Are you a knitter who cannot get enough of your favorite hobby? Then why not do some knitting for charity and help animals in need!
I always say there is something everyone can do to help animal rescues. Whatever skills you may have, can somehow benefit the animals – and knitting is a perfect example of that! So, whether you knit or crochet and you want to do something good, this article is for you.
You may be thinking “how can my knitting skills help animals?” – well, I am going to tell you how!
When you knit stuffed animals it can make a great fundraiser for your favorite animal organization. Knitting handmade blankets or small beds can help keep homeless animals warm and snuggly.
Below I will cover everything you need to know about knitting or crocheting for charity.
Knit For Charity: The Financial Side
Knitting supplies cost money. The first thing you will need to do is figure out how you will pay for them.
Some knitters may be able to just pay for the supplies themselves. For those that may not be able to, below are some ideas for getting those needles and yarns at no cost .
Manufacturer Donation. Contact the manufacturer of your preferred yarn provider and see if they would be willing to make a donation. You can thank them in return by mentioning their kindness on social media. Share images of the final products with them so they can share on their own social profiles as well.
Local Business. Check with a local business that offers knitting supplies or classes. Ask if they would like to partner with you. This would be a great local community partnership that can help animals. Maybe they can donate supplies or even ask other knitters to take part which can help make a bigger impact.
Higher Retail Cost. Calculate the cost of the supplies you used. Ask the shelter to add that to the donation amount they are asking. You will then be reimbursed when the item is sold by the rescue.
Partnering With A Rescue or Shelter To Help
The next step is to partner up with a local animal shelter or rescue that you would like to help!
Alternately, you can sell your knitted animal items yourself. Then you can donate the proceeds to your favorite organization.
I do recommend partnering with a shelter or rescue though! It can bring in more money since they are appealing to their supporters directly.
A few things to think about when partnering with an organizations for a knitting fundraiser:
- Who will sell the products? Will they sell them directly – will you – will both of you sell them?
- How will the sold products be delivered to the buyers? Will the organization have a pick up point – will they be shipped? If shipped you will need to make sure that cost is included in the retail price.
- Who will create the imagery to promote the items on social media? What names/logos will be branded on those images?
- When will the fundraiser be done? I recommend doing this type of fundraiser around holidays as they are a great gift idea! Christmas and Mother’s Day would be awesome – as would Easter if you do bunny focused items.
Having a clear outline of the whole fundraiser will make it all stress free and more successful!
Items To Knit Or Crochet For Fundraising
Knitters and crocheters have such an opportunity to help animal shelters with their skill and passion. Charities that help animals are always in need of donated items for fundraisers and can even use blankets for the animals in their care.
So, if you like to knit and crochet, imagine the difference you can make!
Below or some really creative and handmade hats, scarves, mittens and more that make a great donation to your local rescue or shelter.
Knitted or Crocheted Gloves & Hats
Gloves and hats are something that many people own and wear – so if you are in the northeast areas these are a great idea!
Knitted gloves and hats with creative animal inspired accents are a totally unique fundraiser and will be sure to be a hit in those colder climates. I have noted the knitting patterns if I was able to find them.
These adorable puppy dog mittens above are from Aunt Janet’s Designs on Ravelry are the perfect example of knitted gloves that would make a great fundraiser for your favorite dog rescue!
Below are super cute kitten mittens that will bring some warmth to those cold fingers. You can find the instructions here to get your knitting started.
Knitted Stuffed Animals
Stuffed animals are loved by everyone – young and old. From dogs and cats to penguins and elephants – creating a collection of knit stuffed animals are sure to be a great opportunity to raise funds for your favorite organization.
You can find some free animal knitting patterns online or grab a book like Knit Your Own Dog that features 25 pedigree pooch patterns or Knitted Safari which features 25 safari animal patterns and even a jeep! You can see so many great options for various animals you can knit here.
Popular animals that you can knit include:
The options of course are limitless! As noted above – just keep them in line with the organization you are helping to achieve the most success as a fundraiser.
