I am proud to have created and produced the Kittens 2017 Calendar for my favorite local rescue organization Cats-Can, Inc. It is their first Kittens Calendar Fundraiser (as well as mine). It was definitely a learning curve as I went along. And alot of fun and hard work went into it. Many people in rescue have asked how did we go about getting this fundraiser off the ground, where do you start, how to do a calendar fundraiser. Here is a breakdown of the steps I took to make the calendar and the timeline I used.
How to do a Calendar Fundraiser
1. APRIL 2016: Find a Printer I met with several printers to get sample calendars, looking at print quality and price. Once we chose a printer, Liberty Creative, we set up a meet to discuss our non-profit fundraiser goals and he gave us a great idea. He suggested getting local area businesses to help sponsor the calendar with business card ads. He showed us an example of how another non-profit did this. In this way, the sponsors help pay to print the calendar and they get to advertise their businesses at the same time. We pursued this idea immediately.
2. JUNE 2016 Marketing materials for Sponsors In order to get local area businesses to consider what we had to offer, we had to make samples and ordering packets for the rescue group members to use. I set to work on creating marketing materials and approximately 15 packets for each lead volunteer in the rescue group. The packets included the following: an order form with several different types of ads that could be purchased in different sizes and price points, a sample calendar page showing the quality of the images and real life sizes of the ad spaces, and an envelope to collect the sponsors order forms and payments. We also created a life-size laminated calendar page to use as an example with business card ads at the bottom. I gave this to the adoption event volunteers to advertise at the adoption events every Saturday.
3. JULY & AUGUST 2016 Getting sponsors Getting our lead volunteers to feel comfortable asking businesses to sponsor a calendar ad was very difficult to say the least. Luckily, myself and a few other willing volunteers came through. We only had 14 paid sponsored ads, however it was enough money to pay to print 500 copies of our calendar and that is a great start! We were proud to say that the rescue organization will not have to pay anything to make and print 500 calendars and that ALL of the proceeds will go to help the cats.
5. SEPTEMBER 2016 Adding Photos The next step was carrying over my InDesign calendar months into Photoshop where the FUN begins and I spent many, many, many, long sleepless nights…. and days choosing and inserting the kitten images that went on each page, along with the business card ads at the bottom. The hardest part was choosing the best images that went on the calendar: the large featured kittens and the cover kitten. I was helped by the owner of the non-profit to make a lot of those decisions. We collaborated back and forth via text. And for the cover image, we had a poll on Cats-Can Facebook page. I made an ad with the images of the 12 kitten months and the CCi audience voted over a two day weekend. The winner is shown: sweet Milowe in denum jeans. In the advertisement at the bottom of this page, you can see a small image of each calendar page with many images added in there.
6. OCTOBER 2016 Printing the Calendar The final step was saving the calendar, according to the printer specs: pdf, etc etc., and then back and forth a few times with proofs from the printer until we finally got our calendars printed. Hurray! it only took a week and they were in.
7. OCTOBER 2016: PRICING & marketing the calendar…: Just when you think all of the work is done, the most important step still needs to take place. Now we have the task of marketing the calendar and hoping that the rescue group will be able to sell all 500 before Christmas. I made several ads for the Rescue to use on their home page of their website and also their facebook page. I also made a 16×20 poster to be used at adoption events.
Now YOU can help support Cats-Can kittens: The calendars are available for a donation of only $12 or you can get 2/$20 at Cats-Can, inc adoption events in the Petsmart, Oviedo. They can also be ordered with a donation of $15 or 2/$25 (that price includes shipping) through paypal on Cats-Can Inc website by clicking here.
Here are the pages from the calendar so viewers can see how we customized each month with images inside the grid, and how the sponsored business card ads look at the bottom.