Holding a dog walk fundraiser is a great way to earn money for your group while having some fun and giving people a valuable service at the same time. From the planning to the actual task of walking, there are plenty of ways to get every member of your organization involved in raising the much needed funds.
Planning Your Dog Walk Fundraiser
Before you start lining up customer appointments, there is a fair bit of planning that goes into a fundraiser consisting of walking dogs. First and foremost, you need to gather a strong group of volunteers within your organization and decide what your goal and purpose will be. Do you want to walk dogs indefinitely as a continuous fundraiser, or do you want to make it a set window of time where people can enjoy affordable dog walking for a limited number of weeks and/or until you reach your fundraiser goal amount? Will you accept general donations?
These are just one of many questions you must have answers to before you start advertising your services. You also will want to know how many dogs your group can manage to walk in one week so you do not become overbooked and overwhelmed, and also what type of dogs each volunteer is comfortable walking. The big, strong tough guy on your team may be terrified of Rottweilers, while your youngest team member may have a particular fondness for Great Danes or a dog even larger! You won't know unless you ask, and you shouldn't formally begin until all of these questions have been answered.
Next, determine how you plan to advertise your fundraiser. Are you going to solicit for customers within your immediate organization, or will you bring it out to the general community as a whole? Also, will you be having any sort of ground rules - proof of updated vaccinations, a certain level of temperament, etc.? These are just a few of the questions you may ask as you are planning your walking event.
Tips for Optimal Success
To earn the most amount of funds for your group possible, you need to optimize the success of your dog walk event. Start by checking out other dog walkers in the neighborhood. You can do this simply by searching for flyers and phone book listings nearby, or you can peruse classified ads such as those found in your Craigslist posting region. Most dog walkers are students looking for some extra cash, or retired folks attempting to do the same while getting a bit of exercise. Make your rates competitive and focus on quality and quantity when it comes to your customer base.
You may also want to add something a bit extra to your repertoire. This could include a sliding price scale, where a person can pay a bit more for additional services such as a wash/brush, extra long walk, Frisbee/ball toss, etc. Get creative with what your "dog walking" offers. You can also host a few "puppy playdates" where dogs can interact with each other and run around to get their exercise. This can include a sign up booth for your walking services, and can be hosted at a local dog park with treats for the dogs and an inexpensive lunch for the owners.
What to Avoid
Avoid using your own leash, collars, etc. when walking other people's animals. For liability's sake, it is best to keep to what they provide, should something happen during your walk. If walking two different dogs at once, make sure to know what their behavior history is. You also may want to do some basic breed research to make sure there will be no issues. Finally, always have a release form on file with each and every client. You do not want to be responsible for any unforeseen circumstance or issue that may run your dog walk fundraiser into the ground.