The ASPCA establishes consistent guidelines for the kinds of work we can support with grant funds. We evaluate requests for grants based on the funding priorities and restrictions listed below. Please note that the restrictions apply to all of our grant types.
The ASPCA is one of the largest funders of animal welfare programs and organizations in the United States. Grantmaking will primarily be focused on programs designed to achieve results and impacts consistent with our strategic and organizational priorities. Data collection and reporting will be required whenever reasonable and feasible to measure efficacy and evaluate impact.
Q: What types of grant requests will the ASPCA consider?
The ASPCA will solicit and consider proposals via:
- Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in a variety of program areas with scheduled deadlines (these can be program- and strategic partner-focused; examples of past opportunities include Lil BUB’s BIG Fund for the ASPCA, Mega Match-a-thon, Rescuing Racers Initiative, etc.)
- Proposals by solicitation-only in specific geographic and programmatic areas (Animal Relocation, some Shelter & Spay/Neuter-focused grants, FIR Response Partners, etc.)
- Year-round RFPs in a variety of standing program areas on a rolling basis (see below)
Standing program areas include:
- Grants to support efforts to prevent and respond to animal cruelty
- Grants to support efforts to prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters
- Animal Population Control Program (APCP) grants to support low-cost spay/neuter programs in New York State
- Grants to organizations sheltering and caring for at-risk equines
- Limited conference sponsorship and scholarship support
- ASPCA Northern Tier Shelter Initiative grants in seven targeted states (AK, WA, ID, MT, ND, WI, MN)
RFPs in a number of priority areas will be announced throughout the year. We expect to have some exciting opportunities focused on programming to decrease euthanasia, to increase pet retention, and to increase adoptions. Organizations can keep up-to-date with these opportunities via ASPCApro.org/grants and through the ASPCApro.org e-newsletter.
Q: Is the ASPCA accepting requests for support of spay/neuter programs?
The ASPCA continues to believe that S/N programs – when delivered in strategic and targeted ways – are a vital component to achieve an end to homelessness. S/N funding will be primarily limited to current established partners*. The ASPCA may issue targeted RFPs to fund S/N efforts that are designed to prevent shelter intake and increase pet retention. Measurement of impact of these programs will be a key factor in funding decisions for such requests.
* Current established partners include ASPCA Partnership organizations, L.A. partners, and source (and perhaps receiving) shelters in the East and West Coast relocation corridors (with an emphasis on support for capacity building in source shelters.). Other S/N funding opportunities may arise as a result of tactical team work but will be highly focused on specific impacts (i.e. intake prevention and pet retention).
Q: When can organizations apply for grants?
Proposals in some program areas will be considered on a rolling basis while other proposals will have specific request periods and deadlines. For the most current information related to open RFPs, deadlines, and priority areas, applicants should refer to ASPCApro.org/grants.
Q: How do organizations apply for grants?
See ASPCApro.org/grants for information on available grant opportunities and funding priority areas. Please note all grant requests must be submitted online through ASPCApro.org. (Proposals submitted by mail or e-mail will not be considered.) Some programs may be solicitation-only and require an invitation to apply from an ASPCA staff member but all applications must be submitted online.
Q: How can organizations know/keep up with up the most recent or upcoming grant opportunities?
The best way to stay up-to-date is to subscribe to the ASPCApro.org e-newsletter and to regularly visit ASPCApro.org/grants.
Q: Does the ASPCA accept unsolicited requests?
Unsolicited requests are accepted in a limited number of priority areas listed below:
- Anti-cruelty grants
- Emergency and disaster grants
- ASPCA Equine Fund grants
- NY State Animal Population Control Program (APCP) grants
- Limited conference sponsorship and scholarship support
- Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in a variety of program areas with scheduled deadlines
Q: What reporting is required if a request for funding is approved?
All grants are subject to standard reports on use of funds, public acknowledgement of funding, and other reporting requirements. In addition, most grants will be provided with the understanding that measurement of impact and efficacy must be reported to the ASPCA on an agreed-upon schedule. Frequency of reporting (i.e. monthly, quarterly, etc.) may vary depending on the nature of the grant, program, or RFP.
Q: How long will it take to hear if our grant request has been approved?
Applicants can expect to hear from our grants team within 6-8 weeks from proposal submission, unless otherwise noted in the RFP.
Q: If there are no available ASPCA grant opportunities that are a good fit, where else can I find funding?
