After postponing its largest annual fundraiser last year to help prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Farley Foundation is once again holding its annual Fundraise for Farley Month campaign in October. For veterinary clinics, businesses and supporters who are interested in fundraising but are concerned about both time management and staying safe, here are some ideas on how you can hold a successful fundraiser this year.

Raise money online. Raising money online is an easy and safe alternative to in-person fundraisers. The best way to fundraise online is through the Canada Helps website. By creating a fundraiser through the Farley Foundation’s giving page, fundraisers can easily collect donations while the platform handles the details, including providing instant tax receipts. To set up a Canada Helps fundraiser, visit the Fundraise for Farley Month Canada Helps page, login or sign up and follow the remaining steps. Facebook has also evolved to incorporate online giving, allowing both individual and business pages to raise money on their pages for charities they’re passionate about. By selecting “Add a Donate Button,” you can generate donations through your posts, with all proceeds funneled directly to the Farley Foundation.

Get outside. Moving your event outside is a great option to ensure everyone stays safe while having fun. Some great options for outdoor fundraisers include a fun run/walk, an outdoor pet photo shoot, or a car or dog wash. There are many creative ways to host an event outside—just be follow your local public health unit’s guidelines, mandate mask-wearing, set up sanitizing stations and maintain social distancing.

Maximize invoices. Whether you own a veterinary clinic or a small business, such as a pet shop or grooming salon, you can use invoices to help raise money. Just like many big-box stores, when it comes time for your client or customer to pay, ask them if they would like to add $5 or $10 to their bill in support of Farley. In exchange for their donation, you can have them sign a Farley paw print to display in your window or you can gift them this year’s grocery bag fundraising item stuffed with a bunch of goodies. Request a free fundraising kit.

Stick to the basics. For veterinary clinics, classic fundraisers, such as donating proceeds from pet nail trims, grooming and microchips, are simple and effective, and since clients don’t need to be in the room with you, it won’t affect your clinic’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. If your clinic has previously had success with these types of fundraisers, try them out again this year. If you run a small business, you can quickly raise funds by donating proceeds from product sales or by running a gift-matching campaign (i.e. for every $1 a customer donates, you’ll also contribute $1).

Host a virtual event. Virtual fundraisers, such as online auctions, trivia, paint nights and raffles, are great ways to get numerous people involved without stepping foot into the clinic or after the shop is closed. To spread awareness about your virtual fundraiser, add a special note about it on your invoices, post signs in your store, send an email to clients and customers, post about it on social media, and tell everyone in your network.

Run a low commitment fundraiser. If you’re simply too busy to host an event or prepare goodie bags for donors, try implementing a low commitment fundraiser such as an electronic recycling program, 50/50 draw or a bottle and can drive. These types of fundraisers require very minimal time and effort but can garner great results.

Ideas for individuals. You don’t need to work in a veterinary hospital or own a business to get involved. There are many individuals who volunteer their personal time to raise money for Fundraise for Farley Month. If you’re interested in running an individual fundraiser, consider hosting a yard sale or lemonade stand in support of the foundation. If you have a birthday around the campaign, you can hold a birthday fundraiser through Facebook and ask your family and friends to contribute in lieu of a gift. If you’re crafty, you can also try selling your handmade goods through a driveway pop-up shop. The possibilities are endless!

Spread awareness. If you’re unable to host a fundraiser, that’s OK! There are plenty of other ways that you can support the foundation, such as telling your network about the campaign and how they can contribute, resharing posts about Fundraise for Farley Month events and by donating online. Better yet, if you or your pet have a great social media following, you can help spread awareness through your platforms.

Whatever you choose, don’t lose sight of the goal of Fundraise for Farley Month: to help people and pets in need. Regardless of the amount of money you raise, your support will be used to help a beloved companion animal live a happy and healthy life.