Highlights From Our 2024 Movement Grants AMA

In a live Ask Me Anything (AMA) event, our team answered questions about our Movement Grants application process. Movement Grants is ACE’s strategic grantmaking program dedicated to building and strengthening the animal advocacy movement.

Below, we’ve rounded up some highlights from the AMA, as well as some inquiries we received over email. We hope these questions and answers provide deeper insight into our Movement Grants process and help you with your applications. You can view the full AMA thread on the FAST Forum. Thank you to David van Beveren and the FAST Forum team for hosting this AMA for us.

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Note: Questions and answers have been edited for length and/or clarity. Links to the original sources are provided beneath each response.

2024 Movement Grants

How many grants do you plan to give in 2024?

We don’t have a fixed number of grants we intend to award. The number primarily depends on the total donations we receive for the program. In previous rounds, we have awarded between 35 and 52 grants per year. We expect that this year’s number of grants will be similar.


What do you anticipate the range of grant amounts to be?

The minimum we will award an individual or organization is $5,000 USD, and this year, we have removed the cap on the maximum amount we will award grantees. However, we are unlikely to award many grants above the previous cap of $50,000 USD—this is because Movement Grants remains focused on supporting earlier-stage organizations and organizations working in countries with emerging animal advocacy movements. In both cases, most applicants typically apply for less than $50,000.

Last year, we awarded several partial grants. This was because the Movement Grants Committee felt that those projects could still be completed with reduced funding and that it would be more impactful to award the additional funds to another organization. Based on feedback from our grantees about the challenges some have faced with partial funding, we anticipate fulfilling the full amount of more grant requests this round. This is likely to result in fewer grants being awarded. That being said, we are still likely to award some partial grants.


What are some speculative or early-stage programs that you’ve funded that were deemed successful investments later on?

Many of the projects we fund via Movement Grants are happening at younger, smaller organizations, so there are two “early-stage” groups: (i) early-stage organizations in regions with a nascent animal advocacy movement, and (ii) early-stage projects happening at either newer or more established organizations that are expanding their programmatic work.

We funded several early-stage organizations in 2023 that we think are doing impactful work in their global region. Most (but not all) of those organizations received general operating funds rather than funding for specific projects. One such group is Good Growth, which received a Movement Grant to continue work in two areas to accelerate the growth of sustainable and ethical food systems in Asia. The first area is open-access market research to understand local stakeholders, farming systems, and consumer attitudes and identify locally relevant interventions. They launched a website that makes public datasets more accessible for advocates and funders, and this grant allowed them to scope out the demand for and potential impact of this project. The second area was community engagement and capacity-building to facilitate knowledge-sharing and build advocates’ research skills. This included conducting outreach by delivering workshops at animal advocacy events and producing content for their website.

See the original FAST Forum post for more examples of early-stage projects we funded in 2023.



I received a Movement Grant last year, am I eligible to apply again?

Yes! Provided the work you are applying for remains in scope (see the Movement Grants eligibility criteria), previous grantees are welcome to apply for funding again this round.

(Source: Email query)

Can you fund general operating costs for an individual?

Yes. Individuals are eligible for our unrestricted general support grant.


Can individuals working outside of an organization receive a Movement Grant?

We are able to fund individuals working in the United States, although such a grant may be considered taxable income. Individuals working outside the U.S. are asked to collaborate with a fiscal sponsor.

(Source: Email query)

Can you fund more than one project from an organization?

Due to the high number of applications we receive, we don’t have the capacity to assess multiple projects for each organization.


Are you able to fund 501(c)4 entities or entities with pending 501(c)3 status?

We can award grants to groups, organizations, and companies located anywhere in the world, as long as the application meets our other eligibility criteria. We are not able to fund groups or projects that:

Encourage any form of animal exploitation
Are located in countries with nationwide sanctions by the U.S.
Conflict with our commitment to representation, equity, and inclusion
Have leadership that has financially supported ACE in the past three years
Are currently a Recommended Charity, as these receive funding via our Recommended Charity Fund
Directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office


Do you support ongoing programs or only campaigns and projects with a specific end date?

For our project-specific applications, we define a project as a specific area of work within an organization. This means that the grant awarded is only meant to be used for the work described in the application. On the other hand, the general support grant agreement allows the organization to spend the grant at their discretion, so we evaluate the applicant based on all areas of work in their organization. If you are applying for a particular project and there is no specific end date or final milestone, we recommend setting the end date as June 2025, which is one year from when the grant is awarded.


Do you accept grant applications from organizations preferring to remain anonymous or not publicly acknowledged as grantees?

You can apply and request to remain anonymous. If successfully awarded a grant, we would only publicly list the amount and that it went to an anonymous organization.

