What says love like owning a pet? These animal related Valentine Fundraiser ideas are the perfect way for your rescue or shelter to embrace that feeling of love to raise money and maybe get some pets adopted!
Tapping into holidays is a great way to promote your shelter or rescue – and bringing on the creativity can make all the difference in making your fundraiser a success! Valentine’s Day is one of the best holidays to be creative because it focuses on love and relationships – and who is more loving and better at relationships than dogs and cats?
So if you are trying to play matchmaker this Valentine’s Day for the homeless pets in your care – here are some great Valentine’s Day fundraising ideas done by other rescues to help you get you started on your journey to making the best matches and raising funds!
Please remember, these ideas are meant to inspire – we do not recommend “copying” these ideas. Please reach out to the organization that created the initial fundraiser to get approval to use their idea before implementing for your own group.
It is the polite thing to do!
Who’s Your Doggy?
This is a super cute Valentine’s Day idea for dog rescues put on by Brooklyn Animal Rescue. The event was touted as a pup and people happy hour and offered snacks, prizes, treats and even doggy blind dates.
Valentine’s day cards are a huge industry with estimates as much as $1 billion dollars being spent every year just on cards! Now, imagine if you got even a tiny little bit of that — oh and help save trees while you are getting that money!
If you have a volunteer or a local designer who has mad skills – ask them to create some Valentine’s e-cards that you can promote online.
World Wildlife Fund has a great page dedicated to Valentine’s e-cards where you can send one for free – just to build awareness for what they do or you can send one with a donation letting the recipient know you donated with their card. Here is an example of an e-card page with the option to write a custom note and make a donation.
Northeast Animal Shelter also has a cute collection that they allow visitors to send for free.
Lonely Hearts Adoption Party
A creative idea by the San Francisco SPCA! The Lonely Hearts Adoption Party focuses on the creation of a romantic night to celebrate the love that Valentine’s Day is known for. The event was a kickoff to a 3-day fee-waived adoption promotion to help lonely people to find their perfect “match”.
The event featured light snacks, wine and of course adoptable animals!
They also prepared a list of fun events for everyone to enjoy including:
- Cat cuddle time
- Cat scavenger hunt
- Dog scavenger hunt
- Animal art
- Ask a Vet tech booth
- Cat video wall….and more!
There was no fee to attend the event, but RSVP’ing was required.
Pooch Smooch Contest
The Humane Society – Pike Peaks Region in Colorado Springs hosts an event called the Pooch Smooch contest. The event takes place at a dog friendly location called Pub Dog where the matchmaking begins with a kissing contest. They bring in an adoptable dog who will be the “Master of Ceremonies” for the kissing contest – and the best kisser will win a prize and of course barking rights!
They also ran a great promotion with a Smooch A Pooch and Cat Cuddle sale a few years ago that we love where they reduced their adoption rates to celebrate Valentine’s Day to $14.
And the flier – well it is pretty darn cute and makes us want to run out and adopt a dog and a cat!
With Valentine’s Day being one of the biggest days for flowers being sent – it is a great way to take advantage of this revenue stream. There are a few great online stores that offer affiliate programs and rescues an opportunity to make money.
In our own non-profit organization Jersey Animal Welfare Society we worked together to come up with Flowers From Fido, a campaign that focuses on sending flowers FROM your pets.
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to send flowers to a loving pet owner from their pet and be able to earn money at the same time. Your organization can sign-up for an affiliate program with any floral company and promote that online to earn a great commission on every sale!
Some floral affiliate programs that your rescue can participate in include:
- Florist One
- From You Flowers
- 800 Florals
- Blossom Flowers
Another great idea is to partner up with a local florist in your area that will work with you on creating a personal fundraiser for Valentine’s Day – or any other holiday where flowers are prominent.
Flowers for Dreams is a great example of a local florist doing good. They have a few locations – amazing floral arrangements and give back! Last year they supported Alive Rescue with a flower fundraiser where for every bouquet sent a portion was donated to the rescue.
She Said Yes – A Doggie Wedding!
KC Pet Project came up with an incredible fundraiser call “Happily Ever After”.
It happens every day – dogs and cats falling in love at shelters and rescues all over the world, so why not celebrate that love as a fundraiser……a wedding fundraiser.
This fundraiser was incredibly well done – they had even created a mini-site to talk about the love story of Grace and Charlie and allowed those who wanted to attend the wedding to RSVP. The addition of a wedding registry is just brilliant as well allowing those who maybe cannot attend the grand event to at least send some “wedding gifts” to the shelter.
We love this event because of the creativity and uniqueness and the fact that it can really be used for any animal rescue! Guinea pigs, rabbits, cats – they all fall in love and a wedding is a fun way to engage your supporters and make people smile!
Seal It With A Hiss!
What a fun and creative way to embrace Valentine’s Day! The Bronx Zoo has an uber creative fundraiser focused on roaches – yeah, what do roaches have with Valentine’s Day, that is what we said.
