Here’s a collection of fundraising ideas, some tried-and-true and others unique. Get creative and put the “fun” in your fundraising for the Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon! Click on any of the ideas below to find out more!
- 50/50 Raffle
- Bake “Barkery” Sale
- Basket Chance Auction
- Bring your Dog to Work Day
- Car Wash
- Celebrate National Service Dog Month in September
- Chili Cook Off
- Dance for the Dogs
- Dance Marathon
- Dogs for the Dogs: Hot Dog Eating Contest
- Dog Wash
- Employer Matching
- Fire Hydrant
- Flamingo Flocking
- Fundraising Dog Bone Cards
- Gift Wrapping Service
- Jail & Bail
- Jeans Day: Dress Down for the Dogs
- No gifts, please. Donations instead!
- No-Talent Show
- Parking Space Auction
- Pawfect Art Show
- Pet Photos with Santa
- Potato Bar/Spaghetti Dinner
- RoundUp4 GuideDogs
- Walk the Dog
- Yappy Hour
- Yard Sale
Purchase a double-ticket roll and recruit friends to sell raffle tickets. One lucky winner wins half the proceeds while the other half goes toward your Southeastern Guide Dogs fundraising goals. Example: sell tickets for $5 with incentive for multiple purchases, such as five tickets for $20. The longer the ticket selling period, the larger the pot. Advertise the pot’s value to create buzz. Draw the winner’s ticket during a meeting, lunch, or organizational activity.
Bake “Barkery” Sale
Make tasty doggie and human treats and have a bake sale! Just remember to clearly label who gets the treat, the doggie or the human. Need a dog treat recipe? Here’s a link to a Southeastern Guide Dog favorite.
Basket Chance Auction
This fundraiser works well in a group setting such as church, school, company, or community group. Each classroom or group of people donates a basket of goodies, often themed. For example, a “movie night” basket could contain soda, candy, popcorn, a coupon for a DVD rental, etc. Baskets are displayed in a common area, with a small bucket or jar in front of each. Participants purchase tickets (start with a double-ticket roll), and place their ticket in the bucket or jar by the basket they hope to win. After the ticket-sales period ends, a winning ticket is drawn from each basket and participants claim their prices.
Bring your Dog to Work Day
A teambuilding event that puts the “fun” in “fundraising.” With management approval or company sponsorship, employees pay a predetermined amount to bring their dog to the office for a day. Create contests and offer prizes (dog bones) for best trick, look alike, costume, etc.
Identify a suitable location for a car wash, one that has a reliable source of water, excellent traffic exposure, and room for cars. Schools, gas stations, and churches on main thoroughfares work well. Your group will provide all supplies: garden hoses, buckets, sponges, soap, and towels. Try to get items donated to keep costs down. Select a date plus an alternate rain date, and then advertise in advance through flyers, local newspapers, and local cable TV. You can decide on a fixed price or accept donations, but have small bills ready to be able to provide change.
Chili Cook Off
This fundraiser works best in a group setting. Volunteers make their favorite recipe for a Chili Cook Off event. On the day of the event, participants and guests receive a voting ticket and vote for their favorite chili. (Suggested amount: $5/ticket). You can also offer bottled water, bread and corn bread for a donation, as well as host a bake sale during the competition. Offer fun prizes for the winners! You can’t beat a $5 lunch and all the samples you can eat for a fundraiser.
Dance for the Dogs
Organize a school or community dance with donated refreshments, an organized potluck, and a volunteer DJ. No DJ? Plug in your phone or iPod with hits old and new, sell admission tickets, and advertise your event. Add a dance-off for fun and a silent-auction for revenue, and dance for the dogs!
Recruit a group of willing participants and encourage them to get pledges from friends, relatives, and neighbors. Allow enough time before the event so that dancers can collect plenty of donations (or pledges for every 30 minutes of dancing) from those in their community. A DJ is a good idea, but a sound system, CD player, or a digital playlist is a cheaper option and gives everyone a say on the music. Invite participants to bring their own CDs or iPods. Have a prize available for the last ones left dancing, with proceeds going toward your Walkathon fundraiser.
Dogs for the Dogs: Hot Dog Eating Contest
Not just for hot dogs—your group can create a contest with hot dogs or choose wings, donuts, cake, pie, jelly, ice cream—use your imagination. Participants pay to enter, then collect donations during the event. Ask your local grocery store or bakery to donate items to keep costs down and increase your fundraising proceeds.
This event is like a car wash, except the dogs get washed instead. Secure a roomy location with a warm water source. Shop for discounted or bulk dog shampoo or ask for donated supplies. Gather hoses, a few kiddy pools, and lots of old towels, and be sure to include water bowls for the dogs that are waiting their turn. Keep any dogs not being bathed on leash, and ask or a fixed price or flexible donations. Advertise ahead of time with flyers, local newspapers, local cable stations, and at pet stores.
Many employers will match donations or even give money towards your fundraising per your hours volunteering. Check with your employer and don’t miss out on these matching funds or use our easy database to search your company.
With management approval in an office setting, take requests to have a fake fire hydrant placed on someone’s desk. The “victim” must pay a set amount to have the hydrant removed or passed along to someone else. Sell “insurance” for a higher amount to prevent the hydrant from landing on one’s desk again.
