Mission: The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., established in August 2002, as a 501(c)(3) national charitable foundation, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, fostering the use of horses to enrich the lives of those in need, and educating the public about the horse's unique ability to empower, teach and heal.
Programs: Horses are enriching the lives of millions of people of all ages every day. The Foundation is dedicated to transforming the way horses are treated and perceived and building a more compassionate America that values the magical and powerful bond we have with horses. The EQUUS Foundation mission is to improve the quality of life of horses, foster the use of horses to enrich the lives of people in need, and educate the public about the horse's unique ability to empower, teach and heal. What started as a local effort is now a nationwide campaign, with The EQUUS Foundation emerging as the primary national organization dedicated to horse welfare and the horse-human connection. We accomplish our mission by providing financial support through the award of grants; operating a network of equine organizations and equine enthusiasts; offering insight on management and financial practices of these charities through a thorough review of their operations; and conducting information outreach to educate the public about horses. The EQUUS Foundation funds a broad range of programs, most of which are directly involved with horse rescue and welfare, or are providing equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) to the public. We also fund programs with our Alliance partners that educate the public about horses, provide services that benefit the equine community, and help stimulate advocacy and volunteerism. These programs require extensive evaluation to determine which ones will receive the limited funds available for grant awards. Only 501(c)(3) public charities and government entities are eligible to apply for grants. The merits of each grant request and the quality of the applicant organization, including its management and financial practices, are carefully evaluated. The selection of the grant recipients by the Board of Directors is based on the amount of funds raised over the course of the year and a set of guidelines designed to ensure that the donations we receive make the greatest possible impact. The Foundation strives to provide financial support to every worthy charity; however, on the average, less than half of the applicant organizations receive grant awards due to the limited funds available. There are, in fact, thousands of charities in the United States that are eligible to apply. These service providers are experiencing the same decline in financial support that is affecting nonprofits across the nation. To offset the financial decline, many of these organizations are seeking volunteers to avoid reductions in programs and services. To meet this need for voluntary support, The EQUUS Foundation launched the carrots4acause network last fall to bring together interested individuals with equestrian and horse-related organizations across America and build a support base of equine advocates. Over 400 organizations have already signed up to educate visitors about their mission and programs, recruit volunteers, and secure essential products and services. We expect to have every eligible organization on the network by the end of 2012. Starting in 2012, we are launching "Champions" - an incentive-based equine service volunteer program, which includes scholarship opportunities for high school, college, and graduate students. "Best in America" The EQUUS Foundation AKA Horse Charities of America was awarded the "Best in America" seal by the Independent Charities of America (ICA) in 2009. This Seal is awarded to the members of Independent Charities of America that have, upon rigorous independent review, been able to certify, document, and demonstrate on an annual basis that they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States today, it is estimated that fewer than 50,000, or 5 percent, meet or exceed these standards, and, of those, fewer than 2,000 have been awarded this Seal. Only a handful of these are involved with horse welfare, and only our Foundation encompasses all aspects of the equine community. As an ICA member, we are included among the select group of charities participating in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the world's largest workplace giving campaign for Federal civilian, military and postal employees. Public interest in the therapeutic role of horses has never been stronger . . . Horses have a way of making us feel everything from excitement to joy to tranquility. Age is not a limitation – horses are helping children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. By bonding with these gentle giants, we learn to take control of our lives and become more capable of facing life’s challenges. No other animal can make us feel the breadth of emotions that our equine partners do. Therapeutically, horses have long been helping individuals bear the burdens of disabilities and debilitating diseases, and helping individuals overcome economic disadvantages. As our soldiers return home from a war overseas, horses are serving as a part of a national program, Horses for Heroes, using therapeutic riding, to help rehabilitate our veterans both physically and emotionally from the traumas of war. Most recently, horses are coming to the aid of children with autism. Autism represents perhaps the fastest growing population who can benefit from equine therapies. Based on Center for Disease Control (CDC) data, an average of 1 in 110 children have been diagnosed with autism, a 57% increase in the rate of diagnosis based on a 4-year CDC study conducted from 2002 to 2006. A U.S. Department of Education study determined that autism diagnosis is growing at a rate of 10-17% year. Young, vital and thriving . . . The EQUUS Foundation is a young organization and until 2008, operated locally serving horse charities in Connecticut and the surrounding states. In 2008, just three years ago, we decided to expand nationally and have grown exponentially. We have now awarded nearly $2 million in grant awards with over $270,000 awarded to 70 charities in 2011, operate a unique network of equine organizations, and have achieved national recognition as the only organization focused on the welfare of the horse and encompassing both the sport and therapeutic communities. We welcome you to sign up to receive news of our programs and activities at www.equusfoundation.org/get-involved-individual.php.