Shopping events are a very popular idea to host at any time of year, particularly around major shopping holidays (such as Christmas and Mother’s Day), and at the change of seasons when new designs and clothes come out. This type of event can be held at your regular mall or at a more upscale store or boutique. Many high end retailers in major cities, such as Nordstrom’s in LA, have paired themselves with local animal rescue groups to host fundraisers at their stores. Tickets can sell from $5 for a basic coupon ticket up to $20 for a special event with food at the higher end stores.
Some retailers already run a special ticket-only shopping event where nonprofit groups keep the money raised by selling tickets for the day. Customers are allowed access to the shop during regularly closed hours, and receive special discounts of 15% to 20% off all items, along with other in-store promotions and special offers. This is true for Macy’s, Boscov’s (check your local store for the date in October) and Bloomingdales, as well as Belk’s and Parisian department stores. Other stores, such as Bon Ton and their fellow family stores, host a coupon book day called Community Day Event. Contact local stores for specific dates. And, in many areas, the entire mall will host a special day or night of sales only for those customers who bought tickets from local nonprofits. Each nonprofit can bring in over $1,000 by selling tickets for these events. Simon Malls and Glimcher Malls are two corporations that regularly host these mall-wide “Night of Giving” type fundraising and shopping extravaganzas.
Whether you work with a mall or just an individual retailer, your animal rescue group can create a fundraiser unique for both your group and your community. You can combine the usual ticket-only event with a fashion show for both human and animal fashion designs, using designer items borrowed from a boutique as well as from Petco/ Petsmart. Bring in some students from a modeling school to walk the runways in the local store’s best outfits, and create your own Top Model awards for the adoptable pets strutting in their finest.
Add on a mutt makeover with some primping of a few dogs who are new to your program, and turn them into makeover masterpieces with some grooming, nail trims, accessories and bows to showcase their personalities and increase adoption potential. Owner pets can also be in attendance, along with a pet photographer to take some wonderful photos. Work with a local dog treat bakery to get some special treats donated, and ask for some human treats, too, from local upscale bakeries and eateries. Add in some door prizes to raise attendance and other raffles to bring in some more funds for the animal rescue group.
This event can be as upscale and exclusive as you want to design it! Turn your little mall area into a special even fit for your town’s ‘A listers’ and their pets!