As an animal rescue and/or shelter, fundraisers and adoption events are paramount to your success. The appropriate marketing for these occasions can raise funds, increase volunteerism, and help your furry friends find a forever home. Whether through media, print, or social marketing, utilizing the following elements in your campaign will bring increased visibility to your cause.

Mission Tagline

It is essential to make your mission clear in your advertising. Create a mission tagline that succinctly expresses your purpose to use in brochures, pamphlets, media ads, and/or on your website. You may already have a broader vision statement that addresses the overall goals of your organization from which to gather inspiration. Narrow in on the mission of your organization by addressing what your rescue and/or shelter wants to achieve, how you will accomplish these goals, and for whom. The best mission taglines are concise, memorable, and evoke a call to action.

Contact Information

No matter the promotion platform that you have chosen to get the word out, clearly displaying the ways that your target audience can get in contact with your organization is key. All marketing materials should contain your address, phone number(s), e-mail address, website, and social media information. The more options of communication that you offer, the more likely you are to be in contact with a broad range of supporters.

Event Details

The purpose of your marketing campaign is to garner support and increase attendance at your fundraisers and adoption events. Therefore, it is crucial to include the details of your gathering in all of your advertising. Provide the what, where, when, and how in your print, media, and social marketing materials. Explain the purpose of the event, the location where it will be held, and the date(s) and times. You also have a great opportunity within this element to explain how the community can get involved by donating or volunteering.

Animal Specifics

Your furry friends are the reason that you are holding a fundraiser or adoption event. So it is logical that information about these animals be a vital element of your campaign. Fundraising promotions need to focus on the animals that will benefit from the money raised, and how your organization has made a difference with previous events. Testimonials from volunteers, donors, and success stories can provide potential donors and volunteers with the information they need to decide to contribute. When it comes to adoption, pictures will draw attention and create interest, but a well written biography can greatly increase the chances of partnering your cats and/or dogs with the perfect pet parent. Include information about personality, activity level, medical concerns, and compatibility with other pets and children with your photographs. There is no need to explain the back story of each animal unless it is something that will increase appeal, such as a retired police dog. Focus on the positive aspects of each pet, but be honest. For example, do not make claims that a cat is sociable with other animals when she really prefers not to share the spotlight with other four-legged friends. This will not serve your animals or your prospective pet parents. If you are using multi-media marketing, videos of your adoptees interacting with volunteers or other animals can also help to demonstrate a pet’s personality. Whether you use print, media or both, make your message about the animals that you serve.

When developing your strategy for promoting your fundraising and adoption events, keep these key elements of a successful campaign in mind. They will provide your target audience with all of the information they need to understand your organization’s mission, how to contact you, where and when you will be hosting events, and introduce them to the animals that you love and serve every day.

1. ID your Pets! On the off chance that you lose your pet during the festivities, having your pet properly identified with an ID-tag, collar, and/or Micro-chip will make it much easier to reunite you and your furry friend.
2. Keep Pets Indoors. Loud noises and strange visitors can be very stressful for pets. Keep your pet in a quiet room away from noisy trick-or-treaters.
3. Candy is not for Pets! Chocolate and the artificial sweetener Xylitol can cause serious health problems for your pets. Keep candy away from cats and dogs.
4. Raisins are risky, too! Raisins and grapes can lead to kidney failure in dogs, and potentially other pets as well. Keep raisin packs away from your pets.
5. Guard your Gourds! Jack-o-lanterns are a tempting fire hazard for curious cats. Keep lit pumpkins out of reach of pets.
6. Hide Cords and Wires. Many Halloween decorations use extension cords and wires. Keep these cords out of pets reach to reduce fire hazard risk.
7. Glow Sticks are not Chew toys! Although they are non-toxic, the liquid inside of a glow stick can cause excessive salivation and discomfort for your pet. Make sure to properly dispose of glow sticks.
8. Candy Wrappers are not just a Nuisance. Watch out for discarded candy wrappers when taking your dog out for a walk in the days following Halloween. When swallowed, cellophane, foil, and plastic wrappers can cause bowel blockage.
9. Don’t Over Do the Disguise. Many pet owners like to dress-up their dog and/or cat in a cute pet costume for Halloween. Make sure that the outfit does not cause your pet to overheat, or present your pet with choking hazards from accessories.
10. Monitor your Pet’s Stress Level. If you have chosen to include your furry friend in the festivities, make sure to watch for signs of irritation or over-stimulation. If your dog or cat is showing signs of stress, get them to a safe, quiet location where they can relax.