RESCUE BANK

RESCUE BANK

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Helping People Helping Pets

Rescue Bank grants donated pet food and supplies to smaller, less-visible non-profits that have limited access to resources. We’ve granted more than $30 million in essential supplies to over 300 animal welfare organizations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

You Can Help Keep Their Bellies Full

Donations to Rescue Bank help provide food and supplies for pets waiting for their forever home. Not only does this greatly help shelter pets, but it also helps rescue groups, shelters, and community service organizations better serve their communities.

HOW IT WORKS

Rescue Bank operates on the national food bank model, accepting food donations from manufacturers, distributors or retailers. Suppliers such as Chewy, Purina, J. M. Smucker, Mars, and PetSmart notify us that product is available.

We then schedule and pay for delivering the donation to an Ambassador responsible for a regional distribution center. The Ambassador notifies pre-qualified non-profit groups, which pay a small, per-pound handling fee and pick up their product. For disaster response or law enforcement actions, no handling fee is required.

Rescue Bank is a valued partner for both suppliers and the animal rescue and foster organizations across America.

With millions of pets in need throughout the country, Rescue Bank helps convert donatable product into goodwill for the donor. We understand what it takes to maintain brand integrity throughout the donation process: properly vetting groups, maintaining equitable distribution, and tracking product from their facilities all the way to the rescue groups.

We also understand the passion and problems of rescue groups, shelters, and community service organizations. Providing food grants helps them better serve their communities.

THANKS TO THESE PET FOOD DONORS
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WITH SUPPORT FROM OUR PARTNERS

Our authorized partners of the Rescue Bank™ program and Greater Good Charities are incredibly generous. We thank them for their continued support of our mission!

With our current level of resources and donated product, we are able to serve many, but not all, regions of the country. We are always looking for partners to help expand to more regions.

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Distributed by ambassadors across the U.S.

Our affiliates help distribute donated food and product in their region. We are always looking for more ambassadors!

Read our Blog

Discover what's new, read updates, and learn about more ways you can spread the good with us.

Are you an animal welfare nonprofit in need?
FOod grants

Rescue Bank provides grants to the animal rescue community in the form of donated pet food, delivered through our network of regional affiliates. We pay to ship the products directly from the donor to the affiliate’s warehouse. Affiliates then distribute these grants to pre-qualified recipients based on demonstrated need and verified census.

Pet food grants allow rescue organizations to transfer part of their food budget to much-needed services such as spay/neuter, vet services, facility maintenance or improvement, adoption events, etc.

Please select the appropriate application below to be considered for a pet food grant.

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Rescue group application

An “Eligible Rescue” rescues and provides shelter and care for animals that have been abused, injured, abandoned or are otherwise in need.

An “Eligible Rescue” shall meet the following criteria:

  • 501(c) 3 status described in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi), Internal Revenue Code 1986, and its subsequent amendments
  • No breeding of animals occurs
  • All animals shall be housed in a clean, comfortable, safe, species-appropriate, stimulating and enriching environment
  • Spay or neuter all animals prior to adoption
  • Must demonstrate a respect for quality of life and provide the most humane death possible for animals who are suffering or otherwise not suitable for adoption
  • Has a sufficient number of qualified employees/ volunteers to provide the appropriate level of care for the animals
  • Must have a comprehensive and effective adoption program
  • Must have a means to independently verify the number of pets available for adoption (e.g., Petfinder page, adoption website), so that equitable distribution of food can be determined
  • Must demonstrate need (e.g., limited financial resources) and fiscal responsibility
  • Must demonstrate a positive contribution to the community’s animal welfare resource, including positive relationships with peers
Animal shelter application

An “Eligible Animal Shelter” rescues and provides shelter and care for animals that have been abused, injured, abandoned or are otherwise in need.

