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Fundraising Ideas from LABMED

Fundraising for a rescue organization can be as simple or as elaborate as your resources and available volunteers will allow. Below is a list of successful and fun fundraising ideas gathered from the Internet, LABMED's Board Members, and other non-profit organizations. We hope this list will help your group in raising the money necessary to help the needy Labradors that come your way.

Best of luck and hugs to the pups,
The LABMED Fundraising and Public Relations Committees

Low overhead, minimum effort ideas:

  1. Get permission to place donation jars and flyers at your local pet supply stores, veterinarians, and dog training centers.
  2. Approach the local breed club and request that they include a flyer about your organization in their puppy packets.

Low overhead, hands-on ideas:

  1. Good old fashioned car washes -- better yet, organize a DOG wash!!
  2. Bake sales.
  3. Garage or rummage sales.
  4. Set up an informational table outside your local pet store once a month,or at area dog shows to collect donations and applications from interested adopters.
  5. Invite the owners of dogs you've placed to participate in a "Parade of Rescues" at the next Labrador show, then pass the hat after the event.
  6. Head to your local Sam's Club or Price Costco and buy candy bars in bulk, buy special fundraising bars from a candy distributor. Resell for a 50-100% profit.

Higher overhead, higher return efforts:

  1. Obtain a grant - for more information about grant seeking see The Foundation Center.
  2. Hire a local restaurant or caterer (or get them to donate their services) for a wine tasting, formal tea, or themed dinner party where donors pay a hefty per-plate fee to cover their meal and a donation to your group.
  3. Get a DJ or band to play for your dance-for-the-dogs party. Hold it under the stars at a local park, or try to get the indoor space for your party donated to you.
  4. Organize a breakfast or box lunch sale at the next conformation show,obedience event, or agility trial. Ask the local grocery or bagel shop to donate some of the goods.
  5. Hold a "Stupid Pet Tricks" Talent Show, and combine it with a raffle or sell refreshments for an added bonus. Your profits come out of the entry fees and other goodies sold. Have local merchants donate the prizes.
  6. Get your friends, family, and coworkers together or team up with a local shelter for a dog-walkathon.
  7. Get local merchant(s) to donate merchandise for a raffle, or gather several items for a silent/live auction event.
  8. Create and sell gift baskets of home-made dog cookies for holidays and birthdays.
  9. Contact a local vendor about printing logo t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, hats, a calendar of rescues, other premiums you can sell at your informational table or rescue event.


  1. Tea Party for One: Invite people who support your organization to sit down and take a break. Included with the mailed invitation is a tea bag. Ask them to relax, have a cup of tea, and write a check to your organization for $10 (or whatever they can afford).
  2. Black-Tie Un-Event. Mail out fancy invitations that say something like "The Kalamazoo Lab Rescue is holding its first annual Black Tie Un-Event.The event will not take place on June 1, 1999. Cocktails will not be served at 6 p.m. with dinner not served at 7 p.m. No program will be held at 8 p.m." Then you itemize the money they will save by not having to attend your event -- tux rental, buying a dress, babysitting, parking, cost of the dinner, having your hair done, etc. Then you ask for a donation for that amount. If you're looking for less money you can make the event more casual (no tux rental, etc) to get the suggested donation down to an amount you want to request.

Cheap advertising and good public relations:

  1. Post flyers with contact and donation information on public bulletin boards in your community, on college campuses, and at grocery stores.
  2. Contact the local TV station, radio station, or newspaper and see if they would be interested in doing a story about your rescue or up coming event.
  3. Find out if you can advertise your rescue events and fundraisers in your local newspapers, PennySaver, radio station, or regional publications for free or at a reduced cost.
  4. Offer to do a seminar at the next breed club meeting about lab rescue
  5. Approach your local schools about doing an educational presentation to the kids about animal shelters or breed rescue.

Other Fundraising Resources (publications, items to sell, and other inspiration):

Fundraising Ideas from Greyhound Manor: The folks who do greyhound rescue have done a great job at fundraising. Here is a list ( of great ideas including Christmas in July, Spaghetti Dinners, Wills, Shovel Brigade, Doggie Fashion Show, and many more.

Badge-A-Minit: With an inexpensive button maker and supplies, you can make personalized, unique buttons. Bring it to dog shows or rescue events, where you can not only sell pre-made buttons for a $1 donation (or whatever) you can take other people's photos of dogs, family members, or what-have-you and make new ones on the spot. For a catalog, call 800-223-4103.

Fund-Raising.Com ( A collection of fundraising products, ideas, and resources on the Web.

Uncle Ham's Great Gifts for Dog Lovers ( Uncle Ham's has donated thousands of dollars worth of goods, time and hard cash to non profit rescue organizations and animal aid groups throughout the United States. The bulk of cash donations goes to groups whose supporters dedicated a portion of their mail order purchases. If your group would like to know more about Uncle Ham's rescue aid programs, write to Uncle Ham's, PO Box 47, Gloucester, MA 01931.

Yahoo!'s Fundraising Business index at( Dozens of companies ready to help you fundraise, with items ranging from pre-paid phone cards to scratch-and-give donation tickets.

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