Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I get a message that my email is already being used when I have never registered for DogFest?
Canine Companions uses one database for all activities. Your email is in our system due to a previous donation, subscribing to our online publications, voting for puppy names or photos, signing our Stop Service Dog Fraud petition or other actions where you entered your email.
I forgot my username or password, how do I find out what they are?
I requested that my username be emailed to me, and it is not a username I created. Where did it come from?
Canine Companions recently switched from one software program to a new one. When supporter data was moved to the new software, it generated usernames and passwords automatically. You may either keep the auto-generated username and password or you may change one or both.
To request a change to your username, please send an email to DogFest@cci.org with your name and the DogFest event you are attending and a member of the Canine Companions staff will contact you to help with the change.
Why do I receive emails addressed to someone else?
The Canine Companions software recognizes the most recently used name for an email address whether registering for DogFest or donating to DogFest or Canine Companions. For those who have a record in the Canine Companions system prior to May 2016, the name in communications will be the most recently provided name (you; you and a spouse; your dog; etc.).
To correct your record, please contact DogFest@cci.org and provide your accurate information (first and last name, street address, phone number) for your email address and a member of the Canine Companions staff will update your record in the database.
Why am I unable to register another person with my email address?
The software used for DogFest limits an email address to only one person. If you need to register another person and that person does not have an email address, you will need to create an email address. There are many free email providers, including Google (gmail.com), Outlook (outlook.com) and others.
Is there a registration fee to participate?
While there is no registration fee for Canine Companions DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, we encourage participants to set a personal fundraising goal and ask their friends, family and colleagues to support them with a donation. Every dollar donated to Canine Companions makes a difference and helps fund the mission of providing highly trained assistance 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 bracelet.
I want to register someone else on my computer, but the site won't let me because I'm already registered.
The DogFest website "remembers" you on your computer. If you want to register someone else you'll have to log out first, and then start the process again using their email address for the registration.
I registered as an individual, but now I want to join a team.
No problem! Email us at DogFest@cci.org with the name of the team you'd like to join and which DogFest you are attending and we'll get you set up with the correct team.
I forgot my username or password, how do I find out what they are?
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.
Are dogs allowed?
Yes, pet and assistance 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 over 4 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.
Is the route handicapped accessible?
All DogFest routes and festivals are accessible for scooters and wheelchairs, by walker or with a cane. There will also be accessible restrooms at each site.
Can I use my scooter or do I need to walk the route?
Scooters and power chairs are permitted at DogFest; however, charging stations may not be available. Please be sure that your scooter or chair is fully charged to make it around the route and through the event venue.
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?
We walk 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.
Where does the money go?
The money you raise for DogFest supports Canine Companions’ mission of providing highly trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities free of charge. Learn more.
How much money should I raise?
Our hope is that you raise a minimum of $125 at least one month before the event so you qualify to receive a commemorative DogFest t-shirt. You will receive your t-shirt on event day. If you raise at least $250, 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.
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, typically two weeks after the event. Note: you must have an online fundraising page to receive a fundraising recognition gift.
What if my donors need a receipt?
Everyone who makes an online donation will receive an e-mail 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. All donations made to Canine Companions for Independence are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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 organizationFederal Identification Number: 94-2494324
What if a donor wrote a check out to the team or my name?
If you receive a check payable to your team name, please write "Canine Companions for Independence" above your name. If it's made out to you, please endorse the check payable to the Canine Companions for Independence. Please be sure to write the name of the team member being credited for the donation, event, and event year in the memo line of all checks (example: Joe Smith, DogFest Columbus 2016). A check donation may only be credited to one team member; it may not be credited to the team or divided up among team members.
Where do I mail my donations?
Mail your donations (made out to Canine Companions) with a completed Offline Donation Form to:
Canine Companions for Independence
“DogFest” and the location of the event
P.O. Box 446
Santa Rosa, CA 95402-0446
Please be sure to write your name, event, and event year in the memo line of all checks (example: Joe Smith, DogFest Columbus 2016).
