Frequently Asked Questions
You will find information on the following topics below:
Troubleshooting | Registration | Facebook Fundraising | Event Info Donations | Sponsorships | Teams | My Fundraising Center | Matching Gifts
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?
When engaging with Canine Companions online and providing an email address, the software generates 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 call 800-572-2275.
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 call 800-572-2275
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, 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 expertly 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 wristband.
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! Call 800-572-2275 or send an email to DogFest@cci.org.
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.
How is creating a fundraiser on Facebook different than sharing a link to my personal fundraising page on Facebook?
Creating a fundraiser on Facebook directly through your DogFest Participant Center 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?
You must first register for DogFest. Once you log into your Participant Center, follow these steps to start your fundraiser on Facebook.
1. In your Participant Center, scroll down and click on the “Connect Fundraiser to Facebook” button.
2. You will be redirected to Facebook and a pop-up where you will click “OK” or “Continue”.
3. You will then be prompted to go to your fundraiser on Facebook if it doesn’t take you there.
4. Now you can edit all of your fundraising information and details you wish to include.
Click here for screenshots of the step-by-step instructions.
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 Facebooks not created through the Participant Center 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 Participant Center 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?
Unfortunately, donations received through a fundraiser created directly on Facebook cannot be tied back to your fundraising efforts. Facebook has not created the technology to allow for this flow of information.
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 organization’s 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 in my Participant Center but my personal fundraising page shows it 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.
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 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.
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.
If the DogFest event includes a walk, can I use my scooter?
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?
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.
Where does the money go?
The money you raise for DogFest supports Canine Companions’ mission of providing expertly 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 to qualify to receive a commemorative DogFest t-shirt, while supplies last. You will receive your t-shirt on event day. If you raise at least $250 by the fundraising deadling (2 weeks after the event), 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 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. All donations made to Canine Companions for Independence 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 Participant Center, Canine Companions is unable to provide a receipt.
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.
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 Canine Companions for Independence®. Please be sure to write the name of the team member being credited for the donation, the event name, and the event year in the memo line of all checks (example: Joe Smith, DogFest Columbus 2020). 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 2020).
When do I receive my fundraising gift for raising $125 – the commemorative DogFest t-shirt?
If you raise at least $125 prior to or on event day, you will receive a t-shirt when checking in at DogFest. While supplies last.
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, call 800-572-2275.
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 Participant 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 call 800-572-2275.
I turned in my donations at the event but I don't see them in my Participant Center 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 receiving them.
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?
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. Sponsorship opportunities include both cash and in-kind sponsorships that help offset event-related expenses.
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 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?
Complete the online interest form and a staff person will contact you.
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. A staff member will also contact you to discuss the sponsorship benefits you will receive at your given level.
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 call 800-572-2275 and let us know which event you would like to sponsor.
Who can I contact if I have any questions?
Please call 800-572-2275 and we can help you with any questions you have.
How do I form a team?
Creating a team is easy. Find your event, click "Register", then "Form a Team" and follow the steps to create your team. Click here to start the process of creating 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. Click Change under the Team Goal total, then enter the new amount and click Submit.
One of my team members registered as an individual when they meant to join my team. How do they correct this?
Please call 800-572-2275 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 Participant 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. Please call 800-572-2275 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?
Please call 800-572-2275 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 have never participated in a DogFest event, you will need to create a new account. For subsequent events, your information will be saved. If you have issues, please call 800-572-2275.
How do I sign in to my Participant Center?
From any page of the DogFest website, click the "Login" button in the top right corner. Enter your username and password. You will be directed to your Participant 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 Participant 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 Participant 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 Participant 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 Participant Center to your contacts letting them know your page is setup and request their support. Share the link to your social media accounts, too. You may also want to send personal emails from your email account. Be sure to include the link to your personal fundraising page.
How do I add photos?
Access your Participant 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 Participant 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 Participant Center. Select Edit Personal Page and select Content. Customize your title and save.
How do I update my page content?
Access your Participant 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 Participant 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 Participant Center. Select Edit Personal Page and select Content. Select URL Settings, select Private and Save.
How do I update my fundraising goal?
On your Participant 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 Participant 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 Participant 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 Participant 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 Participant 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 Participant 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. The sooner a match request is submitted, the more likely it will be received by the fundraising deadline.
I have a question not answered above.
We’d love to assist! Please call 800-572-2275.