DogFest Washington DC 2022

FAQ

REGISTER

Is there a registration fee to participate?
While there is no registration fee for DogFest, we encourage participants to set a personal fundraising goal and ask their friends, family, and colleagues to support them with a donation. You may want to jumpstart your fundraising by making a donation yourself. Every dollar donated to Canine Companions makes a difference and helps fund the mission of providing expertly trained service dogs to people with disabilities free of charge.

I want to bring my kids with me. Do they need to register?
Yes, all participants must register online or may register in person at DogFest. When you check-in at DogFest, you’ll receive a special DogFest wristband.

I registered as an individual, but now I want to join a team.
No problem! Call 800-572-2275 and let us know the DogFest event in which you are participating and the team you would like to join. We’ll take care of the rest.

Are walk-up registrations available? 
We gladly accept walk-up registrations. However, DogFest is a fundraising event, so register early to give yourself time to fundraise and have the opportunity to qualify for the commemorative t-shirt and other items.

Are dogs allowed? 
Yes, pet and service dogs are encouraged to join the fun at DogFest. Please follow these guidelines when determining if DogFest is right for your four-legged friend.

  • No female dogs in heat.
  • Dogs attending must be social and friendly with other dogs and people.
  • Dogs attending must be comfortable in crowds.
  • Dogs must be up to date on vaccinations. This means puppies must be six (6) months old and have completed their full set of puppy vaccinations, including rabies.
  • All dogs must be kept on a leash, no longer than 6 feet, at all times.
  • Dogs must be ready to have a good time, exhibited by lots of tail wagging! Dogs who display aggressive behavior, as determined by Canine Companions volunteers or staff, will be asked to leave.

MANAGE MY FUNDRAISING PAGE

What should I put on my Personal Fundraising Page?
The choice is yours – you can upload your own text and image, as well as a video if you like, or use the standard default content provided if you prefer. We recommend you customize the page as much as possible so your supporters will understand why DogFest and Canine Companions is important to you. A thermometer to track progress towards your fundraising goal is included, as well as a list of your supporters. Participants who update their pages with personal stories and pictures have twice the fundraising success than those who use the standard page.

How do I change my personal goal or update the content and photos on my page?
After logging into DogFest, click your name or image at the top right corner of the page. Then click "Manage My Page." This is where you can change your goal, the reason you are participating in DogFest, your personal message and more. You can even change how your name appears on your page. For example, you can list your name and your dog's name...even though you registered under your name. To add photos, videos and more, click "Complete Activities" on the left, then select the activity you want. The best photos have a 1:1 aspect ration, meaning they are square.

The photo I am trying to upload is rotating sideways. What can I do?
The photo is too large. To make the photo smaller, first open it in Paint. You then click the button "resize" to scale your photo down. Try 75% of the original horizontal and vertical size. Save a new version of your photo and try to upload it again! If 75% doesn't work, you can try and make is smaller again (it all depends on the original size of your photo).

How can I see who has donated to me?
Donations to your fundraising effort are visible on your personal DogFest page. You can also sign into your DogFest account, then go to “Manage My Page.” Once there, go to the Donation and Email Center on the left-hand navigation to see the donations there. You can also send thank you emails to your donors from this page.

How do I send an email?
Access the Donation and Email Center by logging into the DogFest platform, then clicking your name, then “Manage My Page.” Once there, select the Donation and Email Center and, depending on the type of email you want to send, click either “Ask Your Friends” or “Thank Your Donors.” You can then choose how you want to reach out to them – via email or social media. Use the default content or edit it to your liking.

TEAMS

What are the benefits of a team?
Forming or joining a team multiplies the fun you will have on event day. You can create a team to celebrate a Canine Companions graduate team, honor your own four-legged friend, or enjoy the camaraderie with friends, family, or anyone else. You can also create a corporate team and get your entire company involved. Consider coming in coordinated outfits or costumes. Let your creativity shine!

Do teams have to fundraise?
Teams members are not required to fundraise but we strongly encourage it. Fundraising as a team can be fun! Donations may be made to the team or to individual team members. Remember the fundraising recognition program is based on individual fundraising totals. There is no program for teams, nor are team donations allocated across all team members.

