Go for the Grant

No matter the success of your sales and marketing, there may be times when the services you offer cannot be paid for. You may love teaching yoga classes for local students who have trouble paying attention, for example, but a broke school system can’t afford to pay for it. You can choose to do the program as seva (service) to your community, or take a deep pay cut so you can continue to contribute. There’s another option. Grants. If you want to be of service and it’s clear that the population you’ll be serving can’t afford it, consider additional third party funding by applying for grants. There are some yoga associations that provide grants for yoga outreach to underserved populations that cannot typically pay for yoga, including the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association and the Mass Yoga Network . Check with your local association for funding of your service. There’s another way to think about grants, though. Rather than approaching grants from the perspective of the service you want to provide (i.e. teaching yoga to students with ADHD) consider grants that focus on certain outcomes (i.e. wellness programs that improve the health of community seniors). These grants are not specific to yoga per se. They are specific to wellness results. For example, I just finished filling out a grant application to broaden our senior yoga program through a local health insurance plan called Fallon . Doing a search on the web uncovered a number of grants from local hospitals and insurance carriers for wellness initiatives. Because the Fallon grant size is a minimum of $15,000, the program can go for a longer period of time and have a greater impact on the community. To apply for larger grants, consider doing the following: 1. Search the web for local grants that have to do with your community’s health and wellness. See what’s available and what they are requesting. 2. Partner with other organizations for more energy and greater linking within that given community. For example, te . am up with a local senior center to underwrite, take part in, or endorse the yoga program for seniors. 3. Be clear about the population that will be served. Know the towns, the type of people, and the number of people that will participate. 4. Create an assessment tool such as a survey, range of motion measurement, functional movement questionnaire or some other device to be able to show the outcome of the grant money spent. 5. Apply for grants that match your interests and your community’s need. Through grants, you can serve the people who need what you have to offer without going broke. If you are paid for your work, you can continue to give over the long term. Be well, Megan McDonough

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