Their website is filled with cockroach related products you can send but what we love the most is the “Name a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach” opportunity. For a small fee you can have a cockroach named after one you love – or one you do not love and they will receive a digital certificate letting them know of the honor. This fundraiser can be used to get back at the roach in your life – whether a current love or a an ex, this is a fun way to share your thoughts.
This program has been running since 2011, so it is clearly working!
Because dogs and cats should not be alone on Valentine’s Day, we bring you “Shelter Speed Dating”! You can do this at your shelter or in a more “romantic” location like a local animal friendly restaurant where you can turn this into an even bigger fundraiser! This idea comes from the team at Picture Me At Home (who seem to be no longer around) and we love everything about this.
Bring in extra volunteers to serve as escorts and let prospective adoptees have 5 minutes with a few different animals to see if there is a “spark”! Bring in some snacks and you have a full fledged fundraising experience with a great opportunity to get animals placed with their forever families. We cannot imagine a better Valentine’s Day!
#ShelterValentine From Petco
Not only is this an inspiring event, it is one that is held annually that your rescue and supporters can take part in! The idea originated by The Petco Foundation is part of their “Love Changes Everything” campaign and brings together WholeHearted pet food and the creator of the MUTTS comic strip, Patrick McDonnell to create what they hope will be the biggest virtual valentine just for animal shelters!
Pet adopters can submit photos and videos with a message to the organization they support thanking them for all of their hard work!
In the past everyone who submitted their story to the Petco virtual Valentine was eligible to win a variety of daily prizes that would be given away as well as an opportunity to receive a $1,000 grant for the organization where their pet was adopted from! The 2 most liked photos uploaded will receive additional prizes as will the “most liked” photo which will receive an additional prize of a year supply of pet food.
The shelter that received the most valentines submitted would be eligible to receive a $10,000 grant award and 1,000 pounds of WholeHearted dog or cat food.
Check out the promotional video below to learn a bit more and maybe be inspired to do something similar for your organization where maybe there is a fee to be entered!
Some ideas are just so good – we mean really good and this is one of them! You want to prove how much you love me?
Send me a puppergram!
Seriously – what says love more than a puppy delivering your Valentine’s Day message to the person you love the most? That’s right nothing – nothing says love more than a puppy.
Forget the roses. Forget the jewelry. Forget boring Valentine’s Day gifts.
Just send them a puppy – we guarantee it will be a winning Valentine’s day gift.
The Animal Shelter of Sullivan County in Tennessee is hosting this fantastic event to help them raise some funds – and of course bring awareness to their assortment of adoptable puppies.
“Puppergrams” allows you to send a puppy as well as your choice of a dozen roses with a red velvet “pupcake” or a dozen chocolate-dipped bacon roses with a one-hour axe throwing pass to the one you love. The organization will show up at the place of your loved one with an adorable puppy for them to enjoy for a few minutes and to help delivery your gift. They charge $75 per puppergram and in 2019 they sold out of slots for the 2 days of delivery they offered.
Pet Remembrance Valentine’s Tree
This can be done virtually or in-person. Have a tree in a location that is easily accessible and allow people to purchase “hearts” that can be hung from the tree. The pet’s owner can decorate it with images and text and honor the pets that have passed away.
You can also do this virtually and create the hearts yourself from the items that a pet owner sends you. Then you can do a short Facebook live or video to show the hanging of the heart on the tree. Decorate the tree with the hearts, lights and some roses for a Valentine’s day look.
This is a great way to really engage your supporters and allow them a way to remember the love of there pets on what is the most “lovey” day of the year.
Virtual Valentine’s Day Fundraisers
Because 2020 has been a year like no other, I knew I had to add some virtual options with so many unknowns! Below are a few ideas to engage your community virtually and raise some funds – and have some fun. Find other virtual fundraiser inspiration here.
- Don’t Send Me A Card is a website that allows you to ask your supporters to send e-cards and use the money they would have spent on a card and stamps as a donation to your organization. You can see some of the shelter e-card options here. Not only is this a great idea for raising money – but it is an earth friendly idea! Use a pre-made template or you can create your own. Just register – and get promoting.
- Create a “Wall of Love” page on your website where people can leave a valentine message for a friend, loved one or pet they love! You can use a tool like Giving Grid or have a page on your own website using a donation plugin like GiveWP if you are on WordPress. If you can get a sponsor to raffle off a gift that would be a great option too. An example of one done by the Northeast Boston Terrier Rescue can be found here.
- A candy jar guessing game is a fun virtual event that your supporters will love. Use the candy hearts with conversations on them, fill a jar and ask supporters to make a donation for a guess for how many are in the jar. You can have a winner that can have the hearts or find a donor to donate a gift of some other kind. A florist who can donate flowers is a great option!
- Host a chocolate or flower fundraiser. Gertrude Hawk and Ghirardelli are just 2 chocolate vendors that offer fundraising opportunities.
- Sell temporary tattoos or have a “who wore the tattoo best” type contest on Instagram or Snapchat to really engage your supporters. Sticker You has some great options for temporary tattoos at an affordable price.
Have you tried any of the above fundraisers and had success? I would love to hear the results!
I would also to love to add more to this list, so if you have a love related fundraiser – do tell! I will of course credit you and your rescue!