Monday, March 19, 2012

Every Little Bit

A couple of weeks into the Studio campaign, I got a comment on our IndieGoGo site. The comment was from someone trying to promote their own business to help small businesses grow. They pointed to the hundreds of dollars we'd raised at that point and basically said: "Look how far you are from your goal! Campaigns like this will never work because people don't want to give money to people who are trying to make money." I was taken aback and deleted their comment. I took them time to approach them after I'd had time to calm down. I told them that if they chose to look at it that way, that was their choice, but that to me, our campaign had already made a big difference! As a matter of fact, it was the funds that had already been disbursed to us from our IndieGoGo campaign that allowed us to put an offer in on the studio building. Sure, we hadn't reached our funding goal, but it was enough to helps us take some "last resort" measures and push us over the edge.

What this person may not realize is that campaigns like ours are about more than just building a business that makes money. It's about helping people fulfill their dreams. Helping small businesses is allowing parents to spend more time with their kids, it's providing new services, it's helping small towns to be more vibrant, and creating opportunities not just for business owners but families and community members. In the case of Dancing Lotus Fitness, it's promoting health care in a new and exciting way. It's boosting people's self esteem--helping them to realize not only how beautiful they are but how worthy they are as individuals. Dancing Lotus reminds people not to forget the incredible importance of taking care of themselves--mind and body--as much as they take care of others. This studio is not just about helping a small business get off the ground, it's about helping the magic of Dancing Lotus truly blossom.

When I started the IndieGoGo campaign, I made the minimum perk $25. As a non-profit consultant who has been to fundraising seminars galore, I've hard many times to make that the minimum donation so that people think about giving a higher amount. We've had many generous donations at that $25 mark as well as above and below. Now I'm feeling inspired about the grassroots nature of this campaign, and want to prove that every donation makes a difference. Even if someone can't give $25, they may be able to give $5, and I want folks to understand that that does indeed make an impact. We do need a considerable amount of money to be able to get in the doors of a studio. Even with the opportunity to rent, we will need approximately $4,000-$5,000 just to get floors and equipment into the studio. Every dollar gets us closer to that goal. So even though people have been able to give whatever amount they've wanted from the beginning, I created an "Every Little Bit Club" Perk at the $5 level. Part of what we've learned through the years since Dancing Lotus Fitness had it's first class is that this is something that people need, love, and believe in. The Every Little Bit club is designed to show the heart and the roots of Dancing Lotus Fitness. It only makes sense that the Dancing Lotus Fitness Studio should be built the same way we've built our business thus far--one person at a time. It's the people that make Dancing Lotus what it is. Thanks so much to everyone who is a part of that.

To join the "Every Little Bit" Club or give at any amount to support the Dancing Lotus Fitness studio, please visit our IndieGoGo page. Thank you!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Studio Update

Greetings, Dancing Lotus Family! I wanted you all to be the first to hear the update on our quest to open the Dancing Lotus Fitness Studio. Most of you know that we had a specific building in mind to purchase. We have been working very hard to raise enough money and work with financial institutions to find a way to get a loan together so that we could make an offer on the building. This week, through your donations, some creative financing, pooling every penny, and the incredible support of a local credit union, we were able to submit an offer. Unfortunately, we hadn't raised the money in time, and we found out yesterday that we had lost the building to a higher cash offer.

We are certainly disappointed about this development, but it will not slow our mission to find a home for the Dancing Lotus Family. We are going to be renewing our search for a possible purchase or rental and moving full steam ahead with finding that new space.

In the meantime, we will continue to work to raise money towards opening the studio so that when another opportunity arises, we'll be in a better position to move forward. Even if we find a space to rent there will still be considerable cost including installing floors and all of the basics to get the studio up and running. Our offer on the building this week would not have been possible without the donations we have received through the IndieGoGo campaign. We are very excited that we have been able to raise nearly $1,100 in the first three weeks, and we're confident that we'll be able to continue to raise funds so that as soon as we find the right space, we can move on it and get Dancing Lotus situated in it's new home! As you all know, this is about more than a business venture, it is about creating a home for all of us to take care of ourselves--mind and body. It's a place for wellness to sink roots in the community and grow.

I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive in so many ways throughout this journey. I feel very blessed that we were able to take a position to even get a foot in the door before that particular route closed. This is just a bump in the road. The Dancing Lotus Fitness Studio will be open before we know it! Thank you!