Promotions always bring people to a shelter and increase adoption rates – but they have to be the right promotion. They need to have a bit of flare. It’s not always easy to come up with creative ideas, but looking to the holidays can help you generate lots of ideas for shelter promotions. Halloween is one of the best holidays for doing just that.
Below are five of our favorite Halloween promotion ideas – and what’s really great about them is that most of them cost little to no money on your part.
This isn’t exclusive to Halloween. It’s one you can run at any time during October. The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) runs one every year. Their promotion, aptly named BARCStoberfest, includes a 5k run/walk, raffles, a beer garden, yoga, and much more.
2. Halloween Themed Night Out for the Family
Not every shelter can pull off something as involved as BARCStoberfest, but there are some great ideas you can adapt for your shelter. Consider approaching a local restaurant and asking them to set aside a special night in support of your shelter. Ask them to donate a portion of their proceeds to your efforts. Many places with outdoor seating allow dogs, so you can bring along some of your available dogs and possibly find them an adopter.
Austin Pets Alive! has an event this Saturday at a local restaurant that includes face painting for kids and for those who want to get crafty, there’s dog bowl painting!
3. Discount Adoptions for Black Dogs
Discount adoptions for black dogs and cats is one of the most popular Halloween themed shelter promotions. The Humane Society of Utah is offering a $31 discount on their black dogs for the entire month of October.
4. Discount Adoptions for Costumes
This is a twist on discounting adoptions for black animals. Pinellas County Animal Services is giving adopters a discount on all of their cats and dogs if they show up to the shelter dressed as a dog or a cat! You can get some extra PR out of this by adding a mock photo booth and snapping some pictures of the costumed adopters and their new best friend and then posting those pics on Instagram or Facebook.
5. Embrace Social Media
There’s nothing more inexpensive and fun when it comes to shelter marketing than making the most of social media. Dress up your dogs in fall or Halloween themed costumes. If you have a dog who hates costumes, do what Dekalb County Animal Services did and have the pup sit next to some pumpkins. Then, snap some pictures to post on Instagram or Facebook. These images give people another look at a dog’s personality and help them to imagine the dog as a pet – possibly as their pet.The point is to let the fun spirit of the holidays fuel your creativity. The more fun you have, the more the community will respond.
Have other great Halloween promotion ideas? Let us know in the comments.
For more tips on adoption marketing practices, check out our ebook.
Featured image via @oldyellerranchrescue/Instagram.