Fundraising Toolkit

Fundraising: How to Go Above and Beyond

Fundraising can be a challenge. We know you can be successful at our events when you are passionate about the reasons for walking and the impact that The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County has had on pets in need in our community. Whether you’re trying to hit a fundraising goal for the first time or attempting to beat your fundraising goal from last year, these are the steps that our best fundraisers take to become leaders on the fundraising scoreboard. 

STEP 1: Personalize your Participant Center

The best way to start fundraising is to personalize your fundraising page through your Participant Center (after registering). You can share your story about why you’re walking and add a photo. Historically, the top Dog-A-Thon fundraisers always personalize their fundraising page.

From the Participant Center, you’ll be able to send emails to friends, family members, and coworkers asking to support your efforts. We’ve even included sample emails — all you need to do is personalize them, and then hit send!

STEP 2: Start Fundraising Early

Begin fundraising 2-3 months before the walk. If you hit your goal early, increase it and see how high you can go!

The deadline for reaching your fundraising is the day of the walk, June 29th. Don’t worry if you get a late start though, just be sure to utilize online fundraising as much as possible to catch up.

STEP 3: Be Sure To Tell Your Story

This is about YOU! When your donors contribute, they consider themselves to be supporting YOU more than Dog-A-Thon. Sharing your reasons for walking may help people understand how important the cause is. Know a bit about how your donations are helping more than 10,000 pets each year so that you can answer questions and explain where the money is going.

You can also send or deliver handwritten notes of appeal to those close in your fundraising network, giving a personal touch that resonates with donors.

STEP 4: Email and then Email Again

Whether you use your email account or your Participant Center make sure to email your friends, family, and coworkers asking them to support your efforts. Make your message personal by sharing why fundraising for the abandoned pets in Pierce County is important to you.

Send more than one email. Donors are often busy and have to be reminded many times before they commit to helping you.

STEP 5: Use Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to share your reasons for walking and passion for The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County. You can now directly link your participant center to your Facebook account (link to FB integration Doc) in a few easy steps and reach donors in your network that you might not email directly.

Help spread the word by sharing a picture of you with your favorite pet(s) on social media and tag with #LoveFor253Pets.

STEP 6: Double your funds with Matching Gifts

Matching gifts are an easy way to increase and even double your fundraising total. You should ask all of your donors if their employer participates in a matching gifts program. Some companies require a paper form, while others complete the entire process online. You will often need our address (2608 Center Street, Tacoma, WA, 98409) and Tax ID #91-0577128.

STEP 7: Get Creative

There are hundreds of ways you can fundraise for your walk at Dog-A-Thon. Use your creativity to come up with fundraising ideas that work for you! Here are a few more ideas — all tested by event participants like you:

  • Make a Video. Film yourself telling people why you're walking and share online. The more they know about your story, the more likely they are to be touched and donate.
  • Office Challenge. Start an office fundraising challenge to stir up some healthy competition among colleagues or departments.
  • Restaurant Fundraisers. One of the best fundraisers ideas is to contact local restaurants, bars or other vendors and see if they’ll donate back part of the proceeds from a “Humane Society Night” or similar event.
  • Bake Sale/Lemonade Stand. Have one at home, work, school, church/temple/mosque and use a sign saying that all donations will go towards the abandoned dogs, cats, and rabbits in Pierce County. Include a donation jar as well.
  • The Change Jar. Leave a change jar on your desk at work and ask people to contribute loose change that is left over from lunch. A little bit can add up to a lot. Ask for help.

Do you know a person or business that may be interested in giving a large sum? Feel free to contact the Humane Society at and ask us to help you close the deal.

LAST STEP: Don't Forget to say Thanks!

Most importantly, make sure you thank your donors. Saying thank you means they’ll likely be more willing to donate again next year.

The Participant Center gives you the option to automatically send your donors a thank-you email when they give online. However, it’s always a good idea to personally thank each person who donates by sending them a handwritten note, an email, calling them, or giving them a shout-out on social media.