An “Eligible Animal Shelter” shall meet the following criteria:

  • 501(c) 3 status described in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi), Internal Revenue Code 1986, and its subsequent amendments
  • No breeding of animals occurs
  • All animals shall be housed in a clean, comfortable, safe, species appropriate, stimulating and enriching environment
  • Spay or neuter all animals prior to adoption
  • Must demonstrate a respect for quality of life and provide the most humane death possible for animals who are suffering or otherwise not suitable for adoption
  • Has a sufficient number of qualified employees/ volunteers to provide the appropriate level of care for the animals
  • Must have a comprehensive and effective adoption program
  • Must have a means to independently verify the number of pets available for adoption (e.g., Petfinder page, adoption website), so that equitable distribution of food can be determined.
  • Must demonstrate need (e.g., limited financial resources) and fiscal responsibility
  • Must demonstrate a positive contribution to the community’s animal welfare resource, including positive relationships with peers
Feral cat related application

An “Eligible Feral Cat Related Organization” is committed to improving the lives of feral and homeless cats.

An “Eligible Feral Cat Related Organization” shall meet the following criteria:

  • 501(c) 3 status described in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi), Internal Revenue Code 1986, and its subsequent amendments
  • Actively participates in a “TNRF” Trap-Neuter-Return-Feed program as a long-term solution in controlling feral cat populations.
  • Educates the public about the plight of stray and feral cats and the need to spay/neuter pets
  • Must demonstrate need (e.g., limited financial resources) and fiscal responsibility
  • Must demonstrate a positive contribution to the community’s animal welfare resource, including positive relationships with peers
disaster/emergency aid application

Working with Greater Good Charities, Rescue Bank provides assistance in disaster and emergency situations. The very nature of an emergency makes setting strict criteria difficult. Each event will be evaluated by Greater Good Charities, Rescue Bank, our donors, and the nearest affiliate organization. We may temporarily suspend some of our recipient criteria to provide emergency relief. However, a group’s ability to work collaboratively will remain as a key qualification. We provide pet food and supplies in the following situations:

  • Local, regional, and nationally-declared natural or man-made disasters (e.g. hurricanes, floods, fires)
  • Multiple-animal rescues such as law enforcement actions
food bank application

An “Eligible Pet Food Bank” is a community based organization serving as a resource for local individuals and families struggling to provide care for their pets. These are typically food banks, pantries or social service agencies with multiple assistance programs (e.g., rent assistance, elder care, animals on wheels).

An “Eligible Pet Food Bank” shall meet the following criteria:

  • 501(c) 3 status described in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi), Internal Revenue Code 1986, and its subsequent amendments
  • Must demonstrate fiscal responsibility and has successfully completed their most recent audit or independent review
  • Has publicized screening and reporting capabilities that meet a generally-recognized standard for providing welfare assistance, such as State and Federal guidelines or Feeding America recommendations. 
  • And recipients...
    1. Agree that pets are for companionship and not for breeding or illegal activities
    2. Agree to maintain pets in a healthy condition
    3. Agree to not sell or return product

  • Verifies recipients’ pets are spayed or neutered and provides spay or neuter education or information to those recipients whose pets are unaltered
  • Has a sufficient number of qualified employees/ volunteers to provide the appropriate level of tracking and verifying need of applicants/recipients
  • Must have an active website with information regarding the pet food program and instructions on how to apply
  • Must have a means to independently verify “proof of need” whether it be through various means such as income, social security, etcetera
  • Must demonstrate a positive contribution to the community’s animal welfare resource, including positive relationships with peers
  • Must have appropriate storage facility or warehouse that meets reasonable standards established by our donors, By way of example, please review our Warehouse Inspection Report.
DOG/CAT sanctuary application

An “Eligible Dog / Cat Sanctuary” rescues and provides shelter and care for animals that have been abused, injured, abandoned or are otherwise in need.

An “Eligible Dog / Cat Sanctuary” shall meet the following criteria:

  • 501(c) 3 status described in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi), Internal Revenue Code 1986, and its subsequent amendments
  • No breeding of animals occurs, must spay or neuter all animals residing in sanctuary
  • Veterinary care is provided as appropriate
  • All animals shall be housed in a clean, comfortable, safe, species-appropriate, stimulating and enriching environment
  • Must demonstrate a respect for quality of life and provide the most humane death possible for animals who are suffering
  • Has a sufficient number of qualified employees/ volunteers to provide the appropriate level of care for the animals
  • Must have a comprehensive and effective adoption program for animals who are “adoptable”
  • Must agree to periodic site visits to verify the number and condition of pets in their care.
  • Must demonstrate need (e.g., limited financial resources) and fiscal responsibility
  • Must demonstrate a positive contribution to the community’s animal welfare resource, including positive relationships with peers
grants for Shelter supplies

Rescue Bank expanded! In 2017, we began a program called Supplies for Shelters. This program allows us to provide grants of various supplies such as veterinary products, enrichment toys, beds, blankets, and more. We are still committed to helping smaller, less visible animal welfare organizations. However, this program also includes larger organizations and municipal shelters.

