ASPCA: Grants for Animals and Wildlife

OVERVIEW: ASPCA maintains one of the five largest grant programs in animal welfare in the United States. It supports organizations in all 50 states, and all U.S. territories. The foundation supports groups that work specifically with domestic animals (cats and dogs) and horses.

IP TAKE: The ASPCA is an excellent resource for smaller groups that support mainstream and traditional animal welfare projects; however, organizations beyond this scope will find it difficult to secure funding. 

PROFILE: One of the oldest animal welfare organizations in the U.S., the ASPCA was established in 1866 by the New York state legislature in an effort to ban cruelty to carriage horses. Since then, the ASPCA has become one of the most influential animal welfare foundations in the U.S. The ASPCA was the first humane organization given legal authority to investigate crimes against animals and make arrests against the perpetrators of such crimes. It dedicates itself “to provid[ing] effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” It provides support to U.S. based nonprofit animal welfare organizations "through cash grants, sponsorships, executive and technical assistance, and training." 

The ASPCA is a funder with wide reach. In the past, it has awarded grants to over 3,000 animal shelters, municipal and governmental agencies, rescue groups, sanctuaries, and other animal welfare organizations nationwide. It offers four programs: Animal Shelter & Rescue Grants, Anti-cruelty Grants, Equine Grants, and Emergency and Disaster Response Grants. The ASPCA prioritizes funding local SPCA chapters, Humane Society chapters, rescues, and spay/neuter clinics. Beyond its canine, feline, and equine related funding, the ASPCA also supports wildlife rehabilitation facilities on occasion. However, it is rare. The ASPCA offers a variety of grant opportunities.

    The number of grants the ASPCA awards each year is truly staggering. More than a thousand organizations and agencies win grants in some years. Also, unlike many grant-giving foundations, the ASPCA does not restrict its giving to organizations with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. While the majority of its grant recipients are nonprofits, the ASPCA also supports small businesses, such as veterinary offices, specialty animal care facilities, and humane law-enforcement agencies.

    About eighty percent of ASPCA grants total less than $10,000. The average grant is about $5,000. Overall, the ASPCA tends to prioritize smaller organizations with limited operating costs and revenue flows. However, the ASPCA occasionally offers large grants to established organizations with extensive budgets.  At this time, the ASPCA does not accept "unsolicited grant proposals by mail, email, or in any format other than through this site."

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