how animal shelters get funding

How Animal Shelters Get Funding: The 3 Main Methods and How They Compare

Animal shelters have a lot to do when it comes to providing care for the animals in their care. Because of this, fundraising is essential for them to maintain their programs and services. But how do they do it? And what are the different ways animal shelters get funding from?

There are 3 main methods for animal shelters to get funding:

  1. Online Charitable Donations
  2. Grants from Foundations or Corporations
  3. Event Fundraisers

Each of these funding sources has its own pros and cons, so read on to find out which one is best for your animal shelter!

3 Main Methods from which Animal Shelters Get Funding:

1. Online Charitable Donations

Online charitable donations are becoming more and more popular for shelters to get funding. Online giving is a new way of donating money that has been growing in popularity over the past few years, with many organizations now using this method as their primary source of income.

This type of donation allows people to give without leaving home or even getting off their couches since they can donate online from anywhere at any time. It’s also easier than ever before because there are no longer physical forms needed to be mailed back and forth; all you have to do is click on an “online” button!


  • It’s easy and can be done from anywhere
  • Easy to setup and can raise unlimited funds
  • It is cost effective
  • You don’t have to spend time going door-to-door asking for donations
  • The money is transferred directly to your account, so you don’t have to worry about collecting checks or cash


  • If people don’t want to donate online, you won’t receive any funding
  • There is less personalization in the donation process since the donor doesn’t actually make contact with your shelter. This can make people feel disconnected from the cause they’re donating to.
  • Online fundraising takes a lot of time if you’re trying to raise a large amount of money

Pro tip: If you are an animal shelter nonprofit, looking to accept online donations, then get started with Donorbox. It is one of the best online fundraising solutions for all your fundraising needs.

2. Grants from Foundations or Corporations

Grants can be an excellent option for shelters because they require little-to-no fundraising on their part.

The biggest benefit to getting a grant from foundations or corporations is that it’s usually a one-time payment. With these grants, shelters often get money to cover immediate needs, such as vet care for an animal. In addition to funding the shelter’s immediate needs, these grants can also be used for their long-term goals. For example, a shelter could use a grant to buy new equipment or train staff members.

However, there are some ways in which these grants can be challenging. For example, while they’re usually a one-time payment, foundations and corporations typically have restrictions on how the money can be used. In some cases, the grant recipient may not know what they want to spend the money on until after they receive it.

Additionally, if you’re successful in applying for a grant from a foundation or corporation, you’ll need to meet their requirements for receiving the funds. They may ask that all of your fundraising efforts be handled by their own nonprofit organization or that you do not go into debt with this grant money.

The pros of this method are that there is no limit on the amount of money your shelter can receive, and there is less work than with other methods. The cons are that grants don’t usually cover all of the costs associated with running a shelter, so you may need to fundraise to cover any unmet needs.

3. Event Fundraisers

The third option for animal shelters is event fundraisers like charity walks, bake sales, or movie screenings–anything where people will gather together and donate money! Event Fundraisers builds community engagement by bringing together people who are passionate about your cause.

The pros of event fundraising are that it can be done on very short notice and it’s easy for potential donors to participate because they can donate directly at the event.

The cons are that you need to spend money on the event so it may not be as cost-effective as other types of fundraising. Event fundraising also relies heavily on volunteers, so if you need more than 1-2 people involved then it may not be worth your time.


If you are an animal shelter, you are likely always looking for new ways to raise money. Despite the fact that shelters are often desperate for cash, it’s tough to find funding. There are many ways to fundraise for an animal shelter, but not all of them are equal, so it’s important to know which method will work best for your organization. We hope that his blog post has shed some light and clear some of your queries.

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