Technology taking us from a Trot to a Gallop!

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Horses Help Therapuetic Riding Center
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Horses Help is a premier accredited therapeutic and recreational agency that serves the special needs population by providing activities to empower them to break through physical, cognitive and emotional barriers using a unique collaboration of horses and people within Arizona's "Valley of the Sun".

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Technology Taking us from a Trot to a Gallop!

Horse Help Therapeutic Riding Center for disabled children and adults seemed to be pulling a cart with a horse for 18 years with regard to technology. The organization was growing and communication was getting to be a problem. With only 3 full time staff, 250 volunteers a week and 150 special needs riders, it was a necessity to fix the issue. The snail mail format and flyer handouts were not only costly, but inconsistent. We had 2 computers on dialup with operating platforms of windows 98 and 95. Managing our large volunteer pool through telephone and word of mouth communication was something short of ineffective. Using our friends at N Power we were able to do a solid technology assessment. The result was the procurement of 5 refurbished computers, all with Microsoft xp operating systems and software delivered to us by Tech Soup and Microsoft. We moved forward with our high speed internet application and began to build the systems and processes necessary to communicate in a more professional manner with our riders, volunteers and donor bases. With the new software and operating systems, we were able to accomplish the following:

· Adding an efficient software package platform to manage our donor and organizational information.

· Added Constant Contact to create wonderful newsletters and upcoming events.

· Added our online accounting platform to better manage our business and show transparency.

· Re constructed our Website, so that we could manage the site ourselves with regular updates and interesting articles.

· Create the professional templates in excel, word, PowerPoint and publisher to create professional presentations about our organization.

· Added a Server and Microsoft software so that we had the ability to share important information with our board of directors and staff efficiently and effectively.

Several years later the impact and transformation of our organization has been amazing. Here are a few of the results:

· Improved our communication with our Board of Directors which gave us the ability to recruit board members based on our improved professional communication.

· Improved volunteer retention by 25% through better communication, timely recognition and feedback.

· Improved our delivery of important documents for our rider applications, volunteer applications, and new opportunities to RSVP for our fundraising events which can be directly accessed from our website.

· Last month the average person visiting our website and browsing through our pages returned an amazing 4742 pages read. This has a direct relationship with our improved ability to create interesting articles and pictures telling the story about Horses Help.

· This traffic relates to our increased numbers of volunteers coming to the center. This year we trained over 700 new volunteers who directly participate in our programs and special events.

· Expanded Programs: With our new technological abilities, we have introduced 4 new important community programs.

o Our Freedom Riders program, dedicated to our injured military personnel who have connected with our center and are experiencing a mutually beneficial partnership with our therapy horses.

o We have become a Special Olympics Arizona Equestrian Center and will host our first Arizona State show this June.

o We have also injected a go green program collaborative effort with “Home Grown Solutions” where our center is now being used to promote an educational component for renewable resource applications using manure composting, rainwater collection, and solar applications. This will become an “Urban Farm Model” for others to follow.

o We reconstructed our tack room into an education room for use with our school students coming from Gateway Academy, a high functioning Autism Spectrum group with Aspergers Syndrome. These students are working on improving their socialization skills in a very unique equine curriculum.

Without the tremendous resources provided to us through our friends at Tech Soup and Microsoft, Horses Help would not have been able to reach communication competency and create the pathway for our sustainability.

Submission Category
Transformations to Maximize Impact
Project Image
Supporting Work Files