at the door for last minute guests. The door tickets should be slightly more expensive. Have costume contest for pets and their owners, stalls for food and beverages and other fun activities to keep guests entertained throughout the party. If it is the festive season, decorate the shelter and garden appropriately.

8. Have an Auction
Have an auction at the shelter for things, such as pet supplies, free microchip for a pet, pet grooming services and a week’s dog walk for one lucky pooch. Make sure you involve the local businesses in this auction, so that you can avail their services for free. Most businesses will not have a problem, as they will view it as publicity.


Animal health continues to be a growing concern among pet owners. Because animals have become vulnerable to various health risks that are commonly seen in the human population, more pet owners are seeking out ways to not only protect their pets but also ensuring a safe community. As a result, more pet owners are now considering the various benefits spay and neutering has to offer.
Health Benefits
Animals that are spayed or neutered are more likely to have a healthier life. This is because animals are better protected from diseases and health risks. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, spaying aids in preventing uterine infections and breast cancer while neutering aids in preventing testicular cancer.
Reduces Unwanted Behaviors
Behaviors commonly associated with animals in heat or undesirable sexual behaviors are reduced when an animal is spayed or neutered. Such behaviors consist of aggression, possession, territory marking and food guarding.
Pet Longevity
Spay and neutering has been associated to a longer and happier life for pets. According to the Humane Society, neutered male dogs live 18 percent longer than male dogs that have not been neutered. In addition, female spayed dogs live 23 percent longer than female dogs that have never been spayed.
Minimizes the Number of Stray Animals in the Community
Did you know there are approximately 6 to 8 million homeless animals in the United States? Spay and neutering prevents unwanted litters which has been connected to the number of abandoned animals in the community. Additionally, this can result in minimizing animal related car accidents, animal crimes and reduces the number of animals roaming family friendly neighborhoods.
Animal Overpopulation
According to the American Humane Association, more than 3.7 million animals are euthanized each year. Spay and neutering has been linked to reducing the number of unwanted pets impacting the number of animals in shelters and the number of animals that are euthanized each year due to overpopulation.
Needless to say, pet owners continue to contemplate over rather or not a sterilization procedure is best for their pet. While there are many different perspectives on which methods are most effective, pet owners are mainly concerned with which option will be most beneficial and cost efficient. Understanding the many benefits sterilization can offer can greatly influence a pet owners decision to pursue spay or neutering surgery for their pet.

Animal neglect and abuse is an unfortunate reality. In their line of duty, animal control workers often see unspeakable cruelties perpetuated on innocent animals. These animals, through no fault of their own, are victims of neglect and abuse at the hands of owners whose moral duty is to love and care for them. Although it is a disturbing thought for animal lovers, some pet owners do not love and care for their pets the way they should. This often ends up with animal control being called to rescue these precious, innocent creatures. Animal shelters and animal control can work together in the following ways to find new homes and proper medical care.
• Animal control can take abused pets to an animal shelter to receive proper medical care and rest before they are adopted out.
• Animal shelters can set up an anonymous abuse hotline that concerned pet lovers can call to report animal cruelty. Animal control can then investigate the abuse claim, and remove the pet if necessary.
• Animal shelters or facilities that treat the abused pets can document the extent of the pet’s injuries so that animal control can pursue criminal charges against abusers.
Our precious pets are unable to speak for themselves, but shelters and animal control can work together to ensure that they are not without a voice. If you suspect abuse, please do your part by contacting the appropriate agency. Every pet is entitled to live free from fear and abuse.


As a pet owner, you also have to handle risk management – your pet could escape from the garden; jump over the fence. This could prove to be disastrous if your pet cannot find its way home. You and your kids would be devastated and all you can do is drive around town looking for your errant pet and then putting up a missing pet poster. Lastly, you may decide to check the local animal shelter a few weeks later only to find out that your beloved pet was euthanized. Had you  microchip your pet, you could have your pet home with you and your family.

Every year, in the United States, 3 million dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters, according to The Humane Society of the United States.

A study conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association shows the dogs are 2.5 more likely to be returned to their owners from an animal shelter if they have a microchip that is registered; whereas cats with registered microchips are 21.4 times more likely to be returned to their owners from animal shelters.

