Summerlee Foundation: Grants for Animals and Wildlife

OVERVIEW: The Summerlee Foundation supports a range of animal welfare causes that includes both wildlife and domesticated animals across the United States, Canada, the British Isles, and Mexico. It is particularly interested in dog and cat sterilization and vaccination programs, and preserving and rehabbing threatened wildlife. 

IP TAKE: Summerlee invests in a wide variety of organizations and projects. Grantseekers are advised to review its priorities carefully to confirm whether their work align's with the foundation's mission. If so, contact the Director of the Animal Protection Program before applying.

PROFILE: Established in 1988, the Summerlee Foundation was created by lifelong animal advocate Annie Lee Warren Roberts. Roberts was known nationally as a leader in the field of animal welfare, having received the Founders Medal for service to animals in 1984, as well as the Animal Protection Institute’s Animal Philanthropist of the Year Award in 1989. While the foundation is based in Dallas, its animal protection program is located in Colorado. The Summerlee Foundation offers an unusual dual focus of animal welfare and the preservation of Texas history, with an approximately equal amount of funding going towards each program area.

The animal protection program oversees all of Summerlee’s animal-welfare funding. The program supports animal "rescue, research, rehabilitation, and advocacy." Its grants have supported a wide array of concerns, which include "second chances for companion animals, protection of wild carnivores, sanctuary and refuge, and endangered species protection and advocacy." The program has ultimately sought to alleviate "fear, pain and suffering in countless animals’ lives, advanced and expanded the rights of all non-human animals, defended the laws that protect them, and created new policies to address new grievances against them." 

Summerlee maintains very specific grant guidelines, which advise grantseekers to contact the foundation's Director of Animal Protection Program, Melanie K. Anderson prior to applying (303-697-6796 / gro.eelremmus@3lam). The foundation only pursues grantmaking in the Americas and the British Isles with an emphasis on underserved and challenged communities. Further, Summerlee's funding priorities suggest it only funds work with cats in the United States and Canada, dogs beyond the United States primarily in Latin America, and other stipulations regarding iconic animals. Grants range from a few thousand to tens of thousands. Past grantees include the Texas-based Animal Alliance of Galveston County, to whom Summerlee awarded a grant for a comprehensive program of animal sterilizations, veterinary care, humane euthanasia, and animal rescues in Mexico. Past grantees may be further explored here.

While it is uncommon, the Summerlee Foundation sometimes offers multi-year funding once a grantee has demonstrated effectiveness with the use of one grant and has put in the time and effort to build a working relationship. Summerlee also offers program-development grants and grants for seed money, matching or challenge support, building renovations, equipment, research, and technical assistance.

While Summerlee's Animal Program is closed until fiscal year July 2018-June 2019, grantseekers are advised to contact Melanie Anderson (303-697-6796) with any questions regarding future submission.

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