Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center

Dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of Costa Rican wildlife.

The Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center is a non-profit organization that gives animals a second chance at life. Our dedicated staff and selfless volunteers work tirelessly to help these animals heal, keep them safe, rehabilitate them, and eventually re-release them into their natural habitat in the Costa Rican rainforest.


Whether you are fundraising to help our animals with new enclosures, or equip the hospital or provide animal with enrichment toys and food or for yourself to be able to come volunteer here at the center; raising funds for us to continue our important work of rehabilitating and releasing our injured wildlife is really important and we really really appreciate every penny. It can seem daunting at first but there are lots of different ways and options and we are here to help you help us!
Also feel free to use our logo, photos and graphics to help your cause! 

Country Day School in Alajuela did a Bottle Flip Challenge at their schools Fair to raise some awareness and money for the Animals! 

Country Day School in Alajuela did a Bottle Flip Challenge at their schools Fair to raise some awareness and money for the Animals! 

To help you out we have some advice below, as well as some tips and success stories from past volunteers!

So to start with there are 4 main ways of Fundraising:
1. Grants and Scholarships- applying for grants and scholarships from local charities, communities, companies, trusts and old schools. If you are doing any research out with us, please make use of this and apply for research grants!
2. Fundraising events - party nights, stalls, bake sales, etc. Lots of fun ways to network and gain some money for your cause. Below we have listed many examples to help you out!
3. Your Contacts- Who do you know who can help you fundraise? Some uncle own a printing firm- maybe he can print some pamphlets? Perhaps a sister works at a bakery who can donate some baked goods for a bake sale? Write down your contacts and use them. 
4. Working for it - part time jobs, christmas jobs etc. Most traditional way of earning money. 

Here are the first steps to help you start Fundraising! 

1. Determine the amount of money you need or want to raise!
It is important to set out your overall target amount that you want to raise for yourself or  for the center.
Do you want to raise money for food for our animals? For the enclosures? For toys? A General donation? A specific animal?
Feel free to check out our ''How you can Help'' page for details or email us for more information on what you can donate to where it is needed most.
Or is it for yourself to be able to come volunteer with us? How much are flights? Visas? Vaccinations?
You need to work out all the costs associated with the expedition; don’t forget to include things like vaccinations, equipment and spending money. Look at our website for your kit list and other information on what you can do on site.
What is your goal after taking away any money that you are using from savings, and are family/work/school able to help donate some? This is where you need to start.

2. Put it on a time line!
Start the planning by counting backwards from when you are planning to come to the center. For example if you want to come join us in November and you are planning it from April, then you will have 6 months to fundraise.
Then put the whole plan, including all methods of fundraising, onto a time line. Make sure you check your school / work calender there are no clashes with your fundraising. By planning out your fundraising in this way you are able to see when you’re busiest times at school/work are for deadline and make sure you don’t have events planned for around this time. And at the same time make sure to do events around holidays such as Valentines Day, Christmas, Earth Day, International Sloth Day (!) etc.

3. Develop your budget!
The first step in developing a plan is to come up with a budget. A budget is simply keeping track of what costs will go out (expenses) and where/how much you will receive money (income) from. Your budget does not have to be a fancy thing with an elaborate excel spread sheet – it is just something you can keep a track of what you raise and the money that is spent on arranging your fundraising activities (baking materials, printing pamphlets, venue hire, event costs, food, drinks, travel costs etc)

4. Set Money Goals!
It is important to set out your goals for each event and also an overall target amount to be raised. Remember you can include things such as discounts from local outdoor equipment or pet stores as part of your fundraising effort. Really think carefully how you can maximize your income from an event –as you are already putting lots of effort into organizing the whole thing to make sure you are selling as many tickets as possible, buying in everything as cheaply as you can and check if you can get the things you need donated. For example; ask the local movie theaters if they can donate some popcorn for an event of yours. Sell in small cups = Profit!