You may wish to visit the “Other Animal Welfare Funders” page at ASPCApro.org/grants/resources/ for links to other prospective funding sources. We also encourage you to view our free grant-related webinars available at ASPCApro.org/webinar/grants.
Q: Are there restrictions to food purchased with ASPCA Grant funds?
Yes. If any grant funds are used to purchase food for a gathering of individuals, including at conferences, trainings and other events sponsored by the ASPCA, Grantee agrees to limit the use of ASPCA funds to purchase vegetarian, vegan, fish or welfare-certified meat products only. "Welfare-certified meat products" shall mean products that are from farms, obtained either directly or through another supplier (restaurant, retailer, etc.), that are certified by at least one of the following certification programs: (a) Animal Welfare Approved; (b) Certified Humane; and/or (c) Global Animal Partnership, Steps 2 and above. For more information about welfare-certified products or where to locate welfare-certified products, please visit Finding Higher-Welfare Products on ASPCA.org.
Employees, volunteers or other associates of a Grantee whose food expenses are reimbursed or otherwise paid from ASPCA grant funds, including, but not limited to beneficiaries of travel stipends and scholarships, are strongly encouraged to choose higher-welfare meat products, fish, vegan or vegetarian food.
The ASPCA generally will not support:
- Organizations whose mission is unrelated to animal welfare
- Multi-year grant pledges
- Individuals, private foundations, endowments, churches or religious programs, fraternal, social or labor organizations
- Organizations with unusually high administrative expenses or other indicators of financial mismanagement
- Organizations which demonstrate or have previously demonstrated practices that are irreconcilable with ASPCA grant standards
- Political parties, candidates, or political activities
- Capital campaigns or large construction projects
- Organizations that discriminate because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or any areas covered by any applicable federal, state, or local laws
- Organizations based outside the United States, or projects that solely benefit animals outside the United States
- Projects for wildlife or marine life
- Individual animals
- Organizations that have lost their IRS tax-exempt status (Visit Guidestar.org to ensure your organization is in good standing with the IRS.)
The ASPCA does not pay for overhead expenses.
Please note that an ASPCA grant award indicates our support of the specific project identified in your award letter. Approved grants do not imply endorsement, certification or approval of organizations or their activities nor do they imply affiliation with the ASPCA.
Grantees who receive funding for a scholarship/travel stipend shall keep the best interest of its organization and the ASPCA in mind when making travel and lodging arrangements, and shall endeavor to keep the cost of such arrangements reasonable.
Common Reasons for Denied Grant Requests
The following list contains the most common reasons why the ASPCA rejects certain requests for funding.
- Frequent Grant Recipient: Applicant has multiple active grants or has been a frequent grant recipient
- Duplicate Application: Applicant submitted more than one letter of inquiry or application for the same purpose
- Incomplete Application: Required or requested data and/or supplemental information and documentation have not been submitted
- Ineligible Applicant: See "Funding Restrictions" above
- Lack of Clarity or Details: Request does not state a specific purpose or does not provide adequate explanation or information
- Limited Resources/Budgetary Constraints: Grant budget for the proposed project is depleted or inadequate to accommodate the request
- Request Does Not Meet ASPCA or RFP Standards: Details of the request indicate that outcomes, policies or procedures do not meet specific standards of the grant program or RFP (request for proposals) or general standards sought by the ASPCA
- Multiple Projects in One Request: Request contains multiple projects
- No Funding to Individuals: With limited exceptions, such as scholarships, individuals are ineligible to apply for ASPCA grants
- No Reply to Application Invitation: Applicant submitted a letter of inquiry, was invited to submit a full proposal but did not submit the proposal
- Outside Geographic Operating Area: Applicant's domicile or the geographic area for which grant funds are requested do not fall within the ASPCA's mission, priorities, grant program or RFP (request for proposals)
- Outside of Current Funding Priorities: Request does not fulfill current ASPCA priorities
- Outside of Guidelines: Request does not fall within stated guidelines
- Overdue Grant Requirements: Applicant has current grant requirements that are overdue, or outstanding (but not necessarily overdue) requirements on an existing grant have not yet been submitted and will be a prerequisite for new funding.
- Other Concerns/Poorly Presented: Application is vague or incomprehensible, contains excessive errors or other indications that do not meet standards of eligibility for ASPCA grant funding
- Unsolicited: Applicant was not formally invited to submit an application for an invitation-only program
- Withdrawn by Applicant: Applicant requests declination
- Wrong Application: Applicant submitted the wrong letter of inquiry or application for their request