We recently welcomed the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to Philanthropy New York. We asked Michael Barrett, Senior Director of Grants Management at ASPCA, to share details about the organization and its latest initiatives in this Member Spotlight.
What are your primary areas of focus?
The ASPCA provides approximately $5 million in annual assistance to a variety of animal welfare organizations in the United States. Our largest and most successful grant program is ASPCA Mission: Orange (AM:O)—a collaborative of selected animal welfare and community organizations around the country charged with creating a country of humane communities, where animals receive the compassion and respect they deserve, and where there is no more euthanasia of homeless animals simply because of a lack of resources.
AM:O is a five-year program currently operating in ten communities, including New York City. Our overall goal is to increase each community’s live release rate—that is, the number of dogs and cats who leave the sheltering system alive. In order to achieve this goal, the ASPCA has made a commitment to support our AM:O partners, helping them increase canine and feline spay/neuter and adoption and promote foster and transfer programs.
We assign a team of ASPCA professionals to each community, and communities receive resources depending upon need. These may include board development and strategic planning work, shelter evaluations, adoption strategies, training and capacity building, and related animal welfare efforts that focus on positive outcomes for animals most at risk in the community. Annual cash grants of approximately $100,000 to $200,000 per community support low- or no-cost spay/neuter, microchipping and vaccination events, capital improvements and equipment purchases, and staff additions, among other endeavors.
What current projects or initiatives are you working on?
- Spay/neuter initiatives, especially low- or no-cost for low-income pet owners.
- Transfer programs to transport adoptable animals from areas of surplus to areas of demand.
- General assistance to shelters—equipment, capital projects, adoption programs.
- Support for shelters which partner with us on puppy mill and animal hoardingraids/seizures.
- Emergency hay, capital improvements, and humane education grants for equine groups.
- Support for legislative and animal advocacy initiatives, including those for farm animals and carriage horses.
- The country’s first Animal CSI Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program and laboratory based at the University of Florida.
- Disaster response and preparedness grants.
Are you looking to connect or collaborate with other funders on a particular issue or project?
We are interested in partnering with other funders on program-related investments (PRIs) or other co-funding ventures for animal welfare organizations.
What are you currently reading?
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
What essential/interesting grantmaking resource would you recommend to a fellow funder?
For those interested in disaster grantmaking, I recommend Philanthropy New York’s Best Practices in Disaster Grantmaking: Lessons from the Gulf Coast.