There is no question in the application form asking if you would like to remain anonymous, but you can note “anonymous” in the preferred name field so we are aware of your preference. If awarded a grant, we will ask you for feedback on our announcement post, providing another opportunity to request that your grant remain anonymous if you have not already made us aware.

(Source: Email query)

Can master’s and Ph.D. students apply for Movement Grant for their research projects?

The program is open to applicants undertaking research, so master’s and Ph.D. projects are eligible to apply for funding. Note that we typically award grants to research organizations, mid-stage career researchers, and research programs because their work is often more likely to have real-world outcomes for animals than master’s or Ph.D. students’ research projects. However, we don’t want to discourage you from applying, and we strongly advise that in your application you include how the research will ultimately help animals. For example: Will the findings of your research be used by animal advocacy organizations, governments, or industry? How will you ensure the users of your research will see your work and adopt its findings? This is needed so that we can understand the potential impact of your work.

Secondly, we are unable to award grants to individuals working outside of the U.S. Please ensure your university or another organization can act as a fiscal sponsor to receive a grant if awarded.

(Source: Email query)

Application and Decision-Making Process

What are the differences between the project-specific and general support applications?

Through our Movement Grants program, we provide funding for both specific projects (restricted funding) and general operational support (unrestricted funding), including salaries. Unless you need funding for a specific project, we recommend applying for general operational support. You will not be favored for applying for one over the other.


If an organization has been previously funded, is it better to request funding for a specific project or general funding?

This year, we are asking applicants to either apply for a single project through our project-specific application or for general support. You will not be favored for applying for a single project over general support or vice versa.


For those applying for general operational costs, how do you determine an end date for the grant period?

If you apply for general support funding, we will award the grant for 12 months from the point at which the grant agreement is signed—this means your grant period is likely to be from June/July 2024 to June/July 2025. If you spend the grant before that period concludes, you are welcome to report on your achievements earlier (there is a question in the application that invites you to provide a date to report earlier), but this is not required.

For more information, see our Process and Timeline for Movement Grants.

(Source: Email query)

What points should a good proposal include?

If you fill out all the required fields in the application form, we will have enough information to make a decision on your proposal. Some questions on the application have additional guidance written in gray that should give you a better understanding of the points we are looking for in those answers. If we have any additional questions about your proposal, we will ask you during the second stage of the application process.


Do you conduct interviews with applicants at any point in the process?

We receive several hundred applications, so we do not have the capacity to interview applicants. We use the information provided in our application form and follow-up questions to make grant decisions.


Will applying for a higher amount decrease the chances of getting funding? Or is it best to apply for the lowest possible amount needed to carry out the project?

We have previously awarded partial funding to organizations that we thought could complete their project with less funding, and where disbursing the additional funds to another organization would benefit animals more. We do this because our program is highly funding-constrained compared to the number of quality applications we receive.

Depending on the size of the grant being considered (if it is over $20,000), we will often follow up with the applicant to understand whether they would be able to deliver the project with partial funding. Requesting more in the first stage is unlikely to hurt your chances of being awarded a grant, provided you sincerely believe that being awarded more will substantially improve the impact of your project—we might well agree! Conversely, if it appears that an applicant has excessively padded their budget with unnecessary line items, we would look unfavorably upon this.

There is a question in the application form about breaking down your budget. This is where you note what is necessary for your project and what is nice to have. We suggest you also explain how the nice-to-have line items would further help animals; this will help us decide whether to fulfill the requested amount or offer partial funding.

(Source: Email query)

The bottom of the grant application states, “Use this area to submit additional documents requested by the funder, outside of those normally required in each step.” Can this section be used to provide documents that describe the project in more detail, or is it strictly meant for documents ACE requests during the application process?

If you fill in all mandatory questions in the application form, that will be sufficient information to make our grantmaking decisions. You can include extra documents like the ones mentioned, but they won’t be the focus of our decision-making. In the second stage of the process, we usually ask follow-up questions to applicants if we need more clarification.


What criteria, tools, and factors do you consider when determining if a salary is too high or too low?

We look at staff salaries to get a sense of what we think is fair and realistic to achieve the goals of a project. However, we err on the side of trusting charities to set suitable salaries for their particular region. We are not experts in global nonprofit salaries and tend to do more of a high-level red flag check than a deep dive into proposed salary budgets.

Some examples of past red flags we have raised are if we see a salary that we think is unjustifiably low for the role and aims of a project or if we see a salary line item that we are unsure is necessary or should perhaps be paid by an institution rather than ACE. We rarely (if ever) receive applications that include seemingly unjustifiably high salaries. In cases of red flags, we tend to ask the applicant direct follow-up questions rather than making assumptions with no additional information. A salary line item would rarely be why we reject a proposal.


