Kids of all ages love to have their photos taken with animals (usually the more exotic the better, but who can resist puppies and kittens), and parents have a hard time resisting because they are so very cute. If you have any animals that are very friendly with people and can take a half day or so of flash bulbs, get a local photographer to donate professional photo services, and set up at a mall or other event. Be sure to keep a true animal lover around to handle anything that gets unruly. The usual agreement would be that the photographer has his/her film costs reimbursed, and of course his/her name is on the photos as free advertising, and he/she would be the source of reprints. The photographer will usually have printed forms for completion. You should arrange for your helpers to handle the registration and collection to keep costs down. Payments should be collected in advance. Sample photos with the available animals at their cutest could help spur fundraising sales.
Alternatively you could use a Polaroid or digital camera set up on a tripod with lighting and distance worked out ahead of time. If using a digital camera, have a separate pickup booth set up with a computer and printer to produce the prints. (A digital camera that prints to floppy discs would be ideal, and such a setup would allow you to sell duplicates/multiples of the really good shots.) Don’t forget to arrange for folders or other packaging for your photos. If using a digital camera, you could even include a contact number for reprints within a certain time limit. In that case, make sure to store the original discs safely for the allotted time limit. Be sure to have plenty of film or discs available. You can return unopened film packs after the event. Possible sources of animal subjects could be your local humane society or shelter as well as members of your group. (It could result in some adoptions for the society/shelter.) You may want to arrange for several animals (parrots or toucans make a great choice if docile) to attract more attention and assure the animals don’t get too flustered, particularly if you extend your hours. This could be a great compliment to an outdoor fair. Hay bales make a great backdrop and temporary corral as well help with any ‘accidents’. Be sure to plan for food, water and shade for the animals, as well as shovels to clean up after them. A garbage can with a tight cover can help keep the odor down
Alternative: Let people bring their own pets for pictures. For this to work, you need good advance publicity. Alternatively, set up a booth at any kind of animal show (i.e. dog, cat, horse, county fair, etc.) where people will be bring their prize animals. If your church does a “Blessing of the Animals,” set up a booth to take pictures of those bringing their pets to be blessed.
We have included a number of do-it-yourself fundraising ideas in this section that offer a break from traditional product sales. They were developed by groups just like yours in an attempt have a little fun with their fundraiser. Some of them are tried and true while others show a lot of creativity … and even wackiness in some cases. All of them are obviously not appropriate for every group, but sometimes, with only a little modification, your might find some fund raising ideas that are perfect for your group. If you have an idea for a do-it-yourself fund raiser you are willing to share with others, please send it to us via email. Include anything and everything you would want to know if you were hearing the idea for the first time.