Starting a Kidpower Center in Your Area
We’re always looking for people interested in bringing Kidpower to their community. Learn about becoming an instructor so you understand whether you would work under the auspices of an existing center or whether you would need to establish a new center to teach our program in your area. If you are part of an agency that meets our requirements, another option might be to establish an Authorized Agency Partnership.
In either case, please take time to consider whether Kidpower seems like a good fit for you, personally. All of our instructors, center directors, and agency partners commit to upholding our mission, goals, and values; to maintaining our extremely high quality standards and ethics; and to making a long-term investment of time and effort to be part of our organization.
Please note: Anyone interested in starting a center will also need to become an instructor with Kidpower. If you decide you want to start a center, you will be applying to become an instructor as well as becoming a Center Director. The application process is similar (and will be done at the same time) but you will need to sign both Center and Instructor agreements. At this time, we do not have a process for individuals to become instructors in areas where there is no center and not also become Center Directors. However, starting a center does not mean you need to make this a full time career or that you need to provide a certain amount of service. It does mean that you will work under the auspices of Kidpower and will be required to uphold our mission, goals and values and report to our Executive Director and International Board of Directors. Many individuals slowly bring Kidpower services to their communities while also having other full or part-time careers.
If you’re interested in the possibility of joining us in upholding these commitments, read these steps for starting a center:
Getting to Know Each Other
- Review all the information available about our organization, services, and also the business aspects of running a center such as insurance, liability, materials, center support fees, record-keeping, etc.
- Visit a center and experience our workshops, if possible. We understand this may not be practical for someone far from a center.
- Prepare a thorough written statement describing your background, education, work history, and reasons for wanting to start a center. Please see how to apply. Please clearly state you are also interested in becoming a Center Director.
- Schedule a phone meeting so we can answer your questions and begin the screening process. You will be asked to complete a series of screening questions via email before the phone meeting. Plan to take responsibility for the phone costs by placing the call directly or by proposing a phone meeting plan that ensures Kidpower does not incur costs for the call. We have found video conferencing through Skype to be very effective.
- If both the applicant and Kidpower representative feel good about moving forward with the application process then the applicant will complete a formal application and pay a non-refundable $50 application fee by credit card, money order, or check. All applicants will be required to complete a background check.
- Applicants selected as candidates are required to sign agreements prior to commencing training, and a limited number of candidates will be accepted. We recommend applying as early as possible.
Making Agreements Together
- Initial Agreements: If you are interested in going forward and we believe you demonstrate skills and qualities consistent with our Center Director Certification Standards, we’ll work together by phone and email to establish clear agreements. At this stage, you would complete a Center Agreement. If you’re also planning to become an instructor, you’ll complete the Instructor Application and Instructor Training Agreement as well.
- Service Delivery Plan: Next, we’ll make an agreement about your center’s service delivery plan, taking into account how far your area is from other centers as well as your own goals and prior experience. The plan will define your geographic service area, though it will not grant you exclusive entitlement to conduct programs in that area. You will also not be exclusively confined to that area: centers can get permission to offer services in other areas as long as they check first to ensure that existing agreements and relationships won’t be affected. Our goal is to increase access to our services in cooperative rather than competitive ways while keeping our quality exceptionally high. We have successful models for making this happen.
- Center Name: The name of your center must start with Kidpower or Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower. You’ll propose options for your center’s specific name, which is usually based on a city, county, geographic region, or nature symbol reflecting the area, and we’ll agree on one you like that also fits us, organizationally.
Launching Your Center
- Ask us questions. We provide ongoing consultation to help our centers set up and run successful programs. Centers cover any long distance telephone, word processing, photocopying and postage costs incurred in the process, but otherwise, we offer this consultation at no cost.
- Spread the word in your community. As you start building a base of potential students as well as potential donors, we can provide samples of fundraising and marketing materials used by other centers. We’ll help you figure out how to adapt them to best meet your own needs.
