Some creativity on your part can greatly expand your options
Obtaining foundation grants to support your work is much like successfully matching animals and adopters:
Read on for strategies that help you define what you need so that you can match it up with the grant-maker willing to fund that need.
1. List and package your funding needs.Most foundations do not support general operations. But remember - your day-to-day work is made up of many individual programs. You may be able to get support for some of your operations:
Listing everything you do and thinking about how you might package your activities into programs will help you walk through more funding doors. You will, however, have to use the money only for the purpose you presented. And you'll need to show how you intend to continue the work after the grant runs out.
2. Check out the Foundation Center.
The Foundation Center is the resource for grant seekers in all fields. They offer:
3. Research specific foundations.
Researching foundations can seem a bit daunting at first, but, like most things, becomes easier the more you do it. Fortunately, most foundations have websites where you can learn about the foundation's funding objectives and application requirements.
We've assembled an annotated list of links to some of the foundations that fund animal welfare projects.
4. Check out your own back yard.
The national foundations can be wonderful sources of support, but don't forget to look for funders closer to home with whom you can develop ongoing relationships:
Many family foundations accept proposals only by invitation, but your Major Gifts committee may be able to help you get the nod.
5. Be creative.
Don't limit yourself to foundations that focus on animals. Just because a grant maker doesn't list animal welfare as a focus doesn't necessarily mean you can't get support. For example:
To get these funders' attention, you'll have to be clear and persuasive about the impact your program will have on a cause they have listed as a funding focus. With community foundations, the key is showing how your work makes your community a better place. For ideas about animal-welfare programs that affect the wider community, see Using Your Programs to Find New Donors.
When you've identified grants you want to apply for, check out Winning the Grants You Apply For.