This Challenge is funded by Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Maddie’s Fund® and Cuddly in collaboration with, Adoptimize, American Pets Alive!, ASPCA, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, Best Friends Animal Society, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE), Community Cats Podcast, Greater Good Charities, HeARTS Speak, Humane Society of the United States, National Animal Care and Control Association, Petco Love, and PetSmart Charities.

We Foster Challenge 2022

We all know the incredible bond that humans and pets have and the importance of keeping them together. Foster care is a powerful way to achieve that. That’s what the We Foster Challenge is all about!

By participating in the Challenge this May, you’ll grow your foster base to help keep pets with people and out of the shelter and have a chance at $210,000 in grant prizes. By fostering pets, we also foster community, foster inclusivity and foster love.

The We Foster Challenge is meant to help shelter and rescue organizations create or expand community-based foster programs that will get your neighbors involved and proudly saying, "We foster! So can you!" As we shift towards a more community-centric model of animal welfare, it’s important to get everyone in your area involved. After all, fostering is a job just about anyone can do.

To help you prepare, we will be sharing lots of resources and we will be hosting four informative Huddles. (See more information below.)

So, let’s embrace foster programs that are inclusive and diverse, put people front and center, and help pets from ever having to enter the shelter at all. Whether it’s a temporary foster care program for hospitalized patients, translating your fostering materials into another language or simply recruiting more foster caregivers, we can help foster programs to grow and thrive this spring.

Registration for the Challenge has Closed

To help prepare for this Challenge, we have loads of resources available and will host collaborative Huddles, in which experts will focus on each welcoming practice and how they implemented them at their own organization.

Challenge Details:

The goal of the We Foster Challenge is to incorporate one or more of the following practices during the 30-day challenge period. The We Foster Challenge invites animal shelter and rescue organizations to:

  • Embrace foster programs as a foundation for a community-centric approach to keeping people and pets together.
  • Develop or expand foster programs that put people front and center and lead to positive outcomes much faster.
  • Create and amplify community-based foster programs that are employed throughout your community so that pets never enter a shelter at all.
  • View a list of practices and examples.

Important Dates:

  • Registration period: February 28 - March 7, 2022
  • Prep period (including Huddles): April 1 - 30, 2022
  • Challenge period: May 1 - 31, 2022
  • Participation Reports Due: June 14, 2022
  • Final Report (Zoom Huddle): September 2022

To be considered to PARTICIPATE in this Challenge, your organization must:

  • Be a U.S.-based government animal shelter or 501c3 shelter or rescue organization focused on dogs and/or cats.
  • Be an active participant in Shelter Animals Count, if applicable to your organization (If you’re awarded a grant prize from this Challenge, you agree to join the Maddie’s Fund Coalition in Shelter Animals Count.)
  • Be current on all grant reporting for any prior Maddie’s Fund grants.
  • Register for the Challenge by submitting a complete application through the Maddie’s Fund Grants Portal. You’ll be notified by March 25, 2022 if you meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the Challenge.
  • Recommended but not required: participation in Maddie's® Million Pet Challenge, Maddie’s® Pet Forum, Maddie’s® University, and Best Friends Pet Lifesaving Dashboard.

To be considered for an AWARD from this Challenge, your organization must:

  • Meet the requirements above.
  • Submit the Participation Report (due Tuesday, June 14, 2022 by 5pm PST). Find a sample of this report here. Please note, this sample is provided for reference only and questions are subject to change.

Additionally, if you are selected as an award winner from this Challenge, there’s a final report via Zoom to be scheduled for October 2022. Find a sample of this report here. Please note, this sample is provided for reference only and questions are subject to change.

If you have any questions about this application or this Challenge, please contact Maddie’s Fund at 925.310.5450 or Please note that our call/email volume is very high during application cycles, and our response time may be as high as 48 hours. We appreciate your patience.


Prizes will be determined based on the participation reports that we receive.

Maddie’s Fund, Michelson Found Animal Foundation and Cuddly

  • $210,000 in grant prizes. Each participating organization will be eligible for up to $10,000 in grants.


  • Adoptimize wants to help your organization recognize and celebrate your top fosters. We will print and ship custom pet portrait mugs for EVERY participating organization’s top three fosters in the month of May, for free!

The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

Greater Good Charities

  • Greater Good Charities (GGC) will award a total of 10 individual shelters with a $1,000 grant value (total of $10,000) of in-kind animal care products ranging from, but not limited to, blankets, bowls, leashes, collars, cat/dog enrichment and treats. Organizations must comply with GGC criteria for award in order to be eligible. In addition, they will supply a truck of food/litter/hard goods to an organization that does not currently have a feeding contract with any major company and that is capable of receiving, storing, and/or distributing a full truck of product. The truck can have dog/cat food, litter and/or animal care supplies.

National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA)

  • Scholarship funds for the online ACO Certification
  • One year - Agency Membership for an agency
  • One agency/organization selected will be featured in the Spring 2022 NACA Animal Care and Control News Magazine with a feature article!


Browse our growing Foster Practices resources from Challenge partners, organized by category.


Starting April 6 - 27, every Wednesday at 11am PT/2pm ET, there will be a 60-minute Zoom Huddle. The topics coincide with the welcoming practices.

You only have to register once to sign up for all of the huddles. Weekly email reminders will be sent out with that week’s discussions. We look forward to seeing you!


Join the We Foster Challenge Group on Maddie’s® Pet Forum!

By participating in the We Foster Challenge, you may also receive email communications from collaborating partners with resources and information relevant to the Challenge.

Get Social!

Please feel free to share the We Foster Challenge through your organization's communication channels. To save, right-click the image and 'save image as' to your computer. Follow and use #WeFosterChallenge with your posts so we can see and share your amazing work!

Challenge Partners