Many dog lovers wish they could do more to help out their favorite animal rescue, but traditional volunteering doesn’t work for everyone. Making a long-term commitment to a rescue may seem daunting, but making and selling a few dog-friendly cookies couldn’t be easier, thanks to Christine Iversen and her simple Bark Sale Fundraiser Kit.
“Sometimes families don’t have time to foster,” explains Iversen, owner of Rosie’s Barkery and creator or the The V-Day for Rescues Bark Sale Challenge. “This is another way that people can get involved.”
The challenge, which ends at midnight on Valentine’s Day, invites participants to host dog-friendly bake sales to raise funds for the shelter or rescue of their choice. After raising and donating the money, the teams (or individuals) just have to send a receipt for their donation and a picture of their Bark Sale booth to Rosie’s Barkery, which will match the donation of the team that raises the most cash.
The teams who come in second and third will receive a delivery of Rosie’s Barkery treats for their own dogs and for the shelter or rescue for which they baked.
The Bark Sale Fundraiser Kit can be downloaded from the Rosie’s Barkery website, and it contains the tools dog-loving bakers need to set up a fundraising booth — such as recipes, banners, and templates for ingredients stickers. The kit also includes cost sheets and sales sheets, so families can learn some entrepreneurial business lessons from someone who went from bake sales to owning a small business.
“I started out doing exactly this,” Iversen explains. “I would go to dog parks and set up a little table and raise money selling the treats that I’d made at home.”
Iversen’s bake sales began in 2010 when the reality TV combo of Cake Boss and Pit Bulls and Parolees inspired her to put her baking skills to good use and raise funds for animal rescues. Her own rescue pup, Rosie, was experiencing allergies at the time, so it naturally followed that all the treats Iversen baked were hypoallergenic — a factor that helped propel the growth of Rosie’s Barkery.
Fast forward nearly five years, and Rosie’s Barkery offers gluten-free, grain-free treats at stores in California and North Carolina as well as online. Although the business has gotten bigger, the reason for it remains the same. Rosie’s Barkery donates 10 percent of its proceeds to its rescue allies, who it also promotes on the back of treat bags. The nonprofit, U.S.-based shelters that become allies have a victory story of one of their dogs printed on the back of Rosie’s treat bags. Three new animal rescues are chosen as allies each quarter, but Rosie’s commitment to nutrition remains the same all year round.
Made in the U.S.A with simple ingredients like ground chickpeas and natural peanut butter, the ingredient list is short enough for dog guardians to get through without needing to pull out the reading glasses.
“When you look at our treats, they’re really limited,” explains Iversen, who notes that up to half of all dogs can be impacted by allergies. “People are getting more and more interested in their dogs’ nutrition.”
Iversen says families raising funds for the V-Day for Rescues Bark Sale Challenge don’t necessarily have to stick to same ingredients listed in Rosie’s Barkery treats (although recipes for Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Kisses and Tail Chasin’ Cheddar Cheese treats are included in the Bark Sale kit). Participants are welcome to use what they have on hand at home, as long as it’s dog-safe.
“No chocolate of course,” she adds.
Those looking for extra help during the challenge can simply follow Rosie’s Barkery online. “I’ll actually be posting various tips,” says Iversen. “From what kind of ingredients that shouldn’t go in, to certain etiquette for dog parks.”
Iverson will also be sharing ways in which participants can maximize their donation amount by offering something for folks who love animals, but don’t necessarily have a dog at home.
“I might suggest, ‘Hey, why don’t you make some human treats, too,'” says Iversen. “Just make sure to keep the human treats separate from the dog treats.”
While the V-Day challenge ends on Valentine’s Day, the bark sales don’t have to.
“The kit was designed for families to be able to download and use, and basically any time of the year they can fundraise.”
If you would like to register for The V-Day for Rescues Bark Sale Challenge, just head over to the Rosie’s Barkery website and download the Bark Sale Fundraiser Kit. Receipts and photos must be in to Rosie by February 21, and the winner will be announced on March 15, 2015.
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About the Author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but the addition of a second cat, Specter, and the dog duo of GhostBuster and Marshmallow make her fur family complete. Sixteen paws is definitely enough. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google+.