National Anti-Vivisection Society Sanctuary Fund: Grants for Animals and Wildlife

OVERVIEW: The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) Sanctuary Fund is a niche grant maker that supports organizations rescuing animals in emergency situations in which there is an immediate and dire need. 

IP TAKE: Don’t apply unless your group needs support for a specific project involving the protection of animals in circumstances threatening their health or well-being or in which the goal is the relief of immediate suffering. 

PROFILE: The NAVS Sanctuary Fund was established in 1998 and has grown significantly since then, giving hundreds of thousands in grant dollars annually to animal protection groups, animal sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitators, and organizations that need immediate funds in order to alleviate suffering. Grants are generally quite small, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 at the very upper end, and no multi-year requests are considered, which means that the NAVS fund supports many groups from year to year.

The fund prioritizes emergency disaster relief and the rescue of animals from threatened habitats above all other causes, but when there is money to spare, which there often is, it also supports efforts to rescue and relocate animals from research laboratories, roadside zoos, slaughterhouses and the entertainment industry. The NAVS fund occasionally donates to wildlife rehabilitators and to unique spay/neuter programs such WeSNiP: Spay and Neuter in Whatcom County, which provides spay/neuter services to low-income communities in that area, as well as 2000 Spays and Neuters for its efforts to sterilize a group of 60 cats in a public housing community.

The NAVS fund does prioritize the rescue of laboratory animals, but that should not discourage other types of rescues from applying, as the fund has supported a variety of organizations working with displaced animals. Primate sanctuaries and horse rescues are the most commonly funded projects, but NAVS does not make exclusions for any type of animal and has funded groups working with everything from domestic dogs, cats and rabbits to pigs, parrots, birds of prey and large cats.

Support is limited specifically to funding the relocation of vulnerable animals and to the construction of new habitats, and in all cases except those involving disaster relief and the rescue of animals from threatened habitats, organizations must already have the means to care for the animals over the long term. Any groups who have acquired animals illegally will not be considered. To see more about past grantees, click here.