Do you consider the number of organizations you have funded in a particular country as a cause for not funding all applicants?

No, we do not. We often fund multiple organizations in a single country. That said, reviewing numerous applications in a country can make it easier to compare interventions and often allows us to identify which ones appear more promising. We ask applicants to provide their Theory of Change and their geographical, political, or cultural context so we can determine which projects in a given country are likely to be the most impactful.


Are you likely to fund projects that involve supporting both volunteers and staff (e.g., full-time lawyers or project coordinators)?

Our likelihood of awarding a grant for the type of work you describe depends on the number of applications we receive, the strength of those applications, and the amount of funding we have available. It also depends on the jurisdictions you are working in, the number of animals that may be impacted by your work, and how well-funded the type of work is. You can find more information on our priority areas in our Application Guidelines.


Is there any connection between this application and applications I have submitted to other funders through Granti?

Granti is the grant management platform ACE is using for the eighth round of Movement Grants. A number of other funders in the animal advocacy space use Granti, so some applicants may already be familiar with the platform. Although we are using the same platform, our grantmaking programs are separate. We cannot see any applications you have submitted to other funders, and they cannot see the application you submitted to ACE.

This is our first time using Granti. We appreciate any feedback you have on your user experience.

(Source: Email query)


Our group’s work doesn’t fit into any of the interventions listed in the application form. Is there a way to list our work as ‘other’?

The 27 intervention types included in our Menu of Interventions aim to capture a broad spectrum of strategies animal advocates use to try to produce change for animals. The Menu of Interventions is not an exhaustive list of intervention types. We only include those commonly used by the charities in our Charity Evaluations and Movement Grants programs.

If your intervention is not listed on our application form, please put another intervention in the field and ensure the details provided in the question accurately describe the work you are applying for us to fund. Once we have concluded this Movements Grants round, we will revisit our Menu of Interventions and decide whether we need to update our categories.


To what extent do you prioritize and engage with organizations addressing wild animal suffering?

Wild animal suffering is one of our priority cause areas, so we welcome applications from those working to improve wild animal welfare. We prioritize applicants based on whether they are using novel interventions, target large numbers of animals, and/or operate in regions that are underrepresented in animal welfare. While we’ve previously funded more projects working on farmed animal advocacy, this is due to the fact that limited organizations are working on wild animal welfare. We would like to see more projects addressing wild animal suffering apply for Movement Grants.


Are there any restrictions on using grant funding for lobbying activities, and if so, is there a threshold for how much of the funding can be allocated to lobbying?

Movement Grants has a restriction on the amount we can award to lobbying, but this restriction applies to the total Movement Grants program, not to any individual grant. There’s no need to be concerned about this limit when applying.


In 2022, you published an intervention chart containing numerical evaluations of different forms of action. Is there a 2023 version of this chart? Also, why are documentaries given such low priority?

Here is the 2023 version of the Intervention Relevant Scores.

Regarding documentaries, it appears that a small number of documentaries are highly effective in convincing individuals to move toward a vegan diet. However, the vast majority of documentaries promoting animal welfare or veganism are not impactful. If we had a greater understanding of which documentaries would be successful, we would be much more likely to award documentary filmmakers grants. Without this knowledge, we find that other interventions, such as investor outreach, are often a better use of our scarce funds.


We are aware of restrictions on funding work that directly supports specific political candidates. Would funding a media campaign to persuade every candidate to include a pro-animal proposal also be prohibited under this category?

A campaign that targets all candidates/political parties is within the scope of Movement Grants. Please note the percentage of funding dedicated to lobbying in your application form.


Our project has many elements (e.g., studying literature and research on an underrepresented animal group, carrying out a public awareness campaign, drafting a charter for best practices, and strategic planning for future legal and corporate intervention). Which of the interventions described in your menu best describes our actions?

Based on the work you describe, you should apply for a general support grant, as you are requesting funding for many projects. In our general support application form, we ask applicants to provide up to two intervention areas. We assess general support applicants by what they spend most of their time and resources on (ideally over 75%). We do this to evaluate your organization fairly and not put excessive weight on smaller projects. We recommend not including information about projects that require less than 25% of your organization’s time and resources.

You describe a number of intervention areas, including research, corporate outreach, and public awareness campaigning. We recommend looking through our Menu of Interventions page and deciding which most fits your work. Please note that the Menu of Interventions is not an exhaustive list of intervention types. Once we have concluded this Movements Grants round, we will revisit the completeness of our Menu of Interventions and decide whether we need to update our categories.


The post Highlights From Our 2024 Movement Grants AMA appeared first on the Animal Charity Evaluators blog.

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