What is Quantum aiming to accomplish?
What are the organization’s key strategies for making this happen?
What are the organization’s capabilities for doing this?
How will they know if they are making progress?
What have and haven’t they accomplished so far?
Q.1. What is Quantum aiming to accomplish?
Quantum Martial Arts – Seattle has a three-year strategic plan to grow our influence and impact in the community. Our 5 goals for February 2020 are:
1) Reach financial sustainability by having an average monthly profit of $1500 and 3 months of operating reserve.
2) Achieve paid staff of 25% time towards a Program Director/Master Instructor (Master Rachael Evans) and 50% time of our Executive Director (Alison McCaffree)
3) Strengthen our marketing and branding awareness to attain 100 students who reflect the gender, economic, and ethnic diversity of our local community.
4) Increase our contributed revenue through being awarded 5 grants and increasing our annual campaign revenue to $12,000/year.
5) Strengthen our program by having a defined teacher training that has regular meetings and a written handbook.
Q.2. What are the organization’s key strategies for making this happen?
Quantum Martial Arts has a strong reputation in the Seattle community for being a welcoming, inclusive, committed organization – more than just a place to work out. We have been active in the community since our founding in 1995. Our four main strategies are:
1) Partner with other community organizations
At Quantum we believe that we will thrive if the people and the organizations around us are thriving. Our partnership strategy means that by collaborating and supporting other community organizations in our neighborhood, we will increase awareness of our community and gain members and financial support. We are reaching out to organizations that support the Latino, East African, and LGBTQ communities. We offer to volunteer at events, teach personal empowerment and self-defense and we collaborate on things like community street fairs, health fairs, and empowerment workshops.
2) Leverage the dedication of our all-volunteer staff to give high quality fun instruction.
Quantum’s teaching staff is all volunteer and is made up of individuals who have been training at the dojo and have been part of the community for at least 7 years and some as many as 20 years. Our teachers are passionate about helping people achieve their goals. Curious and compassionate, they have the skills to assess students’ capabilities and tailor lessons to advance mastery and enhance learning. They are encouraged to keep learning themselves. By providing excellent and fun instruction, the school will grow.
3) Tell stories of our impact to inspire donors
The personal success of our members shows our impact. We believe that if we can tell these stories in our community, then we will be successful at raising the funds to support our scholarship and outreach programs. Whether it is the story of a black belt who is living with HIV, or the story of an 18-year-old’s success in college because of the confidence she gained from studying since age 8 or the story of a person struggling with depression that comes to have a place to belong, these stories demonstrate to donors that Quantum is developing skills of mind, body and spirit that allow members to thrive.
4) Stress an inclusive, approachable community.
Quantum knows that if we build a community where everyone one is welcome, than we will be successful in the long run. We have explicit non-discrimination policies and welcome all races, ethnicities, religions, countries of origin, gender identities, sexual orientation, ability and disabilities, spoken languages, ages and body types. When we moved to our new location in the Central District (1800 S. Jackson, Suite A) about a year ago, we made a conscious effort to design the space for inclusivity. We made single person changing rooms and are ADA compliant. We wear gender-neutral uniforms, are easily accessible by public transportation and have a sliding scale and scholarships for our membership fees.
Quantum Martial Art – Seattle has many assets by which we will grow our community. Here are the top few.
1) Quantum style, curriculum and teaching methods
Quantum is a style created by Master Rachael Evans, a sixth degree black belt with 35 years experience. It has proven to be highly effective in motivating people of all ages to enhance their skills in mind, body and spirit. Quantum training includes a blend of Tai Kwon Do, Hapkido, Wing Chun and many other styles in a challenging and positive learning environment. The Quantum spirit moves through our tradition in strong and distinct ways. Shouted and discussed in every class, our tenants are: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. Quantum is unique for the intensity of our training, our lively sense of humor, our strong community spirit, and our focus on each individual’s journey.
2) Dedicated Board of Directors
The Quantum Board is made up of 6-8 dedicated individuals who come from a diverse background and have a wide variety of skills. We have educators, engineers, community organizers, veterinarians, software programmers, writers and artists. Some directors own their own business; others have worked in the corporate world. This diversity helps us create programming and an environment that is inclusive and effective for a vast number of people. The one thing they all have in common is a passion for practicing martial arts and for creating a great community.