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Minimum requirements to apply:

-No breeding of animals.
-All animals shall be housed in a clean, comfortable, safe, species appropriate, stimulating and enriching environment.
-Spay or neuter all animals before adoption.
-Must demonstrate a respect for quality of life and provide the most humane death possible for animals who are suffering or otherwise not suitable for adoption.
-Have a sufficient number of qualified employees/volunteers to provide the appropriate level of care for the animals.
-Must have a comprehensive and effective adoption program.
-Must demonstrate a positive contribution to the community’s animal welfare resource, including positive relationships with peers.

If you would like to apply for a Supplies for Shelters grant, please fill out the form below. We will be in touch if your application is approved.
Questions?

Make sure to check out our FAQ page for more information. If you still have questions, please email info@rescuebank.org.

Become an Ambassador
Our AMBASSADOR Program

Operating on the national food bank model, Rescue Bank depends on regional Ambassadors to distribute pet food grants to animal welfare non-profits in their community.  We cannot complete our mission without the active support of our community-based Ambassadors.

Rescue Bank serves its Ambassadors by:

  • Sourcing and negotiating for donated products
  • Shipping products to the ambassador's warehouse
  • Managing the online application and recipient due diligence processes
  • Monitoring recipients’ non-profit status
  • Collecting distribution data and reporting to donors
  • Providing standard forms and training materials for ambassadors
  • Providing support for disasters and other emergencies

Why should our group become a Distribution Ambassador?

Our Ambassadors are a vital part of the rescue and adoption resource in their communities. They help raise the standards of care by supplementing the other sources of food and supplies for animal welfare non-profits. This allows the recipient groups to shift scarce funds to other needs, such as spay/neuter, wellness or facility improvements.

Ambassadors are also a focal point for information sharing and cooperative efforts, especially during distribution events as groups are able to share ideas and concerns for their common benefit.

Where are Ambassadors needed?

We add Ambassadors when:

  • At least 35 approved recipient groups have registered in the local area. This is usually the minimum size for economic delivery of truckload quantities of food.
  • The Ambassador is able to meet our financial, operating history and capability criteria.
  • Our food supply quantity and location allows for expanding the Ambassador network without significantly reducing donations to existing Ambassadors. It is very important to Rescue Bank that we maintain a balance between supply and demand. We will never be able to supply all of a group’s food needs, but we want to make sure that we make a meaningful contribution to all of our Ambassadors.
  • The location is not within 150 miles of a current Ambassador.

What are the Ambassador criteria?

Ambassador must:

  • Be a 501(c) 3 organization in good standing or a municipal/county shelter.
  • Meet the qualifications for a Rescue Bank recipient.
  • Have a mission consistent with a pet food distribution program.
  • Demonstrate financial responsibility and capabilities for record keeping and timely reporting.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions of the Rescue Bank “Ambassador Agreement,” including compliance with our operating procedures and reporting requirements.
  • Have warehouse space that is suitable for receiving, storing and redistributing 40-80 pallets of pet food.
  • Have sufficient volunteers to vet groups, schedule distributions, and distribute 40-80 pallets per event, and report inventories and distributions to Rescue Bank.

What are the Ambassador's responsibilities?