5. Decide how many donors you need
Match the number of donors you need to reach your fundraising goals for each event. So for example if you are aiming to raise $1000 from an event such as a bowling night how many lanes are you aiming to get sponsored? If there are 6 lanes and you try and get companies to sponsor each lane for $100, how many tickets do you then need to sell to make your target amount taking into account your outgoings?

Remember that publicity is going to be an important aspect of any fundraising event to get as many donors as possible. Really maximize your publicity by getting it started early on and through using as many options as you can. Make sure you are using social media, local newspapers, posters, leaflets, and most importantly word of mouth. Get everyone you know involved in spreading the word about your event.

If you have companies or specific people sponsor you, make sure to send them photos and thank yous (with their logos) when or after you have been to the center!


Golden rules of planning

  • Put your plan into action!! Don’t just make it and then forget about it– stick to it! Fundraising is fun and a good way to meet new people and to raise awareness about conservation issues and even the center itself!
  •  Never be rigid in your outlook and be inventive in your thoughts and actions.
  • Don’t get disheartened by events that don’t raise quite as much as you may have hoped. Try and learn from these and see where you could potentially improve upon your planning, organisation and publicity to make the next event more successful.



Events can bring in the big bucks and can be great fun, but do require some organization, so work with your friends if you can! In every case have a good think about how you can maximize your profits. Think ticket sales; what's the most you can charge and how can you bring in the biggest crowds? Always share on social medias and advertise! Always think about add ons, can you provide refreshments and keep costs low? Can you sell raffle tickets? Are there any treats you can sell? And always try and get free entertainment and venues.
Crowdfunding and money collecting websites such as Justgiving or GoFundMe offer an easy and safe option for people do donate money for your cause. (Or people can donate directly to the Centers gofundme at .   

Here are some ideas to get you started!

Arts exhibition - Do you have any friends who are artists? Do you have a strong art department in school that could do with an exhibition? Offer to organise and promote the event and artists, in order to charge an admission fee. Get involved and sell some paintings; could be a great earner if you're creative!

Auction - If you’ve made some great business contacts and procured some great prizes, hold an auction evening! You could charge an admission, have a refreshment stall, and sell sell sell! As long as the prizes are good and the atmosphere is competitive, you could make some big bucks. Contact sports teams and see if you can get signed memorabilia. If you haven’t got enough for an auction evening, have a go at eBay and get rid of your unwanted stuff in the process! Remember, think 'Vintage'. Or Auction off Promises or good deeds?

Bag Packing – Must do this! Often $200 - $400 per till for a just a 4 hour session! Contact all big supermarkets in the area; be persuasive, friendly and enthusiastic as this will make you a ridiculous amount of money. Get all your friends involved and fill all the tills up. Wear matching tshirts if possible?

Ball (themed, summer, winter, jungle?) – Requires a lot of organization, but who doesn’t love a ball? Get a free venue, barter with a catering service to offer you a discount, find some decent entertainment and then dust off your ball gown! If you get the details right you can charge a good amount for tickets and get a good cut of the profits. Have a look at your fundraising booklet for a good idea on how to go about it.

Barbecue – When the weather is shining host a BBQ! Invite neighbours, friends and family and charge a small fee to attend your barbeque. If you get them all to bring a bottle or some snacks, costs should be kept down. At the event have a small stand with pamphlets about the center and what you will be doing here?

Flea market /Garage sale - We bet you've got loads of junk in your attics, garages and under your bed. Why not raise some money by organising a Flea market? You could even charge other people to set up their own stalls. Use your school, work or local community centre as a venue to access your local community.


Bake Sale - Get baking and sell your cakes on to your friends, work colleagues or random strangers. Sell them at break times in school or work, and then any leftovers you have make sure you take them to the staff room– teachers/colleagues love cakes! You could even contact local bakeries/ supermarkets see what you can get for free/at discount – and sell on for a profit. The business looks good for supporting their local school and you give them good publicity. This is a great one to offer as a regular service, but remember to keep costs low.

