EQUUS Foundation
Equine Welfare Network: Eligibility Requirements for a Public Charity

Equine Welfare Network: Eligibility Requirements for a Public Charity

To be accepted as a public charity on our Equine Welfare Network as a Member, the organization must certify that:

I. Business Practices
• The organization is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as tax-exempt under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) to which contributions are tax deductible pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 170(c)(2) as a public charity and the organization is not a private foundation.
• The organization's programs and activities are directed by an active and responsible governing body, whose members have no material conflict of interest and a majority of which serve without compensation.
• The organization prepares and submits to the IRS a complete copy of the organization's IRS Form 990 or certifies that the organization is not required to submit an IRS Form 990.
• The organization conducts publicity and promotional activities based upon its actual program and operations, and that these activities are truthful and non-deceptive, include all material facts, and make no exaggerated or misleading claims.
• The organization has a presence on the internet, i.e., a unique domain/url address that clearly defines its equine programs and ensure that the content displayed is kept current and based on actual programs and operations. A Facebook page is not acceptable.
• The organization has operated as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity for at least one full operating year.
• The organization does not 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.
• The organization must abide by the EQUUS Foundation Code of Conduct.
• The EQUUS Foundation expects all organizations, regardless of their size and scope, to be accountable and transparent to the public. If the organization has been classified by the Internal Revenue Services as a public charity or private foundation, the EQUUS Foundation requires that the organization update its organization's GuideStar profile annually at https://www.guidestar.org/ with the required information to display the Guidestar seal reflecting the current year.
• The organization must have a written conflict of interest policy that ensures that any compensated board member is a NON-VOTING (Independent) board member or that any compensated board member or any board member related to a compensated staff member, independent contractor, or any related board members, or any individual or organization that might benefit from a board decision, abstains from voting on issues impacting such compensation and requires officers, directors or trustees, and key employees to disclose at least annually in writing interests that could give rise to conflicts.

II. Equine Welfare Practices
• The organization provides or conducts real services, benefits, assistance, or program activities involving equines in the United States.
• The organization must provide programs that involve one or more of the following:
a - Shelter and rehabilitation for America's equines subjected to abuse and neglect, and at risk for slaughter;
b - Retraining and re-homing of America's equines in transition with careers as athletes, companions, teachers, and healers;
c - Peaceful and humane retirement and end of life for aged equines that ensures that they are able to live out their lives in comfort and with dignity;
d - Mutually beneficial opportunities for people and equines to partner for the purpose of contributing positively to cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being.
• The organization does not engage in any activity that disregards the welfare of animals of any kind, causes an animal to feel pain or fear, exploits or harms an animal to benefit the organization, or willfully slaughters an animal to benefit the organization.
• The organization must abide by the EQUUS Foundation Guidelines for Human-Equine Interactions.
• The organization must have practices in place to ensure that all equines in the care of the organization and/or equines that participate in the organization's program have access to clean drinking water at all times; nutritious food in sufficient quantity, including natural forage such as pasture grass and/or hay; appropriate veterinary, farrier, and dental care; shelter and protection from the weather; and sufficient safe space for horses to move around comfortably and where horses have contact with other horses.
• The organization must certify that the organization has not made, or would consider making, equines available for research studies or medical training that involves invasive procedures and/or that which may cause pain or suffering to the equine.
• The organization must adhere to a policy which does not permit euthanasia of equines on the sole basis of needing space.
• For organizations that conduct Equine Assisted Services (EAS), until such time there is consensus in the EAS community on terminology and enforcement of guidelines for conducting EAS, the organization must comply with the EQUUS Foundation Guidelines for Conducting Equine Assisted Services.
• For those organizations that conduct Equine Transition Services (ETS) and that are eligible to attain verification or accreditation status with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), an EQUUS Foundation Alliance member, the organization may be required to attain verification to participate. To learn more about GFAS Accreditation and Verification for equine organizations, visit the GFAS website at https://www.sanctuaryfederation.org.

Subject to change without notice.

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Tele: 203-259-1550 Email: mail@equusfoundation.org