EQUUS Foundation Grant Making Guidelines

The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., a federally tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those with special needs, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public on the horse's unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Grants are awarded only to charitable organizations that are classified by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) public charities, and in some instances, government agencies or entities. All organizations must meet all our eligibility requirements to apply for a grant.

Grant Application

The online grant application opens on May 1.
Click HERE to request access to the Grant Application.
No requests will be accepted after May 12.
The online application will close on May 15.

Grant Application

Click HERE to log into your application.
This link is for organizations that have received login instructions to the online grant application.


Grants are awarded only to charitable organizations that are classified by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) public charities, and in some instances, government agencies or entities that meet our Funding Priorities as defined below, comply with our grant making guidelines, and complete the application in accordance with our timetable

NOTE: Only organizations that participate on our Equine Welfare Network and have been approved as an EQUUS Foundation Messenger on or before April 30, 2017 are eligible to apply for a 2017 EQUUS Foundation grant.

The Messenger Designation is awarded annually. To retain an existing EQUUS Foundation Messenger designation and apply for an EQUUS Foundation grant in 2017, organizations must update their Messenger information on or after January 1, 2017 and not later than April 30, 2017, including the Vet Checklist for each of the organization's facilities.

To join the Equine Welfare Network,
     If your organization is classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity and is not on our network, please CLICK HERE to join our Equine Welfare Network.
     If your organization is a government entity, please CLICK HERE to join our Equine Welfare Network.

Once approved, your organization will receive login instructions to complete and submit the required extensive information to be approved as an EQUUS Foundation Messenger.


Grant requests must fall into at least one of our two funding priorities - programs that are directly involved with:
   1)  horse rescue, rehabilitation, re-training, adoption, foster care and retirement and/or
   2)  providing equine assisted therapies and activities to the public with special needs, including but not limited to those for individuals with physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, learning disabilities, life-threatening and/or chronic conditions or illnesses, underserved, underprivileged or "at-risk" youth.

Specific requests may include but are not limited to: horse feed/supplements, horse gear/equipment, veterinary/dental/farrier care, scholarships/financial aid, riding apparel/equipment, and small capital improvements.


Please review the following information carefully before applying for an EQUUS Foundation grant.

Grants will not be awarded to organizations that:

1) are not defined as tax-exempt under IRS code section 501(c)(3) public charities;

2) are private foundations as defined in IRS code section 509(a);

3) are not located in a U.S. state or terrority;

4) have been in existence for less than one full operating year as a 501(c)(3);

*5) propagate a religious faith or are restricted to one religion or denomination; primarily promote religious purposes; require participants to be of a certain faith or to participate in services; or deliver social services with required prayer, proselytization or other specifically religious activities;

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.

Grants will not be awarded to individuals.

Grants will not be awarded for:

1) Operating Deficits;

2) Fundraising activities, such as galas, benefits, dinners and sporting events, goodwill advertising, souvenir journals or programs; and

3) Compensation, training or certification of individuals.

4) Travel expenses for individuals or groups or fees for conferences or conventions.

5) Political or lobbying activities.

*Faith based organizations are generally considered ineligible, but in some instances, may be considered eligible if their programs are open to all individuals in the community regardless of religious belief, serve a secular purpose, do not require participation in prayer, worship or other religious activities as a condition of receiving services offered, and do not use donations for religious purposes.


As a potential grantee of the EQUUS Foundation, please be aware of the following: By completing and submitting an application, you will give your organization's permission to the EQUUS Foundation to ask people to review the application and to give advice and information to the foundation about your organization, board, staff and others with whom you are affiliated.

Materials submitted to the EQUUS Foundation as part of the application 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.

The EQUUS Foundation is under no obligation to fund or otherwise have a future relationship with the applicant. If it does choose to have a relationship, the EQUUS Foundation may suggest various kinds of relationships, including contracts, grants, loans, program-related investments, or other kinds of investments and relationships.

The grant making guidelines contained herein are subject to change without notice prior to May 1 and after May 15 of each year.


Grants are awarded only to organizations on our Equine Welfare Network that have achieved the "Messenger" designation on or before March 31 of the year in which the grants are awarded.

Grants are awarded in amounts from $500 to $5,000 and do not exceed 5% of an organization's current annual operating budget. Grants may be awarded for program operations, specific projects, or small capital purchases.

In the case of a capital purchase, the total cost of the capital purchase must be $5,000 or less; it is suggested that the total cost of any one single item not exceed $2,500. If the total cost of the capital project exceeds $5,000 or if the full amount of a capital request is required to complete the project, and the grant funds are not available for the full amount, partial funds will not be awarded and the grant request will be declined.

Applications will be declined if the grant requests exceed $5,000 or 5% of an organization's current annual operating budget.


Grant applications may be submitted online from May 1 to May 15. Applications cannot be submitted prior to May 1 or after May 15.

Grant applications are reviewed by the Grant Committee of the EQUUS Foundation and selected by the Board of Directors.

The selections are based on (i) the amount of funds raised by the EQUUS Foundation over the course of the year; (ii) our knowledge and understanding of the applicant organization; and (iii) the relative merits of the applicant's specific grant request.

Grant applicants selected as recipients by the EQUUS Foundation will be notified by August 31 with grant awards disbursed by September 30.

Grants are intended as annual grants and should be used by May 1 of the year following the award.


Grant applications may only be submitted through the online application process between May 1 and May 15.

Unsolicited grant proposals by mail, email, or in any format other than through the online application process will not be considered. Applications must be completed in their entirety.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

A site visit may be required before or as a condition of a grant.

Starting on May 1st, a link will be available on this page to apply for a grant. If your organization is deemed eligible, your organization will be provided with log in instructions to the online grant application.

Applications must be completed and submitted online. The information is stored in an online database and available for update between May 1 and May 15.

On May 16, your application will be considered complete and the link to the online application will no longer be available.


The EQUUS Foundation is able to raise funds to award grants by assuring donors that there has been due diligence on the part of the Foundation to review the policies, practices and operations of its grant recipients. We expect that all charities that apply for grants, regardless of their size and scope, to be accountable and transparent to the public.

GuideStar is a free information service specializing in U.S. nonprofit companies. It provides information on more than 1.7 million IRS-recognized nonprofit organizations. In order to receive a grant, your organization must provide the information required by GuideStar to be recognized by GuideStar as at least a Silver-level GuideStar Exchange participant.

For information on GuideStar's levels of participation, please see this link, http://www2.guidestar.org/rxg/update-nonprofit-report/guidestar-exchange.aspx .

Organizations that are not recognized as at least a Silver-level GuideStar Exchange participant by May 15 will be considered ineligible to receive a grant.

Please update your organization's Guidestar profile at http://www.guidestar.org with current information.


Organizations that were awarded grants in the previous year must complete the Prior Year Grant Recipient section of the online application.


We strongly suggest that organizations submit their applications to join the Equine Welfare Network by January 31st and submit the information to be recognized as a Messenger by March 31 so that the EQUUS Foundation has sufficient time to review and approve organizations as EQUUS Foundation Messengers. Your organization will not be eligible to apply for a grant unless your organization is approved as an EQUUS Foundation Messenger by April 30, 2017.

• Between January 1 and on or before April 30: Your organization's Messenger information must be updated and submitted for review and approval annually;

• Between May 1 and May 15: Your organization must submit the request for login instructions to the grant application;

• On or before May 15: Your organization must have completed the online grant application and be designated by Guidestar as at least a Silver-level GuideStar Exchange participant.

Guidelines last updated 2/1/2017