How do I change my team name, team goal, or team page?
Only the team captain has the ability to change the team name and goal by logging in and then clicking “Manage My Page.” Once there, be sure to click “Manage My Team Page” on the left navigation. Then make any of the edits you’d like. After making your changes, be sure to click the Save button at the bottom.

How do I join or create a team? 
An individual registrant can join or create a team when logged into their personal page. After clicking “Individual Participant” on the left navigation, select “Participate as part of a team.” To join a team, find the team name on the “Join an Existing Team” tab. To create a new team, go to the “Form a New Team” tab to create a team. Click “Save” when finished.

Can I transfer some of my donations to another participant or team member? 
Out of respect for the donor’s intent, donations will not be transferred from one participant to another once the donation has been received and posted.

Can I split a donation between multiple participants and team members? 
Teams often hold fundraising events for DogFest, with the intent to divide the proceeds evenly among all team members. Unfortunately, we are unable to split funds among multiple people. Allocation of a single donation is possible in the case of a cash donation only. Should your team receive a donation, the donation may be entered in the following ways:

  • Cash - Each individual to receive credit must submit cash, along with the Offline Donation Form, that corresponds to the credit given.
  • Check – This form of payment cannot be divided among individuals. The donation must be entered into only one team member’s Participant Center.
  • Online Donation – Donation must be made to an individual registrant, a team or the DogFest event.

Is there a fundraising recognition program for teams?
No, there is not a special program for team fundraising. The top 100 teams for each DogFest event are listed on that event’s website to celebrate and acknowledge those top teams. The DogFest fundraising recognition program is based on the funds raised by individuals and only individuals qualify for this program.

FUNDRAISING

How much money should I raise? 
Our hope is that you raise a minimum of $125 by September 24 to qualify to receive a commemorative DogFest t-shirt, while supplies last. You will receive your t-shirt at the event. If you raise at least $250 by the fundraising deadline (October 8), you have the opportunity to receive a fundraising recognition gift. The more you raise, the bigger the difference you'll make in the lives of people with disabilities.

Where does my money go when I donate to DogFest?
We are so glad you asked! The money you raise for DogFest supports Canine Companions’ mission of providing expertly trained service dogs to people with disabilities free of charge. Not only can you see how your donations are used by viewing our latest annual report on the Canine Companions website, but you can also see the impact you make! Please, take a moment to review the success YOU made possible last year.

Where do I mail my donations? 
Mail your donations (made out to Canine Companions) with a completed Offline Donation Form to your nearest regional training center:
   DogFest Washington DC
   c/o Canine Companions
   286 Middle Island Road
   Medford, NY 11763
** Please be sure to write your name, DogFest Washington DC 2022 in the memo line of all checks (example: Joe Smith, DogFest Washington DC 2022). 

What is the deadline for mailing donations? 
The last day to mail in donations and have them count towards a fundraising recognition gift is the day of your event. All donations must be received and recorded by Canine Companions staff by the fundraising deadline of October 8. Note: You must have an online fundraising page to receive a fundraising recognition gift.

What if a donor wrote a check out to the team or my name? 
If you receive a check payable to you or your team, please sign your name on the back of the check above the endorsement area. Below your signature, please write "Pay to the order of Canine Companions."  Please be sure to write the name of the team or the individual being credited for the donation, the event name, and the event year in the memo line of all checks (example: Joe Smith, DogFest Washington DC 2022). A check donation may only be credited to one team or one person; it may not be divided up among team members.

How do I enter a check or cash I have collected for DogFest? 
Log into your DogFest account by going to the upper right-hand corner of this page, hover over your name or image, then click on "Manage My Page." Once there, 

  • Click on "Donation & Email Center” in the menu on the left side
  • Next, click on "Enter cash/checks"
  • Click on “Enter a Cash or Check Donation”
  • Then select the method of payment and enter the pertinent information
  • Click “Save.” This amount will populate into your fundraising total

Then you can mail the checks, along with the Offline Donation Form, to your nearest regional training center:

   DogFest Washington DC
   c/o Canine Companions
   286 Middle Island Road
   Medford, NY 11763

