A two year waiting list! That was the challenge that Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center faced in late 2005.
Little Bit provides physical and occupational therapy using the movements of a horse, as well as therapeutic and adaptive riding programs for children and adults for people with special needs. Founded in 1976 with just two horses and four riders, Little Bit has grown to become the largest therapeutic riding program in the United States.
Hampered by the size of their site, Little Bit engaged Alford Group to conduct a study to evaluate the feasibility of raising funds to purchase land and build a new campus. Alford Group conducted extensive interviews with donors and supporters of the organization, testing key messages for the campaign and donor propensity to give to the campaign’s priorities. Given Little Bit’s internal readiness and the level of excitement and willingness to support the campaign among interviewees, we recommended that Little Bit move forward with the campaign. Alford Group again partnered with Little Bit as the $11 million Extraordinary Strides · Transforming Lives Campaign was launched.
Early in the campaign effort, Alford Group engaged staff and board members in establishing a strong campaign leadership group. The Campaign Cabinet took ownership of the campaign, participating in cultivation and solicitation training, connecting Little Bit to potential donors, and making asks of the right people at the right time. These dedicated volunteers and staff leaders achieved remarkable results throughout the campaign, including a $3 million leadership gift that enabled Little Bit to purchase its ideal 17 acre property. Alford Group worked with Little Bit to structure another $1 million gift from a couple who had never considered themselves as million dollar donors. Throughout the campaign, we offered coaching, guidance, strategies and created unique campaign tools including gift tables, timelines, and agendas to keep the campaign moving forward.
Together Alford Group and Little Bit’s dedicated volunteer leaders and staff persevered during the economic downturn and the dream was realized. In March, 2013, Little Bit moved into its brand new home — Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center Dunmire Stables in Redmond, Washington. Today, Little Bit is taking the first critical step towards realizing their ultimate dream – doubling capacity and reducing their waiting list so that many more have the opportunity to benefit from Little Bit’s unique and successful services.