We depend on the Ambassador’s local knowledge and experience to:

  • Verify that each recipient’s application meets the qualifications for their category (i.e., shelter, feral cat group, etc.).
  • Secure a warehouse suitable for receiving, storing and distributing food, following the guidelines supplied by Rescue Bank.
  • Conduct an inventory of product received and report it to Rescue Bank within five days.
  • Equitably allocate the donation to approved groups, applying the guidelines issued by Rescue Bank.
  • Notify recipients of their grant, collect the handling fee, and distribute the product. (A portion of the handling fee is kept by the Ambassador to help pay local expenses; the remainder is sent to Rescue Bank to help pay for freight and program expenses.)
  • Report the distribution to Rescue Bank.
  • Monitor the groups to make sure that no one is selling, bartering or otherwise redistributing their donation.

Are there costs associated with becoming an Ambassador Distributor?

Rescue Bank does not charge an Ambassador fee or membership dues. Further, Rescue Bank pays the freight for shipments to the Ambassador’s warehouse.

However, the Ambassador must meet their local expenses, using their portion of the handling fee and (typically) donations from other sources.

Rescue Bank food distribution typically does not generate extra income for the Ambassador. Instead, the handling fee kept by the Ambassador can often meet their local expenses.

Do Recipients pay any fees?

Yes, a small per pound handling fee based on the national foodbank model. The food is donated but freight, warehousing and program services are not. Recipients pay a small per pound fee that helps the Ambassador and Rescue Bank meet their expenses. Outside donors contribute the rest.

The fee is a maximum allowable charge to the recipient. An Ambassador may reduce the fee charged to the Recipient, except that the Ambassador must still pay Rescue Bank its portion.

There are cases where a fee is reduced or not charged, such as:

  • Disaster response
  • Law enforcement actions such as cruelty or hoarding cases
  • Distributions where the donor pays the freight and handling

Get started now!

To request more information about becoming an Ambassador Distribution Center, please contact Rescue Bank by email at programsteam@greatergood.org. We’ll schedule a conference call to review the Ambassador qualifications and responsibilities.

If we’re both interested to proceed, we’ll send a confidentiality agreement and, after that is signed, additional information to support your decision.

There is no set time period for approval, this depends on how many questions you have and feedback from your Board, attorney or other advisors.

Once we process the Contact Form we will send the Ambassador Application and a Confidentiality Agreement. When the application and agreement are returned we will contact you for a follow-up interview and will then send our Operating Procedures and forms for your review. There is no set time period for approval, this depends on how many questions you have and feedback from your Board, attorney or other advisors.

Become a donor
The Benefits of Partnering

Our generous partners supply the goods! From the partner’s perspective, the decision to donate product must consider brand integrity, opportunities to enhance goodwill, risk, and cost. Rescue Bank manages a complete program for receiving, tracking, and delivering unsaleable product on a national scale.

Rescue Bank’s partners benefit from:

  • One-call access to a nationwide reverse logistics network, reduced workload for your donation coordinators
  • Recipient qualification through a two-step, national and local vetting process
  • Recipient agreements that address FDA compliance, liability, and media rights issues
  • Freight and regional distribution warehouse costs paid by Rescue Bank and its ambassadors – you provide FOB at your facility and we cover the rest
  • More rapid distribution of large volumes for faster recovery of warehouse space
  • Shipment tracking and recall notice capabilities
  • Coordination with your corporate communications, publicity, advertising and social media staff to maximize goodwill
Partner donation process

Contact Rescue Bank by email at programsteam@greatergood.org. We typically need the following information:

  1. Product location and address, contact name, and phone number
  2. Product description(s), quantities, and ‘best by’ dates
  3. Confirmation that it is palletized and shrink-wrapped suitable for truck freight
  4. Transportation and storage specifics (dry, refrigerated, frozen)
  5. Reason for donation (code date issue, etc.)
  6. Schedule, including restricted days or hours at loading facility
Our policies and procedures

Rescue Bank has written policies and procedures that establish our mutual responsibilities and the controls required to meet our fiduciary duties. These documents address issues such as:

  • Qualifying rescue groups and fosters for product grants, based on criteria established by Rescue Bank and its donors.
  • Maintaining current information on recipient groups and providing that to product donors on request.
  • Scheduling shipments and distributing donated inventory as quickly and equitably as possible.
  • Complying with regulatory requirements.