Car Washing - Grab some willing friends and promote your service. To make the most amount of profit, Fire stations, Halfords and other car supply retailers have been generous to our volunteers in the past – giving them washing equipment, free of charge (Halfords have even given tshirts before, great for looking more professional!). Either knock on neighbours doors, or if you have a big fundraising group; split into smaller groups and target busy car parks. You could offer to clean teachers' cars during your break times or use the school car park as a venue for a weekend carwash! Perhaps if you spoke to a busy car-park's manager you may be able to get a regular slot!

Calendar Making - Start a wildlife photography competition (maybe animals from the center!?), get people to pay a small fee to enter and the 12 winning photos get made into a calendar which can be sold at Christmas time. Or sell calender's with photos from animals from the center and instant profit! Get the photos from our website or take your own! 

Coaching – If you are particularly sporty utilise your skills and offer to coach local youth teams! Either set up your own coaching, or offer to join in others (if you aren’t able to get paid, sell raffles to the parents! Make contacts that you can use for other events)

Concert - Get some talented friends to perform in front of those less talented, or, vice versa for a laugh. Charge an admission fee and organise a collection during the interval. You could rope in a teacher that fancies themselves as a judge!

Cook Book - Moms know best, if each of you brings the recipe for your mom’s signature dish, you could compile them into a cookery book! Approach kitchenware stores, see if you can score some discounts that you could offer, or get them to sponsor the book and cover your printing costs.Maybe do a cook book with Costa Rican food? Or international food? Or Central American themed? 

Party – Organise a disco or party somewhere. Always try and get a free venue! Don’t forget to charge a ticket price, arrange music/ entertainment and sell refreshments. It’s often the added extras in events that roll the money in!

Dog Walk - Offer your services as the neighbourhood dog walker. Make it a regular service and advertise for some customers, you will get the money together whilst helping your furry friends.

Easter Egg Hunt – Always great fun! Take on the responsibility of organising an Easter Egg Hunt for local children. Hide lots of mini Easter eggs around an enclosed garden, park or grounds and charge parents to take their kids off their hands for an afternoon!

Egg Painting - Visit primary schools to set up egg painting competitions! Children decorate their own eggs and pay $1 to enter, you collect them, judge and the winner gets an Easter egg! Market it to lots of Primary Schools in your area to make the most money. Or alternatively you could also set it up at a craft fair or fête. Set up an egg painting stall, provide the eggs and the paint and charge people to get creative.

Environment Day – From sponsored litter picks to raising general awareness of global environmental issues/conservation. This is based on the UN Environment Agency, held on 5th June; this would be the kind of event where you need to combine collection buckets. You could hold a workshop at your local primary school and receiving a speaker's fee whilst promoting good causes.

Dress Up! – Use this with any other fundraising event, it's great for attracting attention, everybody loves Dress Up!

Film Show/Premiere - There are two main ways to do this. Approach your local cinema, speak nicely and ask if you can rent out a screen for cheap - or even if they will donate a free evening to your worthy cause. Pick a choice film and charge your friends and family an admission to watch a classic on the big screen. Alternatively stage a screening in your own home. Sell snacks and ask guests to pay a small amount for the screening. Do not forget to show a clip from the center first to show them the cause you are working towards! 

Game Shows & TV Quizzes – Invite your parents and other adults to revisit their childhood, and host a quiz night based on a popular game Maybe animal or science themed? Cosnervation? Geography?

International Evenings – You could hold a dinner party themed with your Costa Rica Animals, – this is a great way to make money. Choose the host country as a theme or share countries amongst friends. Cook themed meals, have themed table decorations and wear appropriate clothing!

Garbage Pick-up - People should be willing to pay you if you're cleaning up a local park, beach or kids' playground. This is a way to help your local community while raising money for yourself, so everyone's a winner. Approach local councils and nearby leisure or community centres, explain your cause and what you're willing to do and see if you can get some sponsorship whilst helping your local area.

