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Dressage Foundation launches a new program to teach the Lessons of Fundraising and Giving

Like the bond a rider forms with his horse, enduring relationships between equestrians and donors are key to success. Financial resources should not bar passionate, deserving riders from maximizing their equestrian careers.

No matter what equestrian sport you pursue, the Equestrian Fundraising School is designed to give you the communication, presentation, marketing and financial skills you need to succeed. All students will:

  • Learn the art and techniques of fundraising
  • Improve their presentation and written communication skills
  • Discover the importance of giving back to your sport and community
  • Gain eligibility to apply for special grants from The Dressage Foundation
  • Get help from The Dressage Foundation staff on setting up giving options
  • Receive a fundraising toolkit with personalized stationery, business cards and reference materials

Each course covers a different area critical to successful fundraising. Lessons include information about communication styles and skills, how to give effective and professional presentations, how to ask for money and sponsorships, tax laws and charitable giving strategies, how to identify and approach potential supporters and how to execute fundraising events.

American Dressage News November 2011

Olympian Carol Lavell says: “For most riders, financial support becomes the ultimate hurdle.” John Boomer, newly-retired President and CEO of The Dressage Foundation adds: “Fundraising – it’s needed by most equestrians in all disciplines, the techniques are not now being taught, and who better to do it than The Dressage Foundation whose very business is raising money, managing it, and giving it away.”

During the past two years, the Foundation has been planning, developing and focus-group-testing a program to help equestrians learn about fundraising and giving so they can help themselves to develop monetary support. The result is the “Equestrian Fundraising School – Offering Lessons in Fundraising and Giving” – now ready to welcome its inaugural class of students on January 3, 2012. Karin Reid Offield and John Boomer are the originators and developers of this educational program.

The Equestrian Fundraising School offers a comprehensive curriculum of ideas, techniques, and examples of fundraising and giving. Many of the values and ideas students will learn from the school will be useful for them in aspects of their lives other than just equestrian. A distinguished national “been-there-done-that” faculty will teach the courses. Lessons will be delivered through convenient webinars online.

Graduates will gain solid “how-to” fundraising/giving knowledge, a diploma, and a packet of personalized printed stationery to get fundraising activity underway. Alumni will also have the opportunity to apply for grants and scholarships from a special Fund at The Dressage Foundation, built from the accrued student tuition money. “A special bonus offered by the school will be for students to secure personal advice and guidance from Foundation staff and its professional advisors on how to plan, prepare and present proposals to donor prospects,” said Melissa Filipi, Foundation Development Director.

“The Equestrian Fundraising School will be invaluable to equestrians in all disciplines of horse sport – not just dressage – and to riders at all levels from the grass roots to high performance. English-speaking international students are welcome. During the development of the school, interest has been shown widely from equestrian students of all ages,” said Karin Reid Offield.

Details about the Equestrian Fundraising School can be found on The Dressage Foundation website, (full details available November 1). You will find information about the School, the curriculum, the Lesson subjects, the faculty members, webinar mechanics on how you participate, the schedule and timing of Lessons, and tuition costs. For questions, contact the Foundation’s Administrative “Deans,” Melissa Filipi at 402.434.8586 or and Jenny Johnson 402.434.8585 or

The Dressage Foundation believes the Equestrian Fundraising School will equip students to “Leap the Ultimate Hurdle.”