This past week my Fellowship with Center for Civic Innovation officially ended. It's been quite a growing experience. Along with learning how to develop The Dharma Project as a sustainable nonprofit, I've had the opportunity to learn with six other social entrepreneurs that are building powerful organizations. I have developed a lasting community of friends, colleagues and support structure.
In June 2016, The Dharma Project got selected to participate in the Civic Innovation Fellowship with seven other social enterprises. The intention was to develop a strong business model, teach us how to become a sustainable non profit, how to tell a compelling story about our work and then to pitch, pitch and pitch some more.
Our Mission: The Dharma Project provides self care in the form of yoga, mindfulness, nutrition and lifestyle to public service organizations and the communities they work with.
Here are some of the things we've accomplished these in the past seven months:
Sara Blakley Fellowship: Sara Blakely selected 10 women entrepreneurs to support and develop as leaders in their social enterprise. I was one of them. I'm so grateful for this opportunity. Read more about it here.
Yoga at Decatur Housing Authority: I've had fun spending the last six months doing chair yoga with the senior residents of the DHA. I've learned SO much about teaching yoga in this time. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share yoga with various, diverse communities around Atlanta.
Our first contract! We landed our first official contract with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. This is an amazing opportunity for The Dharma Project to work with a public service organization that provides support and funding to so many of the non-profit organizations in our city. I trust that it will be a great advantage to have CFGA as an advocate for The Dharma Project.
Yoga at Stewart Center in Pittsburg neighborhood of westside Atlanta for Parents and Kids. This community has never been exposed to yoga and they took to it immediately! I believe that more people of color don't do yoga because they don't see themselves represented in the larger yoga culture and don't relate to it as something that is for them. "Nature abhors a monoculture" and there's no better time than now to lift our diverse communities with the transformative power of yoga!
Final Pitch Event at CCI March 16th. I had my first experience of pitching The Dharma Project to different organizations and foundations last week. For my first time presenting, I think it went great! I look forward to many more opportunities to talk about The Dharma Project.
The Dharma Project has been nominated as a 2017 SPARK Prize finalist. We will be competing with fourteen other organizations from around the city at the C3 Conference on April 21st for one of United Way's $15k grant awards. If won, the prize will support a joint teacher training program focused around computer science, socio-emotional learning, yoga and meditation with our partner, honorCode. A huge thank you to United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Center for Civic Innovation for sponsoring the competition!
Our goals for the next 8 months:
1. Provide The Dharma Project's services to 12-16 organizations across Atlanta.
2. Add 2-5 new instructors to the team
3. Summer Camp for kids at Stewart Center
If you'd like to support The Dharma Project's programs, Donate below. For the Summer Camp at Stewart Center we are raising $2000.00. We'd love your support!