How to Run a Dog Wash
"All clean dogs go to heaven"?
Running a dog wash can be a very successful event to raise money for Support Our Troops®.
Location! Location! Location!
The first thing you'll have to do is choose a location for the event. Dog beaches and parks on the right day of the week seem to work well as they are already full of potential donors. Other dog-centered events should work as well. You may have to obtain a permit for the event and check on any other regulations in the area.
Make sure you have enough volunteers (4-7).
Put up signs guiding people to the event nearby around town and advertise it in any other ways you can. You will need access to water close enough to be reached by hose. Use a spigot splitter to double your efficiency. Get there early to setup the event. People take their dogs out all times of day, so you might consider being there for a while. The most effective method for collecting donations is to ask people to name their own price. Tell them you're washing dogs for the "price of a donation." You're much more likely to get donations this way, even if the person only has a few dollars to give. Some will even give quite generously. This leads into your next task: obtain a cash box with change, specifically in $1's and $5's.
You might also make a poster displaying your goal ($1,000 maybe) and color it in throughout the day as your donations build, this will show people what you're trying to achieve and that it has momentum.
It's important to publicize the dog wash as much as possible. You will want to check the local school and community calendars to make sure no other big events are going on at the time of your breakfast. At the event location on the day of the event you'll want to advertise with signs that have BIG, clear writing. But it's not enough to just have signs up the day of the event. You will need to put it in community papers, churches, bulletin boards, flyers, posters, email chains, and the like. Popular places for people with pets include libraries, vet clinics, pet stores, grocery stores, day care centers, and play grounds. Contact local radio stations that might run free ads. Make sure your ads run effectively for at least two weeks.
You will want to bring stools or 5-gal buckets to sit on so you're not bent over for several hours (your back will thank you).
Put the dogs in a slip collar with a short leash to help keep them secure while washing. You can even secure them by hooking the leash up to something while you're washing. Make sure you rinse the dogs thoroughly, leaving no soap in their coats. Put a muzzle on dogs; they won't mind. Towel dry them and put their dry collars back on for the owner. You can even get material to make complementary bandanas for the dogs (maybe use red, white and blue). Bring doggy treats as well. Milk bones are cheap and generally liked by dogs. Bring coolers for food and water for your volunteers. Wear your organizations t-shirt and dress appropriately. Flip-flops and sandals might be a good idea because you'll be getting wet.
Have two people track and watch the money. Make sure to lock up your donations and put someone in charge of the key. Have two people sign off on the money raised before you leave the scene.
When you pack up for the day make sure you leave no trace and respect the property you've used for the event. Be courteous to the people and their pets at all times.
- Event tent (optional, but it does attract attention)
- Dog shampoo
- Dog pools
- Muzzles in different sizes
- Hose splitter
- Hose sprayer attachment with shower setting
- Signs and posters (at the event and in town leading people there)
- Bowl (for the dogs to drink)
- Doggy bandanas (optional)
- Slip collars
- Short leashes
- Dog treats
- Garbage bags
- Cooler with ice
- Food and drinks
Mail a check for the funds raised to and payable to:
Support Our Troops®
PO Box 70
Daytona Beach, FL 32115
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