When do I receive my Early Fundraising Gift – the commemorative DogFest t-shirt?
If you raise at least $125 at least one month prior to your DogFest, you will receive your t-shirt when checking in at DogFest. You will be given the size indicated when you registered online.
When do I receive my Fundraising Recognition gift?
Gift redemption instructions will be provided via email approximately two weeks following the fundraising deadline, normally two weeks after the event. Please watch your inbox for this email approximately one month after DogFest. Be sure to check your spam or junk folder, too. If you do not see an email, contact DogFest@cci.org and provide your name, email address and the DogFest event you attended.
Can I donate my gift back to Canine Companions?
Yes, you can opt out of receiving a fundraising recognition gift during the redemption process.
My fundraising total in my Fundraising Center 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 contact us at DogFest@cci.org.
I turned in my donations at the event but I don't see them in my Fundraising Center total.
It may take up to two weeks for all of your donations to be credited to your Fundraising 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 receiving them.
Why sponsor DogFest Walk ‘n Roll?
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?
Your business or organization can make a meaningful contribution to Canine Companions for Independence as a DogFest sponsor. Supporting a local event 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. There are 2 types of sponsorship:
* Cash Sponsorship
* In-Kind Sponsorship
How much is sponsorship?
Sponsorships start at $250. Select a sponsorship level that works best for you and your business. You will help change the lives of children, adults and veterans with disabilities at any level.
How will my sponsorship donation be used?
Your sponsorship will enable us to provide more dogs to those who need them. Refer to our sponsorship flier for examples of how your donations may be used.
Are my contributions tax deductible?
Yes. 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?
How can I pay my sponsorship online?
Click the “Donate” button at the top of this page. When the next page appears, click “give here to give directly.” Enter the amount of your sponsorship and indicate the name of your business or organization in the “Recognition Name” field. Complete the billing and payment information and click “Process” to complete the transaction. An email acknowledging the sponsorship will be sent to the email you provided.
How can I pay my sponsorship by check?
Contact us and we’ll give you the mailing address for your local regional office. You may email us at DogFest@cci.org, or call us at 1.800.572.BARK (2275) and let us know which event you would like to sponsor.
Who can I contact if I have any questions?
You may email us at DogFest@cci.org, or call us at 1.800.572.BARK (2275) and let us know which event you would like to sponsor.
How do I form a team?
Creating a team is easy. Click here to create a team or join an existing team.
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. Click here for team fundraising ideas and resources. All funds raised must be credited to individual team members. The DogFest software does not allow for donations to a team.
How do I change my team name or team goal?
Only the team captain has the ability to change the team name and goal by signing in to the Participant Center and clicking the Team link in the navigation menu.
One of my team members registered as an individual when they meant to join my team. How do they correct this?
Please contact us at DogFest@cci.org to get this corrected. We will need the full name, email address, intended team name and the DogFest community name in order to correct this, so please have those available when you contact us.
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.
- Checks – This form of payment cannot be divided among individuals. The donation must be entered into only one team member’s Fundraising Center.
- Online Donations – Donations must be made to an individual registrant or to the DogFest event. There is no option to donate to a team.
Is there a fundraising recognition program for teams?
No, there is not a special program for team fundraising. The top 10 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 individual team members.
I forgot my Username and Password.
Remember that your username and password are case sensitive. Click here to request a new password. Please provide the following with your request: first and last name, DogFest location and email address.
How do I change my Username and/or Password?
Email us at DogFest@cci.org with the new username you would like and we will reset your password which will send you a link via email to choose a new password.
Will my information carry over?
DogFest began utilizing a new software system in 2016. If you did not participate in a DogFest event in 2016, you will need to create a new account. For subsequent events, your information will be saved. If you have issues, please contact us at DogFest@cci.org
How do I sign in to my Fundraising Center?
