Our First Steps Grant Program continues to introduce us to amazing people across the country who are devoted to help protect and care for animals of all sorts and often under incredibly challenging conditions. We know we cannot help them all, but we try to focus on those with the greatest need and the greatest potential, particularly newer organizations seeking sustainability.
To help control the flow and quality of grant applications, for the past two years we have required submission of letters of inquiry (LOIs) for permission to submit complete applications. While this process may have reduced the number of applications that did not meet our criteria, it has not stopped the cascade of letters of inquiry!
2016 marked our 12th year of awarding grants to organizations and individuals devoted to protecting, rescuing and caring for domestic and wild animals and their habitats. For the year we awarded 53 First Steps grants to recipients in 26 states totaling almost $93,000. Our focus remains on small “First Steps” grants, with particular attention to new organizations with sustainable plans for future viability.
This year can be summed up in one word: Wow! In 2015, our 11th year of awarding grants to organizations and individuals devoted to protecting, rescuing and caring for domestic and wild animals and their habitats, we exceeded the $million mark in total grants. Among our 2015 highlights are the following:
2014 has been a landmark year for The Binky Foundation! It is our 10th year of providing grants to organizations and individuals devoted to protecting, rescuing and caring for domestic and wild animals and their habitats. In that 10-year period we have awarded 252 grants totaling $889,761.36. Here are some interesting facts regarding these grants and the evolution of our programs:
2013 has been another fulfilling year for The Binky Foundation! Even with its ups and downs – mostly ups – we continue to be amazed by the number of compassionate, dedicated people across the country who are working to protect, rescue and care for domestic and wild animals and their habitats.
We all receive seemingly endless mail solicitations from all kinds of groups. Our responses to these solicitations are often based less on what we really know about the organization than on the emotional and marketing value of the solicitation. Seldom do we know the answers to questions like: Are they well run? Are they successfully and efficiently accomplishing their goals? Are they spending a disproportionate amount of their support to solicit contributions than on actually fulfilling their mission? Are we being taken in by guilt inducing gifts or photos rather than on the value provided by the organization?
Last year we reported that we were emphasizing our smaller First Steps Grants ($2500 and under) so that we could do more good in more communities with our limited resources. This year we have continued this emphasis and have refined our criteria so that we can focus on those smaller organizations that are seeking to achieve sustainability for the long haul.
Everyone affiliated with The Binky Foundation was shocked and devastated upon learning of the sudden and untimely death of our wonderful friend and supporter, Barbara Rosenthal, while in Chicago pursuing her world-wide love of opera. Barbara was a caring friend and supporter of all animals, particularly her own wonderful cat Chaplin, who tragically succumbed to cancer shortly after Barbara’s death and her god dog, Benny, and she was a 20-year veteran wildlife docent for the Central Park Zoo. Barbara’s strong sense of indignity for those who abused or ignored the plight of all animals will be missed terribly by all of us who knew and relied upon her unwavering commitment.
When Mickey & Peter were saying their final farewell to Binky, a cat living at the vet’s office pushed his way into the room. Soon after they adopted that cat, Benny (or Bennie to many). Judging from his charm, sweetness and courage, they suspect that Binky’s spirit passed to Benny that day in the vets office, which made it all the harder for them when Benny lost his two-year battle with cancer just before Christmas.
Mickey & Peter are happy that they could provide Benny the care that he needed during his all too brief life. However, they also know that many people are struggling to provide basic, necessary needs – food and medical care – for their pets. While The Binky Foundation does not have the resources to provide assistance for direct care of individual animals, it will continue to look to organizations seeking to establish sustainable programs to assist those pets and their owners struggling to provide such basic needs. (See our grant programs).