Fundraising Tips for TNR

For our friends in TNR – this post is for you!

Mom says the two greatest challenges facing all rescue and colony caretakers is finding fosters for the friendlies as well as finding the money to finance the vet and food bills.

While we can’t help with finding fosters in your area, we can share some of the fundraising ideas that mom has collected over the last couple of years.

While the larger, established rescue groups are nonprofits with corporate sponsors and a developed fundraising initiative, many of the smaller, local, groups are not as corporately organized, may not have nonprofit status and most especially, struggle with the fundraising area.

Here are some grass-root ideas and trends mom has seen that she thinks are doable on the local level:

Start with an area where the colony cats actually live and…

  • approach the local business establishments to place donation jars in their stores to collect money for the spay/neuter vet bills to reduce the long-term population growth of the local cats…and/or would they allow a box for food donations for the local cats.

  • if there is a school in the area, ask them if they would consider having a food drive amongst the students to help their local cats.

Contact local Scout groups and 4 -H programs for assistance with your fundraising efforts. Many of those groups require community service projects and love to help especially when it comes to animals.

  • They can organize pet food drives, empty can and bottle collection that can be redeemed for food, collect raffle items and more.

  • Scouts have also organized shelter building workshops for the community cats too – just ask your local Scout leaders.

As for your individual neighborhood or for when fellow cat lovers ask, “How can I help you?”…

  • Organize a bake sale.

  • Have a yard sale once a year with donations to sell from your neighbors.

  • Ask for donations of cans and empties so you can trade in and buy cat food.

  • Organize a Paint Your Pet class with a local Art Studio who will donate part/all of the class fees.

  • Ask your crafty friends to make some blankets, catnip toys, etc and donate so that you can sell those items at one of your events.

  • Tricky Tray auctions and 50/50 raffles continue to be fun ways to raise money – and can be either the main draw, or a part of a “bigger party” fundraising effort.

Just a few more ideas!

  • Veterinary Center – check with your vet and see if they will allow you to put a donation jar in their clinic.

  • Check with your local pet stores – some may give you food that will expire soon – and therefore they can’t really sell as the remaining shelf-life is short.

  • Check with your local city ordinances and see if “panhandling” is allowed – and see if the local supermarket will let you set up a donation table out in front of the store where you can give out educational information about TNR and the importance of spay/neuter programs in your area….mom said one group had a sign that read – “we aren’t homeless but many cats are right here in our town”

Mom said her award for “Best Name” for a fundraising dinner was the Spayghetti with No Ball Gala Dinner held by the Spay Neuter Clinic of Kansas City, MO…what a name for an event!!

Lastly, mom says you can sense the presence of our next generation of animal lovers stepping up to the plate in the fundraising area. For instance, the Millennials have “done it their way”, and she has seen hipper, “younger” venues like Irish bars, local breweries and ethnic eateries starting to host their local rescue group’s fundraising parties complete with a DJ, cool food and alcohol! Nothing like a little libation to loosen up the purse strings and rally the party-goers to spend more and donate to a worthwhile cause!

And since mom is always on the outlook for new fundraising ideas to share – if your organization or group has had success with a certain theme or idea, please share it with us so we can pass it on to others dealing with the same challenges to raise those necessary funds to continue our collective work to help those most vulnerable – our community cats!