For her main project in a graduate-level English course at NKU, Tiffany Budd wrote a grant proposal for The Scratching Post cat shelter that was so comprehensive her former teacher often uses it as an example for other students to follow.
Budd did not get to submit that original grant proposal, but the ones she’s written over the last three years have raised more than $270,000 for the shelter located in Cincinnati.
“When I took the grant writing class, I was thinking maybe it’s a skill that might come in handy some day,” Budd recalled. “At that time, though, it was more like, ‘This is one of the last classes I need to complete my degree so I’ll just take it.’ And it ended up being one of the most interesting classes that I took, and one of the most beneficial.”
Budd, an academic coordinator for the Department of World Languages and Literatures on campus, learned about grant writing while completing a Master of Arts in Integrative Studies, an academic program that allows NKU students to create a degree path focused on their own interests and goals.
Budd contributes her time writing grants for The Scratching Post as an unpaid volunteer. The shelter uses the grant money to pay for operating expenses, fund outreach programs and provide veterinary care for cats until they are adopted.
“Some of the cats come in pretty bad condition,” Budd said. “And they’re a true no-kill shelter so they will try as hard as they can to save each cat and make that cat healthy again.”
One of the shelter’s outreach programs is CatSnip, which gives cat owners monetary vouchers to have their pet spayed or neutered. The vouchers are also available to anyone who finds a cat and wants to have it spayed or neutered to help reduce the number of strays in the area.
“They have 150 cats that they can keep in their shelter, but they’re pretty close to maximum capacity at all times,” Budd said. “Even when they have a couple of adoptions, there’s always more cats coming in. They have to turn away lots of people because they can’t physically take in all of the cats brought in.”
Budd, who is now on the board of directors for The Scratching Post, plans to submit more grant proposals for 2014. The shelter hopes to acquire $95,000 to fund CatSNIP for another year, as well as a $25,000 matching grant.