If you’re in the process of obtaining a Service Dog, one of the first things you should start thinking about is fundraising since this investment can cost thousands of dollars. The cost of these animals greatly depends on the program – some of them are free for qualified, low-income families, but the free ones generally have waiting lists that could take years before you’re matched with a dog. Let’s see Fundraising Ideas for a Service Dog
The average Service Dog costs between $20-$30k, with the program asking the handler to cover about $10-$15k of the cost (depending on the program). This is a huge amount of money for many families and individuals who are desperately hoping for help. Some people get discouraged by the cost and try to get one of these dogs altogether. So we need some ideas of fundraising Ideas for a Service Dog.
While it may seem impossible, there are many ways to raise the needed money, but it’s important to make sure that you’re able to own a dog financially and can take on all the responsibilities after you’ve obtained your match.
If you know that you can financially afford a dog, here are several fundraising ideas to offset the cost of the Service Dog’s training:
1. Fundraising Ideas for a Service Dog by Friends & Family
Most people will start asking friends and family for support. You can create a gofundme.com or firstgiving.com account and post it to Facebook & social media describing your situation and ask if anyone can help you.
2. Donations Jar
Create flyers explaining your situation and attach them to a jar. Ask local businesses, schools, and churches if you can place the donations jar on a counter where visitors regularly visit that you’ll come to pick up weekly.
3. Sell something handcrafted
Create little keychains, braided bracelets, dog collars, anything that’s very simple to create and doesn’t cost much money, along with little info cards about your situation. Then go to local businesses (malls, grocery stores, airports, festivals), passing out your handcrafted items asking people for donations. People respond well to this as they feel like they’re getting something in return along with helping someone out.
4. Create an Etsy store
If you’re crafty, create something to sell on Etsy.com – make sure in the information section you describe your situation and let people know that their purchase is for a great cause and will help someone in need.
5. Fundraising Ideas for a Service Dog by Car wash
Go to local schools and explain your situation and ask if the kids could put on a car wash for your benefit.
6. Write letters
Churches love to help those in need. Write a letter to a few churches and ask if they could help sponsor you. Many times the church will announce to the whole congregation during service asking for donations.
7. Eagles, Boys & Girls Scouts
Contact local boys/girls scouts and ask if they can sponsor you. Also, Eagle Scouts love to help those in need – if you can find someone working on their certification, they might be willing to help you plan out your entire fundraising and do a lot of the leg work for you.
More creative & festive ideas to Fundraising Ideas for a Service Dog
- Bake Sale
- Haunted House
- Cake Walk
- Car detailing
- Boardgame tournament
- Dog sitting
- Fish fry
- Dodgeball tournament
- Face painting
- Garage sale
- Ice cream social
- Outdoor Movie night
- Pizza party
- Scrapbook party
- Skate party
- Silent auction
- Talent contest
- Trivia night
- Yard Sale
It’s important to make sure that you follow any instructions regarding donations with your program (if any). If you’re on SSDI or SSI, you want to make sure that these donations do not count as your income, as that could affect your eligibility. (Fundraising Ideas for a Service Dog Cont.)
If donations get sent directly to the program, make sure that they are clearly addressed to you or state “on ‘your name’s behalf.” If you have the donations sent directly to the program, ask what happens to the money if you don’t get a dog from them.
Don’t get discouraged or let this be a daunting task; Fundraising Ideas for a Service Dog can be a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people!
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