3) Experienced Executive Director
Alison McCaffree was hired as our Executive Director in June 2017. Alison McCaffree has a wide range of leadership, management and community organizing experience. After starting successful for-profit businesses, Alison moved to the nonprofit sector and has held chief executive spots for last 10 years. She has led fundraising campaigns that have brought in over $5M. Alison has been training at Quantum since 2009.
4) Great track record with kids outreach programs
Quantum’s physical education program at Lake Washington Girls Middle School (LWGMS) has been in continuous operation since 2006. There are two sections each year, each with approximately 40 girls, 50% of which are typically on scholarship. The program is both integrated with academic goals and focused on the tenets. Quantum is the only physical education program that combines physical fitness with an exploration of mind and voice.
5) Wonderful, bright, new dojo
In September 2016, we opened at our new location in Seattle’s Central District. Our members built our dojo. Which let us create a space that fits us perfectly and gives us pride. Being the primary tenant in 2300 square feet, we have the flexibility of setting our own training schedules. The space has lots of natural light and gets a large amount of foot traffic by our windows. When we are not training, we sublease to other movement arts organizations. This lets us serve the community and expand awareness of our facilities.
Quantum is dedicated to evaluating our progress toward our goals in modern and traditional ways. Below is a list of ways we monitor and adjust to make sure we have maximum impact.
1) Our rank advancement system requires student to have the knowledge, skills and self-control in order to advance. Instructors monitor a participant’s strength, flexibility and overall fitness level to access if they have the capability to move to the next, more strenuous level.
2) We are implementing a traditional evaluation program, which includes open-ended questions and storytelling to assess the impact of the program on the student’s life outside the dojo.
3) We track membership and attendance to assess the health of the organizations. This allows the Chief Instructor to oversee that progress of students and make suggestions. This also allows the Executive Director to assess financial stability
4) We have regular staff and board meetings, teacher gatherings and an annual all membership meeting to solicit feedback from our community. We ask what people have enjoyed the most, what they would like to see improved and what new goals they might like to see for the upcoming year.
5) At each monthly board meeting, we review our organizational dashboard and determine which goals need extra effort in the coming months. The dashboard includes financial, membership, and teacher training metrics. Because the dashboard is tied to our strategic plan, we are able to track incremental progress towards are longer-term goals.
Quantum Martial Arts is creating valued, empowered warriors. We fill the world with high integrity people who show compassion and courtesy and are able to move through the world with confidence. Currently we have 50 members in our Adult and Kid programs and about 200 children per year in our four outreach programs. We will continue to expand our advertising and community outreach to accomplish our goal of 100 members by 2020.
Our Martial Arts Outreach programs are unique partnerships that bring a fun, inspirational and critical activity to children from every walk of life including low-income and immigrant families. In addition to our 11-year+ partnership with Lake Washington Girls Middle School and Lowell Elementary School, in 2015 and 2016 we expanded to providing programs at a low income housing complex called Appian Way Apartments run by Mercy Housing in Kent, WA and to an after school club program at Epiphany Elementary School in the Madrona area of Seattle. Without Quantum, these children would not otherwise be exposed to martial arts. Shouted at the beginning and embodied in every class, the Quantum tenets are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. The lessons of Quantum give our participants the skills to lift themselves and their families higher, creating bright and productive futures. There is much room to grow in our outreach partnerships. We hope to expand the number of students and to add a few more programs by 2020.
Our community partnerships are also growing. We recently confirmed a collaboration with Treehouse for Kids; a nonprofit that promotes the welfare of children in foster care. Our joint program will allow a foster child to try martial arts classes for two months at no cost; and then if the child is eligible, Treehouse will support them on an ongoing basis. In addition, Quantum members have volunteered with the Rainier Valley Food Bank and with Casa Latina; two organizations in our neighborhood. We have participated in community fairs put on by Kawabe House and Mount Baker Neighborhood Association. From these activities we have created new friends and new members. We love the connections to our friends in the neighborhood and will continue to support them as they continue to support us.
We have built Quantum to be an amazing community. When you join Quantum, you are giving yourself the gift of a stronger body, a sharper mind, and a group of people that care about and support you. Although we adhere to traditions common in many dojos (such as wearing uniforms and bowing), our classes our equally filled with sweat and laughter. Our members are both challenged and encouraged. If they need extra help, it is easy to ask anyone to spend a little extra time. Connection is the core of the Quantum style. We strive to help our students connect to their strongest and best selves and know that each student plays a role in making the dojo a great place.