Competition for grants for animal shelters from large groups such as PetSmart Charities, Maddie’s Fund, etc. is fierce. You may find more opportunities by tapping into funding from local charities, family and corporate foundations, and local fundraising events.
Do a search online as well as the yellow pages using the terms “foundation,” “charity” plus “your city” or “your state” to find foundations donating to a variety of causes. Also, search for “animal welfare organizations” or “animal welfare foundations” + “your state.” Many foundations provide funding for their local areas (state, city, or even certain counties) for a variety of needs. Unless animal welfare grants are excluded, you could apply for grants from these local foundations. Always carefully read the guidelines first.
Following are some examples of foundations serving local communities to give you ideas on how these work. Start noticing the activities of any local foundations and charities in your community and how your shelter might become one of their beneficiaries.
Local charitable events with a variety of nonprofits as beneficiaries. An event in our area called Grand Prix de Santa Fe is an event showcasing the equestrian community with world-class jumping events. Sponsored by foundations, corporations, and individuals, the equestrian participants win prizes. A wonderful horse sanctuary called The Horse Shelter is one of the beneficiaries of this event’s proceeds, as well as the Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust, and others.
Family charitable foundations and trusts. A family charitable trust called the McCune Charitable Foundation in Santa Fe makes grants to a variety of causes including poverty, the homeless, the arts, women’s issues, and many more, primarily in New Mexico. Three grants were made in 2008 to wildlife groups, two of them outside New Mexico.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is based in California and was founded by David Packard, the co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company. Local grants serve several counties in California as well as Pueblo, Colorado, which is Packard’s birthplace.
In 2008 the DeBartolo Family Foundation in Tampa included the Big Cat Rescue and Pets for the Elderly Foundation in their grants.
Do you know of a wealthy former resident of your area who may now have a foundation? What about entrepreneurs, celebrities, or sports figures?
National companies with foundations. What national companies offer services in your area? For example, does Comcast provide cable services in your area? That company has a foundation that provides community grants all over the country. Check out the awards given in 2008 and you’ll see several animal welfare groups listed.
Many large newspapers have foundations serving their communities. If you’re in a small community check larger newspapers in your state. Often they offer grants in their readership area. Also check TV stations, phone companies, hospitals, and big-box chain stores for foundations and community involvement.