What if my donors need a receipt? 
Everyone who makes an online donation through the DogFest website will receive an email confirmation receipt for tax purposes. For those making a donation via cash or check, the donation must be submitted with the Offline Donation Form that includes the donor name, address, and email. This information will allow Canine Companions to provide a donation acknowledgement. When entering a check, you may also include the name, address, and email of the donor. Once the check is confirmed by Canine Companions, an email receipt will be sent if the donor’s email was provided. Otherwise, a letter will be sent by mail. All donations made to Canine Companions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Note: If you created a fundraiser on Facebook that is not connected through your DogFest page, Canine Companions is unable to provide a receipt. Receipts are sent by Facebook.

For donations less than $250, the IRS will accept the following as proof of a charitable donation: a canceled check, bank or credit union statement, or a credit card statement. Canine Companions is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Federal Identification Number: 94-2494324.

How do I earn incentive prizes for fundraising? When will I be given instructions on how to select my prize?
The commemorative t-shirt is available to individual registrants who raise at least $125 by September 24]. One (1) t-shirt per qualifying registration. The deadline to qualify for the Fundraising Recognition Program (FRP) is October 8. At that time, all individual participants who have raised at least $250 and the funds have been received by Canine Companions will qualify for the program. An email will be sent to the qualifiers for the FRP approximately one month after the event. Incentives in the FRP are not cumulative; one (1) item may be selected per qualifier. Note: Incentives are earned by individual participants, not teams.

When do I receive my fundraising gift for raising $125 – the commemorative DogFest t-shirt? 
If you raise at least $125 prior by September 24, you will receive a t-shirt* when checking in at DogFest. If you are unable to attend DogFest in person, the shirt will be mailed to you after the event. *While supplies last.

My fundraising total on my fundraising page doesn't match what I know I turned in. 
There may be a two-week delay entering offline donations during peak event times. Your total may be inflated if you entered donations as offline gifts. Please log back in at a later date to check your fundraising total. If you have additional questions about your fundraising total, please call 800-572-2275.

I turned in my donations at the event, but I don't see them in my personal page total. 
It may take up to two weeks for all of your donations to be credited to your Participant Center. If you'd like to see your donations right away, please encourage your supporters to donate online or mail your donations to your regional office immediately upon receipt.

MATCHING GIFTS

What is a matching gift?
A matching gift is a gift from a donor's employer that matches the donor's original gift. Employers who match donations will typically match dollar for dollar.

How do I know if my employer has a matching gift program? 
Search for your employer, ask your human resources staff or visit your company's intranet.

How do I request a matching gift? 
The first step is to talk to your employer about their matching gift process. Generally, your human resources department is a great place to start.

What do I do with the form once I've filled it out? 
Refer to the instructions on the matching gift form provided by your employer. If you need to mail the form to us, please include your name and "DogFest Washington DC" on the form and send to :
   Canine Companions
   Attn: DogFest Matching Gifts
   P.O. Box 446
   Santa Rosa, CA 95402-0446 

If I enter the donor's gift and the matching gift through the Donation and Email Center of my personal page, do I enter them as one gift? 
No, they are two separate gifts. Please enter only the employee's gift and mail/email the matching gift form, and Canine Companions will enter the match information into the system to be reflected in your fundraising thermometer. The match amount will show as “unconfirmed” until the match is received by Canine Companions.

How will I know when the matching gift has been paid? 
Check the Donation and Email Center to review the donations to your fundraising efforts. It usually takes months before we receive matching gifts.

Will a pending matching gift count towards my fundraising minimum? 
No. All funds must be received by the fundraising deadline to qualify for the fundraising recognition program. The sooner a match request is submitted, the more likely it will be received by the fundraising deadline.

FACEBOOK FUNDRAISING

Creating a fundraiser on Facebook directly through your personal DogFest page allows you to automatically sync donations made via Facebook to your DogFest fundraising thermometer.

How do I connect my DogFest page with a fundraiser on Facebook?
After you register for DogFest, you will be prompted to create a Facebook Fundraiser. If you skipped this step and want to set it up now, just go to your personal page and then select “Manage My Page” and then “Create a Facebook Fundraiser.” Then just follow the steps and donations will follow.

