What changes have been made to the community grant guidelines?
Why have the community grant guidelines been divided into two components?
Why arent government animal control agencies eligible for funding?
Why arent you funding programs to take care of sick and injured animals?
What are your definitions of adoptable, treatable and non-rehabilitatable?
Does Maddie's Fund provide grants for feral cats?
Why doesn't Maddie's Fund provide money for building new shelters?
In order to get funded, projects have to include animal control. What if animal control doesnt want to participate?
How can we interest veterinarians in a collaborative partnership?
Does every animal group in the target area have to be in the collaboration?
Who decides which group is in charge of funds and oversees their distribution?
If a group drops out of a collaboration, is the grant taken away?
Can we contact agencies who have already been funded?
Grants require "immediate and measurable" progress. What does that mean?
Are smaller organizations expected to compete with larger groups accomplishments?
In order to get a grant, an agency must be an adoption guarantee organization. What if the agency plans to become an adoption guarantee organization in 2-3 years?
Are there geographical limits to your funding?
Is there an application deadline?
How much money should an organization request?
Baseline is frequently mentioned. What exactly is that?
Additional questions and answers can be found on the No More Homeless Pets Forum.
Q. What changes have been made to the community grant guidelines?
A. Maddie's Fund has recently implemented some changes to the community grant guidelines. We believe these changes will help the groups succeed in the goals of the projects. The main difference is the spay/neuter component of the grant has been separated out from the adoption component. This requires two separate applications (the Adoption Application and the Spay/Neuter Application) from two different lead agencies (a rescue group to lead the adoption component and a local, regional or state veterinary medical association VMA to lead the spay/neuter component), but both elements are required for a community grant.
We also changed the focus of the program. The original $20 $30 voucher program has been replaced with a spay/neuter program for the pets of people of receive Medicaid assistance. Under this program, qualified private practice veterinarians are reimbursed at the rate of $30 $110 per surgery, which includes a $10 $20 co-payment from the public, and the VMA is paid to administer the program.
For the adoption component, Maddie's Fund now requires that at least 50% of the adoption funds received must be distributed to participating rescue organizations according to the number of above baseline adoptions each group performs. That means in Year One each rescue group receives a minimum of $150.00 for every above baseline adoption it performs up to goal. Additionally, Maddie's Fund has eliminated the fundraising requirement for Year One. (There is a fundraising requirement for Years 2 5 of the project.)
Q. Why did you decide to separate the community grants into two components?
A. Maddie's Fund is constantly learning from our past and existing projects. One thing we discovered is that it's just plain hard for humane coalitions to successfully manage adoption and spay/neuter programs. We want to allow them to focus on their task of dramatically increasing adoptions and reducing deaths. We also realized veterinarians respond with greater enthusiasm to proposals from other veterinarians, especially professional veterinary associations. This makes perfect sense most people relate better to their colleagues than to outsiders.
Q. Why arent government animal control agencies eligible for funding?
A. We want to fund agencies that are not dependent on taxpayer priorities but whose sole purpose is to fulfill their humane mission of saving lives. Government animal control agencies are in the business of serving the community needs at large as decided by the elected officials. As a result, animal control tends to put its emphasis on public health and public safety, law enforcement, animal regulation, and licensing.
In addition, Maddie's Fund is trying to strengthen the non-profit sector of the animal welfare community so there is a broader safety net of care for the animals. The more groups that are working on saving lives, the more security there will be for the animals. Although animal control agencies are not directly eligible for funding, they do receive benefits from Maddie's Fund grants:
- As Maddie's Fund projects perform more spay/neuter surgeries, fewer animals will be born, reducing the number of animals entering shelters. This will lessen the burden shouldered by animal control programs.
- As rescue groups take more animals for placement, animal control organizations will have fewer animals to handle and fewer animals to euthanize.
- Fewer deaths and reduced shelter volume will cut costs, reduce staff stress and boost morale.
- Animal control groups will benefit from advertising, publicity and goodwill generated by the collaboration.
- A public/private partnership such as this increases community interest and public and political support for the animals.
Q. Why arent you funding programs to take care of sick and injured animals?
A. The first objective of Maddie's Fund is to stop this nation's killing of healthy (adoptable) dogs and cats. We want to end the situation described as too many animals, not enough homes. When we reach the juncture where healthy, adoptable shelter animals throughout the country can be guaranteed a home, Maddie's Fund will then focus its resources on funding programs to rehabilitate the sick, injured and poorly behaved, knowing that when these animals are whole again, there will be a home waiting for them.
Q. What are your definitions of adoptable, treatable and non-rehabilitatable?
A. According to California law, healthy (adoptable) animals are "those animals eight weeks of age or older that, at or subsequent to the time the animal is impounded or otherwise taken into possession, have manifested no sign of a behavioral or temperamental defect that could pose a health or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet, and have manifested no sign of disease, injury, or congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the animal or that is likely to adversely affect the animals health in the future." Healthy (adoptable) animals may be old, deaf, blind, disfigured or disabled.
Treatable. According to California law, a treatable animal is "any animal that is not adoptable but that could become adoptable with reasonable efforts." Sick, injured, traumatized, infant or unsocialized, these animals need appropriate medical treatment, behavior modification and/or foster care to turn them into healthy animals ready for placement.
Non-rehabilitatable. Non-reabilitatable animals are neither healthy (adoptable) nor treatable. They include 1) cats and dogs for whom euthanasia is the most humane alternative due to disease, injury or suffering that can't be alleviated; 2) vicious cats and dogs, the placement of whom would constitute a danger to the public; and 3) cats and dogs who pose a public health hazard.
Q. Does Maddie's Fund provide grants for feral cats?
A. Maddie's Fund does not offer direct funding for feral cat programs but our grants benefit ferals in two ways. First, because our grants will ultimately enable communities to provide an adoption guarantee for shelter animals, fewer people will abandon cats in the first place, thus reducing feral cat populations in the future. Second, with an adoption guarantee in place, more people will be inclined to rescue and tame feral cats, knowing that when the animals are adoptable they can be taken to the local shelter and guaranteed a permanent home.
Q. Why doesnt Maddie's Fund provide financial assistance for building new shelters?
A. Maddie's Fund wants to put its resources into efforts that will save dog and cat lives today. And it's our view that saving lives is more about creative ideas, implementation strategies, and the will to get the job done than bricks and mortar. In our opinion, effective programs need to be built first four walls can come later.
Q. In order to get funded, projects have to include animal control. What if animal control doesnt want to participate?
A. If animal control organizations are unwilling to relinquish their healthy animals to rescue groups able to place them, the goal cannot be achieved. That's why Maddie's Fund insists on collaborative projects that involve animal control groups. Groups can try to persuade animal control to get involved by explaining how this proposed partnership will be in everyone's best interest. Illustrate how the collaboration's efforts will help animal control save lives. Talk about how fewer deaths and reduced shelter volume will cut costs, reduce staff stress and boost morale, improve agency image and increase adoptions. And mention that the combined success of government and nonprofit agencies working together will increase community interest, support and philanthropy for the animals.
Q. How can we interest veterinarians in a collaborative partnership?
A. Collaborating with veterinarians, as with animal control, is about setting up win/win relationships. Don't begin by making demands, or expecting doctors to donate hours and hours of their time and gain nothing in return. As much as they want to contribute, veterinarians have to worry about their own time limitations and economic self-interest. Therefore, in persuading private practice veterinarians to join, it's smart to emphasize the benefits of the collaboration, such as good public relations, an increase in publicity, and the opportunity to expand client base. Proposals that make it easy for the doctors to participate are also a good idea.
Q. Does every animal group in the target area have to be included in the collaboration?
A. Maddie's Fund is trying to build community-wide safety nets of care for the healthy (adoptable) animals who are abandoned in our nation's shelters. Our focus therefore, is on building broad based coalitions within communities that include private practice veterinarians, animal control agencies, traditional shelters, rescue groups and organizations. In order to get a grant from Maddie's Fund, some degree of collaboration must be in place but this will vary from community to community. Collaborations need not be 100% inclusive. For example, if there are 10 animal groups in a given community, all 10 do not have to be working together to get a Maddie's Fund grant. But as a bare minimum, the collaboration must include an adoption guarantee agency (to act as lead agency and insure over baseline adoptions), all animal control and traditional shelters operating in the community, and private practice veterinarians.
