ASPCA Equine Fund

Making the Most of Help a Horse Day

It’s been decided: Your group is going to compete for the $25,000 Help a Horse Day grand prize. Now your task is to create and manage your events. Where do you start?

Start with Who

When deciding what events to hold, begin by considering who your target audience is:

  • Potential adopters
  • New volunteers
  • Major donors
  • Community supporters
  • New connections
  • Horse owners

Move to What

What kind of events will draw the audience you want?

  • Potential adopters: Fun shows that show off the skills of your “adoptables,” trainer challenges or demonstrations of what they know
  • New volunteers: Open houses where they can meet the rescued and be moved by their stories, a work day or a barn raising
  • Major donors: High-ticket, more exclusive events such as a food and wine tasting, awards dinner or art show & live auction
  • Community supporters: Depending on your type of community  it might be a trail ride, restaurant cook-off, local celebrity softball game, bikers ride or tabling at a tack or feed store
  • New connections: Family-friendly events such as carnivals, barbeques, concerts, walkathons—in other words, events not of interest solely to a horse owner
  • Horse owners: Training clinics, educational workshops, used tack sales, gelding & wellness clinics, free services, meet-the-experts fair

Think of When

Help a Horse Day 2017 is on Wednesday, April 26. To be eligible for the Celebration Contest, at least one event must be scheduled to take place between April 21-26, 2017 and registered by April 1, 2017 at 5 p.m. ET. Other events identified as part of the Help a Horse Day Celebration may take place throughout the month of April.

What to hold when will be determined by access to venue, availability of volunteers and when you can draw the biggest crowds. 

Decide the Where

Once the events are chosen, the “where” may be obvious in some case, but may need careful consideration in others.

Will it be more advantageous to hold a fundraiser in the nearest large city or your own small town? Is there a local event you can tap into and become Help a Horse Day at the XYZ Festival? Is it most prudent to stay close to where your event volunteer base and your horses are located?

Finish with How

How many events you hold will be determined by how much time you have and how many volunteers you can engage.  How to meld your mission and stories with the events selected will take careful consideration by organization leadership.

Tips on how to publicize your events can be found in last year's webinar How to Rock the Media for Help a Horse Day 2016.

Also, check resources and downloadable tips sheets on the Help a Horse day page.

To learn about events held by the previous winners of the Help a Horse Day contest, listen to the recorded webinar How to Save Horses through Help a Horse Day 2016.