The Fundraiser Blog

The Fundraiser Blog

The Busy Fundraising Schedule of a Nonprofit

by Brandon Mustful

Each year Great River Rescue needs to raise about $100,000 in community support to keep operating at a reasonable level.  That includes about $80,000 from direct donations and various fundraising projects, and about $20,000 from fundraising events.  We are extremely fortunate to have so much support within our community to be able to raise all of that money.  However, as you can imagine, it is still an incredible challenge to bring in that much money each year.  Below are some lists of fundraising activities and events we conduct to raise money:

Fundraising Activities:

  • Memberships- We encourage our supporters to make annual membership contributions. Membership gives voting rights and other special benefits to contributors.
  • Memorials- Donors make contributions in memory of loved ones.
  • Doggie Banks – We have doggie bank jars at about 40 locations in and around Bemidji. Those banks need to be picked up regularly.
  • Commissions- Donated items that we can’t use directly are brought to consignment stores and sold.
  • Sponsor-a-Pet- Donors are encouraged to make contributions to our sponsor-a-pet program. Sponsors receive monthly updates about a pet they are sponsoring.
  • Paws-to-Recycle- Citizens drop off aluminum cans in front of the shelter. Beltrami Recycling then picks up those cans and pays us for the aluminum.
  • Shelter Store- We sell various pet supply items at the shelter to help make the adoption of a pet easier for the new pet owners.
  • In-Kind Donations- We have bins at the Lueken’s grocery stores to collect donated food, litter, and other pet supplies.

Fundraising Events:

  • Furr Bowl- An annual bowling event in which participants are encouraged to raise pledges from family and friends.
  • Walk for Animals/Bark for Life- An annual walk to raise awareness to our cause. Participants are encouraged to raise pledges from family and friends.
  • Fall Harvest Dinner- An annual dinner with live music, auctions, and sometimes raffles.
  • Give to the Max Day- An annual statewide day of giving. Donors give online to their favorite causes.
  • Santa Paws- An annual photography fundraiser in which families get holiday pictures done by Image Photography.
  • Third-party and other fundraisers- Individuals and businesses will conduct fundraisers for us or in partnership with us. We also do other random fundraising events depending on our annual fundraising plan.

As you can see from the lists above, we are busy throughout the year trying to raise funds!  And, since shelter staff are focused on caring for the animals, maintaining the facilities, and processing adoptions, all of the fundraising activities fall on the shoulders of me, the Executive Director, and volunteers.  I am very proud and thankful for all of the volunteers who help us with these activities.  We have some amazing and dedicated people, and we wouldn’t be able to continue to operate without them.  However, the truth is that we don’t have enough people.  If we want to be able to maintain our level of service, and hopefully grow to have a greater impact in our community, we need more human resources.  We need people with a passion for our mission to save, care for, and find homes for companion animals.

On Tuesday, January 5, we will be having our 2016 fundraising planning meeting.  As I write this, I expect four individuals to come to this meeting.  I would like to invite you to come to this meeting too!  Please consider joining us if you feel that our work is important and worthwhile.  If you attend, it doesn’t mean that you will be committed to helping with every fundraiser throughout the year.  If you can even commit to one fundraising event or activity, it would make a huge difference to the organization and the animals.

If you are interested in helping in 2016, please follow the link below and fill out the short form.  If you have questions, please call me, Brandon, at 751-7910 and I can talk to you more about our needs and goals for 2016.  Thank you!

Fundraising Interest Form

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