The world is finally – and thankfully – starting to emerge from the worst pandemic in over a century. Covid-19 has had an immense impact on so many people and in so many areas of society – from the effects on our daily way of life, to the sheer loss of life experienced around the globe.
In our small corner of the world, our plans for Highland Canine Connect have been greatly affected. A lot of our community outreach events, such as our school reading program or taking dogs for socialization into nursing homes, had to be put on hold due to the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. We rely heavily on these events to promote awareness of our mission and raise much-needed funds to assist with our vital programs, such as our service dog and police dog donations.
With optimism starting to permeate throughout society, we are beginning to see the first signs of a return to ‘normal’. For us, normal means being able to hold fundraisers, like our recent event at the Stardust Taproom. It means being able to take our dogs into schools to help young children progress with their reading, or visiting a nursing home to bring joy to the residents as they interact with our four-legged friends.
Despite our relative youth as a non-profit, we have been very fortunate to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses of all shapes and sizes. These organizations have demonstrated generosity in numerous ways – aiding us by hosting fundraising events or partnering in other ways.
In this article, we want to outline how your business – regardless of size, industry or financial might – can help us to further our mission.
Host a fundraising event
Holding a fundraiser at your premises is a fantastic way to engage the community and inform them about Highland Canine Connect – but crucially, it can also bring extra footfall and revenue to your business.
When we hold a fundraiser, we go all out – there are no half-measures! We want it to be a memorable occasion for everyone involved. We’ll meet with you and discuss some of the creative ideas that have proven popular at our past events. Whether it is service dog demonstrations, a costume contest, a raffle or a cornhole tournament, we are never short of creative ways to attract people’s attention! In addition, we love to hear from your team on ideas that will resonate with your customers.
We want the event to be a success for your business, too. Our fundraisers usually attract a large following, which can lead to an increase in revenue – and not just on the day of the event. If first-time customers have a positive experience at your venue, they are likely to return again in the future.
Another huge benefit is the promotion and reach we can achieve across print media and our social channels. We reach out to local newspapers to promote our fundraising events. We also promote our fundraisers across all of our social channels to encourage attendance, and our followers are great at spreading the word. Your business will be tagged and mentioned in these posts, plus your logo will be displayed predominantly on the flyers we produce for the event. Your business will undoubtedly receive a reputational boost in your local community for working with a non-profit.
These events are tailor made for bars, coffee shops or eateries, but we would love to hear from any business that would be interested in partnering with us for a fundraising event.
Generous donations from individuals and businesses enable us to continue to provide our programs, such as service dog donations and police dog donations.
These donations can take many forms. For example, SynergyLabs, a company which develops and manufactures pet products, decided to sponsor the donation of two service dogs to veterans in North Carolina.
The cost of a fully-trained service dog is in the region of $15,000. The training process can take a year (or longer depending on the type of tasks being trained). In that period, there are several costs incurred, including:
- Routine veterinary care (vaccinations, spay/neuter, microchip and heartworm prevention)
- Boarding costs (plus food and treats)
- Socialization costs (such as gas/vehicle maintenance, training equipment, expenditure for restaurants/movie theaters)
- Travel costs for the service dog delivery (airplane/gas costs to deliver the trained dog to its handler)
- Equipment for the handler provided on delivery (vest, collar, leashes, long line and training collars)
Any financial contribution can help to offset these costs and allow us to continue helping people in need. We are overwhelmingly grateful for any donations and we do our best to highlight your generosity by mentioning your brand on our social media channels. We will also place a link to your organization on our Partners page.
If you run a small business, you can help too! Donating a small percentage from sales or running a short campaign in conjunction with our non-profit could help you to increase your revenue and gain loyal customers. We will be happy to promote your business by mentioning your campaign on our social media channels.
Socialization outings in public settings
Taking our dogs into public places such as schools, nursing homes and shopping malls is extremely beneficial for their development. This exposure to a variety of different environments helps them to become well-rounded, stable dogs who can reliably perform their trained tasks with confidence.
The best part is that these outings aren’t only great for the dogs – they’re great for the host, too! Schoolchildren benefit from interacting with our dogs in training. It improves their confidence when it comes to reading, and they learn about the amazing capabilities of these incredible animals. In nursing homes, residents are able to pet and interact with the dogs, which brings an inevitable sense of joy and happiness.
By taking our dogs into these public places, we are able to raise awareness of our mission through education. Our trainers and volunteers can discuss with the wider public about how these dogs will go on to help individuals who truly need help. We also post photographs and videos of these outings on our Facebook and Instagram feeds.
If you would like to partner with us or have different ideas on how your business could help our non-profit, please get in contact!
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (704) 500-8367. We’d love to hear from you!