LCTA’s Service Dog Program- Fundraising Ideas
Service Dogs are quickly becoming recognized as an incredibly valuable medical asset to individuals with disabilities! They can save lives, alert others to their handler’s needs, and bring comfort and peace of mind to family members of those with disabilities, knowing their loved one has someone with them at all times.
They are able to detect seizures, guide those who cannot see, inform their handler of noises that they cannot hear, among numerous other life-altering tasks. Every year we are discovering new ways that canines can assist human beings!
There is a downside to all of this, though. The cost of a service dog can sometimes be out of reach of those that desperately need their help. As a service dog training facility, we have witnessed clients struggle to come up with the funds to purchase their dog, not knowing the absolute best way to help them raise money.
That is why we have spent almost a year researching and compiling different ways that those in need of a service dog can raise the money!
Get your story out to the public!
The best place to start for any fundraiser is to get your story out to the public! Tell them why a service dog will change your life or the life of your loved one.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself and share details that you may feel hesitant to share for fear of embarrassment. Most people just want to help! Sharing your story in a personal manner helps people feel connected to you and it becomes their cause too! Ask those who know your situation to share their thoughts as well. This lends validity to your story.
There’s always going to be a downside to sharing your story, and unfortunately this is simply that some people are cruel. Mentally prepare yourself for this. We hope that you will never encounter something like this however; today’s world has created trolls who live to put others down.
Try to remember that their hurtful words are not really about you. It is their own unhappiness that causes them to want to bring others down. You already have those that matter behind you, encouraging you on your journey. Don’t lose sight of your goals!
Use Social Networking!
In today’s era of internet usage, social media is the fastest and easiest way to spread the word about your cause!
Set up a Facebook Page dedicated to your cause, making sure to have your story, goals, and any pertinent other details others may wish to know. Also ensure there is a photograph of the person in need of the service dog on the page. People like to be able to put a face to the cause.
Another great way to utilize the internet is to create a page where people can donate directly and securely to your cause. Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Red Basket, Plumfund, and YouCaring are a few examples of these types of sites. Make sure to thoroughly research any site you are considering using to verify if there is a fee to use their site, and make sure that it is a secure site for you donors to use as well.
Share your goal!
People feel better about donating when there is a clear goal to be achieved! Set your goal slightly above what you think you will need to account for any unexpected expenses. We find 10% above is usually a safe number. If you are unsure of what your goal should be, feel free to ask the training facility you are considering for the exact amount it will cost for the dog and the training, plus any taxes or fees that may apply. Also figure in vet costs and food costs for the life of the dog.
Fundraising may end up making you the biggest chunk of your service dog fund pie! There are so many options to raise money this way! Many companies will donate their products or services for you to use in your fundraisers. Here is a list of ideas for fundraising:
Battle of the Bands
Car Detailing/Car Wash
Carnival with games, cake walks, face painting etc.
Dog/Human 5K Walk/Run
Golf Outings/Golf Tournament
Hayrack Rides/Haunted House
Ice Cream Social
Movie Night at the park/church
Pie/Hot dog eating Contest
Rake Leaves/Yard Work
Restaurant Event (Restaurant donates portion of proceeds on specific date)
Thanksgiving Dinner Feed
Theme Dinner Party
Be sure to check with your city and state laws for any health codes you need to follow when doing any fundraiser involving food.
Reach out to charitable organizations!
Look into your local chapters of different clubs such as the Lion’s Club, Order of the Eastern Star, and numerous other charitable organizations. Many have programs already in place to donate to a service dog fund. If they don’t, ask to meet with the head elder and explain your story!
Most organizations are more than willing to start a new branch of donations for a worthy cause! Ask the organization whether they will donate to a for-profit training company. Some will, some will not.
Get a loan!
Purchasing a service dog is not a small expense. Luckily, there are many different options to obtain a loan to minimize the upfront cost!
Check with your bank or credit union to see if you qualify for a low interest loan to cover the cost of your service dog. Be sure to pay attention to things like interest rate and APR which all affect the total amount you will repay.
Be warned that your credit score will affect your interest rate and your minimum monthly payment. Also, be sure to check if there are any early pay off fees.
You can also look into websites that offer funding for the purchase of animals as well. Just be sure to do your research. There are a lot of scams out there!
Tiffany Buerer has almost half a decade of training experience with Lost Creek. She is an expert in obedience training, and she has helped rehabilitate hundreds of aggressive dogs. She has also assisted with the training and certification of multiple Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs through Lost Creek’s Service Dog Training & Certification Program and Therapy Dog Training & Certification Program.
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