Our Story, Our Mission, Our Community!

We were thrilled to be able to hold our first ever Town Hall Meeting in May as a way to share about our history, our present, our future, and how you may fit in to support our nonprofit towards actualizing its goals. Here are the details of what we went over….

Our Past

  • January 2010
    • Studio A leased for Asheville Community Yoga
    • Studio B leased for Autofare (Michael’s car business)
    • Executive Director Michael Greenfield & Board President Michael Murphy each loan $15,000 for construction
  • April 2010
    • Started having 3 classes per week- all of our donations went to pay our rent!
    • In just 2 weeks we went up to 10 weekly classes
  • July 2010
    • Realized we needed more parking and fundraised $15,000
  • August 2010
    • Knocked down dilapidated building & created parking lot across the street
  • December 2010
    • We now have 2 volunteer staff & 2 paid staff to help run everyday operations

  • April 2011
    • Achieved official 501(c)3 status!
  • June 2011
    • Won our first Mountain Xpress award for 2010 (and continued to win for the next 8 years)
  • November 2011
    • We now have over 2,000 students using our space for personal transformation through yoga, meditation and other mindfulness based practices. We quickly realized we needed additional space and started fundraising to move into studio B!

  • January 2012
    • Took over Autofare’s lease & began renovations
    • Construction in studio B begins in January and continues through February & March
    • We host the first few sessions of our inaugural Yoga Teacher Training at UNCA!
    • We finish our renovations and take over Studio B
  • May 2012
    • $125,000 raised by community including “Party Your Asana Off”
    • We now have extra space to be able to offer our Yoga Immersion program, workshops and series classes to give students an opportunity to learn more about yoga and it’s many practices.
  • December 2012
    • By the end of 2012 we have approximately 25 teachers, and now we are able to offer more classes. To support this we need to hire additional staff and are now up to 5 paid staff. Michael Greenfield continues to be a full time volunteer staff.

  • 2013
    • We now become a community of over 5,000 students. This is the first year Executive Director Michael Greenfield takes a pay check. From this point on Michael Greenfield is paid $17,000 per year. This is a sustaining year for our organization.

  • 2014
    • This is another sustaining and building year for us. We have more classes, more volunteer teachers, and more staff than ever before.

  • January 2015
    • We received an offer to buy the building. We knew that in order to truly be able to offer all the services and support that we envisioned for our nonprofit that this was our best move. Paying off a mortgage and being around for the long haul will ensure that we have a sustainable future.
  • March 2015
    • We started a 2 year fundraising campaign for $150,000 for the down payment for our building
    • We hosted our first Yogathon and raised $22,000 (and had 24 hours of yoga!)
    • We now are a yoga home for over 8,000 students and we are forced to turn people away from classes because there is no room left! Our Wellness Expansion could not come at a better time
    • Zen & Now, our pre-loved clothing store, opened up across the street
    • Our incredible team of dedicated staff is continually growing to support day to day operations

  • July 2016
    • We won $5,000 in the Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas and the award money went towards our Wellness Expansion.
  • October 2016
    • Purchased building & parking lot space
      • We put $300,000 down on a $1.4 million loan
        • Loan included renovation funds
    • Our Yoga Teacher Trainings have become so popular that we now hold 2 yearly Yoga Teacher Trainings
    • We begin to pay mortgage at our “Forever Home” of 8 Brookdale Road
  • November 2016
    • Our First Holiday Art Market is in Studio B! It’s wildly successful and we can’t wait for the next market.
  • December 2016
    • We are up to 11,700 students, we have more staff, more classes, more volunteers, more love, more yoga!

