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How to Raise Money to Open an Animal Shelter

written by: •edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 7/1/2010

Animal shelters tug at one's heartstrings and many more are needed; from small scale shelters housing only a few animals to larger scale ones that house many. Opening a shelter takes money upfront and ongoing funds for operations, so how can you raise money to start an animal shelter?

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    Raising Money to Start an Animal Shelter

    Animal Shelter for Sale Avenue Wikimedia Commons Numerous charities and organizations have a way to tug at the heartstrings of people and one of the most common is an animal shelter. Anyone who has ever stepped foot inside of one feels compelled to do something to help since animals have a way of making people sense their need.

    Many animal shelters have been in existence for decades, though in uncertain economic times their charitable contributions track low and many are actually forced to close their doors. Because of this, some who are aware of the dire need for more shelters, understand the need for more shelters to be opened to serve the ever-growing homeless animal population. The increased need for such places makes it important to understand how to raise money to start an animal shelter.

    The first step is to make sure there is enough interest in your immediate and surrounding area. Putting out press releases, interviews to the media, and snail mail and email campaigns that ask for those who are interested to support a new shelter set up. This not only gives you a sense of how many people have an interest, it is also a way to start building your own database of potential donors and volunteers.

    Step two involves locating and securing a facility. This can be done by working with Realtors and other non-profit agencies that are used to dealing with securing both land and buildings for the use of a non-profit. Perhaps this is a good time to sit and meet with local government representatives to seek input and advice from them on what funding may be available and what options for opening an animal shelter exists. This will also provide you with the local laws and ordinances that you will need to abide by when operating your animal shelter.

    The third step is to start raising both funds and awareness. An animal shelter can start out as one in an unused garage or be highly elaborate in donated or purchased property. Regardless, operating expenses will start to come in almost immediately. Food, electricity, insurance, water, and various other monthly expenses will need to be covered, which is why prior to even getting started, one should make sure that they have at least 6 months worth of operating income ready to go.

    How to raise money to start an animal shelter takes time and determination but it is something that can be done. Various fundraising options abound such as bake sales, yard sales, auctions, and raffles are great tools. Even big ticket items such as boats and cars can be donated and then raffled off to raise money. The only limitations for fundraising ideas may be how much dedication and innovation you or your designated group are willing to devote to the animal shelter cause.

    Animal shelters have become a necessity in today’s world and more often than not, people will donate to such causes; it just takes some creative thinking to get things moving. Look around and pay attention to some other unique fundraising options used by other non-profit organizations and then take those ideas and figure out which ones make the most sense for you and those that will help you reach your financial goals.

    Image Credit: Animal Shelter for Sale (Avenue) Wikimedia Commons