NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it has established an 'ASPCA Angels in Top Hats' grants council, a new pilot program designed to award worthwhile grant funding to organizations in need. The group is seeking ground-breaking Humane Education programs, organizations or projects to apply for a one-time $25,000 grant. The call for submissions is currently underway, and the application process ends October 21. Applications will be reviewed by the nine-member ASPCA Grants Council, and three to five semifinalists will be chosen. The final winner(s) will be selected by popular vote--which will be open to all ASPCA staff--and announced on or around December 1.
"For our inaugural effort, we chose humane education as our focus," said Michael Barrett, vice president of Grants Management for the ASPCA. "It is our belief that an effective humane education program can be a voice for animals, while instilling a sense of compassion, appreciation and empathy. By teaching individuals to value animals, humane education can prevent future acts of animal cruelty and neglect, while also creating new communities of animal advocates."
To apply for the Humane Education grant, organizations should first familiarize themselves with the ASPCA's general guidelines for grant submissions, and then submit the online application. It should be noted that due to the short application period for this particular grant, the ASPCA is waiving the 'Letter of Inquiry' requirement. Organizations should submit their full applications by the October 21 deadline, and will be notified of the final decision on or around December 1.
Eligibility criteria and guidelines for the 2011 ASPCA Humane Education Grant are as follows:
- Requests must be for humane education projects or projects that require humane education as a principal strategy;
- Requests must clearly demonstrate how the proposed project is intended to benefit animals and/or animal welfare;
- Projects must have a 'hands-on' or community and/or human engagement element; requests for research, publishing funds, purchase and/or distribution of humane education materials will not be considered, although these may be elements of the overall project;
- Projects may target any audience, which could include at-risk youth, inmates, war veterans and/or active military personnel, communities in need, etc.; and
- Programs and projects that engage solely in pet therapy and service animal training and/or placement for the primary benefit of humans are not eligible, although these may be elements of the overall project.
The Council's name pays tribute to the ASPCA's founder Henry Bergh, a dapper 19th century gentleman with a fondness for side-whiskers and top hats. The ASPCA is among the top providers of grant funds to local animal welfare organizations across the country, supporting its mission of providing "effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States." Since 2008, the ASPCA has awarded more than $25 million in grants for animal welfare and anti-cruelty assistance in all 50 states as well as other regions. Grant support is provided to a variety of animal welfare organizations through cash awards, sponsorships, executive and technical assistance and training.