They say the grass is always greener where you water it. What if you water your community and grow your own first-time adopters? That’s the heart and soul of our newest grant opportunity available to our Right Horse Partners and active Warm-Up Ring participants!
We often hear that it can be challenging to find homes for non-riding, special needs, or older horses. A few of our Right Horse Partners have developed successful programs aimed at growing their own adopters for this special population of equines. An ASPCA® study identified that there are as many as 2.3 million individuals who have the capacity and a strong interest to adopt a horse. We all recognize the life-changing joy that comes from owning and loving a horse. So how do we connect the large number of individuals who have the desire to own a horse to the act of adopting an equine? A Right Horse Partner has figured out the trick. (Spoiler alert: it has a lot to do with community and inclusivity!)
There are plenty of folks out there who would love nothing more than to spend their free time just hanging out with a horse they could call their own... in many cases all they need is a bit of support and a judgment-free environment. What better population of horses could there be for those new horse owners than the “been there, done that” population of horses that thrive on love and attention? Focused on building a supportive community, Right Horse Partner This Old Horse has a powerful formula for growing their adopter base and welcoming new horse owners into their community. What’s the secret? Just a few powerful elements: building a community, providing resources and a hub for connection, identifying potential adopters, and providing the barn space and moral support. We encourage you to take the key learnings and innovate on how to best integrate them into your work.
If you’re ready to take that inspiration and channel it into your own plan for growing a community of new adopters, share it with us! This Old Horse’s model has proven success, so we encourage you to take their framework and adapt it to your region.
Organizations are invited to submit an application for a grant up to $30,000 to support the launch and first year of programming.
- Must be an established 501(c)(3) located within the United States and in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service
- Must be a Right Horse partner or active member in the Warm-Up Ring
- If past ASPCA® grant recipient must be current on all reporting requirements
- Must be an incorporated or organized legal entity in good standing with Secretary of State in the state where the organization is incorporated or organized
- Must have a board of at least 4 members with a majority of independent members with neither board chair nor treasurer receiving compensation from the organization
Strong proposals should:
- Incorporate a version of a novice volunteer training program and a barn-leasing model into the proposal to help fertilize those horse enthusiasts to grow into adopters
- Identify and confirm viability and availability of barns that would serve as your community locations so that there can be a sense of community and belonging for new companion horse owners
- Articulate how you will build a community for these new adopters
- Articulate how you will market the program and find those horse enthusiasts ready to take the next step if they are supported
- Build opportunities for collaboration with community stakeholders into the proposal
- Determine how many horses and adopters the program will impact
- Include a clear and detailed budget
- Include a timeline
- The application opens 8/27/2020 and closes 9/24/2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET
- Finalists will be announced no later than 10/08/2020
- Finalists will be invited to submit formal applications for grant funding
How to Apply
- Please be prepared to attach the below documents
- Two most recently filed form 990s
- IRS extension for 2019 990 (Form 8868), if applicable
- Current fiscal year budget (income and expenses)
- Budget vs. Actual report for most recently ended fiscal year (income and expenses)
- Most recently completed audited financial statement, unaudited financial statement, OR previous fiscal year’s balance sheet
- Proof of incorporation(document must show active status with the state)
- IRS determination letter
- Current list of board members with biographies for board chair and treasurer
- Please be prepared to answer the following questions
- Is your 501(c)(3) exemption is current?
- Does your board have at least 4 members, and is the majority of your board independent?
- This means that fewer than half of your Board members can be paid employees and/or family members or close relatives
- Are both your board chair and treasurer uncompensated by the organization?
- How much is available in your operating reserves?
- Operating reserves are set aside for emergencies, such as unexpected cash flow shortages, expense or losses
- Please share the overview of your proposal.
- Have you incorporated a version of a novice volunteer training program into your proposal? If yes, describe the details of the program
- Have you identified barn options so that new adopters can board their horses in a place where they will be welcomed and supported? If yes, please share the facility(s) name and share your thoughts as to why each is a good viable option. Also, clarify if you have determined the facility is available and within budget, and the plans for support of adopters.
- Please provide details on how you will build a sense of community for these new horse owners
- Please provide details on how you will market the program
- How many horses do you aim to adopt through this program?
- How many new potential adopters do you aim to identify and cultivate through this program?
- Please share your timeline for the project
- How much grant funding are you requesting?
- Please attach your proposed project budget
- Assuming the project is successful, how would you sustain this program after grant funds have been expended?
- Please submit an application. We recommend you prepare the information listed above in advance, as you will not be able to save your progress and return to it later.