The Importance of Foundation Gifts

Published in: Update - Issue 2 - 2013 »   

Grants from foundations are a core source of support for the programs, services and day-to-day activities of Leader Dogs for the Blind. Leader Dog currently receives over 50 grants each year from private, family, community and corporate foundations from across the country.

This fiscal year, we received our largest multiyear grant from the Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Charitable Foundation; however, the majority of grants received are under $50,000 and support a specific initiative. Some programs that received grant funding this past year include:

  • Every Dog Every Day: The Aline Underhill Orten Foundation, Carl and Irene Morath Foundation, and Michigan Optometric Association have all supported our campus-wide initiative to improve the well-being of our dogs while kenneled in our facility.
  • GPS Technology and Smartphone Curriculum Development: The Hilda E. Bretzlaff Foundation has supported the provision of GPS technology to our clients for nearly a decade. This year, the Foundation provided the resources to adapt our Kapten curriculum for clients’ smartphones using apps to deliver GPS-aided navigation.
  • ClickAndGo: The Helen L. Kay Charitable Trust and the Philip and Elizabeth Filmer Memorial Charitable Trust have supported this project to bring the Leader Dog campus to life for our clients through fully accessible narrative maps that can be downloaded to phones, mp3 players and other audio devices.
  • Deaf-Blind Guide Dog Program: This program continues to receive significant support from the May Mitchell Royal Foundation as well as several other private and family foundations. Leader Dog aspires to offer each foundation partner a triple return on their philanthropic investment with us by providing social, financial and learning outcomes that improve our clients’ lives, increase our sustainability and bring innovations to our field.