Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation Combined Financial Report for 2018
May 16, 2022
This was a year of significant change for Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation, as the two organizations restructured and revamped a core function and enhanced the value they bring to members.
Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation were formally restructured on January 1, 2018. The restructuring drew a clearer delineation between the Yoga Alliance 501(c)(6) professional membership organization and the Yoga Alliance Foundation 501(c)(3) public charity. As part of this restructuring, Ownership of the Yoga Alliance Registry was transferred from Yoga Alliance Foundation to Yoga Alliance for the sum of $5.6 million, properly housing the professional trade association under a (c)(6).
These changes laid the groundwork for how both Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation would serve, support, and invest in members and the broader yoga community in the future. As a trade association, Yoga Alliance is committed to providing support to members around the globe through training, education, and professional benefits, with the ability to lobby against regulations that could prove overly burdensome to members. As the charitable arm of Yoga Alliance, the Yoga Alliance Foundation is dedicated to expanding yoga’s healing potential to underserved and historically marginalized populations in the yoga community. Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation envision a world in which our collective well-being and human consciousness is elevated through equitable access to high-quality teaching and practice of yoga.
The 2018 Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reflects the first year the two organizations operated under the new legal structure. Changes in the way revenue is reported may cause some initial confusion, and we encourage members to reach out with questions if they need clarification. For example, revenue from the Yoga Alliance Foundation looks significantly reduced, but this is due to membership dues now being accounted for under Yoga Alliance. Through the alignment and restructuring process, both organizations are better positioned to foster the sustainability and growth of the yoga profession and serve as a greater force for good in the world.
The organizational restructure also set the stage for several major new undertakings and an impactful future for both organizations:
It paved the way for the launch of the Standards Review Project (SRP), a rigorous reassessment of Yoga Alliance’s 18-year-old credentialing standards for yoga teachers, which began in 2018. This project reflected Yoga Alliance’s commitment to give members and the broader yoga community a greater voice and opportunity to shape the future of the Standards underlying the Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) credential and Yoga Alliance’s policies. Input was gathered through the largest survey ever conducted in the yoga community, with more than 12,000 responses collected from yoga schools, studios, teachers, and practitioners; a nationwide listening tour; a series of in-person town halls; and working groups that invited debate on key topics including scope of practice, code of conduct, inclusion, core curriculum, teacher qualifications, integrity, and online learning.
Reaffirming its promise to strengthen value for members, Yoga Alliance stopped accepting income from partnership fees in late 2018 in exchange for deeper discounts to members through its partnership agreements. Through these agreements, Yoga Alliance was able to provide members with more discounts on apparel, props, gear, business products and services, insurance, travel and leisure, and education, and training programs.
Additionally, in response to the #metoo movement, Yoga Alliance’s Accountability Team platformed conversations regarding power and empowerment in the yoga community. With the creation of its first Sexual Misconduct Policy, Yoga Alliance took steps to provide better support and protection for survivors of sexual misconduct in yoga and due process for all involved. To ensure yoga spaces are always safe spaces, we developed and distributed flip chips that allowed students to give (or withhold) consent before being touched or adjusted.
Yoga Alliance also continued its advocacy work to reduce over-burdensome regulations that could inhibit equitable opportunities for all; gave the RYS landing page a fresh look; and laid the foundational cloud infrastructure including the Office 365 suite of apps, laptops for all staff, as well as the implementation of an Amazon Call Center that allowed the organization to go fully digital. Additionally, investments were made in capability building across the organization.
Membership grew to 99,583 total RYTs and 5,530 RYSs which led to more than $400,000 in increased revenue year-over-year. Combined revenues and support for each organization totaled $9.46 million in 2018. Revenues are primarily generated through membership dues and are supplemented by other sources, such as investments and contributions.
With respect to the Yoga Alliance Foundation, the restructure allowed it to focus on building future organizational strategy and capacity while still providing grants to organizations for expanding representation and access to yoga in historically marginalized communities where it might otherwise be limited.
The Yoga Alliance Foundation focused heavily this year on its commitment to make yoga more inclusive and accessible to all. It sponsored scholarships for yoga teachers to attend the Yoga Service Council Conference, the Accessible Yoga Conference in Toronto, and the Accessible Yoga Conference in Europe. It also held a Webcast on how to create more inclusive spaces in the yoga classroom. And the shared Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation voluntary Board of Directors welcomed three new members with expertise in bringing yoga to underserved populations.
The year concluded with the resignation of President and CEO David Lipsius. Shannon Roche transitioned from her position as Chief Operating Officer to interim Chief Executive Officer.
Additional financial data can be found in the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation form 990s and their independently audited combined 2018 financial report. The annual audit was conducted by Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman, Certified Public Accountants.
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