Stray Dog Institute’s Philanthropy
Stray Dog Institute’s philanthropic priority is to support and strengthen the movement for food systems transformation, with a central focus on issues of farmed animals and industrial animal agriculture. We recognize that other issues are inextricably linked to animal protection, including climate change, biodiversity, human health, social justice, and rural economies. This systems view is foundational to all our work.
Our Philanthropic Philosophy
Stray Dog Institute’s philanthropic philosophy informs how we approach our work.
Movement Building. We seek to strengthen the capacity of the food systems transformation movement, including farmed animal protection. We hope to increase the movement’s resources, diversity of voices and approaches, interconnection, visibility, and impact. To better support the collective movement, we have begun to make grants, albeit smaller, across an increasing number of groups. We particularly appreciate capacity-building organizations that predominantly serve organizations and individuals within the movement through legal counsel, technological support, graphic design, media consulting, movement-wide events, and other means.
Trust-Based Philanthropy. Trust-Based Philanthropy is a set of values and practices that “help advance equity, shift power, and build mutually accountable relationships.” Informed by Trust-Based Philanthropy, we recognize the power dynamics inherent to relationships between funders and grantee partners. We also realize that Stray Dog Institute holds an additional position of power as a white-led and majority-white organization. We seek to be transparent and willing to share power with our grantee partners. We are committed to ensuring that racial justice and equity imbue all our work.
Thought Partnership. Our grantee partners are experts in their fields, and Stray Dog Institute aims to be a resource and collaborator in the spirit of thought partnership. We enjoy rich conversations and mutual feedback when desired by our partners. As thought partners, the Stray Dog Institute team offers food systems, farmed animal, and environmental expertise; a breadth of experience in fields ranging from management consulting to academic research; insight into funder perspectives and philanthropic culture; and a movement-wide viewpoint that allows us to see potential connections between topics, organizations, and people. We know we do not have all the answers—we commit to staying open to learning and growing.
In line with the values of Trust-Based Philanthropy, Stray Dog Institute seeks to be increasingly transparent about our grantmaking. Below are some common questions and answers.
What are Stray Dog Institute’s Funding Areas?
Diverse. Within the farmed animal and food system transformation movement, Stray Dog Institute funds many different approaches to change. These include, but are not limited to the following:
* Includes K-12
We direct the majority of our grantmaking to organizations whose work is supply-side and transformation oriented. We value work that is informed by multiple, intersecting food systems and farmed animal issues. Animal welfare work does not constitute a significant portion of Stray Dog Institute’s grantmaking; however, we value work that improves the lives of animals. We view welfare-focused work as an important complement to transformational food systems change.
To view our partner organizations, please see our Partners Page.
WHERE DOES STRAY DOG INSTITUTE FUND?
The US and internationally. The majority of Stray Dog Institute’s grantmaking focuses on US-based organizations and interventions. However, we are gradually expanding our international grantmaking and are open to connections with movement partners outside the US.
DOES STRAY DOG INSTITUTE ACCEPT UNSOLICITED REQUESTS?
Yes. We do not currently have a formal request for proposal (RFP) process. We do accept unsolicited proposals via our Contact Form. Please see “How Do I Know if My Organization is Eligible for a Grant from Stray Dog Institute?” below for more information on eligibility.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY ORGANIZATION IS ELIGIBLE FOR A GRANT FROM STRAY DOG INSTITUTE?
Nonprofit Status. Your organization is a registered 501(c)(3) or your organization is fiscally sponsored by a registered US nonprofit.
Mission Alignment. Your organization aligns with Stray Dog Institute’s vision of farmed animal protection and food system transformation. Your work is transformation-oriented and systems-aware—informed by the intersections of multiple food systems and farmed animal issues. You are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
DOES STRAY DOG INSTITUTE PROVIDE UNRESTRICTED OR PROJECT-BASED FUNDING?
Both. Stray Dog Institute increasingly offers unrestricted funding. We recognize the importance of general operating support and trust our grantee partners to determine what is best for their organization and the movement. When project-based funding is appropriate, we are committed to working collaboratively with our grantee partners and recognizing their expertise.
HOW LONG ARE STRAY DOG INSTITUTE’S GRANT COMMITMENTS?
Typically, annual. Stray Dog Institute’s grant periods usually last one year, although we make some multi-year commitments under special circumstances. Where we are able, we seek to make more multi-year commitments. Our grants may start at any point in the year, and we can often disburse grants at times convenient to our grantee partners, for example, to participate in a matching campaign.
WHAT ARE STRAY DOG INSTITUTE’S GRANT AMOUNTS?
Typically, $2,500 to $10,000. Stray Dog Institute has recently shifted our strategy to support more groups across the food systems transformation movement at grant amounts of $10,000 or less. First-year grants are usually $2,500 and are subject to change from year to year. Based on year-to-date grantmaking in 2022, roughly 80% of Stray Dog Institute’s grants are $10,000 or less. While less common, larger grants are possible for special projects and long-term partnerships.
WHAT REPORTING EXPECTATIONS DOES STRAY DOG INSTITUTE HAVE?
Minimal. We aim to reduce the communication burdens on our grantee partners. For grants less than $10,000, we do not require formal reporting but welcome opportunities to learn from and engage with grantee partners. For grants of $10,000 or more, we work with our partners to determine a minimally burdensome communication structure. This may include substituting calls for reports and accepting written materials developed for other funders.
HOW DOES STRAY DOG INSTITUTE FEEL ABOUT RECOGNITION?
Open. Stray Dog Institute does not require recognition for our grants, and recognition plays no role in funding decisions. If a nonprofit partner wishes to recognize Stray Dog Institute, we accept it with appreciation. Please contact the Stray Dog Institute team with questions regarding recognition.
WHO SUPPORTS STRAY DOG INSTITUTE?
Stray Dog Institute’s work is funded by our founders, Chuck and Jennifer Laue, and is informed by their commitment to building a better world for people, animals, and the environment.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STRAY DOG INSTITUTE AND AFFILIATED ENTITIES?
The Quinn Foundation is an affiliated private foundation and the primary philanthropic vehicle for Chuck and Jennifer Laue, who founded Stray Dog Institute. In the farmed animal and food systems space, The Quinn Foundation makes grants on behalf of Stray Dog Institute. For other animals and concerns, The Quinn Foundation gives without the involvement of Stray Dog Institute.
Stray Dog Capital is the other half of the Stray Dog Team. Stray Dog Capital is a venture capital fund investing in innovative, early-stage companies across the food, beverage, and biotechnology sectors. Like Stray Dog Institute, Stray Dog Capital was founded by Chuck and Jennifer Laue, and its work is informed by the Laues’ passion for animals. Except through the Laues, there is no financial connection between Stray Dog Capital and Stray Dog Institute.
GlassWall Syndicate is a partner organization to the Stray Dog Team. GlassWall Syndicate is a 501(c)6 organization comprised of investors—individual, venture capital, and institutional—that are united in their desire to support companies that are better for animals, people, and our planet. Chuck and Jennifer Laue were on the founding team and remain Board members. They were also the primary financial sponsor, covering startup and administrative expenses for several years until membership dues were sufficient.
Read more about the Stray Dog family of organizations and affiliated entities.