Many rescue group volunteers find it hard to adapt a fundraising idea to fit their specific group. With so many ideas online featuring just dogs or cats, here is a list of ideas the HumaneFundraising Yahoo Group brainstormed specifically for our list friends who rescue wildlife animals, or otherwise support wild animals in rehab centers and hospital situations, etc. We are always willing to adapt an idea to make it work for ANY rescue group, no matter what type of animal you rescue. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started thinking about various fundraisers.
Car Wash- Think of it as an apology for all those birds who may have ‘soiled’ peoples’ cars.
Food booths (selling boiled/ salted peanuts advertised as going NUTS for squirrels, seed and berry granola mixes, check out www.bulkfoods.com for some good deals on bulk foods, sell ears of corn on a stick for deer/ squirrel lovers)
Restaurant Takeover– advertise you are having a WILD night to support your WILDlife!
Donation boxes– use a birdhouse with a slot at the top.
Memorials/ Legacies– in honor of a dearly departed loved one, you can make a donation to help other creatures be free!
Calendars– Make your own using photos from local photographers of your region’s wild animals, or buy calendars wholesale to sell.
Vending machines on nature walks with seeds and such inside for $.25 a handful. Might be nice to encourage the birds to come closer for seeds and nuts, etc.!
Guided tours or a nature walk through some of your local wild areas. Bike ride through wildlife area, kayak along river, climb mountains, or trek through local woods and other activities that bring people and nature together respectfully.
Wildlife University — host classes on what to do to attract wildlife visitors to your backyard, how to provide homes for wildlife through your landscaping, seasonal issues such as when to leave baby squirrels and bunnies alone, etc. People can get certificates for attending and help create a birdhouse, a bathouse, nesting box or something else for your shelter/ rescue.
Solicit companies to come work with you for a day in the field as a bonding exercise! Many corporations go to leadership obstacle courses that help them bond together outside the office– why not sweat together for a GOOD cause, like helping build a shelter for recently released animals, maintenance around your areas, etc.
Ask some local Corporate donors and business to sponsor wildlife areas…. for recovering animals. This could be similar to adopting a mile of roadway, or adopting an acre of wildlife in your region.
“Go Wild” slogan t-shirts to support wildlife
Birdhouses (sell “build your own” kits! OR- have a make-and-take craft booth where you can ask people to come help you build birdhouses and other shelters for animals)
Local guide to bird watching– sell a guide created by your group to introduce locals to the wildlife in your area.
Bird treat mixes in a jar/ bag- These recipes are available online, and the mixes and instructions can be sold alongside baked goods at a bake sale, or as part of a holiday booth.
Emergency animal kits– sell a shoebox kit for people to keep in their cars in case their animal is injured, or they see an injured animal. Include gauze, brochures for CPR, local phone numbers for 24/7 vets and your rehabber group, etc.
Plush animals for sale (www.plushland.com and many others have great prices)
Capitalize on the LOVE people have of wild birds, deer, etc. Sell some items with bluebirds and cardinals on them, especially at Christmas.
Daring Deer– variation of the funky flamingo fundraiser where an oddly painted deer or dozens of pastel silly squirrels appear in someone’s yard overnight and they have to pay a donation for them to run away to another victim’s home.
Sell hand-painted plaques with famous quotes on wildlife, from Chief Seattle, Gandhi, maybe a few wildflower paintings….
Handmade jewelry– beaded jewelry, silver earrings, rings and charm bracelets.
Foxy Lady Fashion Show– if you rescue foxes and other wild creatures, this would be GREAT to show off some faux fur and other fun fashions… team up with a fashion school, modeling group or some ladies’ groups to host a great fashion show encouraging faux furs! This would be best for the early Fall, and could incorporate a luncheon, color analysis for the guests, and potentially gift bags with coupons for local clothing retailers.
Owls– Play upon the traditional view of owls as brainy animals, and work with your local library, supporting reading by hosting a Used Book sale! You could also do some adult spelling bees, geography bee, or other quiz show type event to play on the intellectual idea. This could be done at a local pub, where many are already set up for quiz nights.
Bunny Hop– high school dance for sweethearts, admission is a donation to your group. You could host a 50s and 60s Sock Hop featuring the Bunny Hop dance. Incorporate a soda fountain and jukebox into the theme as well.
Got any local high school or semi/professional teams that are named after wildlife? I’m thinking mostly bears, cougars, jays, cardinals, eagles, etc. Perhaps the school might adopt your wildlife rescue. Or, a professional team could donate items for you to auction off!
Poker Run/ Walk through a nature preserve/ nature walk area. Stop along the way at a few major look-out points. Encourage families to spend time together looking for wildlife and enjoying the scenery. You can have small checkpoints set up for people to stop at, buy a few drinks, drop off their trash, then pick a card and head off to the next checkpoint. Circle back to the main area where you can host a little cookout and snack sale. As we’ve mentioned before, you can use regular cards, or make up your own decks where you have a suit of deer, one of birds, one of squirrels, one of owls, etc. The winning hand can receive a nice gift basket supplied by local wildlife stores, maybe a nice birdfeeder, a canoe or kayak, a great pair of binoculars, etc.
Variations: Get a canoe or kayaking group together to do the poker run on your behalf. Proceeds go to the wildlife group. Groups like the Sierra Group, Audobon and other birdwatchers would be interested in these types of fundraisers!