Collect more donations online for your animal rescue

With the increasing trend of online engagement for nonprofits, it’s imperative to ensure online giving is easy. Even pulling out your wallet, logging into a donation portal, or deciding how much to donate can create a barrier to donating to your shelter or animal shelter.

We’ve compiled some quick tips and best practices that your animal shelter can use to maximize the donations you receive online! Check them out below!

Dedicate an entire page to giving on your website.

Your animal rescue or shelter website will need a full web page dedicated to donating, making it easy to share or linking directly to the page. Having the entire page dedicated to making giving quick and easy will allow page visitors and interested donors to donate without having to do any mental gymnastics to figure out how to support your organization.

On this page, you might want to add an embeddable widget that reduces the decision-making and steps donors need to follow, like the one provided by Pawlytics. With this built-in donation widget, donors can simply select a pre-entered amount (or enter a custom amount), then fill in their name and credit card details. This widget will also automatically send them a receipt, reducing your work to accept donations!

On this page, it can be useful to show your donor how each donation amount will impact the animals in your care. See this sample webpage to find out what it might look like for your rescue or animal shelter.

You will of course need a website for your animal rescue to complete this first step. If you don’t have a website yet, if your website is difficult to modify/maintain or if you are looking for a general upgrade – feel free to find out more at we start here. At Pawlytics, our team of animal rescue experts offer website design, development and hosting specifically for animal rescue and welfare organizations!

Promote your donation page across all platforms and events!

Now that you have a page dedicated to making giving easier and you’ve explained exactly how a donor can help the animals in your care…it’s time to promote the page and leverage it across platforms and events ! A few places that will be easy to share or link to your donation page are on your social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. On Facebook, you can create a post explaining the impact of each donation on the organization and pin it to the top of the Facebook page. On Instagram and Twitter, you can also always have the link in your page’s “Bio” at the top, making it easy for people to find. If your shelter or animal sanctuary sends email newsletters, it would be beneficial to always have a section linking to the donation page. Finally, if you are planning an in-person event, you can use a free QR code generator, such as this oneto make it easy for people to scan and donate at an event!

Capitalize on the momentum of end-of-year donations.

According to a Blackbaud study, November and December 2021 accounted for 32.2% of all online donations made to animal welfare and rescue throughout the year. With momentum already growing, you can capitalize on it by setting a stretch goal to encourage larger donations. People would rather donate to a $5,000 goal that already has $1,000 in the pot than to a $3,000 goal with $0 in the pot. Everyone loves being part of a success story! Another way to capitalize on year-end momentum is to promote memorable animal rescue stories that were highlights of the year. If there are any stories that particularly stood out or resonated with your online followers, now is the time to recap them and maybe even share an update!

Show your appreciation to your existing donor base.

Our last tip may seem obvious, but its benefits are less obvious. Showing public and private appreciation to existing donors can inspire others to give, encourage existing donors to give more, increase donor retention, and strengthen donor relationships.

Here are some ways to show your appreciation online: (1) Give a nice dedication at the bottom of your main donations webpage to your biggest donors (with their permission); (2) Thanks on social media to donors of smaller portions.

Bonus tip: Gamify donates with the animals it helps!

After working in animal shelters and rescues for so long, I’ve seen some really creative giving campaigns online, especially since the pandemic when events died down. I saw an animal shelter using their social media to post that for every $5 donation that day, every dog ​​in their care would receive an ice cream cone in the donor’s name (with a photo as proof on their social network). It worked incredibly well and within 5 hours the animal shelter had raised thousands of dollars. Not only did this generate donations, but it also contributed to a few adoptions. People couldn’t resist the adoration of the dogs eating ice cream from a cone through the photos posted online, and raced to the shelter to adopt a few! I’ve seen similar techniques work with catnip for cats, plush Kongs for dogs, etc. Engaging the public to donate online in a shareable way creates a win, win, win! Fun for donors and animals, fun for your audience, donations for your animal rescue or shelter, and even potentially more adoptions!


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