Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter’s Virtual Pet Show

Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter’s Virtual Pet Show

Since the 2020 pandemic, Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter have had to discover creative online fundraising alternatives to popular in-person events. An annual event not to go amiss was the shelter’s pet show. With the help of its Facebook community and the Thyngs fundraising platform, the charity engaged supporters online with a virtual pet competition.

Speaking good thyngs

“This was our first time doing a virtual pet show. This year we raised about the same amount as an in-person show, but for less work because the event was virtual. Basically, it ran itself! The process took about 30 minutes to set up on Thyngs. We would definitely do this again and look forward to many more creative events in the future.”

Beth Codling, Relationship Manager at Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter

The challenge

Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter needed to find an online system that was creative, easy for supporters to engage with, and simple to manage. The pet show brings the community together every year and is monumental for increasing charity awareness and support. The shelter needed to come up with a virtual alternative to the event that kept the community engaged and satisfied.

The virtual solution: How the animal community came together online

The show itself was hosted on Facebook and entry donations were completed in 3 quick steps using Thyngs. Entry fees were £1 per pet and options were provided on the donation landing page. Gift Aid could also be attached to the donation, allowing support to go further than previous years. To take part in the competition, all a supporter needed to do was show proof of payment before submitting their entry photo via email. 

The simple process received positive feedback from supporters. 

The show was promoted on social media two weeks prior to the event, with mobile-optimised links to the donation page. Once all entry photos of pets were submitted, the charity sorted them into albums on Facebook and asked supporters to vote for their favourite. 

The photo with most likes and reactions won and were announced the “Best in Show” winner by the shelter. 

The Outstanding Results

  • 64 donations
  • £175 entry donations
  • Gift Aid 44%
  • £2.73 average entry donation
  • Conversion 41%

Soon, the shelter will be hosting an Instagram competition to fundraise and reach a goal of 10,000 Instagram followers. On Instagram, 10,000 followers means an account qualifies for “swipe up” links, which can lead people directly to resources that could help the shelter. Entry will be a £1 donation, and just like the pet show, the winner just needs proof of receipt.