TEAD Restarts Programs with a New Program Model and Business Plan


March 18, 2016

Mt. Hope, ON

The Therapeutic Association for the Disabled (TEAD) Board of Directors and senior staff are delighted to re-open our programs after a brief pause where we accomplished a thorough review of our programs, structure and finances.  Horses are returning the first week of April and the lesson schedule will resume April 25, 2016.

In October 2015 we made the difficult decision to pause all programming in December in order to conduct a thorough review.  We realized that TEAD was not sustainable in our prior model and as a result have made significant adjustments.  The review included an extensive environmental scan to learn best practices from our own program and other therapeutic riding programs that have been sustainable and successful over many years and also from those that have not.

Our goals going forward are to continue to deliver services that meet client needs, are of high quality but are also cost-effective and affordable.  We realized that the previous program had grown beyond its ability to be cost effective so we have scaled the program down to focus on a full program of lessons for riders.  We also realized that our funding model, including fundraising, was inadequate to meet program needs.  In response we have made the decision to:

  • Offer three season riding programs only (Spring, Summer, Fall). The winter riding session is always under-subscribed
  • In addition to volunteer training and hosting a gala event, the winter season will be for unmounted programs e.g. horsemanship
  • To continue to temporarily foster our horses during the winter.  This has been very successful over the past winter.  The horses have been in excellent homes at a significant cost savings to TEAD.
  • Focus on our core commitment which is to provide group and individual lessons to riders with disabilities.  If we extend our programming to other areas, e.g. Para sports training, we will ensure that these are on a cost recovery basis.
  • Keep riding fees at current levels to ensure accessibility of the program while finding sponsorships for riders who would otherwise not be able to participate.
  • Maintain a tight operational budget.
  • Forgo an Executive Director position in favour of a “matrix model” of leadership and management that has our three key senior staff collectively operating the organization and reporting to the Board.
  • Keep our staff focused on programs rather than fundraising.  The Board and its committees will take responsibility for annual fundraising.   In the past the Executive Director has been responsible for organizing fundraising.  In the new management structure staff will be tasked with operations rather than fundraising.
  • Focus on three areas of fundraising:
    • Major/Ongoing Gifts and Sponsorships, including horse sponsorships at $10,000 per horse per year
    • Annual Gala Event:  One annual gala event to fundraise and celebrate our staff, volunteers and donors.
    • Community Engagement/Fundraising: An “engagement” fundraising committee that will focus not only on raising money but also on raising awareness of TEAD.  This would include demonstrations at local events, crowd funding and sponsorship boxes in local businesses.
  • Have all or most of what we need for day to day operations donated in kind for a charitable receipt (e.g. much of the prepared feed for the horses donated in-kind).
  • This does not preclude seeking other donations to TEAD

Going forward TEAD’s budget will be approximately $350,000 annually.  With full ridership we will be able to cover 2/3 of this budget.  That means we will need to raise $120,000 annually through horse sponsorships, gala event and other fundraising activities.  If you wish to donate to TEAD please click the donate bar at the top of this page or contact Dr. Lindsey George.

The Board of Directors of TEAD is looking for additional members.  We are particularly interested in recruiting new directors with legal, business and financial experience.

TEAD is also looking for new volunteers.  Volunteers are a vital part of the program and critical to our success. We need volunteers to help with the riding program (we train you!) and to help with horse care and property maintenance.

TEAD is an inspiring organization to work in so if you think you might be interested let us know!

If you are interested in helping TEAD please contact Dr. Lindsey George at admin@tead.on.ca

Media Contact:

Sabrena Dorris, TEAD Board Member
Phone:  905-667-4848 ext. 105

Ontario Trillium Foundation