Maddie's Idea Lab - Phase 1-4 Grants

Maddie's Fund

Grant amount: Up to US $150,000

Next deadline: Oct 15, 2018 (Full proposal)

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

Applicant type: Nonprofit Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty College / University

Funding uses: Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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Note: Applicants must first email a Pre-Application Inquiry form. If invited, complete applications are due at the 'full proposal' deadlines listed above. 

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.

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

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

Phase 1-4 Grants

Maddie's Idea Lab Phase 1 - 4 projects initially evaluate an innovative idea as a Phase 1 grant. 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.


  • Animal welfare organizations and research scientists who are associated with a University, College, or 501(c)3 non-profit can apply for this grant.

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary