Because animal rescue organizations are largely not-for-profit, many of them obtain funding from charitable donations. Organizations also supplement that funding with grants.
Some animal rescue grants come from charitable organizations. For example, the Humane Society offers grants to local shelters. It also maintains an online listing of other available rescue grants [source: Animal Sheltering].
Many grants, unsurprisingly, seek to prevent abuse and neglect, and to that end quite a few are designed to encourage neutering. Some organizations offer community grants, designed to reach out to whole cities or neighborhoods through concerted education or neutering programs. These grants usually go to municipalities rather than to shelters.
Some grants come from for-profit corporations that maintain charitable arms. Petco maintains a foundation devoted to helping animals in need. Recently, it's been working with local shelters to help keep family pets from becoming casualties of the financial crisis. PetSmart, likewise, has a charitable foundation. Both companies have distributed millions to shelters around the United States [source: Animal Sheltering]. Other assistance can come in the form of educational programs or discounts on specialized products and services.
If you run a rescue group and are thinking about applying for an animal rescue grant, take a few tips from the nonprofit world. Have a clear, specific mission. Know exactly how you'll use the grant money, and make sure you have a way of monitoring the money use. And do your research. Most funding organizations have missions at least as specific as those of the groups they help. Your odds of obtaining a grant are much stronger when you appeal to an organization that has a mission similar to your own.
Beyond funding, there are a lot of other ways to help animals in need. Read on.