Through volunteerism and financial support we will make a difference and realize our noble cause of enabling dogs to positively change our world.

Funding Priority dog

The Dogtopia Foundation gives back in the communities where we work.

The Foundation awards grants only under the direction of its Trustees on the basis of our grant guidelines, project merits and availability of funds. We use a comprehensive approach to determine whether our collaboration and investment can add value and will measurably improve the applicant’s impact. Our selection criteria focus on the overall organization, the project being proposed and the project’s likelihood of success.


National Impact grants will be awarded on a regional basis to those organizations committed to creating better awareness, systems improvement and data gathering for evidence-based research and sustainable funding.  We will partner with organizations aligned with our worthy causes and initiatives on a regional basis to make a broader impact.


Community grants will be awarded to those organizations that align with the Foundation’s initiatives and are located in communities where Dogtopia stores are located.




Service Dogs for Veterans

We support programs that positively impact the lives of United States military service members and veterans.  We are committed to funding service dog training (and related research) for military veterans returning home with physical and emotional challenges.


Successful Grantees


Current Pilot Projects


Youth Literacy Programs

We provide support for innovative youth literacy programs and educational initiatives to ensure academic success and bright futures for elementary school students.  As appropriate, those programs incorporating dogs in the programming will be highly favored.


Successful Grantees 

Sit. Stay. Read. 

SitStayRead’s mission is to advance children’s literacy skills using an engaging curriculum, certified dogs, and dedicated volunteers. In 2013 SitStayRead partnered with the Department of School Psychology at Loyola University Chicago to create an evaluation tool that measured student achievement in reading fluency and comprehension. The study found that students in SitStayRead developed fluency at a rate 47.8% greater than their non-participating peers.

Dogtopia was proud to assist in SitStayRead’s 2017, 2018, and 2019 Keep Reading Celebration. We are excited to sponsor Hazels’s Happy Home,  a book written by second graders participating in the SitStayRead program. Coming Fall 2020.



Employment Programs for Adults with Autism

We provide support for employment programs for adults with autism.  Our aim is that through quality employment programs, individuals with autism will experience a higher quality of life and increased self-determination through their success at work.  To help guide Dogtopia daycare centers in hiring adults with autism, the Dogtopia Foundation released an Autism Employment Guide; providing pathways and helpful tools that will lead to successful employment. Read more here.

We also support entrepreneurial ventures (a preference for dog-related ventures) for adults with autism.

Criteria range from general to those specific to each applicant; they include:

  • Impact of the organization and its programs
  • Record of developing new work
  • Other significant contributions to the field
  • Administrative strength
  • Ability to generate both earned and contributed income
  • Fiscal stability

The Foundation does not:
(1)  give or lend money for personal aid to individuals (sometimes referred to as cash grants),
(2)  offer direct fellowships outside our core initiative work, or,
(3)  except in rare cases, provide general institutional funding, contribute to endowments, or support building or operating funds