  • February 2017
    • Purchased Elk Mountain Project for $635,000
      • The “Elk Mountain Project” contains the land and houses adjacent and just South of our campus
    • We begin renovations to transform the second half of the building into our space
  • June 2017
    • Zen & Now moves into the building
    • We lost our beloved teacher & friend Gary Sager. Gary took his own life, and we share this information to keep an awareness on the importance of seeking out mental health counseling to support yourself and those who you love.
  • July 2017
    • Studio C opens! For a moment we wondered if we would be able to fill up the space. In a matter of moments we realized that YES we could. Studio C fits 74 yoga mats in it, and from the very start we had 74 students using all of those mats!
    • We began offering our first Diverse Perspectives scholarship (now called Unity Scholarship) as a way to encourage more practitioners from under-represented or oppressed backgrounds to stand in the place of teacher. Our hope is that having teachers from diverse backgrounds will encourage more students from diverse backgrounds to begin to learn and practice yoga. Diversity comes in many forms, and yoga is for everyone! You don’t need to look a certain way, talk a certain way, have a certain background, or have a certain bank account to practice yoga. This scholarship aims to support true diversity, equity & inclusion.
  • August 2017
    • Our parking lot opens (now we don’t need parking volunteers to help get our classes in!) and we relinquish our space across the street which we rented for $550 per month
  • September 2017
    • Raised $75,000 for Building Construction Fund to complete construction
    • Begin working on Healing Arts space
    • Created waterfall in honor of Gary, a group of his regular students raised $4,500
  • December 2017
    • Our Second Holiday Art Market is in Studio C!
    • We now offer over 100 classes, over 65 teachers, and over 14 staff!

  • February 2018
    • Opened Healing Arts Center, Community Market & donation based volunteer run childcare
    • Zen & Now is rocking bringing in approximately $3,000 per month and paying 1/3rd of our monthly mortgage
  • March 2018
    • Purchased food truck & began additions & renovations to create Karma Café
  • September 2018
    • Raised $50,000 for Karma Cafe startup costs
  • November 2018
    • Karma Café opens!
  • December 2018
    • Third Annual Holiday Art Market!
    • We have over 80 teachers, over 120 classes, and we are enjoying our expanded space and all that it brings

  • April 2019
    • We become a fully solar powered campus. After 5-7 years when our solar loan is paid off and as long as the sun shines we won’t have to pay an electric bill.

Our Present

As of May 2019 Asheville Community Yoga offers:

120+ Weekly Donation Classes

Workshops & Series

Yoga Teacher Trainings

Yoga Immersions

Foundations Course

Continuing Education Courses

Healing Arts

Zen & Now

Karma Cafe

Service Projects

Community Events: Holiday Art Market, Black Light Yoga & Kirtan

Our Finances

When many people walk onto our campus for the first time, they are awestruck. They cannot imagine that a 501(c)3 non-profit organization could encompass so much, be so meticulous, or be so beautiful! A lot of work goes into maintaining those factors so that everyone can enjoy. We chose to invest in this campus, and we would like to share our current debts so that our community members can understand the reality of the need for fundraising, and so they can see the potential for our future.

Our Building & Parking Lot

After a $300,000 down payment was made we had a $1.1 million loan. We currently pay $8,600 per month towards this debt, and in 2026 we will have a $674,500 balloon payment. We also received $300,000 in loans from community members to pay for the down payment of our parking lot.

Karma Café

We purchased the original food truck for Karma Café for $60,000 and still owe a balance of $25,464 which we are paying off in monthly installments, with the last payment due in November 2020.

The Elk Mountain Project

In February 2017, After we purchased our building & land, we purchased the Elk Mountain Project which included 5 houses and 1.6 acres. This land was being looked at by a gas station/truck stop because of its location. When we purchased the land we inherited tenants whose rent is approximately $2,000 per month, which goes immediately towards our monthly mortgage. We pay $25,000 every 6 months for the first 4 years towards the principal & interest payments. As of May 2019 we owe 4 more payments. We purchased this property at tax value for $635,000 with interest less than 1%. In 2024 we will need to pay a $360,000 balloon payment.

Solar Power

We received a loan for $50,000 from Natural Capital Investment Fund, put $2,000 down, and we received a grant from Duke for $60,000. Our 5 year loan began in February 2019. In 5 years when our solar loan is paid off(as long as the sun is shining) we won’t be paying for electric! Our monthly electric payment now pays the cost of the loan.