What if I previously created a fundraiser on Facebook and now want to link it to my DogFest page?
Existing Facebook fundraisers cannot be linked to a DogFest page. Fundraisers on Facebook not created through the DogFest software will not sync to your thermometer and DogFest. We recommend you delete any existing Facebook fundraisers that you wanted to count towards your DogFest fundraising, and then visit your page to create a new fundraiser on Facebook.

What if I previously created a fundraiser on Facebook and now want the donations to be added to my fundraising total?
Thank you for raising money to support Canine Companions. Unfortunately, donations received through a fundraiser created directly on Facebook cannot be tied back to your DogFest fundraising efforts. Facebook has not created the technology to allow for this two-way flow of information. If you’d like to fundraise through Facebook, close the existing fundraiser and set up a new Facebook fundraiser through your personal page.

Will donors to my Facebook fundraiser receive a receipt?
When someone makes a donation through a Facebook fundraiser, a payment receipt is sent to the primary email listed on the donor’s Facebook account. This payment receipt includes the Canine Companions’ tax ID number and confirms that the person has made a donation as a charitable contribution and that they’re not receiving any goods or services in return. Canine Companions is unable to provide a receipt as the donor information is not collected unless the donor opts to share it during the donation process.

Why do I see my donor’s name when managing my page but my personal fundraising page shows it as a “Facebook Fundraiser”?
Because the personal page does not allow for public display rules the donor could set on Facebook (i.e. friends only or friends of friends), all donors display on the personal page as “Facebook Fundraiser.” Please have your donor call 800-572-2275 if they would like to update the public display name on the honor roll.

SPONSORSHIP

Why sponsor DogFest? 
When a DogFest event raises $50,000, it enables Canine Companions to fund a graduate team from the puppy’s conception to the dog’s retirement, transforming a life through a four-legged partner. Because DogFest is spearheaded by a group of passionate volunteer leaders, the return on the investment is very high. In addition to making a difference in someone’s life, you will benefit from increased exposure and goodwill throughout your community and in the workplace.

Who can sponsor DogFest? 
Anyone can sponsor DogFest, from businesses to organizations, from foundations to individuals. Your meaningful contribution to Canine Companions as a DogFest sponsor sends a message that you care about our community. There are a handful of sponsorship levels to choose from and, with each level, you receive valuable visibility and sponsor benefits. Sponsorship opportunities include both cash and in-kind sponsorships that help offset event-related expenses. Sponsorships are donations made to DogFest Washington DC, not to an individual or team.

How much is sponsorship? 
Sponsorships start at $250. Select a sponsorship level that works best for you. Sponsorships at all levels will help change the lives of children, adults, and veterans with disabilities.

How will my sponsorship donation be used? 
Your sponsorship will enable us to provide more dogs to those who need them. Refer to the sponsorship page for examples of how your donations may be used.

Are my contributions tax deductible? 
Yes. Please reach out to the regional staff person to learn more about the tax-deductible portion of your sponsorship. Please contact your tax advisor with any questions. Canine Companions is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Identification Number: 94-2494324.

How do I sign up to become a DogFest sponsor? 
Go to the DogFest Washington DC sponsorship page and complete the sponsorship form. A staff person will follow up with you soon.

ALUMNI REUNION

When will the Alumni Reunion take place?
The Alumni Reunion will begin at 10:00am and will last approximately 30 minutes. Stay tuned for more details as the event draws closer!

MISC

Is DogFest accessible for people with disabilities?
All DogFest events are accessible for scooters and wheelchairs, by walker or with a cane. There will also be accessible restrooms at each site.

How can I become a volunteer?
The success of DogFest depends heavily on the support we receive from our volunteers in the months leading up to the event and event day. There are many ways you can get involved. For more information, click here.

What happens if it rains? 
DogFest takes place rain or shine. In the event of lightning or other dangerous conditions, we will delay the event until conditions improve. Please watch for weather-related updates via email, the event website and the Facebook event page.

What health and safety precautions are being take at DogFest? 
Please refer to the Health and Safety Protocols page on our website for information.

I have a question not answered above. 
We'd love to assist! Please call 800-572-2275.