Midnight Film Shows, Midnight Feasts etc - These could be held in your house, or perhaps your school hall. Make a feature of the fact that it's being held at midnight, with atmospheric lighting etc. Charge for entry naturally.

New Year's Eve Dance/Party - This could be as large or small as you like, hold a house party or ask for a free large venue (marquee). This may include you spending a little bit of money initially; however your profits could be huge!

Nature Trails - Know a bit about the wildlife in your area? Charge people for guided nature walks. Approach your old primary school and see if they would be interested in a nature talk! You may be able to arrange a speaker's fee. If you really know your stuff talk to local wildlife clubs and see if they can help you out also.

Obstacle Course – This could be a big money maker in the spring, set up a hard-core obstacle course and charge people to race. Challenge university sports societies to compete against each other, or compete amongst the science societies. Speak to local centres to see if they can host a day for you and friends for free (for a great cause after all!) and then you charge your friends a discounted rate and put it towards your expedition.

Odd Job Days - Lawn-mowing, DIY, carrying shopping, walking dogs... offer your services in the neighbourhood - no job too small. Make sure they know it’s for a great cause, charge good rates and get working.

Office Collection Day - Stick a pot on your desk with notices telling people what you're raising money for. Loudly remind your teachers and staff that it's for a good cause. If you'd rather not collect money (or suspect that everyone's too stingy for it to be worth it) do an unwanted clothes collection, or even better collect up old mobile phones! Here are some brilliant useful websites for recyclables that you can get money for.

Pancake Day Party - Everyone loves pancakes, right? Hold a Shrove Tuesday party for all your family and friends. Serve unlimited pancakes and hold a pancake-tossing competition. Or alternatively make/buy in bulk, get a portable gas stove, heat them up and sell them at break times! Get some cheap toppings and bump the prices up for extras.

Parties – If you fee like becoming a party planner and know some busy parents, you could organise their kids' birthday parties for them in exchange for cash. Simply get jelly, ice-cream and balloons on the cheap prepare to entertain some young ones. Aim to do more than one, on the second you will definitely make more profit by already having some decorations/good publicity.


Photo Race – Appeal to all photographer friends! Dish out a fixed set of words which everybody must interpret and photograph in their own way and enter before the end of the day. Pick a winner and hold an exhibition of the results! Target your publicity at art and photography departments of schools, community centers and universities. Charge people to enter the competition, exhibition entrance and convince a local camera-shop to donate a prize and judge the comp - good publicity for them.

Plastic Duck Race - Use Google to find a company near you that hires out plastic ducks (many organisations such as rotary club, universities, etc have stocks of ducks). People sponsor a duck, and they're released at a set point to float down a river. The sponsor of the winning duck gets a prize. Try to get the prize donated by a local company such as spa treatment or free night in a hotel/b&b.

Quizzes - These are very popular, venues are easy, you could use your common room or school hall, but you could also hold one at a day centre for older people, or in a town or village hall. Always be aware who your audience is and tailor the questions/music round to there age. Either host a team quiz event (in the style of pub quizzes) or take around picture cards and set a fixed time. Try to get local businesses, or even retail shops to donate gift vouchers as prizes.

Raffles - Get friends and local companies to donate prizes. Go for cool, unusual prizes like a day in a spa, a go-karting session or a takeaway pizza, and sell like mad. You can sell raffle tickets at any other event you are doing, maximising your profits.

Recycling - Recycle cans for money! Some places will give you up to a penny a can. Do a massive appeal and get your friends, family and neighbours to give you their empty cans. Over a year, you could make a fair bit, and help the environment too. This can also be done for old mobile phones and even clothes (paid by weight, so really collect to the max)! Our schools have been very successful by using this type of scheme.

Scavenger Hunt - People pay to enter. They each receive a list of items they need to scavenge (a stamp, a yellow flower, a teapot) Give a prize to the person who brings all the items to you first. Try and get the prize donated from a local company.

