What is the Rescue Bank Program?

Rescue Bank is a signature program of Greater Good Charities, an international non-profit that benefits People, Pets, and the Planet.

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.

Who can apply?

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 Affiliates confirm that these criteria are met and monitor the group’s 501(c)3 status. For more information, view our Recipient Criteria.

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 affiliate. Applications passing this step are sent to the affiliate for further evaluation. The local affiliate 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 affiliate 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 affiliate 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 affiliate 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 charged recipients is shared by the local affiliate and Rescue Bank. This fee only partially reimburses Rescue Bank and the affiliate 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?

You must apply online by completing the appropriate Recipient Application.  Applications must be complete and are subject to approval. Applications can be found here:

Who can I contact for questions?

For more information, email info@rescuebank.org.