Grants & Funding

The EQUUS Foundation Funding program primarily consists of its Transparency Awards. The EQUUS Foundation also provides funding in association with our awards program.

Transparency Awards
The purpose of the Transparency Awards is to encourage equine organizations to be transparent and accountable to the public through the disclosure of their equine care practices and to reward equine organizations that are operating at the highest standards for horse care.

Transparency Awards range from $500 to $5,000 and do not exceed 5% of an organization's operating budget. Transparency Awards are to be used to underwrite the costs associated with the care of horses, such as veterinary, dental, and farrier care, horse feed, supplements, bedding, horse gear, equipment, and supplies as well as alternative treatments and interventions.

Only organizations that have received the "Guardian Seal of Transparency in 2024 are eligible to receive Transparency Awards in 2024. The Guardian information serves as the grant application. Submission of a separate grant application is not required.

Priority is given to those organizations that receive the Guardian Seal of Transparency by April 30, 2024. However, financial support may be awarded to organizations that receive the Guardian Seal of Transparency after April 30.

The EQUUS Foundation has one of the most comprehensive and impartial verification processes to inspire donor confidence in the charities selected to receive grants each year. Financial support is provided only to those organizations that are both fully transparent & accountable to the public.

Financial support from the EQUUS Foundation is awarded based on the amount of funds raised by the EQUUS Foundation over the course of the year and the evaluation by the EQUUS Foundation of the merits of the organization's horse care practices, the needs of the organization and the organization's operating budget.

Any activity, including Equine Assisted Services (EAS), that incorporates equine interactions and/or the equine environment, mounted or ground-based, must safeguard the comfort and dignity of America's horses and make the quality of life of our equine partners paramount.

For organizations that conduct EAS programs, the EQUUS Foundation awards financial support on the basis of the impact of the organization's EAS programs on the health and welfare of the equines involved and the organization's compliance in meeting the EQUUS Foundation Guidelines for Organizations Conducting Equine Assisted Services (EAS) and not on an evaluation of the impact of an organization's EAS programs on the individuals involved.

A select group of charities are recognized as Horse Whisperer Award Recipients each year by the EQUUS Foundation Board of Directors.

Is Your Organization Eligible?

Financial support is provided only to organizations that meet the following criteria:
I. Organizations that are classified by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) public charities, and in some instances, government agencies or entities, or educational institutions.

II. Organizations that maintain a minimum of a 2024 Bronze Level status on GuideStar.

III. Organizations that participate on the EQUUS Foundation Equine Welfare Network and have received the EQUUS Foundation Guardian Seal of Transparency. To join the Equine Welfare Network, click here. Please review the eligibility criteria for participation on the Equine Welfare Network, attainment of the Guardian designation, and attainment of the Mentor Accreditation here.

The Guardian Seal of Transparency is awarded annually. To receive the Seal of Transparency, or retain an existing Seal of Transparency, and be eligible to be considered for financial support in 2024, organizations must update and submit the required information for review and approval. Priority is given to those organizations that are awarded the Guardian designation on or before April 30. However, organizations that receive the Guardian designation after April 30 may still be considered for financial support subject to the date that the designation is awarded and the funds available.

IV. Financial support is not provided to individuals, or to organizations that do not meet the eligiblity critera required to attain the Guardian designation, including but not limited to:
1) Are not defined as tax-exempt public charities under IRS code section 501(c)(3);
2) Are private foundations as defined in IRS code section 509(a);
3) Are not located in a U.S. state or territory;
4) Have been in existence for less than one full operating year as a 501(c)(3);
5) Have an operating budget of less than $10,000 or organizations that do not have sufficient cash reserves to offset net losses in any given year;
6) Discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, national origin, disability, handicap, age, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by law;
7) Are political organizations.

V. Financial support from the EQUUS Foundation is not to be used for:
1) Operating Deficits;
2) Fundraising activities, such as galas, benefits, dinners, and sporting events, goodwill advertising, souvenir journals or programs;
3) Compensation, training, or certification of individuals;
4) Scholarships or financial aid;
5) Capital expenditures;
6) Travel expenses for individuals or groups or fees for conferences or conventions;
7) The promotion of religious education or religious purposes; programs that require participants to be of a certain faith or to participate in religious activities or services; or programs that require participation in prayer, worship, or other religious activities as a condition of receiving social or secular services offered;
8) Political or lobbying activities.

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• Between January 1 and on or before April 30: Your organization's Guardian information should be updated and approved by the EQUUS Foundation. Priority is given to organizations that receive the Guardian Seal of Transparency by April 30.

• On or before August 31: Recipients will be selected.

• Between September 1 and September 30: Recipients will be notified by email and financial support will be disbursed.

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I. By submitting information to the EQUUS Foundation, your organization is granting permission to the EQUUS Foundation to ask people to review the information and to give advice and information to the Foundation about your organization, board, staff, and others with whom you are affiliated.

II. Materials submitted to the EQUUS Foundation as part of the process become the property of the Foundation and will not be returned. The materials will be used as the Foundation deems appropriate. They are not subject to any right of confidentiality unless specifically agreed to in writing by the EQUUS Foundation.

III. The EQUUS Foundation is under no obligation to fund or otherwise have a future relationship with any organization.

IV. The Guidelines contained herein are subject to change without notice.

Guidelines last updated 4/30/2020

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