USA Equestrian Trust®
USA Equestrian Trust®

Grant FAQ

Grant Application FAQ

Is my organization eligible to apply for a grant from USA Equestrian Trust?

USA Equestrian Trust grants are designated only for non-profits registered with the IRS. All organizations applying must be recognized by the IRS and be in receipt of an IRS determination letter. Government organizations may also apply.

What types of programs, activities, and initiatives will USA Equestrian Trust consider funding?

USA Equestrian Trust’s financial support has been dedicated largely but not exclusively for purposes that are productive across several national-level discipline and/or breed boundaries, such as equine health research, and which may facilitate national-level equestrian interest and competition. Grants are also frequently made to organizations with programs focused on education, scholarship, and other similar needs of a broad-based nature, at the national (as differentiated from international high performance) level. Given the Trust’s mission to support national-level disciplines and/or breeds, the organization traditionally has not funded applications from equine rescue and therapy programs.

One of the paramount factors in analysis each year is emphasizing applications in which the end-recipients of funding demonstrate actual need, and programs for which the applicant organization’s own resources are demonstrably insufficient. USA Equestrian Trust encourages organizations or individuals whose projects fit these standards to apply.

How much funding does USA Equestrian Trust generally give to grant recipients?

USA Equestrian Trust has had grant requests in all sizes, but, as you certainly know, resources are always scarce.

Historically, the USA Equestrian Trust board meets to consider grants during the same month as the deadline and expects to announce its decisions in the following month. However, the board always reserves the right to alter the timeline. All applicants, including those not approved for funding, will be notified of the board’s decisions.

When can I expect to learn if my organization will receive a grant?

USA Equestrian Trust’s “means-tested” wording refers to determining need as a principal criterion in awarding grants. The organization’s grants are intended to go to those recipients who are most in need. In equestrian sport, many other organizations may award financial assistance to individuals or organizations, even though they may have high net worth and are already in possession of expensive horses, equipment, training and other financial support. USA Equestrian Trust considers it important that insofar as possible, its limited funding goes to individuals and organizations truly in need of assistance.

What does means-tested mean?

USA Equestrian Trust does not specifically rule out any type of project costs. However, applicants are asked to detail all costs associated with a certain project as part of the budgets they must submit with their applications. Some organizations request grants to fund projects in their entirety, while others ask for only portions of the costs.

What types of project costs can USA Equestrian Trust grants cover?

The vast majority of proposals received are only for up to one year in duration, but USA Equestrian Trust has received multi-year proposals in the past.

Does USA Equestrian Trust accept multi-year proposals or should applications be limited to a project in a certain year?

USA Equestrian Trust would prefer only one application be submitted on behalf of a single project benefiting multiple groups, but please certainly note all of the organizations that would benefit. That information should also be noted in the required financial spreadsheet, so it’s clear which organizations will be spending the proposed grant money and how they will be spending it.

Would it benefit my organization to submit a joint application with multiple 501(c)(3) organizations who would all benefit from the potential grant funding?

USA Equestrian Trust’s leadership asks about a project’s additional funding to help better understand the financial planning of the organization. It supplements another key question, which is the request for a firm budget for the project for which assistance is being sought. All of this helps the Trust board better understand the need of the organization, as Trust grants are intended to go to those recipients who are most in need. Also, all grant recipients are required to agree to expenditure responsibility disclosures that include a written summary of the activities that the grant funded and a spreadsheet detailing how and to whom the funds were allocated. The expenditure responsibility requirements dictate as well that evidence be provided that the Trust’s grant allocation was made for its intended purpose. In the past, USA Equestrian Trust has funded projects that have had both supplementary funding and no additional funding.

Is it in my organization’s favor to have already secured funds for portions of a project, or is it possible to ask for the grant under the assumption other project funding will be forthcoming?

The Trust does allow organizations to make multiple grant requests during the same grant application period. The required documentation, including a project budget, IRS determination letter and Form 990, must be submitted with each application.

Will USA Equestrian Trust accept multiple grant requests from an organization during a single grant application period?

In lieu of the required Form 990, please upload your organization’s most recent financial statements, showing income and expenditures since its inception. This helps the Trust board better understand the need of the organization, as Trust grants are intended to go to those recipients who are most in need.

How should a new IRS-registered equine non-profit complete its grant application if it has not yet been required to file a Form 990, which is required by the Trust of all applicants?