CHARIS YOUTH RANCH HOME OF NEW LIFE THOROUGHBREDS

a sanctuary for kids and horses

aka Charis Youth Ranch   |   Laporte, CO   |  www.charisyouthranch.org

Mission

Charis Youth Ranch is a sanctuary for kids and horses. Our vision is to create a world where horses are not thrown away, but valued as ambassadors of hope and healing to kids who need unconditional love and acceptance.

Ruling year info

2014

Founder and CEO

Ms. Tracy Cookman

Main address

Po Box 1074

Laporte, CO 80535 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-4255943

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 2019, we worked to address two needs. One is organizationally; to have solid management over the ranch to ensure best practices are observed in caring for the horses and optimum availability to the youth we serve through our volunteer staff. A second need we are working to address is the need for a dedicated fundraiser/event planner. At this time, this position is being filled by the leader and a senior volunteer. We experienced a lot of growth in 2020 and 2021. Our programs grew to serve more youth in a new leadership program. We were able to be more intentional about providing excellent care to our rescued horses. We found homes for 7 rescued horses in 2021. The leader and senior volunteer are still the lead fundraisers. In 2021, we secured regular funding through a new donor partner. Additionally, we were able to implement a new youth program which has provided a stream of income to supplement our donations and grants.

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?

New Life Leadership Program

The New Life Leadership Program is a 12 month program running from January through December each year for kids ages 9-18. The peak of the program consists of an eight week Equestrian Leadership Program conducted from mid-June through the first week in August. The kids will participate in an age appropriate leadership-themed instruction, a chore for the ranch, horse time and finally journaling to reflect on what the day held.

The horses along with the instructors shall be their teachers, helping them to learn Worthy Leadership also known as Servant Leadership. Some traits of worthy leadership are putting others before yourself, humility, courage, patience, kindness, compassion and clear boundaries.

Population(s) Served

This group program is for at-risk teens ages 13-18. We collaborate with local non-profits serving kids, rehabilitation centers, church groups, and individual families. Group sizes range from 2-12 kids. We tailor our sessions to the groups’ needs while addressing each member as an individual. Our focus is safety, teaching horsemanship skills, and providing a non-judgmental,, grace filled environment which fosters open communication. The lessons promote character building and strengthen relational skills. The telling of the horses' rescue stories to our youth can be very impactful as they often mirror some aspect of the youths' traumas or wounds. On this common ground is where connection is made and healing can begin. Kids in this program absolutely love it!

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Adolescents

This program is for kids who wish to volunteer at the ranch but are under 18 years of age. The group provides adult oversight as the kids volunteer on the ranch, such as for a feeding shift. There is scheduled riding instruction as well as a leadership and community outreach component. The kids are required to create and execute a fundraiser specific to their program. This teaches the value of teamwork, leadership and community outreach as they learn what it takes to support the horses they love as well as the ranch.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Adolescents

This is the horse rescue program at Charis Youth Ranch. We emphasize rescue of off the track thoroughbreds, but will take in other breeds as well. Our horses come from all over the country and locally. They are rescued from vulnerable places or surrendered to us by their caring owners. Whether they have physical, behavioral or emotional wounds, we rehabilitate them, retrain them and use them in programs for our at-risk youth. The telling of the horses' rescue stories to our youth can be very impactful as they often mirror some aspect of the childrens' traumas or wounds. On this common ground is where connection is made and healing can begin.

Population(s) Served
Adults


Located on a beautiful horse rescue ranch in Fort Collins Colorado this is like no day camp you have encountered before! Kids ages 5-10 will spend 4 days with us playing games, meeting rescued horses, and hearing about Jesus, the ultimate rescuer. This fast paced, fun, bible camp will take place in the sunshine and fresh air following all local safety regulations and health orders. Our camp is church sponsored by Charis Youth Ranch and Wild Hope Ministries.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth
At-risk youth
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Business Partner of the Month 2014

The Matthews House

Larimer County Award 2016

The Group Publishing

Sustainability Award 2018

The Group Publishing

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of animals with freedom from hunger and thirst

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

New Life Thoroughbreds

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This includes the total number of horses rescued who remain in our care or are rehomed each year.

Number of animals with freedom from discomfort

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

New Life Thoroughbreds

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This number represents the total number of horses rescued who are in our care or rehomed.

Number of children who have the ability to understand and comprehend communication

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Junior Volunteers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These numbers are inclusive of all youth programs.

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric relates to all youth programs.

Number of animals rescued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

New Life Thoroughbreds

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers are in addition to the 20-24 current rescue residents who receive life long sanctuary.

