Park Foundation: Grants for Animals & Wildlife

OVERVIEW: The Park Foundation invests in media, higher education, animal welfare, community needs, and sustainability in Ithaca, New York. 

IP TAKE:  The foundation accepts unsolicited proposals and welcomes grantees to contact them before submitting to make sure the foundation is a fit.

PROFILE: The Park Foundation, established in 1966, was founded by Roy H. Park, who co-created the packaged food brand Duncan Hines. Later, as head of what became Park Communications, he owned radio stations, television stations and newspapers. His daughter and granddaughters continue to serve as grantees. The foundation seeks holistically to make "a difference in the world" regardless of its investments, as the foundation "remain[s] mindful that money is a means, and not an end unto itself." Park funds projects and organizations that support media, higher education, animal welfare, community needs and sustainability in Ithaca, New York. 

While Park's grantmaking prioritizes higher education, it makes the most grants to its environment program. Its animal welfare giving supports "nationally significant programs to protect domesticated animals and wildlife." Specifically, the program funds "the humane treatment, care and well-being of domesticated animals, particularly companion animals. Grants focus on spay/neuter programs to reduce overpopulation, veterinary services, advocacy and public education programs to prevent animal cruelty." However, the foundation prioritizes select animal rescue and shelter organizations in specific geographic regions. Overall, the foundation's grantmaking to wildlife focuses on policy, advocacy and primate rescue.

As an aside, animal welfare projects that feature media and public relations, including social media and viral ads, are more likely to secure a Park grant, given its fondness for media projects. Indeed, Park has funded a documentary about the ethics of wildlife documentaries. Applicants can further explore past grantees here.

The Park Foundation supports proposals with quarterly deadlines, and accepts letters of inquiry or preliminary phone calls or emails. Program officers do recommend potential new grantees send LOIs first, and to stay within program interests to save everyone time. 

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