Minis & Friends

Little Horses, Big Hearts

aka Minis and Friends   |   Austin, TX   |  https://www.minisandfriends.org

Mission

To provide the children, youth and elders in our community faced with special needs and circumstances with a unique equine experience that will lift their spirits and bring hope and healing into their lives.

Notes from the nonprofit

Minis and Friends have been awarded Great Non-Profit status with Family and Children since 2011. We are excited that in 2019, we are the #2 non-profit in Austin for Volunteering. Please check our page - http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/minis-and-friends We are now in our 13th year and going strong. The 12 little horse therapists continue their outreach to not only children but to adults in rehab, seniors, intellectually challenged, memory disorders, stress and emotions during semester tests and more. Read more about us at ATX Woman online “Small Horses, Big Hearts: Minis and Friends"; Austinot “Minis and Friends Celebrate Little Horses With Big Hearts", Reporting Texas “These Tiny Horses Go to Hospital", Recognize Good “Legend-Gil Iwanski" August 2015, “5 Who Care" KVUE Outstanding Community Service Award, April 2014 We also work with the University of Texas at Austin, to assist their students in excellence as they gain their knowledge of non-profits and how they work.

Ruling year info

2007

Co-Founder/Executive Director

Sally Iwanski

Co-Founder/Board Treasurer

Ellen Wetherington

Main address

2603 Jones Rd. Apt. 230

Austin, TX 78745 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

84-1722307

NTEE code info

Animal Related Activities N.E.C. (D99)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Patient Services - Entertainment, Recreation (E86)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Minis Out, Project Blanket

Minis and Friends tailor each visit we do to the needs of the children we are visiting.  Visits may include grooming, petting, hugging, walking a mini with a mini-handler, etc.  Dependent on the need - we may also work with the medical staff, teachers or therapists at the facility to open closed doors (Pet therapy has a recognized reputation for this success):

Visiting Families with Children with Mental and Physical Disabilities

Bringing Minis to Children and Youth Experiencing Difficulties and Emotional Distress

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

This Progam is aimed to assist with an Equine Guided Interaction moment to children, youth and families that life's circumstances have created a special need.  Minis and Friends bring miniature horses to this group and provides them with specially tailored activities depending on their needs.

Minis Out, Moving On:

Bringing Minis to Children, Youth and Young Adults in Transition

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

We have seen incredible differences in our elders with dementia and Alzheimer's after a visit by the miniature horses.  Memories of the family long gone, better mobility and found remembrances have been witnessed and reported to us after a visit.

* Visiting Elders/Dependent Adults in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
*  Bringing Minis to Elders dealing with Dementia and Alzheimers’s

Population(s) Served
Seniors

Minis and Friends support other non-profits by bringing the miniature horses to their special events and to community events to educate the public about miniature horses! They are people magnets! The little horses provide to everyone they meet big smiles and often a photo of a "Mini and Me" to take home for a reminder of that special day.

Population(s) Served
Adults

This program is focused on children between 1st & 2nd grade to help promote literacy using specially created books about the Minis and Friends miniatures.

A few of the key program elements are:
* Aimed at 1st-2nd grade children to help promote literacy
* Aimed at the children we visit at Shelters for Abused and Neglected Kids
* Libraries, residential facilities and treatment centers will benefit

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Volunteer Group of the Year 2012

Marbridge

"Five Who Care" 2014

KVUE TV

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.

* Increase our weekend visits to in 2019 in a 3 county area - Eanes, Hays, and Travis County (Texas)
* Mini Boot Camp - update and extend dates for this workshop. It is 4-intensive days to teach others who own miniature horses that want to learn about Equine Guided Interactions (EGI) which is our theory in working in the community with special needs people and to learn all about start-up and the maintenance of a small 501c3 non-profit. To date, we have had 11 start-ups that all became 501c3s and are still running strong!
* Visit with our Texas like organizations and help them to build stronger organizations. We have a special Facebook group for all of our Mini Boot Camp attendees to help whenever help is needed.
* Continue to look for property in south/southeast Austin to build a permanent location for Minis and Friends which will allow the public to come to us as well as we go to them.
*We want to work this year with First Responders and their families. The little horse therapists are dynamic in reducing stress and bringing quiet, calm and healing to those that need it most.

Financials

Minis & Friends
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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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Minis & Friends

Board of directors
as of 10/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Sally Iwanski

Minis and Friends

Term: 2007 - 2020


Board co-chair

Ellen Wetherington

Minis and Friends

Term: 2007 - 2020

Sally Iwanski

Minis and Friends

Ellen Wetherington

Minis and Friends

Sherry Montoya

Minis and Friends

Julia Dworschack

Minis and Friends

Deborah Davis

Minis and Friends

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? No
  • 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? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No