As of May 2019 our total debts are $1,850,464.00. We pay approximately $60,000 per year in interest, which essentially is money being thrown away that can be used to pay off our principal payments and increase and improve our services. If you are interested in providing us an interest free loan please reach out to Wendy Lantis

Operating Costs

Monthly Studio Operating Cost: $38,546
($8,626 monthly mortgage + $21,000 (18 full & part time staff) payroll  + $5,040 payroll taxes+ $1,800 month for utilities +$2,000 in supplies, miscellaneous)

Monthly Studio Income: $38,000
(Class donations + General Donations + Zen & Now sales + Healing Arts services + Artists sales + Workshops + Series + Yoga Teacher Trainings + Immersions + Special Events)

Monthly Karma Café Operating Cost: $25,250

($10,785 (12 full & part time staff) payroll + $2,700 taxes+ $11,765 in food/miscellaneous)

Monthly Karma Café Income: $23,750

Our Major Donors

Michael Greenfield’s family has donated over $150,000 over the years, and additional major donors have donated over $100,000. To make a major donation to Asheville Community Yoga in excess of $5,000 please reach out to Wendy Lantis.

Staff Wages & Benefits

Average hourly staff wage: $11.58

Staff Benefits:

  • Healing Arts Credit (monthly for full time, bi-monthly for part time)
  • 50% off food at Karma Cafe
  • 20% discount on merchandise, Community Market purchases, Zen & Now purchases, & Karma Cafe desserts & beverages
  • Attend free workshops & series
  • Discount on Continuing Education programs

Teacher Benefits

  • Attend free workshops & series
  • Discount on Continuing Education programs
  • Discounts on all Asheville Community Yoga merchandise, Community Market purchases, Zen & Now purchases.
  • Knowledge that their volunteered time supports the health and wellness of countless community members!

Michael Greenfield, Executive Director

Salary: $17,000  (Average Executive Director Salary: $50-80,000 per year)

Michael started being paid in 2013. Michael & Amber have put their house up as collateral for the down payment of our building, we have used that money to pay our bi-yearly $25,000 payments for the Elk Mountain Project and are paying them back.

Our Future

Yoga is for Everyone and we are working hard to make sure everyone feels welcome in our yoga community. We intend to continue to diversify our teaching roster as a means of diversifying our entire community. Our Unity Scholarship is an opportunity to bring in more people who identify as:

Persons of Color
The Differently Abled
Non-native English Speakers
Curvy Bodies
ASL communicators
Native Americans
First responders & other emergency workers
Military & Veterans

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We are currently searching for diversity, equity & inclusion trainings for our staff, and eventually we would like to offer these types of trainings to teachers and community members. In the future we would like to hold educational opportunities for all of our teachers & other community members to expand their cultural literacy.

Future Staff Benefits

As we continue to pay off our debt we hope to offer the following benefits to staff. Studies have shown that if staff are well taken care of it decreases turnover and increases staff morale and overall work productivity.

  • Be able to offer full time staff health benefits
  • Be able to offer living wages to all staff from hiring (Living wage in Asheville as of May 2019 is $13.65)
  • Be able to offer a free meal to staff during their shift

Future Teacher Benefits

As Karma Café grows more successful we hope to be able to offer teachers a free meal from Karma Café as a thank you for each class they teach.

Get Involved!

Invite your friends, family and coworkers to join any of our 120+ weekly classes. Want some schedules to hand out? Just ask – we’ll happily print out extras for you.

Participate in our monthly service project, fold towels, clean the studio, wash dishes, water plants… there is always something to do. Just ask!

Our Long Term Debt Payment Schedule As of May 2019

2019: $446,694.56
2020: $446,694.56
2021: $383,961.00
2022: $328,761.00
2023: $328,761.00
2024: $195,561.00
2025: $195,561.00

Want to Help Ensure a Sustainable Future for Our Community?

Start Your Own Online Fundraiser * Donate * Offer an Interest Free Loan * Bequeath Us

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