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Service Dog Fundraising
How to Raise Money for a Service Dog & Ideas for Service Dog Fundraising
Service dog fundraising can seem a little overwhelming and coming up with ideas can be difficult. With any type of fundraising, it takes time and energy but with devotion, dedication, creative thinking and planning, anyone can fundraise for a service dog.
Canines 4 Hope’s goal is to provide some guidance for anyone who may need to set up a service dog fundraiser and offer some ideas, tips and suggestions that can make your fundraising efforts for a service dog successful and fun.
Steps for starting a Service Dog Fundraising Campaign
Tell Your Story
Difficult as it may be, it’s important to tell your story. This allows your reader to feel connected and take interest. When writing your story, be yourself. Write in a way that you communicate on a daily basis because your initial donors will most likely be family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and your community. They already know you and how you communicate. So be yourself. You can also convey your story with compelling pictures and video. There will be opportunity for you to use all three during your fundraising campaign so take advantage of all mediums available. If at all possible, get a picture of the service dog that will be trained. People love to share pictures of dogs.
Set a goal and share it!
Services dogs don’t come without costs. Because of their specialized training, initial costs of obtaining a service dog can often cost thousands of dollars not including the ongoing cost of care including vet bills. This can become a financial strain. Be specific and upfront about the figure you need to raise for your service dog and feel free to share your goal. People who contribute like to keep track of your campaign and how close you are to meeting or exceeding your goal.
Facebook and twitter are powerful tools. Canines 4 Hope suggests at the very least, setting up a Facebook account for your service dog fundraiser. Have fun with it, tell your story, post frequently, giving updates on your campaign. You can even set up events via your facebook page! Give updates about your efforts to raise the funds for a service dog and how you expect your dog to help you. Post pictures of yourself with your service dog on your blog and on Facebook. Pictures allow people to put a face to the story. Again if you don't have pictures, contact your service dog trainer and request a few pictures.
Set Up A Service Dog Fundraiser Champaign Online
Now that you have your story in writing, your goal set and your social media page for your service dog set up, it's time to make it easy for people to donate to your service dog fundraiser. In a few simple steps, you can create a service dog fundraising campaign online that allows people and groups to make a direct donation to your service dog fundraiser. There are plenty of Crowdfunding sites online. We might suggest" YouCaring.com, GoFundMe.com or FundRazr.com. This is where you tell your story. Upload your pictures and hook up your social media pages that you just set up. These sites make this super easy! Just follow their step by step instructions and you'll be set up to raise funds in just a few short minutes! Be sure to update your progress often on the fundraising site. People like to see how their donations are benefiting your cause. Let them know how your campaign is going and how specifically their funds are helping you reach your goal!
Service Dog Fundraising Tips
[Surfers for Autism fundraising event] Look to your Local Community!
You'd be surprised how quickly your local community will come out to support your fundraising efforts. Reach out to your local churches, civic organizations such as, your local Boys/Girls Scout troops, local lodges and other service-based groups. Many churches and lodges often provide some financial assistance for medical needs to members of the local community. Keep in mind, you don't necessarily have to be a member of a church or lodge in order for them to help you. Also, have family and friends reach out to their churches, lodges and employers. When contacting organizations, explain why you need a trained service dog and ask if they have funds available that can assist you in any way. They may ask you to provide letter from your doctor verifying that you are in medical need of a service dog and/or a letter from the company that is training your service dog verifying the cost. They may even offer the opportunity to host a fundraising event on your behalf and offer ideas on fundraising for your service dog.
Reach out to Organizations Who Raise Awareness
Look to the organizations that raise awareness about your special need. For example, Diabetes Foundation, PTSD organizations, Autism Awareness groups and so on. They all have facebook pages. Don't be afraid connect and reach out to them to request they share your story, ask them for suggestions on what you can do to help set up fundraising events that would benefit you while raising awareness about your special needs while promoting their organization at the same time. Many will be more than willing to send you several copies of their brochures which is a great tool to have at your fundraiser events and these organizations may offer additional ideas and suggestions for fundraising events. Tap into their years of experience and knowledge.
Now that you've tapped into your local community and reached out to awareness organizations you've probably gathered enough information on how to go about setting up additional fundraising events. Quite possibly, you may have had offers from your local community organizations to set up fundraiser events with donations going to you for your service dog. You may have even had offers from organizations or groups who may be willing or able to assist you plan, host or advertise for events such as a car wash fundraising event sponsored by your local Boy Scouts or local church Youth Group.
Reach out to Local Businesses
Reach out to your local restaurant owners, even the chain restaurants in your area, to see if they'd sponsor a fundraiser day with a portion of their day's sales to help with your fund raising event. Ask if you can set out collection jars at local businesses. Some businesses may prefer to donate merchandise or services rather than cash. Use those donations to hold raffles and silent auctions at your event.
T-Shirts, Support Bracelets and other items customizable fundraising items
Look online to design fundraiser t-shirts and support bracelets. You can design them and sell them at your events and promote online. This is a great way to allow someone to really get involved in selling items that can continually be purchased even after the event is over and it makes it easy for people wearing your awareness items to help spread the word as it will becomes a topic of conversation.
The more you speak with your local community about your efforts, the more fundraising ideas and offers will come your way. Most importantly, have fun!
Service Dog Fundraising Ideas
Canines 4 Hope has compiled a list of fundraising event ideas to help get those creative juices flowing. You can use many of these event suggestions in one fundraiser, hold multiple fundraisers or direct your friends and family here to this site to help give them ideas on how they can help organize a fundraising event with suggestions and tips to help make it a successful one!
Baby and Kids’ Clothes Resale Sale
Battle of the Bands
Board Game Tournament
Book Club Fundraiser
Bonfire Cookout Party
Dog or Cat Sitting
Hayrack Rides Haunted House
Ice Cream Social
Restaurant Event (Restaurant donates portion of proceeds on specific date)
Theme Dinner Party
Don't forget to sell tickets to your event or party. Raffle away your donated items. Have a 50/50 draw. Make it fun and have fun!
WE ARE A 501 C 3 HELP US OUT
My husband Marc was a successful general contractor in Central Florida who was involved in numerous projects within the Disney community.
Four years ago he suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him with severe neurological damage, and he lost his ability to speak. As a result of his injury Marc also suffers from major depression as well as seizures.
Marc, was once a vibrant man, but has now lost his drive and energy to do anything. After all of the surgeries, and countless hours of rehabilitation, Marc has shown little enthusiasm towards his outlook on life and his future.
Our neurologist suggested we look into a service dog to help assist Marc with his seizures. After careful research, we met Jason DeVito the owner of Canines4hope. Jason paired Marc up with Dillon, A two year old German Shepherd Dog who is trained as a seizure response dog for Marc.
The addition of Dillon in our lives has been a true blessing. The difference in my husbands behavior, and outlook on life is remarkable. Marc is a changed man. His bouts of depression have improved, and his energy level is totally increased. Marc and Dillon are outside every morning playing ball or Frisbee. He takes Dillon for three walks a day at least.
Dillon is now beginning to recognize when Marc is about to have a seizure, which makes me feel a whole lot better when I have to leave Marc alone.
Dillon has changed our lives in so many ways that words cannot express my feelings. If you or someone you know, is in a similar situation as Marc or myself, we highly encourage you to explore the benefits of a service dog.