I've never been the type to ask for advice. On anything. I went to law school on a whim, never requiring any outside approval for if it was remotely close to a good idea (verdict is still out on whether it was or not). I rarely ask people if I look good in an outfit or how they like my hair - never occurs to me to do so. I make decisions quick, and I stick with those. I married a man two weeks into our relationship (verdict is not out on that - damn good idea).
So, I am slightly flustered and weirded out that ever since this nonprofit of mine received approval, I've been the most indecisive lady around - pouring over logos for hours, stressing over how a website should look - I can't make a solid decision to save my life. And, now I come to you - my dedicated public, with a request to be better at decision-making than I am. And also, to take the time out of your already busy day to help a sister out.
My beautiful, glowing, exquisite 501(c)(3) nonprofit is ROOT TO RISE INC. Here's the mission statement: "The mission of ROOT TO RISE INC is healing and empowering survivors of trauma through the practice of meditation, mindful awareness, and yoga. Practitioners learn to connect to the inner strength they possess and gain awareness of the present through the union of breath and physical postures. From this, they rise out of mental, emotional, and physical distress."
My main groups served will be prisoners, veterans, and children. I do not believe it ethical to take photographs of any of these people, and I am sticking by that assertion until someone has a decent argument to persuade me otherwise.
The problem: photographs make or break a website. Photographs show the human condition and evoke emotion in each of us. Photographs show healing. And, a website is a nonprofit's connection to the world. A website makes or breaks a nonprofit.
Stuck, I am.
I trained under James Fox of the Prison Yoga Project, and he has photos of his practitioners on their website. For the prison to allow this, a credible news outlet had to do a story on his work and take the photos. The prisoners all agreed to this and signed a release. What if those that I teach sign a waiver and agree to the photographs? What if they then get out, and a year later they regret the decision because of whatever circumstances have risen in their lives? What if a war veteran signs off on his or her photo being used, only to catch hell for doing something "sissy" like yoga, and they never return to class? I don't want to put anyone that is searching for help and healing in an uncomfortable place, ever. And, without question, I completely disagree with photographing children who have been through a traumatic situation. They are the cutest things around and so natural at yoga, but pics of these kids all over the place is just not ok.
Can you help me here? Can you give me some ideas for how to get around this?
I have letters from inmates that I plan on posting on the website (names removed, of course). I will have an ongoing blog on the site, and info on our Board of Directors, Officers, and how it all got started. There will be a link for how to donate and upcoming events, as well as links to similar nonprofits and collaboration ideas. Yeah...this is a bunch of words...and those things aren't as appealing as faces.
Any feedback is welcome here - disagree or agree with me - I wanna hear it. And, if you're someone who knows more about websites than me (that would be all of you), maybe let me know some alternatives that you've seen work. Please comment in the area reserved for it below.
I truly appreciate the help. You're all on my Christmas card list.