Halloween is the second largest consumer holiday in the United States. Even though many nonprofit animal welfare organizations consider Christmas to be the best time to launch fundraising campaigns, Halloween is actually better. 30% more consumers entered promotion campaigns at Halloween than at during the Christmas season. Why? Your supporters aren’t feeling the financial stress of the expensive holiday season – yet.

Advantages
Consider these four advantages before skipping Halloween this year.

  1. Increased donations.
    Launching your fundraising campaign months before the holiday craziness boosts your overall donations. Your animal welfare organization supporters haven’t maxed out their budget buying gifts and are more willing to donate.
  2. Less competition.
    Shhh! Halloween fundraising success is still relatively new and many nonprofit animal shelters and rescues still overlook it as a prime fundraising time. Less competition means your campaign or fundraisers are more likely to capture supporters’ attention. Often times, supporters become overwhelmed and inundated with donation requests in November and December, they ignore or politely decline all requests.
  3. More volunteer involvement.
    Volunteers keep you up and running every day. Without their commitment and time, many animal shelters and rescues are forced to close their doors. Many volunteers have out of control schedules with extra family events and holiday preparation in December. Launching a big fundraising campaign at Halloween increases their ability to help.
  4. Innovative ideas.
    Chances are your past major fundraising drives revolved around the spirit of giving in December. You probably copied the same fundraiser from year to year. Focusing on Halloween this year gives you a NEW list of fundraising ideas. Your long-term supporters will be happy for the change.

Fundraising ideas
Do you avoid Halloween fundraising because you don’t want to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch? Schedule a meeting with your fundraising committee to review these # ideas and pick one to start with.

  • Partner with a local pumpkin patch or fall fest. Contact local organizations and see if they are willing to host fundraising days for your animal welfare organization. Request a portion of the ticket sales be donated to you. In addition, set up a table the day of to collect donations and hand out information.
  • It’s all about the treats. Invite supporters to your location encouraging them to bring “treats” (food, toys, blankets, bowls, etc.) for your animals.
  • Sponsor a costume ball. Invite your community to a costume party. Sell tickets in advance and then offer dinner, raffles, and costume prizes the night of the event.
  • Launch a social media contest. Encourage your online followers to participate in a Halloween-themed contest. Invite participants to submit pictures of their Halloween decorations, carved pumpkins or pets in costume. Publish them online and request donations. Every five dollars = one vote. Award your winners with online recognition and prize.
  • Trick or treat for adopters. Promote adoptions in the month of October by offering a special gift to adopting families. They can pick either a ‘trick’ (training DVD or CD) or a ‘treat’ to take home with their new loved one.
  • “Mommy and me” costume contest. Host a costume contest for pets and their parents! Encourage participants to dress as famous duos or family members.

There is success in Halloween fundraising drives and events. Don’t less this time of year pass your animal welfare organization by. Brainstorm innovative fundraising ideas or use one of these to increase your donations this fall.

Halloween is not just the holiday you should worry about keeping your children safe. It is also the holiday to worry about keeping your pets safe too. After all, your pets are part of the family.
Halloween Safety Tips for Pets
1. Treats of Candy: Taking your pet trick or treating with the children is perfectly okay, but feeding them candy is a big, NO! Chocolate can be fatally dangerous to our furry pals. Some candies containing xylitol, which is a natural sugar alcohol, can cause health issues for your pet such as hypoglycemia. Instead, carry small pet treats with you that are safe to give your four-legged pal if they desire a treat.
2. Walk Safety: Trick or treating in the dark can be unsafe. Cars on the road might not be able to see you. The best way to walk safely on a dark road is by placing a light reflecting vest onto your pet, or something that glows in the dark. This will allow passing cars to see clearly and slow down so accidents do not occur. It is also wise to walk with a flashlight with your children and pets on the side of the.
3. Costumes: Putting a costume on a pet is fun, but it should be avoided if your pet dislikes dressing up. It can cause unnecessary added stress when you are out walking around Halloween night.
4. Candle Lit Pumpkins: Spooky Jack-O‘-Lanterns you carve out are great holiday décor, but make sure you place them in an areas that are safe and away from pets. All it takes is a pet knocking it over, causing the candle to fly out of it causing possible burns to your pet or a fire.
5. Handing out Candy: Having your pets at the door while handing out trick or treat candy could be potentially harmful too the pet and guests. Some trick or treat kiddos may be afraid of your pet and swat causing unwanted nips or bites by your pet. Keep your pet safe and your special guests safe, by keeping your pet in a different room during trick or treating hours.
6. Identification Tags: Place name tags with your pet’s address onto your pet before going out with it on Halloween night. If your pet runs away from you by accident someone who finds it can return your loving friend back to you.