One good marketing idea: Raise funds for veterinary care

December 2, 2019
Tracy Sheffield, BS, LVT, CVPM

Tracy Sheffield is practice manager at Wimberley Veterinary Clinic in Wimberly, Texas.

Did you know the AVMA has a program to help you set up your own fund for needy veterinary patients?

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Does your veterinary team find itself doing unpaid charitable work? Change this up and get paid for it. How? Implement a program through the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF). It's easy to set up, all donations are tax-deductible for the giver, and it gives you a pool of money to tap into when there are clients who need help paying or patients that need free care.

It is the responsibility of the practice to fund it, but AVMF will provide the needed materials for a “Donate” button on your website. Putting on fundraisers is a great way to get both community attention and raise money for the fund. Again, all donations to your fund are tax-deductible, and the AVMF will take care of the paperwork for Uncle Sam. Here are some ideas for the events themselves:

• “Paint your pet's portrait” party. This can be done with any of the painting-for-fun chains around the country. These businesses supply everything you need-art supplies, music and teachers. Participants pay a fee, and that money covers the cost of the painting team, with the remainder going to your charitable fund.

• Costume contest. At Halloween, consider a contest for ghoulish, garish and googly-eyed costumes on pets. Holding an event like this at the local nursing home or veterans' home yields wonderful PR and a great sense of having done a nice thing for a lot of people as well as raising money for your charitable fund.

For more information about the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund, head to

Tracy Sheffield, BS, LVT, CVPM, is practice administrator at Wimberley Veterinary Clinic in (you guessed it) Wimberley, Texas, as well as co-owner of T&L Veterinary Business Consulting. She was a dvm360/VHMA Practice Manager of the Year finalist in 2016.