Fundraise for PAWS with your own event

Sharing is caring! Help for pets doesn’t have to be in the form of a donation. Did you know you can hold a fun event that will help fundraise for PAWS?

Certainly donations are a great way to help people who are struggling financially keep their pets healthy, safe, and in their homes. We appreciate donations of any size. But an equally great way to help is to spread the message and encourage others with your own fundraising event with the proceeds going to PAWS.

There are as many types of fundraising events as there are generous donors with creative ideas. Let your imagination run wild. Any new idea will attract attention, and hopefully attract more donations too. To get you started, we’ve put together some popular fundraising event ideas. Find the idea that will be fun and successful for you, or try a few different types!

Individually-led fundraisers are a fun and impactful way to raise money and spread the word about PAWS’ mission. Our programs rely on charitable giving to provide access to life-saving medical care for animal companions, and you can help us.

You can download a pdf version of this guide to use offline!

A brown and white mini labradoodle is wearing sunglasses. Dollar bills are falling all around it. Fundrasing for PAWS.

Fundraise for PAWS using social media

Ask your networks for donations

Most people have extensive social media networks, and reaching out to all those people (even if you haven’t seen them since high school) is a great way to get more donations. Whatever platforms you use, be sure to keep your followers and connections updated about how your fundraising is going so they can cheer you on. 

Use your social posts to appeal directly for donations by including a link or email address where they can donate (you can use Interac e-transfer through your bank, for example). Make your posts entertaining, funny, inspiring, or emotional to move people to donate. Whenever possible, include dog or cat pics and videos to keep your animal-loving contacts engaged!

If you’re holding live fundraising events (we’ll talk about those below), you can livestream or “live tweet” them, or you can share photos and videos after the event. Again, make sure you always include a link or email to make it easy for people to donate.

Hold a fundraiser for special dates

It’s a good idea to piggyback your social media appeals on specific days that are connected to your fundraising. For example, hold a fundraiser for PAWS around:

  • your birthday 
  • your pet’s birthday or gotcha day 
  • #GivingTuesday (the first Tuesday after US Thanksgiving)
  • Betty White Day (January 17) 

You can also hold a fundraiser in honour of a pet you recently lost, or an animal lover who recently passed.

A woman sits at a table with her orange cat. The cat is wearing a polka-dot birthday hat. There is a cupcake on a plate with a birthday candle in front of them. Fundraising for PAWS using social media.

Engage with PAWS social channels

PAWS is active on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Follow our accounts and share some of our posts with your network to let your followers learn about what we do. Whenever you share a post, be sure to tell people how to donate to your fundraiser and ask them to donate whatever amount they can.

Your followers will also see your comments on our posts, so be sure to engage with us regularly and keep the conversations going.

Use online fundraising tools

Several social media platforms have introduced tools for fundraising. If you’re on these platforms, you can use them to make fundraising easier. Be aware that these platforms may not release your money right away.

Facebook: You can set up your own fundraiser where people can donate directly through a “donate” button on Facebook.

Instagram: You can add a “donate” button to your profile. You can also livestream video and add a “donate” button to that. Your followers can add “donation” stickers to their own posts too, and their followers can donate directly to your fundraiser by clicking on the stickers.

Set up challenges

Make your fundraising more interactive by setting up challenges. You can challenge your followers to do something, or offer to do something if they donate, or both. Here are some examples:

  • TikTok is known for “challenges” that get people involved in a cause (most famously, the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS). Come up with a fun challenge and ask participants to donate to your PAWS fundraiser.
  • Stupid pet tricks: Have your pet do a trick on camera every time someone donates.
  • Polar plunge: Offer to jump into a frigid lake in exchange for donations.
  • Exercise challenge: For every $10 donated, you’ll livestream yourself doing 10 push-ups or squats (or whatever you can do). Or get your participants to post videos of themselves doing an exercise challenge.
  • Dedications: Your supporters can share a story or simply the name and photo of a person or pet they’re honouring by making a donation.
A woman in a t-shirt and jeans is bent over, holding her arms in a loop. A Jack Russel terrier jumps through her arms. They are standing outside in a grassy yard. Fundraising for PAWS using social meda.

Create a fundraising event

Host live events

Live events can be a great way to get a lot of donations in one day, but they also take some effort and planning. If you’re the sort of person who loves to throw a party, this could be a perfect fundraising method for you.

