WARRINGTON, Pa. — Special Equestrians had been grappling with the effects of the economic downturn when they received a stroke of good luck; a local band offered to assist them by playing for no charge at a low-cost Beef and Beer Dinner. It was just what the agency needed to draw in a large audience and help to raise over $11,000. “We have to be flexible in our funding strategies, and unfortunately the gala events that nonprofits have relied upon are becoming far more difficult to market,” says Special Equestrians Executive Director Tammy Westney. “We will continue to hold at least one gala each year, but we will also explore the feasibility doing additional, lower cost events as well. The economic environment has changed and we must adjust accordingly.”
“I have not seen a year this bad since 2002, following the terrorist attacks,” says Tracey Dripps, Assistant Executive Director, a fifteen year employee with the organization. “The funding streams at that time had been understandably redirected toward victim support. The current climate has been very difficult to predict.”
Ms. Westney remains optimistic “Nonprofits provide vital services to vulnerable populations. Though people may be giving less, and foundations have fewer funds to grant small agencies, we remain a stable and viable solution to the problems our clients face.”
Special Equestrians, a Forbes Enterprise Award winner, is a 501(c)3 non-profit Therapeutic Riding Program located at 2800 Street Road in Warrington, Pennsylvania. Our mission is to improve the physical, mental, and emotional well being of individuals with disabilities through the equine experience. Founded in 1982 Special Equestrians has grown from a one horse, one rider, one volunteer program to a thriving organization with 9 horses, 17 staff members, and over 100 volunteers serving 125 children and adults with emotional, mental and physical disabilities each year.
For more information please call 215-918-1001, or visit our website at www.specialequestrians.org.