Most guide dog organisations need to fundraise unless the government provides 100% of the funding. Where fund raising and public relations take place, all local principles, rules, regulations and legislation in the respective countries must be adhered to. 

The first step is to develop a clear strategy and business plan (action and financial plan) designed to ensure: 

  1. Funding meets the organisation’s ongoing requirements,  
  2. The public is made aware of its purpose and activities on a regular basis, using all forms of media, which in turn supports staff, volunteers and graduates, especially in terms of access along with generating income. 

Suggestions for fundraising:

Mentoring from IGDF Members: The Development Committee can put you in touch with IGDF member organisations that are willing to provide mentorship with proven fundraising, public relations and media ideas. Visiting or communicating with new and well-established small, medium and large organisations can result in your efforts being more successful. Attending the biennial IGDF Conference, that is available for Member, Enquiring and Applicant Organisations provides an excellent opportunity to network and learn about fundraising strategies.  

Fundraising examples: 

  • Breeding stock and litter of puppy sponsorship; 
  • Community Campaigns and Trusts;
  • Company payroll deductions from each employee;
  • Responsible corporate donors, e.g. dog food companies, pharmaceuticals that produce vaccines and parasite control medications; car manufacturers for dog training vehicles;
  • Individual donors, using direct marketing to make regular donations via direct debit;
  • Government subsidy/funding e.g. seed funding to establish a guide dog pilot program or project;
  • Legacies and Bequests, should be developed from the start, if the local law allows;
  • Merchandise program, such as soft toy dogs, t-shirts, etc.; 
  • Philanthropists, including Philanthropic Trusts that are able to contribute to major projects such as a building a new breeding centre, auditorium for visitors and supporters and similar;
  • Puppy sponsorship, e.g. $3 per day via automatic payment;
  • Service clubs, such as Lions, Rotary, e.g. to sponsor guide dog equipment or similar;
  • Special fundraising events, such as charity auctions, golf tournaments;
  • Veterinarians, e.g. consultations provided at no cost or reduced by 50 %, drugs at no cost;

Public relations, media and communications examples: 

  • Create a range of brochures, website, social media such as Facebook, Twitter accounts; 
  • Connections to print, radio and TV media;
  • Design and produce access stickers – “Guide Dogs Welcome here” for use in public places, shops and public transport;
  • Develop documentary depicting breeding stock, puppies, guide dogs in training, guide dog teams in service;
  • Ensure advertisements showing approved puppy raisers and stories of graduates are in the media on a regular basis.

Information and examples may be acquired through the IGDF and its Members

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Section 4. Staff development and training