We have heard a lot from our Kids Yoga Stories community about the challenges of securing funds for your school yoga and mindfulness programs.
The major benefit of yoga and mindfulness is that it costs nothing to take a few breaths and move your body into various postures. However, there are some wonderful props and materials that can make your experience fun and interesting for your students.
You may like to purchase yoga mats, yoga dots, props, or yoga resources. Many teachers pay for resources out of pocket or rely on free or donated materials to keep the cost down. But many others find financial backing without too much trouble.
Some things to consider if you are looking to purchase materials:
- How much money do I need?
- How can I get buy-in from the school administration?
- Do I need to write a proposal?
- How can I prove the value of the materials?
- Where can I find funding?
Today, we will explore some of these potential options where you might be able to find funding for school yoga programs. It might be worth asking around to see if others have ideas, as well.
Places to Find Funding for School Yoga Programs
- Local donor
- Amazon wishlists
- Parent organizations
- Corporate companies
- Online fundraising (ex. GoFundMe, Class Wish, Adopt a Classroom, Piggybackr, Classy, KickStarter, Donors Choose, TPT ClassFund)
- Teacher Credit Unions
- Yoga in Schools grants (ex. Physical Education Program (PEP))
- Health care companies (ex. CVS Health Foundation)
- Nonprofit organizations (ex. United We Om, Give Back Yoga, The Usha Yoga Foundation, Niroga.org, Ivy Child International)
- Local community groups (ex. United Way, Community Foundations) – search www.guidestar.org or www.grantmakers.io
- Local banks or businesses
- School professional development funds
- General grant foundations (ex. The Awesome Foundation, The Movement Foundation, Fund for Teachers, NEA Foundation, The Foundation Directory)
- State or local government grants (ex. state educational agencies (SEA), SEL, mental health, physical education)
- Federal government grants, like Covid relief funds (ex. ESSER II, III): Elementary and Secondary School Elementary Relief Fund) or Shape America Grant Program) – look at www.grants.gov
The main point is to have an “abundance” mindset. Instead of thinking, “We can’t afford it,” reframe your mindset to think, “How can we afford it?” This positive thinking will help you to think of creative ways to find funding for your school community.
If we are focused on the benefits of yoga for our children, we will be more likely to be courageous to ask around for funding ideas and not get stopped by roadblocks along the way.
Below, we share some top tips from the Kids Yoga Stories community, as well as five real life examples to hopefully spark some ideas for you to find funds for your school yoga programs.
Tips shared by the Kids Yoga Stories community
We are hoping these tips shared within our Kids Yoga Stories Community might spark some ideas of your own about how to find funding for your school yoga program. They might also help you gain clarity on how much funding is necessary for your specific ideas.
One person’s strategy or experience might be just the thing to help another teacher bring yoga and mindfulness to their school. At the end of the day, happy teachers foster happy children! And happy children foster happy teachers!
Kids Yoga Stories asked our community:
“What’s your number-one tip for getting funding for your classroom or school yoga program?”
We send our gratitude to all the teachers and kids yoga teachers who shared their ideas!
“I wrote a report, which included my state’s syllabus outcomes and how mindfulness and yoga fits into the state’s syllabus. I also included academic evidence why children should do these activities, with citations and referencing. The preschool was then able to apply for government grant for a weekly 1-hour class.” – Kalindi
“I had luck with Donors Choose.” – Maureen
“[My tip for securing funding is to] provide evidence-based research on the benefits for both students and staff.” – Renee
“[My tip for securing funding is to] ask your Home and School Association or School Council to fund the program.” – Angie
“I work in a Title 1 Elementary School. We service students who live in our neighborhood, which includes homeless shelters. We don’t have a PTO, but an accounting firm has adopted us and provide us regular funding for our special programs.” – Leslie
Funding examples from our Kids Yoga Stories community
Next, we share some real-life examples from various members of our community to give you a variety of ideas in the hopes that these will spur an idea of what could work for you and your school community.
For example, the principal and guidance counselors in our school district wrote a grant application to our parent-run Public School Foundation to secure over $10,000 to hire a mindfulness teacher for the district.
With some creative thinking and asking around to various people, there are no doubt some funding options where you are located. Just make sure you have a clear structure to your program, what the objectives are, what budget you need, and research to back up the benefits of the skills you are targeting in your program.
Funding for Schools Example #1:
Just yesterday, we received an order request for our Monthly Kids Yoga Theme Pack from a Catholic School in Pennsylvania. The secretary said that her state allocates educational state funds to Non-Public Schools. It is an account in which they receive funds to spend on educational items for their schools.
Funding for Schools Example #2:
Last week, we received an order for 25 Breathing Cards from a public school in Colorado. They explained that their school had been awarded a K-5 Social Emotional Learning Health grant from the Colorado Department of Education.
Funding for Schools Example #3:
A kids yoga teacher in our community secured funds through United Way to teach yoga in her local schools. United Way is the largest privately funded non-profit organization in the world.
Funding for Schools Example #4:
A teacher emailed a couple of years ago, asking for help in setting up her Donors Choose page. She was looking to purchase several Kids Yoga Stories products for her kindergarten classroom. She just needed help with an invoice so she could put together her listing. Her project was fully funded by eleven donors, and she received her requested materials.
Funding for Schools Example #5:
A mom in our community is passionate about integrating literacy and movement, so she wrote a story time yoga proposal and submitted to her local children’s librarian. Her comprehensive proposal included all the details of her program, including the benefits, outcomes, evaluation, along with the budget. Many children’s librarians are looking for partnerships with community resource providers to enrich their offerings.
We hope these tips and funding examples helped give you some ideas on how to find funding for your yoga and mindfulness program. If you have any questions or if you would like to share your success story, please reach out to us directly at giselle @kidsyogastories .com. We would love to hear from you!