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The EQUUS Foundation has established new funding guidelines for the financial support which will be awarded in 2018. The EQUUS Foundation will provide financial support to equine organizations that have received the "Guardian" designation that:
• Shelter & rehabilitate America's horses subjected to abuse and neglect, and at risk for slaughter;
• Retrain and re-home America's horses in transition with careers as athletes, companions, teachers, and especially healers;
• Offer retirement opportunities for aged horses that ensure that they are able to live out their lives in comfort and receive a peaceful and humane end of life;
• Provide opportunities for horses to change people's lives, especially in the area of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).

Transparency Awards

Transparency Awards range from $500 to $5,000 and are 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.

Submission of a grant application is not required to receive a Transparency Award. Only those organizations that meet our Transparency requirements and have received the EQUUS Foundation Guardian designation in 2019 are eligible to receive financial support in 2019 from the EQUUS Foundation.

Financial support 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 needs of the organization, the merits of the organization's programs, services, and activities and the organization's operating budget.

Priority is given to those organizations that receive the Guardian designation by May 31, 2019. However, financial support may be awarded to organizations that receive the Guardian designation after May 31.

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 and use practices and to reward equine organizations that are operating at the highest standards for horse care and use.

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 to only those organizations that are both fully transparent & accountable to the public and are operating at the highest standards of horse care.

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


Please click the links below to review our guidelines.


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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 Silver Level status on GuideStar.

III. Organizations that participate on the EQUUS Foundation Equine Welfare Network. To join, click here.

IV. Organizations that have received the EQUUS Foundation Guardian designation are eligible to receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation.
The Guardian designation is awarded annually. To receive the designation, or retain an existing designation, and be eligible to receive financial support in 2019, organizations must update and submit the required information for review and approval. Priority for financial support is given to those organizations that receive the Guardian designation by May 31. However, financial support may be awarded to organizations that receive the Guardian designation after May 31.


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Please review the following information carefully:

Financial support is not provided to individuals, or to organizations that:
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) Provide equine-assisted activities and/or therapies (EAAT) to the special needs community without certified instructors, specialists, therapists, counselors, trainers and/or facilitators qualified to work with people with special needs;
**6) 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;
7) 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;
8) Are political organizations.

Financial support is not provided 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) Political or lobbying activities.

*Because the fields of Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) are growing rapidly, there does not appear to be specific established guidelines as to the qualifications of persons conducting EAT and/or EAL; however, until such time that there are established guidelines, organizations conducting EAT and/or EAL without individuals specifically trained to deal with people with special needs are generally considered ineligible.

**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.


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• Between January 1 and on or before May 31: Your organization's Guardian information should be updated and approved by the EQUUS Foundation. Priority is given to organizations that receive the Guardian designation by May 31.

• 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.


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 11/15/2017