Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fund Them: Introducing the Animal Funding Atlas

The animal protection field now has a brand-new, one-of-a-kind tool at its disposal that illustrates where, to which organizations, from which funders, and for what purposes animal-focused grants are made.

AnimalFundingAtlas

Created by the ASPCA®, Maddie’s Fund®, Summerlee Foundation, and Tigers in America in partnership with Faunalytics and Cardboard Robot Software, the Animal Funding Atlas is designed to help grantmakers identify and address unmet needs, avoid duplication of efforts, access meaningful data that can inform their decision-making, and engage in fruitful collaboration. It includes interactive grant maps and field-specific language that captures the full spectrum of animal protection efforts. The Atlas‘s release is especially exciting for me as one of the people who was intimately involved with its conception and production — it was a labor of love and (so to speak) a “pet project” for me during my ASPCA tenure.

The Atlas is currently seeded with giving data from 50+ funders (mostly private foundations and grantmaking public charities) who collectively awarded over 17,000 animal-focused grants to more than 7,000 organization recipients worldwide between 1998 and 2020. The broader community of animal protection funders is being actively encouraged to provide their grants data to the Atlas so it can become an even more comprehensive and timely resource for the entire field.

One of the Atlas‘s greatest strengths is the fact that it was designed by organizations whose collective expertise spans issues affecting companion animals, wild animals, farm animals, and animals used in science, and accordingly it incorporates a shared lexicon of search terms that people serving those populations would be likely to use and recognize.

The database is searchable across three types of records — funder, grant recipient, and grant — and offers the ability to filter search results by geographic location, project focus, species focus, grant amount, and grant year, as well as freeform keywords. Search results display on an interactive map, which can include an optional visual overlay representing any one of twelve U.S. Census data sets covering a range of demographic indicators. As an alternative to the map, results can be viewed in a list format that includes links to more detailed information associated with each result, and from which search results can also be exported into Excel, CSV, or PDF formats.

The Atlas is publicly available for use free of charge at animalfundingatlas.org.

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