Tips for Applying for a BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ Grant

Once again in 2022, Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program is offering grants to cities working to be pet friendly and keep people and pets together. Five grants of $20,000 are available to cities or their designated NGO/non-profit partner.

Grant applications are due by August 26, 2022. Follow these tips will help make sure your application is complete and competitive!

Know what you need. Start by reviewing the 2022 grant guidelines and FAQs, which includes the full list of application questions on pages 6-10. Make note of items you’ll need to gather or resources you’ll need to consult to complete each section.

Plan your timeline. If your city hasn’t yet completed a city assessment for the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ City Certification program, you’ll need to do add that step into your timeline to be eligible for a grant. So, make sure your application planning includes time to complete both the assessment and the grant application by August 26. Here are tips for completing the city assessment.

Stop and start as needed. The online application form allows you to start and stop as needed. You can save and come back later if you need to track down more info. Applications will not be reviewed until you complete and hit “submit.”

Think about your impact. Consider how your grant application proposal helps make your city more pet friendly and make sure that is clearly addressed in your application. Think about questions like:

  • “How does my program help my city be a welcome place where people and pets can be together?”
  • “How does my program address a fundamental issue that is keeping people and pets apart?”
  • “How will my program create lasting change vs. a one-time or short-term impact?”

Determine your category. Grant applications may focus on any of the four areas of the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program’s pet-friendly cities model: Shelters, Homes, Parks and Businesses. If your program touches on several areas, choose the one where the majority of your program’s budget/impact will focus.

  • Shelters – programs that support pet adoption, prevent or help homeless pets, e.g., programs that reduce pet surrenders, community cat programs, etc.
  • Homes – programs that enable pet ownership or help people and their pets stay together, e.g., pet-friendly housing initiatives, responsible pet ownership education, safety net initiatives for pet parents in need, etc.
  • Parks – programs that help make public spaces pet friendly and enable people and pets to gather and spend time together, e.g., adding pet amenities in public spaces, adding signage about responsible pet ownership, input-gathering initiatives related to pets in public spaces, etc.
  • Businesses – programs that help people and pets be together throughout the day and around town, e.g., pet-friendly office programs or “Pets Welcome” initiatives in businesses, pet-friendly airport enhancements, “pets on patios” efforts, etc.

Be specific about budget. While the grant application requires only a topline budget, be specific about what a $20,000 grant would fully (or largely) fund or support. For example:

  • Not right for this grant application: Blanket infrastructure funding as part of a large capital campaign such as a new building or purchase of green space.
  • Right for this grant application: Program-based proposals that help fund all, or a significant portion, of work that helps make your city more pet friendly.

We’re here to help!

We’re thrilled you are considering applying for a grant from the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about either the grant application process or the city assessment.

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