Beyond Dollars: How to Support Animal Welfare Creatively

While we all want to support our favorite animal welfare charity, sometimes it’s not possible to do so financially.

If you’re interested in supporting your favorite organization but don’t have the dollars to donate, consider a creative donation instead.

Donate Time

Animal welfare organizations always need extra hands. Shelters need dog walkers and socializers. They need people to scoop litter boxes and play with cats. They also need volunteers to take adoptable pets to adoption events and foster homes to help adjust adoptable pets before they’re ready to go into a home. Our local humane association sends volunteers to specific spots around town—grocery stores, bars, cafes and more—to hang up posters featuring the newest batch of adoptable animals. Other volunteers are needed to pick up supplies like bleach and paper towels from stores or collect donations from supply drives. You might be needed to staff an information booth at a fair or hand out water bottles at the group’s annual 5k. Whether you have a few hours each week or a few hours each month, your local animal welfare organization has a task for you.

Donate Skills

Another way to help your favorite animal charity is by donating your skills. Are you a PR pro who can whip up a killer press release? Your local animal welfare organizations could utilize those skills for promoting events and fundraisers. If you’re a photographer, even as a side hobby, consider volunteering your eye (and camera) to snap pics of adoptable animals for the organization’s website. A whiz at filing and organizing? Consider donating your organizational skills to help input data. Charities always need marketing, web and graphic design, PR and admin help, so if you have specific skills, consider donating those instead of dollars.

Donate Goods

Shelters and education organizations need lots of supplies: blankets, towels, cleaning products, paper and office supplies, pet food, collars, the list goes on and on. Spend a couple hours cleaning out your pet’s extra supplies or your linen closet to corral donations, or consider using any buy-one-get-one coupons to stock up on food or cleaning supplies when you’re doing your family’s shopping. Tip: Most organizations have a wish list on their website to help you pick the best items to donate.

©istockphoto/Salinde

©istockphoto/Salinde

Meet the Author: Maggie Marton

Maggie is a writer and author, whose first book, Clicker Dog Training: The Better Path to a Well-Behaved Pup was published by Open Air Publishing. When she's not writing (or reading books about grammar), she teaches writing courses to college students and professionals who want to nail down the basics of communication. Outside of work, she hikes, throws dinner parties, plays with her three dogs and cat, and travels as much as possible.

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