2016 Financials and Review
Where We’ve Been…2016
2016 was an exciting year for Against the Stream. JoAnna Harper and Vinny Ferraro came on board as Guiding Teachers for Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively. They have brought fresh voices and vision for our growing sangha. ATS has always welcomed people from all backgrounds and has been committed to being relevant. In 2016 we launched more affinity groups (People of Color and Allies, White Allies for Social Justice, Spanish Language Dharma, Women, and LGBTQ and so on) in order to address the issues of diversity we see on a daily basis. Our fall 2016 Facilitator Training was dedicated to bringing in POC and marginalized communities who may not often see themselves represented in the front of the rooms.
We received two $15,000 Hemera Foundation Grants which provided retreat fellowships for teachers and healthcare professionals. We’re proud to announce that we’re the recipient of these grants again for 2017 along with an additional one for artists.
• 38 weekly classes or sitting groups in all our locations (30 in LA & 8 in SF)
• 47 special class series and daylongs (27 in LA & 20 in SF)
• 188 received scholarship support (13% of all attendees)
• 13 dana-only classes and events
• 2056 attended all special series and daylongs (1234 in LA & 822 in SF)
• We have Spanish meditation classes in San Francisco and Los Angeles
• About 3,000 people come through our doors each month (1,900 in LA & 1,100 in SF)
• We had nine retreats on two coasts. Over 26% of 452 total retreat attendees received scholarship support with an additional 50 receiving fellowships.
Where We’re Going…2017
We’re going to turn nine in 2017 and our focus remains on three specific areas: Programs, People & Finances
Programs: Continue to expand and meet the needs of the community
Our plans for 2017 include our continued commitment to growth, diversity, staying relevant and supporting the sangha. Our affinity groups are growing and we will continue to support them in making the dharma available to all who are interested. We will also continue offering longer courses for those interested in taking a deeper dive into the dharma. the path
People: Grow and support our community, both locally and virtually
We’re continuing our emphasis on supporting our local and virtual sanghas this year. Our new website will be launching soon and we will have our classes available via YouTube and Facebook Live. We are continuing to upgrade our audio-visual equipment and plan to have a robust web presence. We’ll continue to provide relevant programming for the sanghas including affinity groups and other offerings from local and visiting teachers.
The election was challenging for many members of ATS and we are committed to being a place of both refuge and a place where we can take action against suffering wherever it is found. 2017 will bring challenges in this area and we are ready. A strong sangha is vital to the strength of Against the Stream. We’ll continuing cultivating our volunteer crew, and offer more chances for the community to come together ‘off the cushion’. Look for opportunities to have your voice heard in shaping what happens at ATS.
Finances: As a non-profit, finances will remain our most challenging area
San Francisco did well in its first full year. Overall ATS was in the red by $126,000 but $100,000 of that was for an expenditure for which we received funds in 2015. So it’s not as dire as it looks. We’re grateful to our community for supporting two matching challenges we had in 2016, a Summer Challenge to raise $10,000 for the website, and $15,000 in December for new Monthly Supporters. Your support helps us keep our doors open.
We’re excited to announce that we received three more Hemera Fellowship Grants for 2017, totaling $45,000. These will allow people to attend retreats who have not been able to do so before. We have also received a $10,000 grant from the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation to support scholarships for People of Color and marginalized communities to attend Facilitator training.
Finances are always a challenge in the non-profit world but our intention is to support our community and be supported it in a healthy and fiscally sound way. We are investigating ways of insuring that ATS can continue to make the dharma available to all who are interested. We’re so grateful to everyone who has helped us get where we are today.
We’d love to hear from you. If you have comments, suggestions, or would like to get involved, please let us know.