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 participating 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 event. If you hit your goal early, increase it and see how high you can go!

The goal is to reach your fundraising target by the end of Dog-A-Thon, June 26th. 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 nearly 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, Instagram, and TikTok 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 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 #dogathon2021.

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 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.

Put the Self in Selfless. Have a birthday or anniversary coming up? Or just want to honor a special pet in your life? Ask your friends and family to donate in lieu of purchasing a gift!

Write a Letter. Pick up that pen and personalize your letter with details about yourself and the reasons you’re participating – you might even want to include pictures of your pets! Tailor it to fit friends, business owners, colleagues, etc. And consider enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope to make it easier for them to contribute. 

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.


Digital Toolkit

Check out the digital tools below to boost your fundraising and help even more animlas! To download, either right click or hold your thumb on the image, then save to photos. 

Social Media Hashtag

Share your photos with us During Dog-A-Thon, and be sure to tag Tacoma Humane in your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts. Use #dogathon2021, and your posts will be featured on the Dog-A-Thon page on our website.

Facebook Frame

Add the Dog-A-Thon Facebook frame to your profile pic now to let everyone know you're participating in the 31st annual Dog-A-Thon.

Images to Post/Share to Social Media 

Facebook cover photo

 Facebook cover photo

Impact image for general post 

 Impact image for general post

Impact image for Facebook/Instagram stories 

 Impact image for Facebook/Instagram stories

Thank you image for social post 

 Thank you image for social post

Sample Language for Social Media Posts 

Use the posts below as inspiration for your digitial fundraising. fill in the blanks provided or edit then to fit your fundrasing style. 

Post 1: 31st Annual Dog-A-Thon
All those quarantine walks around the block are about to pay off. I’ve just signed up to participate in the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County’s 31st annual Dog-A-Thon! Take a step in the right direction and help me make a difference for animals in need. Donate to my page to support the dogs, cats, and critters who need it most. (Insert a link to your Dog-A-Thon fundraiser.)

Post 2: Animals make life better
No question, the past year was a challenging one, but the unconditional love of (insert pet’s name) brought laughter and joy when I needed it most. Every year, nearly 10,000 animals find the care they need at the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County until they’re adopted by loving families. That’s 10,000 animals who, without support from our community, may have never found their new best friends!
In honor of (insert pet’s name) and the second chances the shelter provides, I’m supporting the 31st annual Dog-A-Thon will you help me? Together, we can help animals find their new best friends. Donate today! (Insert a link to your Dog-A-Thon fundraiser.)

Post 3: By the numbers
This year I am supporting the 31st annual Dog-A-Thon, and it’s got me thinking: What would you forego, just for one day, to help change an animal’s life?

    • A takeout meal for lunch ($10), to help vaccinate an animal against life-threatening illnesses.
    • A new pair of sweatpants ($25), to provide the materials needed for a tumor removal surgery to help an animal fight cancer.
    • A cozy blanket ($50), to provide training treats for 50 animals.
    • Noise-canceling headphones ($100), you’ll ensure two animals receive the emergency surgery needed to save their life.

Who knew something as small as eating a meal made at home could have such a big impact on animals in need! The animals at the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County are counting on us - will you please help by supporting my Dog-A-Thon fundraiser? Together, we can make a difference for so many animals! (Insert a link to your Dog-A-Thon fundraiser.)

Post 4: Fun
This year, I’m supporting the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County’s 31st annual Dog-A-Thon! In honor of this important event, I thought we could play a game. If you make a donation of $50 I will (insert funny activity here) * and post it on Facebook!

Donate now, and let’s have a little fun! (Insert a link to your Dog-A-Thon fundraiser.)

*Some fun ideas you could do:

    • Eat your pets favorite treat
    • Jump into the Sound
    • Post a funny photo of yourself
    • Bake you cookies (or pet-safe treats!)
    • Go outside and do a funny dance in your driveway
    • Eat a tablespoon of a condiment (ex. Mustard, ranch, ketchup)
Or come up with your own funny activity that you know your friends and family would love to see you do. Just make sure you collect their donation first!
Background images for Zoom and MS Teams video calls

 Zoom Background Dog Lineup

 Zoom Background Purple

 Zoom Background Green