Maddie's Idea Lab - Phase 1-4 Grants

Maddie's Fund

Suggest an update

Grant amount: Up to US $150,000

Next deadline: Apr 15, 2019 (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Jul 15, 2019 (Full proposal), Oct 15, 2019 (Full proposal), Jan 15, 2020 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Research Scientist Government Entity Nonprofit Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty

Funding uses: Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary


Note: Applicants must first complete and submit an Inquiry form through the Maddie’s Fund Grants Portal, prior to submitting a full proposal. After Maddie's Fund reviews your Inquiry, they'll let you know whether it’s a project that they might consider funding. If invited to proceed in the application process, you’ll be sent a link to the full application. 

Maddie's® Idea Lab

Do you have a great idea that will help pets? Maddie's® Idea Lab supports the development and assessment of innovative ideas that have a high likelihood of advancing lifesaving of dogs and cats, the utilization of foster care for dogs and cats or animal welfare leadership.

Topics that we will consider supporting include, but are not limited to:

  • Animal Behavior
  • Animal Welfare
  • Business Management (Finance, Administration, Staffing, etc.)
  • Foster Care Programs
  • Leadership
  • Marketing and Social Media
  • Pet Retention Programs (Intake Prevention)
  • Saving Difficult to Place Pets
  • Shelter Medicine
  • Shelter/Rescue Operations (Admissions, Adoptions, Transport, etc.)
  • Technology
  • Volunteer Programs

Maddie's® Idea Lab funds applied research - ideas and research projects that have a practical application related to pet lifesaving, animal welfare leadership, or the utilization of foster care. There are five types of grants that the Idea Lab supports.

Phase 1-4 Grants

Maddie's® Idea Lab phase 1 - 4 projects evaluate innovative ideas that impact dog or cat lifesaving, foster care, or the development of animal welfare leadership. If the idea is successful, there is potential for further phases of testing, building upon the success of the initial idea by testing at more shelters and/or rescue groups with varying demographics, over time. Some projects might enter Maddie's® Idea Lab at phase 1 and others will enter at a later phase, depending on the pre-existing work related to the idea.

Phase 1

Projects support the testing of a new and innovative idea at a single shelter or rescue group, where the idea originated.

Phase 2

Projects support the testing of the idea at one additional shelter or rescue group, helping you to learn whether a project can be replicated.

Phase 3

Projects expand evaluation of the idea to three - six shelters or rescue groups, testing the idea at organizations of varying types.

Phase 4

Projects evaluate the idea at 10 - 30 shelters or rescue groups, expanding the project to less well-resourced and a broader variety of organizations.

How Much Money Should I Apply For?

Apply for what you need to complete the project. The amount awarded to Phase 1 – 4 grant applicants depends on how many shelters/rescue groups are involved with the project. For Phase 2 – 4 grants, most proposals include funding for the participating organizations. Funding generally ranges as follows:

  • Phase 1 up to $25,000
  • Phase 2 up to $25,000
  • Phase 3 up to $150,000
  • Phase 4 grants are considered on an individual basis.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Who should apply?
    • Animal welfare organizations and research scientists who are associated with a University, College, government agency or 501(c)3 non-profit can apply for this grant.
  • To be considered for a grant from Maddie's Fund, your organization must meet the following criteria. Organizations must:
    • Be a U.S. based 501c3 or government animal welfare organization focused on dogs and/or cats. In addition, universities may apply for a Maddie's® Idea Lab Project or a Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Internship. Learn more 
    • Publicly share your annual animal statistics on your website (on the same page as your lifesaving percentage - see next bullet point). Learn more 
    • Publicly share on your website your lifesaving percentage and the formula for how it was calculated (on the same page as your annual animal statistics - see bullet point above). Learn more 
    • Be an active participant in Shelter Animals Count (if applicable). If your grant is approved, you will be required to join the Maddie's Fund Coalition. Learn more 
    • Be an active participant in the Million Cat Challenge (if applicable). Learn more
    • If you have received funding from Maddie's Fund in the past, be current on all grant reporting requirements. Learn more 


  • We encourage ideas that:
    • have the potential to provide simple and inexpensive solutions to problems that some organizations find too costly or too difficult to treat
    • are easily replicable at other shelter and rescue organizations with varying resources
    • save lives and improve welfare of homeless pets