Q. Who decides which group is in charge of funds, who oversees the distribution of funds, and on what basis groups will receive funds?
A. A local, regional, or state VMA is the lead agency for the spay/neuter component of the project, and they are in charge of administering the program and reimbursing the veterinarians for the surgeries they perform.
The collaboration determines the adoption guarantee lead agency for the adoption component. It's the job of the lead agency to take responsibility for all fund administration, including monetary distribution to other groups. Maddie's Fund requires that at least 50% of the funds received must be distributed to participating rescue organizations according to the number of above baseline adoptions each group performs. That means in Year One each rescue group receives a minimum of $150.00 for every above baseline adoption it performs up to goal.
Because the lead agency takes on such a large fiscal responsibility, Maddie's Fund carefully scrutinizes the lead and requires that it have a proven track record of success in finance, management and shelter operations.
Q. If a group drops out of the process after the grant has been given, what happens to the rest of the groups? Is the grant taken away?
A. If one of the partners drops out, funding continues as scheduled. However, the commitment made by the departing partner continues on and this slack has to then be picked up by the remaining partners. Ultimately, it's the lead agency that's responsible for meeting the goal and the extra burden of a departing partner's goal may ultimately fall on the lead agency's shoulders.
Q. Can we contact agencies who have already been given grants to see how theyre meeting their goals?
A. Although there is no prohibition against contacting agencies that have already received funding, it's best to first review our web site section, Our Funded Projects. This section contains summary proposals of our funded projects and outlines their strategies and successes in great detail. There are also annual reviews demonstrating how well the different groups are meeting their goals.
Q. The grant requires us to "show immediate and measurable" progress. What exactly does that mean?
A. Immediate and measurable progress means that a plan must be in place so that lives can be saved starting with day one. It simply won't work to figure that the first 3 weeks or even 3 days of the project can be used to gear up to plan, schedule or figure out strategies. The number of lives that must be saved, the number of surgeries that must be performed are relentless and need to be worked on every day in order to meet the target goals from the very beginning.
Q. Are smaller organizations with less funding and resources expected to compete with larger groups accomplishments?
A. The goals for each organization should be proportionate to its size, resources, and track record. The goals for each organization will be determined collectively by the group.
Q. In order to get a grant, an agency must be an adoption guarantee organization. What if a traditional shelter plans to become an adoption guarantee organization in 2-3 years? When will it be eligible for a grant?
A. Traditional shelters cannot simply announce a plan to become an adoption guarantee organization someday and expect to be eligible for a Maddie's Fund grant the agency must actually be in the process of phasing in adoption guarantee policies. Those who have an animal control contract with just a few months left on it may apply. But Maddie's Fund awards grants to organizations with the best track record of no-kill accomplishments. Thus, the likelihood for funding increases with every year the agency can demonstrate successful no-kill programs.
Q. Are there geographical limitations to your funding?
A. At this time, Maddie's Fund will not award grants to agencies operating outside of the United States.
Q. Is there an application deadline?
A. No. Applications will be accepted throughout the year. However, Maddie's Fund will only review one proposal per organization in any 12-month period. For example, if an application is submitted in March and it's turned down in June, an application cannot be re-submitted until the following March.
Q. How much money should an organization request?
A. Generally, the budget will be calculated by multiplying a dollar amount times the target number of animals to be placed and the target number of spay/neuter surgeries to be performed (see the online Adoption and Spay/Neuter Application forms). We expect grant requests to be large and multi-year.
Q. Baseline is frequently mentioned in the application. What exactly is that?
A. The baseline quantifies how many spay/neuter surgeries, adoptions and deaths of healthy (adoptable) dogs and cats took place in the preceding year. These statistics must include data from traditional shelters and animal control agencies. The baseline is vital to your proposal, because an adoption grant from Maddie's Fund only supports accomplishments above and beyond the baseline. We provide step-by-step help in calculating the baseline in our online application materials.
Additional questions and answers can be found on the No More Homeless Pets Forum.