Workshops – Do you have a particular skill or hobby? Are you a master of origami, or a king of self defence, could you create a workshop that you could hold for the younger year groups at lunchtimes. Or could you design a conservation themed workshop, with worms in soil in trays and visit primary schools to hold science and wildlife awareness workshops (asking for a speaker's fee of course!).

Xmas Fair//Party - Get out the mistletoe for a big Christmas party, or sell home-made gifts at a Christmas fair. Put a Christmas theme on anything you do and see it cheer people! If you’re doing a cake sale, get Christmas cookie cutters, a car wash sounds far more exciting as a Christmas car wash! Hold parties, sell mistletoe and if you are creative, now is the time for the big sell on crafts! Set up a service as a gift wrapper, and see those monies roll in.

Sponsored Events

You can get sponsored to do pretty much anything, so think creatively. Ideally you can only do one sponsored event (you can’t keep going around the same people asking for money) so think big and publicise! Set up an easy online website for people to donate through and publicise across all your social networks and ask absolutely everybody for support.

Mountain Climbing - Pledge to climb your local hills and mountains in a set amount of time and get sponsored.

Mini Marathon - Get sponsored to run five or ten miles around your town or the equivalent around your garden. The smaller the garden the better - just make sure you change direction occasionally to reduce dizziness.

Skydive - Not for the fainthearted! But it will attract a lot of attention for sponsorship! Be aware of the initial cost and make sure that you wouldn't be better off going for a sponsorship that might bring less money in but actually make you a better profit.

Swim-a-thon - Get sponsored per length. If you're a fit swimmer, try to swim the equivalent of crossing the Channel (or half-way across).

X-country – Join a cross-country race and get sponsored for it! Or hike a long trail, climb some mountains, get out in the fresh air and make some money!

Arts or Crafts Stall - Let your imagination go wild and reap the rewards. Try making greetings cards, potpourri or jewellery to sell. Make dough decorations in the lead up to Christmas, or fairy doors for summer!

Face Painting – All children love face paints! You could even theme it to the wonderful creatures you're going to see on expedition!

Food Stall – With most events you have to consider your extras. Have a cake sale or head to your wholesalers and get some cheap as chips food and drinks, and roll on profit. Fuller bellies make for happier people, and happiness breeds generosity! As long as you don't go shopping crazy and keep costs low, you should maximise your income.

Jewellery Making/Selling – If you are creative and skilled use this opportunity to sell your wares and promote your cause. Any events that your school is holding- set up a stall to sell your beautiful 'made by local artist' crafts. You of course don't need a stall to sell your crafts and remember- handmade items make are the most profitable around Christmas time

Jennifer Leach is a volunteer who visited us in the summer of 2016 and did a fantastic job here with us, including administering vital treatment to Chico the rescue dog when he arrived in bad shape. Jennifer now runs a beautiful childrens clothing shop to raise some money for the center! The Facebook Page is called Little Bears Wardrobe and is found at 

Jennifer Leach is a volunteer who visited us in the summer of 2016 and did a fantastic job here with us, including administering vital treatment to Chico the rescue dog when he arrived in bad shape. Jennifer now runs a beautiful childrens clothing shop to raise some money for the center! The Facebook Page is called Little Bears Wardrobe and is found at 

Plant Sale - Requires forward planning. Buy a packet of seeds for a quid, plant them, and when they're looking impressive, set up a stall and sell the plants for a quid each. Alternatively talk to your local nurseries see if you can get donations in turn for publicity. Will mum or nan let you take cuttings of their greenery?

Sports events

All sporting events can be crowd pullers, especially during the nicer summer months. Bring out the competitive side of people and you'll keep them interested. Just think how to bring in the money - either charge individuals or teams to enter with the hope of winning a prize, or charge spectators to watch. Soccer tournaments are always popular, but require a fair amount of advance preparation and publicity to be big successes! So start planning.

