Therapeutic riding facilities have different needs for sponsorships than do general horse shows or clinics. Support is needed for specific and general equipment and the ongoing maintenance of lesson horses. That means sponsorship can be critical to the facility’s survival and success.
Here are some tips for these more specific therapeutic riding facility sponsorships.
Create sponsorship packages: Put a value on what is needed and create sponsorship tiers. For example, a Gold sponsor might be valued at $5,000, and that might cover feed for one horse for a specific period of time. A silver sponsor might provide $3,000, and that could be earmarked for veterinary and farrier care for a specific number of horses for half of a year. A bronze sponsor might pay $1,500, which is used to fund new saddle pads for the entire barn.
Identify potential sponsors: Make a list of all the companies you’d like to receive support from and start there. If the barn of 12 horses need new saddle pads, approach the local tack store or a manufacturer of saddle pads to start.
Go local: National companies often have bigger budgets for donations and sponsorships. And most of those large companies have local sales reps with budgets. So you need to know who they are and let them know about your program. Don’t exclude smaller, local, family-owned businesses. They often have strong ties to the community and support local projects when possible.
Think outside the box: It’s natural to think of horse-related businesses first. Therapeutic riding facilities are uniquely positioned to leverage relationships with other industries. A client with a relative who works at a bank might be able to introduce you to a manager who is interested in charitable work. A dentist whose child rides in your program might step up for a sponsorship. The opportunities are endless when you are creative.
Be polite and professional: Sponsorships are all about relationships. The more courteous and professional your transactions, the better your chances of success. Even when the answer is no, a positive interaction opens doors for future opportunities.