In-kind donations such as pet food and supplies are reported to our accountants and the IRS at fair market value, just as if it were cash. For that reason, we track donations the same as a financial grant program. This makes having- and consistently applying- written procedures a very important part of our operation. Rescue Bank’s product distributions are audited annually as part of Greater Good Charities’ financial statement.

Who can apply for a grant?

Animal welfare organizations that have a valid, non-revoked IRS Determination Letter establishing their 501(c)(3) status apply for pet food grants though this website. A group applying under a Group Exemption or using an alternate name (for example “Doing business as…”) must submit the relevant documents as described by the IRS or state/local authorities.

Applications are made in specific categories, with criteria tailored to each category. Rescue Bank and its local Ambassadors confirm that these criteria are met and monitor the group’s 501(c)3 status. For more information, view the Grants page.

Who benefits?

Our goal is to support – as resources allow –those organizations that exhibit the highest standards of care, demonstrate their ability to make a difference in their community, and work collaboratively with others.

How does it work?
  1. Groups apply through this website to become a grant recipient. Rescue Bank screens applicants for criteria such as non-profit status, spay/neuter policy, adoption pages, and distance from nearest ambassador. Applications passing this step are sent to the ambassador for further evaluation. The local ambassador accepts or declines each application, based on our posted criteria.

  2. Groups meeting the criteria are placed in the rotation for distributions. When food is available, the ambassador notifies groups of the type of food and offers the group the opportunity to participate.

  3. Participating groups send in their latest census counts and the ambassador determines an equitable distribution of the food, taking into account factors such as the number and size of animals, whether any group received food more recently than another one, distance traveled, or special circumstances like large food donations from other sources.

  4. The ambassador notifies each group of the amount allocated, the place and time for pickup, and the amount of handling fees, if any.

  5. As a grant program, we cannot guarantee that food will always be supplied to any one organization or that a grant will meet all of the organization’s needs for any period of time.
Are there any costs to the recipient organizations?

Our program operates on the national food bank model. Except for disasters and law enforcement actions, recipients pay a small handling fee per pound of food received. While the pet food is donated, the freight, warehouse, and other program costs are not. The small per pound fee is shared by the local ambassador and Rescue Bank. This fee only partially reimburses Rescue Bank and the ambassador for their expenses, outside donors make up the rest.

Handling fees are not charged for disaster response or law enforcement actions such as recoveries from hoarders. Greater Good Charities conducts separate, dedicated fundraising for these events so that donations can be delivered without further straining limited budgets.

In some cases, the donor pays for all or part of the shipping, reducing or eliminating the fee to the recipient.

How can I apply for a grant?

Review the requirements/criteria and if you qualify, you can apply online by completing the appropriate recipient application. Applications can be found on the Grants page and are subject to approval.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

For more information, email programsteam@greatergood.org.

Rescue Bank's Impact

Since 2011, Greater Good Charities' Rescue Bank program has provided over 420 million meals to pets in need in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and international locations by acting as a centralized hub for pet food donations and deliveries, trusted by federal, state and county emergency response teams. Rescue Bank has also granted more than $30 million in essential supplies to over 300 animal welfare organizations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. 

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420 MILLION
meals for pets in need
$30 MILLION
supplies to shelters
2697
shelters & rescues served
Alice on Grass with Food Bowl 6_©Houston Humane Society_NFARPW 2020-1
National Feed A Rescue Pet Week

Greater Good Charities and The Animal Rescue Site founded National Feed a Rescue Pet Week in 2017. Occurring during the last week of July each year, National Feed a Rescue Pet Week is time to celebrate shelter pets and help shelters across the country. Food is one of the biggest expenses for shelters, and by offsetting that cost, we can help shelters allocate their funding to saving more pets. 

We have sent millions of meals to shelters as a result of our annual National Feed a Rescue Pet Week.

Alice's Story

Meet Alice, our 2020 National Feed a Rescue Pet Week spokes-dog! At just 11 months of age, Alice was surrendered to the shelter due to a leg injury her owner could not afford to treat. Despite the strain on their resources during the coronavirus pandemic, The Houston Humane Society took her in, determined to nurse her back to health. Now she’s on the mend and ready for her forever home.

Read More Rescue Bank Success Stories