Our Dog Jog and 5K Run is so successful at providing vital support for the homeless animals who rely on the Richmond SPCA to save their lives largely because of peer-to-peer fundraising. Our 13th annual event will be presented by Holiday Barn Pet Resorts on Saturday, March 21, but the fundraising got started many months ago. Participant fundraising efforts have been streamlined this year with a new online platform that makes it even easier to share your involvement on social media. There is still time to register (and take advantage of early bird pricing through Friday, March 6) and get started asking your friends and family for their support of your participation in this great community event. Top fundraisers are eligible for great prizes, and all who raise $500 or more in donations will receive a special gift that will be awarded at the Invisible Fence® Brand Awards Ceremony at the event’s conclusion. See how our top individual and team fundraisers are doing at richmondspca.org/race – we so appreciate all of their remarkable support of homeless animals through their tireless fundraising!
We recently talked with Dana Taylor about how she got involved in fundraising for the Dog Jog and 5K Run. Dana is currently in second place overall, having raised $1,545 as the captain of our Running Buddies team, which is made up of volunteers who provide regular enrichment and exercise to the more active dogs in the care of the Richmond SPCA by taking them on runs. The Running Buddies program is generously sponsored by The HelpDesk Company.
Q: Which event are you registered for, the leisurely 1-mile Dog Jog with your pet, or the competitively timed 5K Run?
Some Running Buddies participate only in the Dog Jog with the dogs from the Richmond SPCA, but there are several of us that run the 5K too. There’s a nice 30-45 minute break in between that allows us to finish the 5K and get our Richmond SPCA dogs ready with their “adopt me” bandanas before the Dog Jog actually begins.
Q: When did you first participate in the Dog Jog and 5K Run? Did you fundraise your first year?
This is my third Dog Jog as a Running Buddy, and it will be my second 5K. There are some Running Buddies that have done this for many more years!
Q: Was there any specific inspiration that led you to get involved in raising funds for the Richmond SPCA?
This event is great for the Running Buddies, as we are already running with dogs who are available for adoption up to three times a week. That lets us get to know them pretty well. It’s an event that allows us to combine our love of running with our love of animals. We get to see all the great work being done at the Richmond SPCA, so of course we love to raise money for the organization. We’ve had several long-term residents who ran with of us get adopted recently. We fall in love with these dogs and are so thrilled to see them get forever homes. We want to help in any way we can to support the mission of the Richmond SPCA, including outreach and education. It’s really amazing what we learn about these dogs and the attitude and beliefs of the community on our 3 mile runs.
Q: What have been the most effective tools in asking friends and family for support?
Speaking for myself, it’s social media. I’m shameless. Last year, I used pictures of my Richmond SPCA alum, Joey. Anyone who knows me knows Joey, but not everyone knew his life had been at risk in a rural county shelter before he was rescued by the Richmond SPCA. This year, I started earlier, and I think some folks are ready to pay me to stop posting about my fundraising efforts! Around December 27, I started posting links to my fundraising page and told folks they could have a last minute tax write-off and help animals. That was wildly successful! I also used pictures of Altro, a dog that I’d been running with and working with as a Green Team member for over 6 months. I posted a lot of pictures of Altro during our time together, and my friends felt like they knew him. One friend even posted that her donation was for my Running Buddy Altro. All that said, I think if you believe in the cause and in helping animals, your message from the heart that will appear on your page is enough. You don’t have to work with a homeless dog or have adopted an animal from the Richmond SPCA – as long as your request is heartfelt, it’s enough.
It’s also important to use the email tool and not ignore the one-on-one requests. Not everyone likes using social media, and I know several Running Buddies just approach their friends and family about supporting their fundraising efforts.
Q: What’s your best tip for someone who is registered but might be hesitant to get involved as a fundraiser?
I know that it’s hard to ask for money, so on social media, I post the link to my page and type a pretty general message asking for support. I also let people know about all the great programs that are available at the Richmond SPCA and what a great resource it is for our entire community. Again, I think if it’s a cause you believe in and you let your friends and family know that, they will give to support you. I surpassed my first goal of $500 around January 1 and got to $1000 by asking folks to give $5-10. I reached that goal and have increased my goal once again. The point is you don’t have to raise it all at once or try to raise thousands of dollars. The way I see it, every dollar counts!
Q: What are you looking forward to most on March 21?
We all love seeing the community support for the Richmond SPCA. The love of the organization is so evident on that day. Of course, the Running Buddies love to run too, and seeing all the dogs out there for the Dog Jog is so uplifting. (PS – if you’ve adopted from the Richmond SPCA, we love to see our furry friends again!)
Tabitha Hanes is the director of advancement of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.