Coming up with unique and engaging fundraisers is always a challenge for animal organizations.
Design For Dogs is both those things.
This unique competition was started by a company out of Arizona called Facings of America,
They offer a large collection of stone, tile and other home decor accents.
When they wanted to do good and give back to animals in need they created a competition called Design For Dogs.
The competition began in 2015 and helps the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA.
How It Works
Each year different architectural firms, builders and others come together to enter their submissions to the contest.
Once all submissions are made, they are showcased at an event that is held at the Facings of America store.
It is a family friendly event and offers food, drinks, vendors and of course the chance to check out some really cool doghouses.
When it is time for judging it undergoes review by various judges.
This year they included:
- Jack Thomasson – President, CEO The Home Department Inc. HVTV’s “That Dream Home Guy”
- Michael Morefield – Director of Marketing & Communications for Arizona Animal Welfare League
- Feras Irikat – Director of Design & Marketing for Lunada Bay Tile
- James “Jimmy Q” Quinones – Media Personality
They also have a “People’s Choice” winner that is done with a public voting option as well.
In 2020 Designer Dogs raised $31,125 for the Arizona Animal Rescue League! For 2022, their goal is $50,000!
Various ways you can make money with this event include:
- Charge an entry fee to participate
- Offer vendor tables at the finale event
- Tickets for the event
- Sponsorships from local relevant business (Design for Dogs had almost 50 sponsors!)
Facings of America also put together this adorable “news exclusive” video since the shelter was closed to the public.
They did a great job with this.
2021 Best In Show Winner
While 2020 was definitely not a normal year, the competition still went on.
The winner of the 2021 competition was created by Aleksandra Tesanovic who is an architectural associate at PHX Architecture.
Her submission called “The Apple Of My Eye” is a stunning and luxurious dog house.
Since our dogs are truly the apple of our eyes, the name and design is fitting.
The house has an oval shaped shell that leaves plenty of open space so you can always keep an eye on your dog.
The shell pieces are created from a durable synthetic material and the outer areas are accented with a dog chew rope curtain and translucent tubes for storage of toys, treats or any other goodies for your pet.
In the image below you can really see the designers vision.
The dog is literally, the center of the eye!
What Happens With The Winning Design?
Well, once the winner is selected then the doghouse is actually built by the Facings of America team and then it is donated to the Arizona Animal Welfare League as an auction item.
They will auction this off at their annual fundraising gala.
How Your Organization Can Do This
The purpose of this post was to inspire YOU to do something similar for your own animal organization.
Whether you are a rescue or shelters, this can be a fun and profitable fundraiser.
- Reach out to local builders or stores (family owned would be best) to see if they would be willing to sponsor/co-host an event like this.
- Once you have a primary backer of the event then you can start creating promotional materials and start cross-promoting to your supporters.
- Invite schools, builders and architects to take part!
- Find local industry experts and famous people that might be interested in being a judge and/or emcee’ing the event.
- Determine a location for the event – it might be best to think about the local builder or store that is your co-host of the event.
- Invite relevant local businesses to sponsor the event in exchange for branding at the event and across social media.
- Reach out to local media letting them know about the competition and event.
You can also run a kids version of this competition and invite kids of all ages to build a “smaller” version of a doghouse.
Not a full sized but maybe a desktop sized version.
You can charge an entry fee, ask local businesses for donations and sponsorships and offer prizes to the top designs.
Ask local builders to judge or do online voting.
What do you think of this idea? Do you plan on trying it out?