Where Does Funding Come From to Run a Horse Rescue?

Where Does Funding Come From to Run a Horse Rescue?

The answers we hear in conversation are often far off base. It’s so important to truly understand how horse rescues (and most all non profits that are not massive) run fiscally.

It’s surprising the people in leadership positions in companies, legislative roles and otherwise powerful positions that have no idea how funding comes to non-profits.

Before I explain further, I’ll breakdown a few other details that are often misunderstood:

A) A Nonprofit is owned by no one

B) Nonprofits are governed by Board of Directors (at least 3 unrelated people should be on the board, but Ideally, 5 or more)

C) Nonprofit doesn’t mean an organization should run in the red and not have a financial savings and cushion. It means no individual owns the money held by the nonprofit.

D) A well established non profit should and can have paid staff; however, those paid for profit should not be those in decision making roles as board members.

Moving on, as to where funding does and does not come from:

1). There is NO state or federal government funding or aid.

– Many people think the state where a rescue operates pay organizations for their equine welfare help. They do not, as a rule. Heart of Phoenix has never received funds from the government. But not only that, we actually cover a lot of county costs yearly by covering all the fees related to equine seizure cases, which can be massive. Essentially, we serve states by extending our funds to help horses, as most counties we work with have no excess money to use for large animal welfare. This is true of most animal organizations we know. We help the county, state and counties. It is never the other way around.

2) Large Foundation Grant Funding is Very Limited and Competitive.

– In the horse welfare world, there is a very little grant funding pool. The amount of money is less than you’d ever imagine, and the competition to get that money is steep, to say the least. Most grants organizations of our type receive are under $10,000 historically. While we’ve been one of the fortunate ones to receive a few larger grant awards often paid out over years of time, they are always project and expansion or program related. So they are not generally for day to day operations. They are also a mere fraction of any rescue’s budget.

3) Adoption Fees are only drop in an organization’s budget bucket.

– The cost of rehabilitation and care for horses before adoption usually runs 5-10 times their adoption fee. Sometimes it is more, sometimes less. Either way, adoption fees are just a small way to help bring funding back to the rescue. They never come close to breaking a nonprofit even. They never should or will.

4) Huge Donations coming in from Millionaires and Celebrities.

– So far, in our 14 years of operation, we’ve only ever had one very wealthy donor with a foundation give to us in a large way. That is typical of most rescues. Very wealthy donors giving large amounts of money in a reoccurring way is exceedingly rare.

That said, then you may ask, how DO non-profits of our type do the work we do?


We operate by lots of regular people giving monthly or as they can in large numbers.

It’s the power of community, of regular people.

You accomplish so much giving what you can. I hope you never doubt yourself and the power of doing what you can.

You all change the world. That’s who makes the impact. . . The regular person who says they will give what they can.

I sure Thank God for how you all give.

One thought on “Where Does Funding Come From to Run a Horse Rescue?

  1. Thank you for such kind words, as a monthly donor of just $10.00 I always feel so guilty. My only source of income is S.S. so it’s all I can afford sadly. But my heart sends millions of gratitude for all you do.

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