SPIRIT OPEN EQUESTRIAN PROGRAM, Inc.

aka No   |   Great Falls, VA   |  www.spiritequestrian.org

Mission

The Spirit mission is to provide therapy, learning and improvement of life skills, and healing of the body, mind and spirit - using Equine-Assisted Activities. Spirit's goal is to build a self-sustainable program and offer our services to individuals of all ages and levels of ability in our Northern Virginia community. We envision providing an opportunity for public and private schools, local governments, and rehabilitation and assisted living organizations to benefit from a safe and wide range of Equine Assisted Activities, Therapeutic Riding, and Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning.

Notes from the nonprofit

Spirit Purchases Sully Farm This piece of land is one of the few available parcels of farmland remaining in rapidly growing and developing Fairfax County. This purchase is the first step on a long road to realizing our dream of a permanent home for Spirit Open Equestrian Program in the NOVA community. It will be our legacy and the legacy of each of you who support us to provide an affordable and effective state-of-the-art therapeutic riding and learning program on the last farmland in our area. We welcome your support.

Ruling year info

2007

Founder, CEO, and Executive Director

Mrs. Davorka Suvak

Presdent, Board of Directors

Mr. Robert Mennell

Main address

PO Box 1342 Attn: Dada Suvak

Great Falls, VA 22066 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-8492941

NTEE code info

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SPIRIT operates from rented land. We have had to relocate several times as owners have raised rent or sold land to developers. As the region grows, farmland in Fairfax County is fast disappearing. As Metro Rail is extended to Dulles Airport, Fairfax County is adding scores of office, retail, and residential facilities in advance of anticipated growth. We need to purchase a permanent home for Spirit before all available land is taken up by new development. A permanent facility means that Spirit will never again be forced to find a new home due to development (as happened in 2017). It means that we can build a state-of-the art facility tailored for our clients, stable and pasture our horses onsite, offer new/expanded programs, add educational spaces,and train new horses and instructors. Owning our own land ensures that Spirit stays in Fairfax County for the clients who depend on us.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic riding is an equine assisted activity that contributes positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being of individuals with special needs. Therapeutic riding can improve balance, muscle tone, gross and fine motor skills, focusing skills, communication skills, social skills, and self-confidence.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Veterans

EAA offers a wide variety of activities that can be formatted as group or individual workshop or training, and can be taught through clinics. This term covers a wide range of experiential learning, coaching, and life skills training.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Equine Assisted Learning is available for individuals or groups. Students are taught the very basics of horseback riding and equine care. A Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, in collaboration with parents, guardians, and/or teachers, creates individually tailored Equine Assisted Activities, mounted and unmounted, in order to develop and improve certain academic or basic life skills, such as self-control, empathy, responsibility, leadership skills, focusing skills, teamwork skills, general communication, and social skills. We use a farm setting to motivate and develop ethic and work skills for some clients. Those participants, after accomplished training process serve as assistants, mentors, or volunteers during Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) sessions

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Veterans

Equine Assisted Therapies include a licensed therapist, a therapeutic riding instructor, or an equine specialist offering therapeutic processes created through interactions of participants with horses. These activities may be mounted or unmounted. EAT programs include hippo-therapy and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).

Population(s) Served
People with psychosocial disabilities
Veterans

Where we work

Accreditations

National Board for Certified Counselors - approved for Continuing Education Credit Instruction 2014

Awards

Recognized as Great Non-Profit 2019

Great Non-Profits

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Hours of programing delivered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of service hours has been considered as the best metric of work for program and organizations as SPIRIT.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. SPIRIT's goal is to build self-sustainable programs and services in our Northern Virginia community for individuals of all ages and levels of ability. Our vision is to provide an opportunity for public and private schools, local government, and rehabilitation and assisted living organizations to experience the healing and therapeutic range of Equine Assisted Activities, Therapeutic Riding, Equine Assisted Therapy, and Equine Assisted Learning.

