The holidays are a time for giving, and many people are looking for ways to give back to their communities.
Zoos, animal shelters, and rescue facilities are always in need of support, and there are many ways that supporters can help. But they need to know about your organization and how holiday donations help in your work with animals.
Here are some effective methods for making it easy to get the word out to friends and donors in time for holiday giving:
Use Social Media
- Share your wish list on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
- Link to the donation page on your facility’s website.
- Use hashtags to reach a wider audience.
- Post about the animals in your care and the work that you do.
Support for Specific Animals and Habitats
It is no secret that donors have favorite animals and causes. Zoos know there are big cat lovers, bird enthusiasts, even reptile fans! If you run an animal shelter you have dogs, cats, and small animals to care for. Large animal rescues, depending on their focus, may have horses, pigs, alpacas, and other large animals. Create multiple social media posts with unique animal-specific images to let your donors know how to support their favorite animal. If you have a project, like a new enclosure door, show an image of the item. This works with small animal enrichment toys too.
Make Your Wish List Public
Supporters want to help, so make it easy for them. One of the most effective ways of communicating your needs is with a wish list. Provide a gift list so they can easily see what they are purchasing and why it is needed. Zoo Atlanta publishes a great holiday gift-giving list on their website.
- Share it on your website, by email, and at the facility.
- Make a list of products and explain how they enrich the animals’ lives.
- Show an image of the item and the animal that benefits from the enrichment product.
- Feel free to use our product images.
Get Creative with Marketing
Blank Park Zoo has a year-end gift list based on the type of animal. They even link directly to our product pages. If your animals have names, say something like “Samantha our lioness would really like a new Kong Extreme Ball”. Slogans like “Our monkeys will go bananas if they get a new hammock ” resonate with animal-lovers. Tell a story that helps donors identify with the need. Humane societies and animal shelters should break down their wish list by animal type. A cat lover will be moved by feline enrichment products while dog fans will be eager to provide toys and treats for canines.
You have the opportunity to emphasize your facility’s objectives and underscore the significance of contributing to items that enhance the welfare of the animals under your supervision. Some examples include:
- “By buying a gift, you assist our animal caregivers in ensuring a joyful life for the animals.”
- “These items contribute to research, aid in the renovation of animal habitats, and offer toys that allow animals to exhibit their natural behaviors during play.”
- “Your donation directly affects the daily life and well-being of (insert a specific animal).
Holiday Celebrations and Open House Events
Organize a festive open house during the holiday season and utilize this occasion to communicate your wish list and the requirements of the animals in your care. Demonstrate or show what the needs of your facility are. But remember to keep it fun and light-hearted for the attendees. Don’t forget to invite the local media. News outlets are always looking for upbeat holiday topics.
Happy Holidays from Otto Environmental
Otto Environmental is committed to assisting you in the care of your animals by offering the finest animal enrichment products, enclosure systems, and product support. We wish you joyful holidays, and eagerly anticipate the opportunity to serve you in the coming year.