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Shelter and Rescue Grants: Tips for Successful Applications

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Whether it’s for PEDIGREE Foundation grants or support from other organizations, most shelters and rescues draft a lot of grant applications over the course of the year.

Here are tips to help.

  • Start right. Take time to read and understand all requirements for the grant, to make sure you’ll have all the needed info when you sit down to write it.
  • Allow time. Grant-writing can take longer than expected if unanticipated questions arise. Give yourself plenty of time to make sure you hit any deadlines. Plus, the earlier you get yours in, the more chance there is that it will stand out.
  • Say it in a sentence. You’ll want to explain the benefits of your program in the simplest, most persuasive way – what’s known as your “elevator speech.” If you only had a short ride in an elevator with a potential a supporter, what would be most important to say? Start there.
  • Make the case. Be brief, but offer fact-based evidence that your program will have the desired impact and include your measurements for success. Use data, examples, quotes and research to explain the project, the need it fills and the difference it will make.
  • Explain the costs. Share expected program costs and where else you are getting funding, to show how you will keep your program sustainable and continue to support dogs for the long term.
  • Differentiate yourself. Try to include why your need is greater or program is more innovative than others, to stand out from other applicants.
  • Keep it simple. While you want to make a great case for your program, it doesn’t have to be long, complex or academic. Keep your text clear and concise. Try reading it to a shelter pup to see how it feels when spoken aloud!
  • Get help. Find someone on your team who writes well – a staff member, board member or volunteer – and ask them to proof and help polish your draft.

As an organization that’s given over $8 million to help shelters and rescues help dogs, we certainly know the impact a grant can make. Good luck with your grant applications, and thank you for all the effort you put into helping dogs find loving homes!

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