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Plan to Participate in Be Kind to Animals Week® 2001!

This year’s Be Kind to Animals Week (BKAW) will be held May 6-12, 2001. Start planning now to get the most out of the event, which happens to be the oldest and largest week dedicated to teaching kindness towards all animals. There are many ways to get involved with BKAW, no matter what the size of your shelter – or your staff.

Don’t forget, an important part of BKAW is the Be Kind to Animals Kid Contest; we’ve found it’s the best way to gain important media coverage in your local community. Everyone’s interested in giving kind kids and the work they do for animals the recognition it deserves. Nominate your local contest winner to AHA’s national Kid Contest and they could win a valuable college scholarship, and your shelter could receive national publicity. This year you can enter your nomination online!

To get you thinking about BKAW, here are some great tips for making next year’s Be Kind to Animals Week the most successful yet. Be sure to check back often – we’ll be adding new tips as BKAW 2001 approaches.

General Information

This week's tip! Use Your Newsletter to Recruit Help
Use an established tool you already have to build momentum for this year's BKAW event. In the next issue of your newsletter, include an article on Looking forward to Be Kind to Animals Week 2001 and how you're planning to celebrate it. Not only will you increase attendance for scheduled events, but by asking for help you'll be amazed at who will step up.

Rather than purchasing supplies for your event, place a wish list in the newsletter asking for the items or services to be donated. Give opportunities to local business to sponsor the event or portions of the event. Think about offering a commemorative item (plastic cups, pet food bowls, tee shirts, bumper stickers) made with your shelter's Name, Be Kind to Animals Week event name and the name/logos of companies or organizations that make contributions. Make it something that will encourage business to donate annually to your BKAW event. Get local artists or graphic designers to donate their talents in designing promotional or recognition items.

Send complimentary copies of the newsletter to potential supporters along with a cover letter directing them to the article and soliciting their support. Ask teachers and students to come up with ideas of how they can get involved. Invite service organizations to get involved by providing person-power to help with your event. Approach other nonprofits and network with them as they may know of resources that would be available to you.

If you have already started to work toward your event, quote people or businesses that you already have on-board for your event. Emphasize how exciting it is to be involved and what positive results you are looking for. List the event's supporting organizations in the article. It will let potential supporters know that this will be a successful event and encourage them to become involved in. Show them that you are willing to publicly acknowledge your supporters.

Include a sidebar article on some basic tips on how people can be kind to animals everyday. You can include updates on your event's progress and new Be Kind to Animal tips in every issue of your newsletter between now and May.

Call us! We can help you plan for the next BKAW
AHA will not be mailing out Event Planning Kits for BKAW 2001, but we're still here to help you plan the most successful BKAW ever. If you would like information that's not covered on this page, we need to know about it. We'll be glad to send you specific sections of our comprehensive kit from 2000. Or, we're always here for specific advice via phone or email. If you have questions or concerns that you'd like to discuss, call 800-227-4645, ext. 431 or email [email protected] . Let us know how we can help!

Enlist your volunteers to help
Your volunteers can be a great resource as you begin planning for BKAW. In fact, they may have professional experience that can be useful, too. Invite them all to a BKAW brainstorming meeting to get the ideas flowing.

Give your BKAW a theme
Giving BKAW a theme often enhances the message you’re trying to convey, while simplifying your planning as well. Themes for 2001 could include: Humane Education, Pet Overpopulation, Blessing of the Animals, The Human/Animal Bond or How to be a Responsible Pet Owner.

Promotion

Work with local businesses to get the word out
Build new bridges of support with other businesses and organizations in your community. Invite their representatives to join you for a brainstorming meeting to promote humane animal treatment and BKAW. See if you can get a sponsor to pay for a continental breakfast and invite people from businesses and organizations you currently work with, as well as those you do not currently have relationships with. Include people from shopping malls, movie theatres, veterinarian practices, animal groomers, banks, pet supply stores, public libraries, museums and schools. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce if you can speak at one of their meetings and encourage the Chamber members to attend your meeting.

Do you have a volunteer with a great phone presence? Have them call and talk with the contact person at the various businesses with an enthusiastic reminder a few days after you have mailed your invitations. Emphasize that this is "brainstorming" session and that you want to involve the whole community. Find ways to build excitement and get the synergy flowing. Make this a great experience for all, something that they will look forward to building on next year.

Utilize your shelter's website!
Begin publicizing your agency's events on your website as early as you can to help increase community participation. Also, try changing or updating the copy as often as you can - at least once every two weeks. This helps keep the visitors to your site coming back regularly. How about including a "Kind Tip of the Day" for each day during BKAW? Be creative with your shelter's website!

Begin publishing events in your newsletter
By getting the word out early, you help ensure support for all of your BKAW events. Whether you need monetary or in-kind donations, volunteered time, or professional expertise, letting people know of your plans early gives you a better chance for success.

Event Ideas

Host a Community Auction
Community auctions are a great way to raise money for your shelter, plus increase the awareness of your shelter in the community. Try to get local sports teams to donate signed jerseys or other memorabilia, solicit local artists for one-of-a-kind donations, or go after restaurants and travel agencies for prizes too. Then, find a space for the actual event (try to get that donated or at a reduced fee as well) and serve refreshments. Find a local celebrity to co-auction the event. The items go to the highest bidder!

Hold a Pet Supply/Donation Drive
Quite a simple concept, but it still works! Many shelters have enjoyed tremendous success with bins placed around town (grocery stores, pet supply stores, office buildings, etc). This drive can easily supplement other BKAW efforts; simply bring your donation jar to every event for maximum opportunities! Also, get local classrooms involved by having them collect supplies you use everyday, such as blankets and towels, pet food, cat litter, etc. Get a prize donated and present it to the class who brings in the most donations!

Create events that are attractive to local media
As everyone knows, local publicity is extremely important to furthering your presence in the community. Events such as dog walks, charity fundraisers and humane education seminars attract local media who care for animal welfare causes. Getting local media coverage helps extend your reach. Be sure to begin inviting the media to your events early–and often.

Hold an Off-Site Adoption Event
No matter what you’re planning for BKAW, getting more animals adopted during the week should be a goal for your shelter. Holding off-site adoptions can help you achieve this goal, while also providing a forum to further your presence in the community. It’s also a great way to recruit new volunteers and receive donations from community members.


Get to know our 2000 Be Kind to Animals Kid Contest winners!

AHA thanks the generoussponsors of the BKAW 2000!


For more information about Be Kind to Animals Week activities, contact Courtney Green at [email protected] or call 800-227-4645.

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