Animal shelters are both a community service and a place for compassionate care of lost and unwanted animals. Animal shelters play an important role in taking care of injured and abandoned animals, or animals that otherwise need protection. Animal shelters also provide education, information, and assistance to their communities.
Their work is profound and critically important. However, many animal shelters struggle to come up with the necessary funds and rely on individual contributions to keep their doors open and to perform their lifesaving work.
Many shelters need help with cleaning, caring for the animals, and keeping the shelter in good condition. They can also usually use any extra supplies such as water, food, bowls, toys, leashes, beds, and litter.
However, it’s the monetary donations that often help the most – simply because the shelter can put them towards where they’re needed the most at any given moment.
That money can be used for anything the shelter needs to thrive, from supplies to medical care and microchips.
Animal shelters and the world of online fundraising
Online fundraising, in particular, has opened up a world of possibilities for animal shelters around the world.
Online fundraising usually produces a higher give result than traditional methods. It also increases the shelter’s online visibility and helps to spread the shelter’s message.
With online fundraising, donors can give in many different ways and all donations are recorded. Sharing is made simple and the results are visible and easy to track and analyze. Online appeals can easily reach larger numbers of people without large increases in cost. They also enable animal shelters to effectively engage their members and supporters.
Here’s how you can boost your animal shelter online fundraising efforts:
- Set up an online donation page.
If you haven’t already, set up a dedicated donation page for your animal shelter. Your animal shelter’s donation page should emphasize fundraising functionality. Be sure that donating online is easy for visitors. Include streamlined and mobile-optimized online donation forms, that are also beautiful and customizable. Organizations miss out on countless opportunities when their donation page is confusing or the giving process has too many steps. Simplify, simplify, simplify! Embed compelling calls to action throughout the rest of your website. If you don’t have donation button already, you should consider Donorbox. Donorbox is free animal fundraising software, it’s very easy to set up.
- Make your donors connect emotionally with your work.
Since your work happens to involve lots of adorable animals, this shouldn’t be too hard. You’ve got photo opportunities everywhere you look. Make the most of them!
Also, share your success stories – for example, stories about animals that got adopted or recovered from terrible circumstances.
- Use photos and videos.
Posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts and posts with videos attract 3X more links than text-only posts.
Use the abundance of “aww-filled” videos and photos of the animals in your care within your fundraising campaigns. This is likely to generate more traffic, engagement, and donations.
- Use social media and e-mail marketing to lead potential donors to your donation page.
Studies have suggested that a strong social media presence raises organizations’ overall fundraising results by around 40%.
You can use your e-mail and multiple social media channels to spread the word about your events, your volunteer program, and any other important initiatives.
When using e-mail marketing or social media, focus on building communities. Case studies reveal that organizations that prioritize community-building are the movements maximizing their fundraising value through social media.
- Set up a recurring donation program.
With recurring donations, donors sign up to give repeatedly (biweekly, once per month or otherwise). Consider launching a campaign to push your shelter’s monthly giving program.
Growing your number of recurring donations can do wonders for your shelter’s long-term financial health. It can help you increase the amount people give on average each year, improve retention rates, and refine long-term planning and budgeting.
- Say “thank you.”
Increase donor retention through a streamlined gift acknowledgment process. Send thank you e-mails or letters, call to express gratitude, invite your donors to connect with your nonprofit’s executive team on social media, or create a special group for major donors and supporters. Opportunities to say “thank you” are plenty!
Animal shelters and animal welfare nonprofits face many challenges, but they’ve also got a secret weapon going for them in its cause marketing: stories that tug on heartstrings.
By tugging on the heartstrings with good stories, using multimedia, having an effective donation page, capitalizing on social media and e-mail marketing, and thanking donors, your efforts can go a long way towards reaching your fundraising goals.
And online fundraising is the way to go!