Football Game- Ask your local team to play a match. Organize a raffle at half time and get prizes donated by local businesses. Alternatively, organise a match pitting pupils against parents or students vs. teachers tournament. Ask each player and spectator to pay a fee to play and buy a small cup for the winning team. You could make a day of footie, have your tournament and surround with football themed entertainment. Have 'beat the goalie', penalty shoot outs, etc. Like bees to honey, football always draws in the big crowds! If you write off to rugby/football clubs you can sometimes get your hands on a signed football or some sports as prizes or to auction off. Also try and get a football team or sports shop to donate the prize and sponsor teams.



Fundraising Focus Group In Germany! 

Linah Hein is a fantastic volunteer to the rescue center and has helped us for a long time with her fundraising and awareness group in Germany! We are forever grateful for her help so far and her dedication to helping the animals at the center! Linah started a focus group in cooperation with a professor at her university for supporting the CRARC. The students got credits for joining and where very motivated! The interest was great that Linah decided to split the group into two. One group was responsible for fundraising and the other one for the PR work. 

The funraising group did:
- selling waffles and monkey muffins or other jungle themed sweets for donations
- organize a students party we called "sugar for the monkeys!" (its a quote from a german party hit and we found it funny...) you see the flyers at one of the pictures
- activities at street and music festivals like doing "monkey" or "jungle" make up for kids or playing quiz games with questions about the wildlife etc.

The PR group did:
- searching for newspaper to ask them write about the center
- gave interviews
- printed information flyers and spreadd them all over Hamburg / Lüneburg and Berlin at schools, universities, libaries, animal shelters etc. to ask for volunteers

Linah Writes:

''We are a group of students from a German university founded and led by fellow students Linah Hein, a former volunteer at the Costa Rica Animal Rescue has been working together to support the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center since April 2013 through both fundraising efforts and, more significantly, publicity. We presently attend a number of events where we meet young people who would like to know more about volunteering in Central America, working with wildlife animals, and are adventure-seekers.

At these events we try to clarify what happened in May 2013 with Jairo Mora Sandoval and the conflict in Costa Rica over sea turtle eggs. We think honest and accurate information shows that although there are actual conflicts, especially at the Caribbean coast side of Costa Rica, it´s a safe place to travel!

We also use these events to encourage young people to volunteer at the Rescue Center and get in direct contact with the Lizanos instead of other, expensive organizations. We talk about our own experiences, show pictures we took, and assure people it´s totally possible to travel safetly without an organization.

For our fund-raising efforts we sell waffles, monkey-muffins and other sweets at our university. In addition, we did “jungle design” donation parties, where we offered animal make-up for children at open cultural events like street festivals or flea markets. We were also present at the Lunatic Festival, which is organized by students and got 3000 visitors each day. We have published newspaper articles, spread 200 colorful information flyers in schools, youth centers, universities, etc., and inserted another 300 into the bags of a famous fashion store for young people (American Apparel).

Last semester we started a petition to help the Lizanos rescue the Rescue Center in Moín. With the help of other volunteers’ varied language skills, we used every contact we had to spread the news and the petition around the globe. In total, we got almost 2000 signatures within two month from almost 75 different countries. Besides countries like Costa Rica, USA, Germany or the United Kingdom, we also got signatures from very small Islands like the Netherlands Antilles, Seychelles, Cape Verde or Mauritius! Our petition even reached the UN ambassador from Costa Rica. Even though it didn´t worked out and the Sanctuary in Moín had to shut down, we were able to gain a lot of active supporters for the Lizanos’ cause.

The project group’s upcoming plans are to found an association, collect more donations to help the Lizanos to supply the new Rescue Center – because there is always something they need for the cages, the animals, and more! – and to increase publicity for the new beautiful Rescue Center. We are looking forward to continuing our support of and partership with the Costa Rica Rescue Center.''