Changes to Our Class Payment/Instructor Compensation
Dear Open Spirit friends,
For the last two and a half years, as we faced a pandemic that just kept going, Open Spirit has thrived, thanks to the faithfulness, generosity and creativity of our members, teachers, leaders and staff. We are so grateful for everyone who has participated in programs, shared your hopes and dreams, and offered support in a variety of ways.
At the beginning of the pandemic, as we were pivoting to on-line programming, the Open Spirit leadership team made a temporary shift in how we pay our wellness program leaders. Prior to March 2020, they received payment based on a percentage of the money collected for their program each month. Recognizing the decline in payments when we were not in person and wanting to ensure our teachers had steady income in an uncertain time, we chose to pay each program leader the same set amount for each class taught. We imagined we would be doing that for a couple months before the pandemic subsided; we never imagined the uncertainty and complexity would continue for 2-1/2 years.
As we move forward this fall, we need to implement a model that supports our program leaders and the long-term sustainability of Open Spirit. We will return to compensating our program leaders based on a percentage of class payments. To prevent a sudden reduction in their income, all current instructors will be compensated at a higher percentage than our pre-pandemic rate. The program leaders are aware of this development, and we are working with them on strategies to encourage payments. This change will begin September 1, 2022.
Many of our classes operate on a “by donation” model, with a suggested donation range and a request for each participant to pay as they are able. Some classes and programs may have a set fee; we hope the cost will never be a barrier to participation. Please contact Debbie (firstname.lastname@example.org) if a confidential scholarship would be helpful.
What does this mean for you?
f you have been making regular payments to Open Spirit for classes you attend—either weekly or monthly or quarterly—we hope you will continue to do so. We ask that you be sure to let us know, either in the PayPal “notes” field, the “memo” field on a check, or by emailing email@example.com, which class you would like your payment to count for. If you attend multiple classes, please note how you would like the payments split. That way, we can be sure your teacher is being paid appropriately.
If you have not been making regular payments for classes you attend, we encourage you to pay what you can afford on a consistent basis. If needed, please reach out to Debbie to supplement your payment with scholarship funds.
As with any transition, we imagine there will be questions. Feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you figure out the simplest way to ensure your payments are recorded appropriately. Thank you for being part of the Open Spirit community.