One way to fundraise from live events is to sell tickets to something. Try to get all the people involved to donate their time (and the venue to donate the space) so that all the money you receive goes directly to PAWS. Here are some ticketed events you can hold:

  • Concert
  • Casino night 
  • Comedy show 
  • Doggie fashion show 
  • Play 
  • Movie night
  • Sporting event
  • Talent show
  • Art exhibition

Here are some other live event fundraising ideas:

  • Group dog walk
  • Puppy yoga
  • Auction or silent auction
  • Bake sale
  • Paint night for pet portraits
  • Dinner party or potluck
  • Trivia night
  • Karaoke night
  • Yard sale (ask friends and family to donate items)
  • Plant sale
  • Book sale
  • Lemonade stand
  • Car wash
  • Holiday gift wrapping booth (ask to hold it at your local mall, community centre, school or place of worship)
  • Murder mystery party
  • Tastings (wine, whiskey, cheese, chocolate, or other favourites)
  • Bottle drive (collecting beer and wine bottles and returning them for a deposit)
Maximize donations at your events

Once you have people gathered for your events, take advantage of your captive audience to raise even more donations. Here are some ideas:

  • Place a friend at a table just inside the entrance to collect additional donations
  • Sell raffle tickets for donated prizes and draw winners at the event
  • Hold a 50/50 draw
  • Sell snacks and drinks
A tri-coloured dog sits at a wooden kissing booth. The sign reads "kisses 5 cents". Fundraising for PAWS with live events

Host an online event to fundraise for PAWS

If your friends and colleagues are spread out over multiple cities (or countries)—or planning a live event sounds like an overwhelming task—you can hold an online event instead. Most people are now used to gathering on video platforms like Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams, and you can use these or other platforms to bring people together.

Ask people who attend to donate whatever they can, but it’s a good idea to provide a suggested amount. You can even sell “tickets” ahead of time and only send the event link to people who made a donation. Use your social media networks to let everyone know about your event and provide a link or email address they can use to sign up.

During the event, use the platform’s “chat” feature to provide a link where they can donate. This will encourage even more donations. Here are some ideas for online events:

  • Talent show
  • Trivia tournament
  • Classes/tutorials (pet grooming or training, cooking, dancing, etc.)
  • Auction or silent auction
  • Storytelling
  • Concert
  • Game night
Three small dogs are looking at the screen of an orange laptop computer, sitting on a desk. Fundraising for PAWS using online events.

Fundraise for PAWS at your workplace

Fundraise using your company’s matching program

Find out whether your company has a matching program for charitable donations. Many workplaces do—especially larger companies. If they have one, donations from your work colleagues may be matched dollar-for-dollar by the company. This can grow your fundraising total twice as fast.

Hold a fundraising event at work

Your employer may let you set up a fundraising event at work. Ask the company to donate prizes to create extra incentives. You can also ask some of your colleagues whether they have prizes to donate. Here are some ideas that can bring in more donations:

  • Cutest pet photo contest
  • Bake sale
  • Pancake breakfast
  • Pizza lunch (or barbeque or chili cook-off)
  • Trivia tournament (at lunch or after hours)
  • 50/50 draw
  • Raffle for prizes
  • Silent auction
  • Talent show
  • Craft fair
  • Paper airplane competition (in the parking lot or any open area)
  • Lunchtime walkathon (one time only or a weekly event for $2)
Two bulldogs sit behind a desk wearing business suits. Fundraise for PAWS at your workplace.

Fundraise for PAWS using your talents and skills

Do you have a talent or skill you could use to raise funds? Raise donations through some of these offerings:


  • Dog walking
  • Pet sitting
  • Baking
  • Jewelry making
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Drawing or painting
  • Gift wrapping
  • Hairstyling
  • House cleaning
A tabby cat is wearing an apron and chef's hat. It is leaning on a kitchen counter where there is a mound of dough, unbaked cookies, and baking utensils. Fundraise for PAWS using your talents or skills

Businesses: Partner with PAWS

Are you a business owner or executive who’s passionate about pet welfare? Make PAWS Canada part of your social corporate responsibility program and help us help people and their pets. By matching employee donations and offering automatic payroll deductions, you can get your staff involved and multiply your impact.

Holding events at your workplace increases awareness about PAWS and raises even more donations. Check out the “Fundraise at your workplace” section above for some event ideas, or come up with something unique for your team.

Contact us to learn more about potential partnerships and how we can promote your initiative on social media!

A man's hand is holding a dog's paw, as though they are shaking hands. Businesses partner with PAWS for fundraising.

You’re ready—go get those donations!

Thank you for supporting PAWS! We deeply appreciate your help in supporting people in our communities who are struggling to provide vet care for their pets. The need has never been greater, and every dollar your raise will go directly to our clients and their pets.

Please let us know about your fundraiser so we can help spread the word on our social media channels!

Download the pdf version of this guide to keep track of your ideas!