These figures show that micro-chipping your pet could work out in your pet’s and your favor.

Benefits-of Microchipping-Your-Pet
Your pet may wear a collar and tag and you may think this is sufficient should the pet get lost. On the contrary, collars can break and tags can get damaged. So, donning a collar and tag may actually be a futile. Furthermore, many house bound cats don’t necessarily wear collars and tags at all times. And, should such a cat escape from a window that you or your kids forgot to close, everyone in the family would be reduced to tears.

If you decide to microchip your pet, you will have peace of mind at all times. You know that you will be able to get back your pet from an animal shelter, as it is a permanent identification of your pet. A registered microchip protects your pet.

Risk management is a part and parcel of pet ownership and a microchip is a great and efficient way to manage the risk of losing your pet. Microchipping your pet is affordable and you have the liberty of registering the chip with one registry or multiple registries. So, if you are wondering whether it is a good idea to microchip your pet, the answer is a resounding yes.


Animal shelter volunteers are some of the most patient, reliable, and capable people around when it comes to taking care of both pets and wild creatures… in fact, many of them will stay long hours or go very far out of their way any time it’s needed, but how can you actually find these people?
One of the best ways to find volunteers is by networking and asking around – but it’s very important to have as wide of an impact as you can. Consider some of the following ways to find (and talk to) people who like animals:
• Pet Shows: If there’s a local showing of pets, then most of the people who attend will be the sort who love animals. Partial sponsorship of the show is a great way to make sure everyone hears about your need – but if you can’t (or don’t want to) pay, most shows will still let you set up a booth and talk to people.
• Pet Stores: Many pet stores are happy to partner with animal shelters in order to find good homes for the animals in question – after all, more pet owners means more business! However, shelters can also use this opportunity to post notices and let people know that they could make a difference as a volunteer.
• Social Media: Many animal shelter volunteers are the “friend of a friend” that someone close to you already knows – and social media is a great outreach tool. The best way to find volunteers through this method is to invite people to some kind of shelter-related event and, while they’re there, invite them to help out a few times. Some people will be more than willing to come back again and again.
As you can see, there are many ways to connect with people and find animal shelter volunteers. Every gathering of animal enthusiasts offers the chance to be seen, be heard, and find people who have the time and passion to volunteer at your animal shelter.
Finally, be sure to ask everyone you know if there are any teens who’d like to get involved with animals. They may not have the same level of experience as older volunteers, but very few teens are anything less than completely motivated while they’re still with you, and one or two new faces every year can provide a steady stream of willing talent.


Off-Site adoptions can be a great way for animal welfare organizations to get their message out and to get some animals adopted. At the same time, off-site events mean a lot of work. If you’re organizing an event, you also need to consider which animals to bring and how to get those animals to the event safely.
With all that work, of course it’s mission critical that the event goes well and that you reach your goals. There are 5 things you can do to improve your odds:
1. Choose locations very carefully. Look for a location that offers lots of traffic and visibility. You will also need a location where you can manage animals easily. One way to improve your chances of finding the right venue and making the entire process easier is to form a partnership with places such as PETCO or PETsMART. Large pet stores such as these have already hosted off-site adoptions and have the resources (and venues) needed to appeal to animal lovers.
2. Get a few more volunteers than you think you need. If you get a better turnout than you expect, you will want to make sure that no potential adopters are ignored. Ask for volunteers early and choose volunteers who are great with people and enthusiastic.
3. Plan for good animal management. Animals will need to be sheltered and provided with water and possibly food. It is also essential to prevent all possible unsupervised contact with animals and to provide potential adopters with a space where they can interact with animals individually.
4. Advertise properly. Start advertising well ahead of the event to prevent impulse adoptions from people who are not ready for the responsibility. To promote the event, use social media, but also contact television or radio stations and newspapers. Often, pet adoptions are a solid “feel good” local story. Put up posters and don’t discount word of mouth advertising.
5. Keep it fun. Planning off-site adoptions can be stressful, but don’t let them see you sweat. Give animals a chance to play at the event and introduce bright colors, balloons, or even games to attract more visitors. Just keep in mind that this will require more volunteers.
There’s no way to guarantee that your big event will be a rousing success if you follow these steps, but these tips can improve the chances that you and your organization will change the lives of more pets.