Fundraising tips for animal shelters

The number of online resources I’ve recently encountered relevant to fundraising for animal shelters has reached critical mass—no time like the present to share them!

As far as grants are concerned, an excellent source of information is the Foundation Center’s new GrantSpace – Animal Welfare portal, which includes requests for proposals and news stories specifically related to animal welfare funding, facts and figures about foundation giving associated with animals/wildlife, sample animal welfare funding proposal documents, links to research reports related to philanthropy that benefits animals, information about the Foundation Center’s prospect research tools, answers to frequently asked questions, and more. One of the Foundation Center’s Cooperating Collections, the Grants Information Collection in the Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, also maintains a comprehensive listing of U.S. organizations that fund animal rescue and rehabilitation.

In addition, information about specific grant opportunities for animal shelters in the U.S. can be found on the Web sites of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States. Grant listings for animal shelters/rescues can also be found in the Animal Shelter Tips blog’s “Finding Grants” section..

Online resources focused on other aspects of animal shelters’ fundraising needs are also available. The Animal Shelter Tips blog’s “Fundraising” section offers ideas for developing special events, engaging volunteers, securing corporate sponsorships, and using technology effectively. eHow’s article “How to Raise Money Online for an Animal Shelter,” most recently updated in December, provides general recommendations for goal setting, online donation software, charity shopping vendors, and the use of social media to publicize fundraising efforts. All these points require diligent research and careful planning in consultation with other sources.

The Foundation Center offers some helpful guidance regarding best practices in researching and cultivating individual donors, which can be found in its GrantSpace Knowledge Base, its “Getting Started with Individual Donors” podcast, and its “Raising Funds from Individuals” webcast. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) provide more comprehensive information on this subject.

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