Knitted Goods For Animals
Yes, there are actually knitted goods you can create for animals that you can use for your fundraiser too! Below are a few ideas to inspire you and resources for getting the patterns.
Cats in Hats is a popular Instagram hashtag – so why not cash in on this trend for your favorite charity! There are so many options from cats with hair curlers to sombreros – the more fun you can make them the better!
Cats in Hats: 30 Knit & Crochet Hat Patterns For Kitty is a great book that features so many adorable cat hat options.
Knitted toys are another great options for a fundraiser! From cat toys with a mix of catnip to dog toys for smaller less destructive dogs – these are sure to be a hit with local rescues. Knitting For Kittens – a complete guide to loom knitting with instructions for 25 different cat toys is a popular one.
For the dogs – we have knitted doggy fashion making those rescue dogs look like fashionistas.
Wacky Doggy Knits features 10 original patterns including bellhop designs to a preppy college sweater. Pattern sizes are adapted for all breeds too. Dogs In Jumpers brings 12 knitting projects that feature dog clothing that will keep your dog warm. From their chunky cable jumper to a textured patchwork blanket there is a little something for everyone!
The Pet Projects book is considered the “animal knits bible” and features 33 patterns for both beginners and experts that includes coats, collars, caps, mouse mats and so much more. perfect for fundraisers and donations!
Where To Sell Your Knitted Animals & Items
There are many options for making your knitted animal fundraiser a success!
Below are a few options for selling your items.
- Ebay – if you already have an account it will be easy to post and sell.
- Personal website – if you have an existing blog or website you can make a page to promote the fundraiser and have a Paypal button for easy ordering.
- Social media – you can take orders via social media and ask them to Paypal or Venmo you money – or even mail a check.
Donating Knitted Items
Remember – shelter animals can benefit from your passion too! If selling is not your thing, you can create any of the items above and simply donate them to your local shelter or rescue.
You can knit or crochet the following to help animals:
- Baskets ( particularly wildlife rescues for abandoned babies)
I highly recommend you reach out to the organization you want to help to see how your efforts can help them best before spending too much time and money making your magic happen! If you are donating your items to them, be sure to include little cards on every item you make so people can find you if you do knitting as a business!
Handmade knitted or crocheted items will be well appreciated by shelter animals who often sit on hard beds and cold floors. It will help keep them warm and give them a feeling of safety.
The Snuggles Project
Started in 1996, The Snuggles Project brings together crafters that knit, sew or crochet to create “snuggle blankets” for animals in shelters. Since its inception the project has donated millions of snuggles to shelters keeping homeless animals calm and comfortable. The website features many free patterns including their basic snuggle, tote bags, snuggle tubbie and more. Membership is an option for those that want to be a part of a like-minded community as well!
Successful Knitting Fundraisers
Want to see what others have done with knitting fundraisers? These are not all animal related, but I am sure they could offer some inspiration for your own fundraiser.
Sweaters for Penguins was a huge success and it was a 109 year old man, Alfred “alfie” Date who became a huge sensation for his love of creating sweaters for the littlest victims of oil spills. The sweaters he created helped the penguins cared for by The Penguin Foundation of Phillip Island! Although Mr. Date passed away at the ripe old age of 100 – his passion and love for penguins lives on and supporters continue to make donations to the organization. If they cannot use them themselves, they do sell them which has allowed them to raise over $185,000.
WildCare’s Baby Bird Nest campaign resulted in thousands of donations of knitted bird nests for their orphaned baby birds – so successful they had to end the campaign! Their website has downloadable PDF files with the patterns so you can help your local wildlife organization that can use these not just for birds but squirrels and other babies they find that are not with their moms.
Knitting for Charity is a great resource if you want to learn more about how to do good with your knitting skills!
Have you used your crafting skills to create a fundraiser or provide donations? Please share your story so you can help others figure out how to do this effectively!