1. Create a capital campaign to raise funds to purchase land and to ensure a permanent home for SPIRIT in Northern Virginia. SPIRIT will no longer have to rent land that could be sold at any time.
In 2018, SPIRIT Initiated a "Home for SPIRIT" capital campaign to purchased an affordable property that cannot be subdivided for development. A generous donation from one of the SPIRIT Directors added to the campaign and enabled SPIRIT to complete the down payment on the property, to be named "Sully Farm." Plans for building the farm and obtaining the additional funding required for county-required surveys and property development have begun. SPIRIT has a permanent home now and is no longer under threat of losing its space to development.

2. Use reserves to hire highly qualified and talented instructors and therapists to generate potential for expansion of our program services.

3. Maintain competitive salaries for top-notch program staff.

4. Stabilize budget and repay reserves as revenues increase.

5. Expand services further with additional revenue.

6. Maintain a high quality of service and staff throughout the expansion and creation of our permanent home.

SPIRIT's leader, Dada Suvak, has a strong vision, an international reputation, and over three decades of experience with horses, teaching, and management. She is totally committed to the SPIRIT mission and her experience makes SPIRIT capable of fast and innovative growth.
SPIRIT is located near the equestrian facilities of Frying Pan Farm Park, 30 min from Washington, DC. In this location, SPIRIT can offer its services to a growing urban area with a population (children, youth, and adults with all level of abilities/special needs) that can benefit from SPIRIT's services.
SPIRIT is known for its transparency, excellent management, and well-earned reputation for service. The public credits SPIRIT for caring and for producing positive results for its clients. The SPIRIT social network is spreading an awareness of the value of Equine Assisted Activities and this awareness is helping to build strong community support for the SPIRIT mission. SPIRIT has a large and supportive local volunteer and donor base committed to continuing SPIRIT's activities in the community.

Accomplishments to Date:
1. SPIRIT's program has grown from a one-horse backyard dream (2007) to become the most visible urban Equine Assisted Activity (Therapy and Learning) program in Fairfax County.

2. SPIRIT has developed a well-maintained partnership with the Fairfax County government, which has resulted in a new contract for SPIRIT to provide the County with equine services until 2020. Our additional contract to provide Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) programs to the County adds new clients yearly.

3. SPIRIT met one of its primary 2017 goals: to purchase a permanent home (Sully Farm) for SPIRIT at the end of 2018.

Plans for the Future:
SPIRIT's plans to develop Sully Farm require several land surveys to satisfy Fairfax County requirements, digging a well, installing a specially designed septic system, and developing the land into a facility with space for offices, stables, lessons and private therapy, education, a horse training area, a pasture, and facilities for horses to rest and recuperate as needed.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Online evaluation form for participants,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Changed strategic plan to include plan for moving equine psychotherapy, veterans, and family programs to a more private location as soon as possible. Current park location is not conducive to the client privacy that these particular programs require.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

SPIRIT OPEN EQUESTRIAN PROGRAM, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

SPIRIT OPEN EQUESTRIAN PROGRAM, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 2/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Robert Mennell

Director Business Development, SCL Group, Inc./Anaxi Solutions/Integrated Systems

Term: 2019 - 2021


Board co-chair

Mrs. Cynda Zurfluh

Global Marketing Manager Software, AG

Term: 2019 - 2021

Louise Peterson

BH Settlement Group and RE/MAX Gateway, Double Eagle Title

Diane Pires

Northrop Grumman/TASC (retired)

Leslie Vernon

Pitney-Bowes (Retired)

Lauren Wong

BIT Systems

Davork Suvak

Founder, Director, CEO SPIRIT Open Equestriin Program

Jennifer Cibula

Parent of Two Therapeutic Riding Students

Chuck Gumas

L3 Harris Technologies, Inc.

Doug Gaibler

CH2M Hill (retired), Parent of SPIRIT Student

Claire Hosker

Federal Government Architect (retired), Parent of EAL Student

Lisa Schwall

General Motors (retired)

Samuel Schwall

Corporate Supply Chair Operations, L3 Harris TechnologiesL3 Harris Technologies

Vesma Montvillo

MAI Capital Management

Werner Dreesen

Patty Sullivan

Fairfax County Department of Social Services (retired)

Werner Dresen

PPD Development, Inc.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/19/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/25/2019

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.