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.

Charis Youth Ranch’s mission is to provide a sanctuary for kids and horses. We are a youth ranch and horse rescue located in Fort Collins, Colorado, which serves at-risk youth ages 5-18 in our community through Equine Assisted Learning programs.
Charis Youth Ranch is a safe haven for horses to heal and rehabilitate. We currently have 15 horses who come from all walks of life, from all over the country. Our horses are rescued from the slaughter pipeline. We have racehorses from off the track, auction horses purchased to save from the kill buyer as well as owner surrenders seeking a safe retirement.
Once the horses are in our care, we evaluate and rehabilitate them for use in our youth programs. Many horses will live their lives in sanctuary at the ranch. Occasionally, we adopt out to approved homes when there is a perfect match.
Charis Youth Ranch provides several different youth programs. The Rescue Ranch Bible Camp is a summer program for children ages 4-11 to experience the fun of the ranch while learning about Jesus and horses.
The Triumph Youth Program is for at-risk teens ages 13-18. This is a structured program lasting 10 weeks, specifically created for teens dealing with trauma, abuse, neglect, drug abuse, abandonment, etc.
The Junior Volunteer Program is for teen girls ages 12-18 who love horses and want to learn more about horses and the ranch. They learn more intensive horsemanship, volunteerism and community outreach. This program runs periodically throughout the year as weather permits.
Our goal for the kids who participate in our programs is to know their worth and value, know they are loved. Through learning horsemanship skills, connecting with our equine partners, they gain self confidence, responsibility, stewardship and pride in accomplishment. By working with the horses, the kids also learn leadership. Horses give respect only when it is earned and trust only when one has shown him or herself to be a worthy leader.
One important and unique aspect of our program is that we share our horses' redemption stories. We tell why we rescued each horse, what his/her story is, why he/she was thrown away (if we know) and why we choose to value each one. We hope each youth will identify with the horses' stories in one way or another and know that as much as we value and love our horses no matter what their challenges or past may be, we love and value each child or youth more. Because we can demonstrate that we have loved the unloved, it opens the door for them to believe that we love them too. We believe that when a child or youth knows he or she is loved and accepted unconditionally, it lays the groundwork for them to continue to build healthy lives.

We currently provide several Equine Assisted Learning programs to at-risk youth in our community. We serve kids ages 5-18 and use our rescued horses in the programs. A goal is to increase horsemanship learning opportunities to kids as well as our volunteers. We also endeavor to increase learning and healing opportunities for our rescued horses and thus add value and purpose to their lives.
Our programs and volunteer opportunities invite the community to participate in what we are doing to serve kids and horses.

Our ranch is supported by 17 volunteers who daily feed and care for our 15 horses, maintain the property and participate in leading and teaching the youth in our programs.
We have 9 plus volunteers committed to conducting the Rescue Ranch Bible Camp each summer which serves 66+ kids ages 4-11 for nine, three hour sessions in June, July and August.
3 volunteers plus an outside instructor oversee the Junior Volunteer Program each summer. This program is 10 weeks long in the summer as well as during spring and fall as weather permits.
We are a similar ministry of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch located in Bend, Oregon.

Over the last 12 years, we have rescued 55 horses and either use them in our youth programs, give them sanctuary for life or have placed them in safe, adoptive homes. We began our youth programs 12 years ago with one or two individual sessions per month and by providing quarterly clinics for The Matthews House.
We provided a yearly program for The Matthews House and have provided for 6 years consecutively and 8-10 week summer program for teen residents at Turning Point Youth and Family Development. The staff at Turning Point saw such improvement in the kids' demeanor and attitude after attending our program twice a week all summer, that they asked us to extend the program through fall, which we did.
Since 2018, we grew our community outreach through our youth programs and open house opportunities. Our Harvest Festival each year draws the public to our ranch for games and fun and also to learn about how we serve the community. We grew mentorship of community youth in our Junior Volunteer program. Our goal was and is to teach improved communication skills and leadership as we engage our local community through volunteerism, sponsored horse clinics and events. This has increased awareness in the community of who we are, while inviting them to participate in what we do.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • 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 make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, other,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

CHARIS YOUTH RANCH HOME OF NEW LIFE THOROUGHBREDS
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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CHARIS YOUTH RANCH HOME OF NEW LIFE THOROUGHBREDS

Board of directors
as of 03/11/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Tracy Cookman

Charis Youth Ranch

Term: 2014 -

Tracy Cookman

Charis Youth Ranch and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Vicky Rath

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Emily Lewis

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 ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/10/2022

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:

Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data