Client Success Story

From Woof to Wow: How Rescue Village Surpassed Its Event Fundraising Goal

Rescue Village’s 30th Annual Woofstock Festival brought together more than 8,500 attendees, including dog lovers and families, for a heartwarming open-air celebration.


For nearly five decades, Rescue Village has been a leading advocate for animal welfare. Their dedication goes beyond offering adoption services, humane law enforcement, and educational programs; they're also the driving force behind various community events, notably the annual Woofstock Dog Festival. As Northeast Ohio's largest outdoor festival and fundraiser, Woofstock brings together thousands of dog lovers and families for a heartwarming open-air celebration, all in support of homeless animals.

In early 2020, Rescue Village implemented CharityEngine as their new fundraising and donor management system. With a growing base of supporters and a full calendar of fundraising events, Rescue Village found their previous database system wasn’t comprehensive enough to meet all their needs. Important components like email marketing and event management weren’t fully integrated, making it hard to get a complete picture of donors.

"CharityEngine is a comprehensive platform that has proven very valuable to us. We now have a 360-degree view of each of our supporters — from giving history to event attendance, to email views, and much more."

Mindy Carter, Development Database Manager  |  Rescue Village


Beyond creating a spectacular community event for families and their dogs, Rescue Village embarked on an ambitious goal to raise $145,000 for their 30th Annual Woofstock Festival. Their strategy revolved around increasing the number of pre-registrants and attendees, attracting new sponsors, and motivating eventgoers to engage in fundraising through Woofstock’s Ramble peer-to-peer fundraiser.

With a massive list of prospective attendees and an event that boasted a range of fun activities, the challenge lay in creating personalized outreach that would captivate different audience segments in distinctive ways.


"With CharityEngine, we can easily segment event communications to share specific details that resonate with different audiences. We were able to engage with families, foodies, and animal lovers across the region.”

Mindy Carter, Development Database Manager  |  Rescue Village


To boost event registration, Rescue Village harnessed CharityEngine's capabilities to deliver precision-targeted email campaigns, spotlighting various facets of Woofstock tailored to specific audience preferences.

For instance, one email blast focused on family-friendly activities to entice parents, while another highlighted the lineup of live music acts to pique the interest of young adults. They also sent custom messages to past attendees, sponsors, vendors, and peer-to-peer fundraisers, each containing pertinent updates and tailored calls to action. This segmented approach empowered Rescue Village to showcase the diverse offerings of Woofstock and create individualized, resonant experiences for each audience.



The impact was evident at their 30th annual Woofstock festival. Through targeted email campaigns and an integrated peer-to-peer "Ramble" fundraiser, Woofstock achieved a record attendance of 8,500 attendees, doubling last year's numbers, and surpassed its fundraising goal of $145,000, raising over $190,000. Their sponsorship participation also more than doubled, thanks to tiered sponsorship opportunities.

These funds directly benefit nearly 2,000 animals the shelter cares for each year, ranging from dogs and cats to barn animals. The success of Woofstock helps Rescue Village provide essential resources that enable Rescue Village to keep pets and owners together. The overwhelming enthusiasm and generosity of the community showcase how this beloved event has grown stronger with time.

What Other Nonprofits Can Learn

When asked what advice she would give to other nonprofits planning a big event, Mindy Carter, Development Database Manager at Rescue Village, emphasized the importance of segmenting communications, testing new technology, and utilizing integrated data to improve event and fundraising results.

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Segment Communications

Segment event promotions and email campaigns to speak to different audiences' interests. Breaking down messaging about specific activities and experiences can attract and engage each group better.

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Test Technology

Thoroughly test any new technology on a small scale before rolling it out for a large event. This helps work out any issues ahead of time.

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Leverage Centralized Data

An integrated system is invaluable as nonprofits grow their fundraising. Centralized data makes it easier to steward supporters across channels and gives a complete view of their engagement.

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