Morris Animal Foundation: Grants for Animals and Wildlife

OVERVIEW: The Morris Animal Foundation is a large, niche funder dedicated to advancing scientific research in veterinary care for cats, dogs, large companion animals (horses and llamas/alpacas) and wildlife. 

IP TAKE: Only groups and individuals whose work falls squarely within the foundation’s very specific guidelines, and can follow detailed instructions should apply. 

PROFILE: Since 1948, the Morris Animal Foundation has contributed tens of millions of dollars to studies addressing diagnostics, treatments, preventions, and cures for animals. The foundation was formed by Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr., who developed one of the first special diet pet foods, which he sold to Hill’s. Dr. Morris was a leader in developing nutrition programs for treating a variety of conditions in animals and believed that scientific discoveries would lead to a transformation in the way animals were cared for. Today, the Morris Animal Foundation is one of the largest funders in animal welfare. It invests in animal research, veterinary clinics, and animal protection.

The foundation invests the lion’s share of its grantmaking in university research; however, it also funds zoos and other research institutions. Research grants focus on small animal, large animal, and wildlife studies. Past grantees include the Cheetah Conservation Society, the Fort Worth Zoological Association, and the Palm Beach Zoo of Palm Beach, Florida. 

Grants range from about $5,000 to $100,000, and support organizations across and beyond the United States. The amount of funding an organization receives depends more on the cost and expected benefit of the project than on any predetermined guidelines set by the foundation. As the foundation largely culls its revenue from private contributions, it invests 80 percent of directly into grantees. Grantseekers can explore its financials here. The foundation also awards several fellowships each year to veterinary students pursuing a career in animal health science. 

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