The economic devastation in the wake of COVID-19 is expected to have significant, negative global impacts. While we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is a major stressor for everyone and is hurting communities everywhere, we know that these economic impacts disproportionately affect small businesses and individuals whose income depends on in-person engagement. Further, we also understand that these and all of the negative impacts are magnified among the most vulnerable.
Much of what we see and hear is about the toll the coronavirus and COVID-19 are taking on those in greatest need. Therefore, the Yoga Alliance Foundation (YAF) is establishing an emergency relief fund to support those within the yoga community who are hardest hit by COVID-19. YAF had been planning an ambitious inaugural grants program for 2020, which was set to launch in late March; however, the community’s immediate, urgent needs are clear. Therefore, one hundred percent of those funds will now be redirected towards this necessary imperative.
In order to expedite the disbursement of funds, the Yoga Alliance Foundation will partner with at least two organizations that specialize in swiftly taking in and assessing grant applications and awarding and disbursing those grants responsibly and quickly.
- The Yoga Alliance Foundation will contribute funding to support yoga professionals through the Reclamation Ventures Wellness Relief Fund. For information on this resource and eligibility, visit the Reclamation Ventures website.
- The Foundation is in the process of identifying additional partners to administer funds to deserving populations beyond those supported by Reclamation Ventures. Details are forthcoming about these partners and their application processes.
The Yoga Alliance Foundation will be guided in this work by a newly formed advisory committee that will inform the criteria for selection of beneficiaries and will help the Foundation ensure a community-centered and equitable approach to the distribution of funding.
We are working now to select experienced funding partners and to develop a secure donation mechanism that will allow interested parties to directly contribute to the relief fund. We will update you with more information on how to apply or contribute to this fund over the next few weeks. In the interim, what you should know is that the most important criterion for funding is urgency of need: when one’s economic survival and meeting basic needs are dependent on yoga teaching. All yoga professionals with financial need will be eligible to apply for funding support through one of our partners, and we are currently identifying additional partners to support this effort.
In the interim, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like additional information.