Indoguration? Creative Fundraisers for DHA and Museum of the Dog, NYC

Like me, I’m sure you’ve been inundated with requests for donations from any and every museum, sanctuary, theatre, and non-profit institution you’ve visited in the last decade. Of course, donations and revenues are down, and everyone is worried. ‘Give, give, give’ litters the inbox.

But one request caught my eye … from The AKC Museum of the Dog in New York City.

The Museum of the Dog is one of my favourite places to visit in one of my favourite cities to visit. (See my dog museum visit here). Perhaps I’ll get there with my dog Victoria on one of the random dog-friendly days.

But that won’t be for months, maybe years.

Dog Museum Pet Portrait

For now, I’m looking to frame my custom Pet Portrait of Victor by Kristin Doney. Best $95 US I’ve ever donated. The AKC Museum of the Dog organized a fundraiser that helped both the museum and a city artist. For a minimum donation of $95 and an emailed image of your dog, the museum sent me back a matted 4×6 illustration of my dog, Victoria.

What percentage of the $95 went to the artist, I don’t know but according to the museum the donation helped the museum keep the doors open and supported NYC artist Kristin Doney, “whose whimsical drawings have been a source of comfort and joy to all who see them, both in our gift shop and across the country.” Doney’s illustration celebrating rescue pets who found homes in NYC flew as part of a flag exhibition at Rockefeller Center in 2020.

This is the innovative idea I’d love to support – the museum gets some revenue, a partner artist who’s also likely facing pandemic challenges gets some revenue, and I get my first portrait of my new puppy, Victoria. No one’s getting rich, obviously, but the effort might keep the lights on another month.

Clearly, I’m not travelling at all in 2020 let alone with my new dog. But how can we support the places we loved to explore when the borders were open and other restrictions weren’t necessary?

Yes, giving money helps. But it’s even better when small businesses benefit, and there’s something tangible in it for the donor. Love my Victoria portrait.

Indoguration 2021

So, what else is working? The ‘indoguration’ of Major, America’s ‘first dog’ – along with Champ.

Delaware, New Jersey isn’t a place I’ve ever visited, but I got close on January 17, 2021.

Ok, not really. But after donating ($10 minimum) to the Delaware Humane Association’s (DHA), ten thousand people joined a Zoom virtual ‘Indoguration’ celebrating Major Biden – who wasn’t in attendance but singer Josh Groban was, serenading viewers with his own version of ‘who is that rescue dog in the window?’

Major is the first rescue dog to take up residents at in America’s White House. He’s also a former DHA resident. Brought to the shelter as part of a litter, Major, a German Shepard, was adopted by the Biden family in 2018 after fostering. Now, he’ll share ‘first dog’ title with the Biden’s other GS named Champ. Rumour is a cat will join the first family team too.

Pets are in the White House again. Things are looking up. And Delaware Humane Association’s ‘indoguration’ was clever fundraising idea that got the attention of CNN, NPR, Travel and Leisure and many more outlets. Who can resist a heart-warming dog story?

The DHA fundraising effort resulted in $100,000 in donations and possibly a Guinness World Book of records entry. The event was sponsored by Pumpkin Pet Insurance.

And I’ve got to find a new frame.


  1. Sandy Weinstein · · Reply

    Victoria is just adorable. hope you are enjoying her, too bad you cant travel and show her the wonderful sights you enjoyed with Victor.

  2. Sandy Weinstein · · Reply

    love the pictures. i really want to go to the Museum. too bad i dont live in the dc area anymore. love having dogs in the WH again. 4 yrs without a pet is terrible and not I hear they are going to get a cat as well.

  3. Love the adorable art of Victoria! Find a frame ❤ Definitely a worthy fund raiser. I’m looking forward to some dogs in the White House! Congrats to Champ and Major (and their people!!) We’ve visited NJ and Delaware with our pups, but we are close enough for day trips and primarily visited lighthouses and their environs.

    1. I hope to get the the area at some point …

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