Start-up Grants for Dog Rescues

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Dog rescue groups help families adopt unwanted dogs.
Dog rescue groups help families adopt unwanted dogs. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Dog rescue groups seek to place a wide variety of unwanted canines into loving adoptive homes. Groups include city or county animal shelters with few admission restrictions, along with privately run humane societies. Dog foster and adoption groups often have no physical address, but network with local and regional partners to find willing adoptive owners. Breed rescue groups also maintain active adoption networks. New dog rescue groups frequently apply for start-up grants.

Organizational Framework

A solid legal and financial foundation increases your chances of grant awards. Develop a mission statement that outlines your group’s short- and long-term goals and implementation framework. A certified public accountant helps your group adopt a financial and organizational structure. An attorney formulates your application for Internal Revenue Service 501c3 tax-exempt status. This professional expertise helps you avoid agonizing delays because of incorrectly prepared documents.

Expert Support

Take advantage of free grant-writing resources from the Foundation Center, an established organization that serves as a clearinghouse for grant-seekers and grant-makers worldwide. Learn how to write a grant proposal that incorporates objective facts about your dog rescue group while communicating the group’s commitment to its mission. Access an online philanthropic reference library, along with an ever-changing list of grant-makers seeking applications from specific types of groups.

Grant-writing Guidelines

A well-written grant proposal establishes an obvious link between the grant-maker’s mission and your rescue group’s goals. Outline the specific program that the grant monies will be used, along with a realistic budget. For example, the grant might be used to upgrade a shelter; or to purchase a multiple-dog transport vehicle. Discuss how you will implement and evaluate the program. Include a professionally prepared cover letter that reinforces your message.

Grant Sources

Grants are frequently awarded through clearinghouses that accept applications from dog rescue groups and animal shelters. Pet food manufacturers and large pet-product stores often maintain grant programs, as well. Grant dollar amounts are often capped to increase the number of organizations served by the program. Grant applications may only be accepted during certain time periods, and are always subject to funds availability.

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