7 Super Steps for Promoting Your Animal Rescue Nonprofit

Implementing a comprehensive and strategic advertising plan for your animal rescue will lead to increased funding. Marketing, advertising, crowdfunding campaigns, and major gifts are all vital, especially in today’s growing digital age – but they are often neglected! Read on for seven steps to help you promote your animal rescue nonprofit and get a greater return on your investment.

5 minutes read
7 Super Steps for Promoting Your Animal Rescue Nonprofit

how to promote animal rescue nonprofitHooray! Your animal rescue nonprofit is built and you’re looking to grow your audience to make a greater positive impact on your community’s precious animals. What’s next?!

With so many options out there, it can feel impossible to know where to start. In this article, we’ve compiled seven super helpful steps to get the word out about your animal rescue nonprofit. Read on!

1. Set Clear, Measurable Goals

Like with any business plan, first and foremost, you’ll need to come up with some clear and measurable goals for your advertising strategy. It may help you and your team to divide these goals into intended outputs and intended outcomes. For example, a goal for advertising for your animal rescue might be to increase the number of followers on your Facebook channel by 100% over the next 3 months. An outcome of reaching this goal might be that your nonprofit raises 25% more in donations with such a significant increase in supporters.

We have a blog on setting SMART goals for your fundraising and nonprofit overall. Read about it here.

2. Launch a Website

According to nonprofit tech for good, 94% of nonprofits worldwide have a website that is optimized for mobile viewing. So, at this point, not having a website presence is really not an option. Websites can be particularly fruitful for promoting animal rescue nonprofits! They are information hubs where readers can learn about the process and policies related to bringing and accepting animals at your particular shelter.

Including images of your rescued animals along with information about how they came to your shelter are emotionally jogging for website viewers and may inspire donations.

Pro tip: Be mindful about choosing a website builder. It must integrate well with your fundraising tool or let you embed a robust donation form. Donorbox seamlessly integrates with all major website builders out there, such as Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, Weebly, Rocketspark, Webflow, and more. It also helps you integrate with Salesforce, Zapier, MailChimp, Double the Donation, etc. to make your donor management and communications the best that they can be.

Check the below website out. They have a simple and user-friendly design, a minimalistic navigation menu, impressive hero images, a Donate button at the top of the homepage, and a great donation page as you click the button. So you see their donors need to look no further – it’s perfect!

animal rescue organizations

3. Advertise to Maximize

Engaging in creative and strategic digital and physical advertising is critical for promoting, garnering support, and raising more money for your animal rescue.

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all excellent avenues for advertising your nonprofit. And the possibilities are ENDLESS when it comes to posting about an animal rescue!

Some creative ideas for social media advertising include posting a “headshot” and bio of every animal that comes to your shelter, including any relevant information (e.g. where and how you found the animal). You can also “Go Live” and check in with your followers in real-time format! This will build a sense of trust with your rescue. Finally, you can advertise upcoming adoption events on social media. Talk about what’s set to occur, how many animals will be there, the date, time, and more.

Email Marketing: Distribute the same information and snippets you post on your social media to your email subscribers. But be sure to add some additional “subscriber-only” sneak-peaks and special updates in your emails as well! There needs to be an incentive to subscribe to your email updates and newsletters at your animal rescue.

Google Ads: Google allows nonprofits to advertise on Google Ads at NO cost to the nonprofit. This program gives qualified organizations $10,000 per month in Google Ads, With it, they can promote their missions and initiatives on Google.com. Use it!

Physical Advertising: Though many nonprofits are shifting to a digital advertising strategy, sending direct mail to donors is still a worthwhile endeavor. According to AccuData, direct mail actually tends to have a much higher return on investment than does digital mail, with response rates nearly 10x higher than response rates from digital advertising. Whether a flyer, brochure, or newsletter, sending a customized piece of mail that tells a story and motivates a response through emotion is sure to bring in funds to your animal rescue.

4. Build Strategic Partnerships

Community Radio: Most nonprofits don’t realize that they can qualify for free public service announcements on many radio stations. The Federal Communications Commission requires that a certain allotment of radio time must be devoted to nonprofit organizations. Direct solicitations aren’t acceptable via radio. But there are myriad ways to get your message across about your animal rescue. Share stories, impact statistics, and more.

Local Businesses: Whether a local coffee shop, restaurant, consulting firm, dentist office, or grocery, local businesses are a great option for partnerships. That’s because they receive incentives to promote your animal rescue nonprofit!

Let’s say you convince a new, local restaurant to host a fundraising night for your nonprofit. From this arrangement, 25% of the night’s proceeds will go directly to funding healthcare or adoption fees! Plus, they will receive increased visibility and a positive public spotlight in electing to support your animal rescue.

Influencer Advertising: An influencer is a prominent online figure who’s usually gained popularity through social media or a blog. Influencers typically have already acquired a highly engaged audience and built loyalty with their followers. Research influencers or celebrities who’ve publicly supported or donated to other animal rescues. Begin to reach out. Getting an animal support influencer to make just one post or shout-out about your nonprofit could gain you thousands of followers in one swoop!

5. Create a Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding campaigns are an excellent way to drive interest and energy towards supporting a bigger project. Renovation projects, capital (building) projects, repair work, treatment of injured animals, and more – crowdfunding campaigns have the potential to reach more prospective donors than most traditional campaigns would. Use features such as a goal meter, recurring donation form, social media sharing options, updates, or a donor wall.

Donorbox provides an awesome, comprehensive platform for creating a successful crowdfunding campaign.

6. Seek and Maintain Major Donors

Out of all the funding sources, major donors can be the most intimidating to fundraisers. However, these donors can be an excellent source of funding for nonprofits. They have a high capacity and a high affinity for giving. But remember, stewarding major donors is just as important – perhaps even more important – than the ask itself. Since major donors are giving at such a large level, most like to feel involved. They also want to have some sort of say in the work your animal rescue is doing. Your relationships with your major donors shouldn’t feel ‘transactional’, but instead, like a true, trustworthy, and loyal partnership.

7. Engage with Your Volunteers

Your volunteers – those who spend precious time out of their days to support your nonprofit – are some of your most, if not THE most, engaged supporters. They’re also sources of free advertising! Show your existing volunteers how grateful you are for their support. Ask them to publicly share their excitement or reasons for volunteering with their own personal networks. Perhaps they can post a picture of themselves with your rescued animals; or videos of themselves helping with an adoption event!


Your animal rescue nonprofit and the lives of the animals you support are worth the extra push! Just a little strategic planning, social media and email marketing calendaring, recruitment, and partnerships can go an incredibly long way in the world of philanthropy.

Donorbox is a fundraising solution that has benefited thousands of animal rescue nonprofits as well as other charities in raising funds for their mission. Check out our features here. If you’d like some fundraising tips, ideas, and resources, here’s our nonprofit blog.

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Raviraj heads the sales and marketing team at Donorbox. His growth-hacking abilities have helped Donorbox boost fundraising efforts for thousands of nonprofit organizations.

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