Gather several flamingo lawn ornaments and make a list of friendly people/business yards to flock. Flock the yards at night and leave a sign or a note with instructions on removal. When people wake up or arrive at work with a yard covered in plastic flamingos, they’ll follow instructions on who to contact to remove the flock and how much it will cost to remove the flamingos, flock someone else, or purchase flock insurance for a set price. Flock insurance covers them from being flocked during the remainder of the fundraiser. Have fun flocking and be sure to pick participants who will be good sports about being flocked!
Fundraising Dog Bone Cards
This idea works best in an organizational or retail setting. Print bone-shaped cards from the website. People purchase the bones and write a name on each in honor of a pet or a person. Display purchased bones in a designated space for a pre-determined time period. During the holidays, you can hang the bones on a tree or in a tree-shaped display. Download the printable bone templates here: Regular Version | Holiday Version
Gift Wrapping Service
Busy holidays create a demand for gift wrapping services. Select a wide choice of wrapping papers plus necessities such as ribbons, tags, scissors, and tape. Ask shopping malls and department stores about setting up a booth during the holiday season, especially weekends. Charge either per item or ask for a donation for the dogs!
Jail & Bail
A mock jail holds “prisoners” while your group performs the arrests. Participants can request an “arrest” of their boss, co-worker, friends, spouse, or community dignitary. The arrestors serve the unsuspecting person with a warrant and put them in their mock jail cell, setting “bail” to collect donations. The “prisoner” makes pledge calls to friends, co-workers, and relatives, or pays the bail themselves.
Jeans Day: Dress Down for the Dogs
We love our jeans, so why not get your company to “Dress Down for the Dogs” on a weekly basis for a donation? Choose the dates, the donation amount, and customize our ready-made flyer to start spreading the word. We’ll also provide fun stickers boasting, “I dressed down for the dogs” that participants can wear with jeans in exchange for their donation. To request materials to host a jeans day please visit us online.
No gifts, please. Donations instead!
For important occasions, birthdays, or anniversaries, throw yourself a party and ask guests to bring donations instead of gifts. Let family and friends know well ahead of time.
Take a twist on the standard talent show by hosting an event where participants demonstrate their lack of talent. Karaoke routines are popular as are wild dance moves and magic tricks. It’s all in good fun and you can award prizes based on audience response, best costume, worst performance, etc. Charge performers a small entry fee and attendees an admission fee. For extra profits, sell food and drinks, offer silent auction items, and don’t forget to have a donations jar at the ticket table.
Parking Space Auction
A parking space auction is a great fundraiser and teambuilder all rolled into one. Talk to your CEO, VP, or principal for permission to auction off their spot for a month, and see fundraising come alive! Watch students fight for the prime spot on the campus or co-workers compete for the VP’s luxury spot.
Pawfect Art Show
Gather your friends and family and have a party with pets. Let pets make art with their paws. Write a little bio about your pet and post the art and bio in an online gallery. Use the gallery to show off, ask for donations, and increase the proceeds!
Pet Photos with Santa
Recruit a photographer who is willing to donate their time and talent as well as someone willing to dress up as Santa Claus. Make sure both are comfortable with pets. Work with a church, business, or local mall to schedule special times for pet photos and ask Santa and the photographer to donate their time! Charge a fee or ask for a donation, inviting holiday generosity to boost your fundraiser.
Potato Bar/Spaghetti Dinner
Spaghetti dinners are a well-known and proven fundraiser. Many local grocery stores, bakeries, and food suppliers may donate food. You will need spaghetti, tomato sauce, meatballs, bread, drinks, desserts, plates, cups, and silverware. Sell tickets in advance and at the door. Try offering a discount on pre-sale tickets to attract more sales. For the potato bar fundraiser, you will need baked potatoes and fillings. Filling ideas include sour cream, chili, shredded and melted cheese, steamed broccoli, butter, chives, sautéed onions and mushrooms, bacon bits, ham, spices, and hot peppers, with plenty of flexibility.
Create a display board and collect donations ($5 suggested amount) for participants to showcase their pets’ pictures. Choose a busy space where the photos will be highly visible. Or, create a digital version—a video collage to send to all participants and post on company/church/school website or social media. Create friendly competition and vote for the cutest dog or silliest dog.
Spare change can change the world for our guide dog recipients, and our RoundUp4 GuideDogs program offers restaurants, retail shops, and customers a unique opportunity to support our school. Participating restaurants and stores simply offer customers the chance to round up their bill to the next dollar, with proceeds from the “change” donated to Southeastern Guide Dogs. This program is easy to implement for owners and managers, and participating restaurants and stores gain a reputation as establishments that care. Pennies add up to dollars, and dollars can add up to a wonderful impact on your fundraising efforts. Contact your Walkathon representative to find out more.
Ask a shredding company to donate a truck for a few hours, publicize the event, park the truck at a public location, and charge per banker box. Suggested donation – $5 per box or grocery bag.
Have a cocktail party with friends at home and ask them to donate their typical “bar bill” toward your fundraiser. Or ask a local bar/restaurant to sponsor the “Yappy Hour” event and ask them to donate a portion of their proceeds. Gather your friends (and furry friends) to join you in the fun.
Clear the clutter for a cause! Ask the people in your organization and community to get involved by donating unwanted items to a joint garage or yard sale. Clearly communicate that that proceeds will benefit your Southeastern Guide Dog fundraising.