& strategy

case study

microdocumentary for nonprofit fundraising event

case study

microdocumentary for nonprofit fundraising event

The Therapeutic Riding Institute (TRI) has been transforming lives through equine assisted services since 1973, providing adaptive horseback riding, equine assisted learning, and unmounted counseling services. Their annual gala is their single largest fundraising activity and they turned to ruef to create a new feature video to move and inspire their guests during the event. This wasn’t the first time TRI had used a video in their appeal to donors, but this year was the 50th anniversary of the organization and they wanted to create something exceptional.


our process

The Therapeutic Riding Institute has a reputation of extraordinary contribution to the Dayton community and the ruef team was excited to be involved in this project. The team kicked things off with a visit to the their gorgeous facilities to get a thorough introduction to their history, mission, and operations, as well as to discuss some of the goals of the video. Touring the grounds of TRI’s twenty acre working horse farm, the team was flooded with ideas for interesting angles, beautiful backdrops, and epic cinematic shots.

ruef proposed a “microdocumentary” video that was longer than what might typically be used online. The planned video would require several interviews, shots of the TRI team in action, and lots of “B roll” footage. This also marked the first time ruef would be working with four-legged talent. With so much in the works, multiple days of on location filming would be needed.

ruef knew the final video would need to be engaging, sincere, and most importantly, effective at inspiring action. Getting the right tone and pacing and hitting all the right emotional notes meant extensive hours in the editing room after all the filming was complete.

Fully tacked brown horse with white patch on muzzle


Everything about this project was rewarding. Collaborating with the people of the Therapeutic Riding Institute, from managers, to volunteers, to clients, was a joy. The beautiful farm setting and stunning animals made for the perfect opportunity to showcase the technical capabilities of ruef’s cameras. The more than worthy cause made for a passion filled project with more than a few tears shed, at the gala and in the editing room. The fundraiser was a resounding success and the TRI team gave a lot of credit to the effectiveness of the video presentation. This project will forever live as a “proud moment” in the ruef story.

"Thank you for standing by our side and being a driving force behind our success. Your video and your support has made a profound impact on the work we do."

- Shawn, Therapeutic Riding Institute

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