Starting a nonprofit for (pre)teen girls - your opinion? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-08-2009, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,
I'd love some outside opinions about this!
Along with a few other women, I'm starting a group (which will eventually be a non-profit) that provides empowerment programs for (pre)teen girls. Our mission is to provide a safe, supportive space in which girls can develop a strong sense of self, strengthen their connections with each other, and use their collective power to create positive change in the world.

However, we are having disagreements about some things. This group is a collective of women, who each have different programs they want to offer girls. SOME of these programs are spiritual - Pagan-y, coming of age rituals, involving Goddess Dance, explorations of the "Divine Feminine," moon magic, etc.

The programs I want to create and facilitate are NOT spiritual at all - the focus will be on things like promoting healthy body image, learning media literacy, strengthening girls' friendships and reducing competitiveness and feuding, developing girls' strength and self-confidence, etc.

My question is - is it possible for spiritual and secular programs to co-exist under the umbrella of one organization? Would you, as a parent of a (pre)teen girl, feel comfortable enrolling your daughter in a program if the organization also included programs with spiritual elements that do not resonate with you? That is, would you believe/trust that only SOME of the programs were spiritual, and that the secular ones were really secular? How could the organization effectively make this clear to you? OR, would you assume no matter what the organization said, that the WHOLE THING was infused with spirituality?

Thanks for your help!!
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#2 of 8 Old 04-08-2009, 08:19 PM
 
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Sounds like a wonderful place! I, however, would likely assume (which is bad, I know) that the overall vibe of the place was spiritual, even if most of the workshops were secular.
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#3 of 8 Old 04-08-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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honestly... I would not attend/let my kiddo attend spiritual classes that did not jive with our own belief system. I wish there were more secular non profits out there.

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#4 of 8 Old 04-08-2009, 09:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by texmati View Post
honestly... I would not attend/let my kiddo attend spiritual classes that did not jive with our own belief system. I wish there were more secular non profits out there.
:
I would probably let my daughter take select classes, but I would be hesitant and skeptical.
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#5 of 8 Old 04-08-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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I have run a few pre teen and teen programs in the past. Teens are a really hard group to get involved and programs are often unsuccessful with filling out enough attendance. I am thinking that the mix might be a real benefit and attractive to the girls. Some of thise classes could be a real hook for girls. Get them in the door. It is a hard market. What age group specifically are you targeting. Where are you?

Jenese Mama to Elliot 8/05 and Millie Jane 7/07 and Cecilia Kate 1/11
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#6 of 8 Old 04-11-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Inci View Post
My question is - is it possible for spiritual and secular programs to co-exist under the umbrella of one organization?
I will help with the practical side. No, they cannot function as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) with a spiritual or church involved. There is a separate section of tax code that covers churches.
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#7 of 8 Old 04-11-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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as a teen there's no way I'd have gone if the words "moon magic" or "goddess dance" were anywhere in the description of anything.
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#8 of 8 Old 04-11-2009, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, everyone. This is all really helpful!!
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