From any page of the DogFest website, enter your username and password and click Login which will take you right into your Fundraising Center.
What is a Personal Page?
A Personal Page is your own fundraising page where you can direct your supporters to learn about your participation in the event, make donations and join your team! Upon registering for an event, you will be provided a standard personal page. You aren’t required to personalize it, but on average, 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 unsubscribe from email?
There’s an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email you receive from us - this will opt you out of all emails except those that are triggered by an action you or one of your supporters takes. But please note ― if you opt out of email, you will be opted out of all email, including important event updates.
How can I see who has donated to me?
Sign in to your Fundraising Center and click on Progress in the top navigation menu; this will display your donation history.
How do I change my personal goal?
Sign in to your Fundraising Center and click on "change" under your goal. Remember, our Fundraising Tools can make fundraising easy and fun!
How do I change my team name or team goal? Only the team captain has the ability to change the team name and goal by signing in to the Fundraising Center and clicking the Team link in the navigation menu.
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 provided if you prefer. We recommend you customize the page as much as possible so your supporters will understand why DogFest and Canine Companions for Independence is important to you. A thermometer to track progress towards your fundraising goal is included, as well as an honor roll for your supporters to leave comments. Participants who update their pages with personal stories and pictures have twice the fundraising success than those who use the standard page
I just finished personalizing my fundraising page. What now?
Tell your friends and family about your page! Send an email using the Fundraising Center to your contacts letting them know your page is setup and request their support. Share the link to your social media accounts, too.
How do I add photos?
Access your Fundraising Center. Select Edit Personal Page on the left side and select Photos/Videos. Make sure radio button is selected on Photo. Click choose file, select your image, customize your caption and Save. Make sure your images are in .gif, .jpg, or .png format. For best fit, crop or resize your image to 724 pixels wide and 378 pixels tall.
How do I add a video?
Access your Fundraising Center. Select Edit Personal Page on the left side and select Photos/Videos. Make sure radio button is selected on Video. Place your video’s YouTube URL and save.
How do I edit my page name?
Access your Fundraising Center. Select Edit Personal Page and select Content. Customize your title and save.
How do I update my page content?
Access your Fundraising Center. Select Edit Personal Page and select Content. Customize your story under Body. The font size, color, formatting and font family can be customized. If you would like to see what your content looks like, click preview and a sample of your content will show up in a new window. The preview will not save your content. If you are satisfied return to your personal page and save.
How do I personalize my URL?
Access your Fundraising Center. Select Edit Personal Page and select content. Select URL Settings, enter your preferred URL and Save. Use this personalized URL when directing people to your personal page to make a donation.
How do I make my page private?
Access your Fundraising Center. Select Edit Personal Page and select Content. Select URL Settings, select Private and Save.
How do I update my fundraising goal?
On your Fundraising Center, the progress bar is placed under My Progress. Click Change under your goal. Edit your goal and submit.
How do I preview my personal page?
Access your Fundraising Center. Select Personal Page and select View Personal Page. A separate window will open allowing you to view what your page looks like to your friends and family.
How do I find out who donated to my page?
Access your Fundraising Center. Click View Stats and view donations. You will be able to view your personal donations, donations made by your friends and family and who the top 10 donors are.
How do I send an email?
Access your Fundraising Center. Select Send Emails. Enter your friend’s name, email address, or choose from your contacts list. Provide a subject line and provide your customized content in the body of the email. The font size, color, formatting and font family can be customized. If you would like to see what your content looks like, click Preview and a sample of your content will show up. You can also choose from templates provided. If you would like to use a provided template, select Use a Template and choose your preference. Edit the name information and send.
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 gifts 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 or fax the form to us, please use the following information (please include your name and which DogFest event you are attending):
Canine Companions for Independence
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 my Fundraising Center, 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 "Progress" section of your Fundraising Center. 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.
I have a question not answered above.
We’d love to assist! Email us at DogFest@cci.org, and we will respond within 24-48 hours Monday thru Friday.