Are you a knitter who cannot get enough of your favorite hobby? Did you know knitting for charity can help animal rescues and shelters? Well, it can!
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! You may be thinking “how can my knitting skills help animals?” – well, I am going to tell you how!
Whether you are a seasoned knitter – or a total newbie – you can help animals in several ways.
Knit stuffed animals make a great gift so these would be particularly successful around holidays like Christmas or Easter. Other knitting fundraisers like sweaters for animals, blankets or beds can be done year round and are great for donations for homeless animals as well as fundraisers. We are going to cover all of this in more detail below so you can make a plan that works for how you hope to help animals in your area!
The Financial Side Of Knitting
Knitting supplies cost money – so you will need to figure out how to handle that side of things before starting any knitting fundraiser or donation campaign. Some knitters may be able to just donate the supplies themselves – but for those that may not be able to, below are a few ways to offset the costs for the knitting supplies.
- Manufacturer Donation – you can reach out to the manufacturer of your preferred yarn provider and see if they would be willing to make a donation in return for mentions and brand awareness on social – or just because they want to do something nice! It would be great to let them see the final product as well so they can use on their website to promote their kindness in helping with your fundraiser.
- Local Business – if you have a local business that offers knitting supplies or classes you can see 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 – if you are doing your knitting as a fundraiser and not just for donations, you can determine the dollar amount value of the supplies on a per product basis and add that amount to the cost of the product. So, if the finished product was going to sell for $15 for the fundraiser and your supplies were $3.00 – then the rescue/shelter can sell the item for $18 and reimburse you the $3.00 for each.
Partnering With A Rescue or Shelter To Help
Once you decide you want to do a knitting fundraiser or donation campaign – the next step is to partner up with a local animal shelter or rescue that you would like to help! Most will be thrilled for your interest and support – but if you find one that is not interested, then just move on to the next.
Alternately – you can sell your knitted animal items yourself and then just donate the proceeds as well, but having the shelter or rescue share your fundraiser may bring in more money since they are appealing to their supporters.
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 and 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 For Fundraising
Below or some really creative and innovative and the cuteness factor make them a perfect fundraising idea.
1 | Knitted 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.
Above is an adorable knitted cat hat that features cute cat ears, eyes, pink nose and of course whiskers. This pattern is free from Berroco and I am pretty sure it will be a big hit with your favorite cat rescue. Below is an adorable knitted raccoon hat from Repeat Crafter Me that I love!
This is a super small display of options! There is really limitless ideas from socks to blankets that are animal inspired. I would recommend pick your rescue to help – then base your creation on that rescue. For example if you want to help a wildlife foundation you may want to do more knitted items that are focused on birds, squirrels or deers.
Keep your knitted items in line with the rescue you choose to help to gain the most success from your efforts!
2 | 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.
3 | 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! The following are some ideas to getting your goods seen so you can get money raised!
- 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. Some knitted items rescues may take include:
- 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!
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. The project, since its inception, has donated millions of snuggles to shelters keeping homeless animals calm and comfortable. The website features many free patterns including their basic snuggle, totebags, 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
I tried to find some inspiring fundraisers that were done with knitting to inspire you! Below are a few knitting fundraisers that seem to have been a great success – some with goods and some with money – and while not all are animal related – I am confident you can get the same results if your fundraiser is well planned!
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! While 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!