- Decide how to set up your fees and services. Center organizers have the right to decide how to set workshop fees for their communities. We do provide a scale of self-supporting fees. Often, people say this is too much for people to pay, but we’ve found that setting the fees too low can be a big mistake. Our centers in communities around the world have found that it works best to set fees on a break-even basis that includes all overhead and then to set up a generous sliding scale scholarship policy, supported by donations, so no one is turned away for lack of money. No matter what fees you establish, you will need to invest time in community education to help people understand the value of this training.
- Start teaching Kidpower skills. This begins during the Fieldwork Training phase of your instructor candidacy, and we hope it lasts for many satisfying years!
All new Center Directors will be given a supervisor for two years who will give them step-by-step guidance and help them create a plan for launching their centers. After the two-year start-up phase, new center directors will receive ongoing support from the Executive Director and Central Office and may continue to work with their supervisor, if needed.
Preventing and Resolving Conflict Between Centers
- Psychological Review: We have been advised by many therapists that the best psychological screening we can do is to work intensively with people as we do in our training and center development process. We reserve the right to require psychological review or a background check by an appropriate expert at the applicant’s expense if a question should surface regarding someone’s suitability for being in our organization
- Conflict Resolution: Although we do our best to prevent conflict through having clear agreements and standards, disagreements and misunderstandings arise when people work together. We each agree to communicate any concerns directly to the person who is responsible — the trainer, executive director, or center director. If concerns remain unresolved, we each agree that we’ll put our concerns in writing. If communication breaks down seriously, we may choose to work with a mediator, sharing the cost between the center organizer and Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International. A serious conflict that remains unresolved may then be brought to the Board of Directors, which has final decision-making authority.
Setting up a center involves not just a commitment to teaching our skills effectively but also a commitment to addressing the ‘business aspects’ of running a nonprofit organization effectively. We provide much more extensive information, in writing and through phone and email communication, to those who have submitted their written statement and initiated the screening process. However, we want to provide this information so that anyone considering working with Kidpower by establishing a center can deepen their understanding of related issues as well as get peace of mind that our organizational structure is sound and well thought-out at every level.
Common questions relate to:
Center Organizers have the right to decide how to set workshop fees for their communities. We do provide a scale of self-supporting fees. Usually the first reaction people have is that this is way too much for people to pay in their community. We are a nonprofit organization and Organizers often seek funding to subsidize the costs of our services. We have found that it is a mistake in the long run to set the fees of our classes too low. Our experience in many different types of communities is that it works better to set fees on a break-even basis that includes all overhead and to have a generous sliding scale scholarship policy supported by donations so no one is turned away for lack of money. This makes it clear for everyone what the value of the program is. Community education is needed no matter what the fees are to help people understand the value of this training.
Certified Instructor Training and Availability
Only instructors certified by our organization may teach for a Center working under our auspices. A list of certified instructors willing to travel is available. A description of our certified instructor training program is available.
Costs of Importing Trainers
Most of the time, people starting Centers work long distance before and after coming to the Training Program, rather than importing instructors.
Since we are a nonprofit organization, we can guide people in local centers in how to fund raise to cover these costs. It takes one trainer to conduct the Everyday Safety Skills workshops and at least two trainers to conduct the Emergency-Only Full Force Self Defense workshops.
The training fees to our organization for sending trainers depends on distance and type of workshop. All travel expenses such as shuttle to the airport, airport parking, airfare or rental car, meals and lodging are also the responsibility of the Center. Trainers could stay in people’s homes provided that comfortable private space can be arranged. Meals do not need to be fancy as long as they are healthy and meet any dietary restrictions.
We adapt the programs offered to fit the needs in each community. A number of Everyday Safety Skills Workshops can be offered on the same day. Programs that go on for several days can sometimes be arranged for a lower daily rate.
In addition to the trainer fees and travel, the Center is responsible for all other costs involved with organizing and conducting the workshops including room rental which can often be donated, marketing, etc.
All students or their legal guardians (parents, organizations acting as guardians) must sign a release of liability for all full force workshops or any workshops focusing on physical self defense. All volunteers and staff in an organization must sign an agreement not to sue for anything that happens through their involvement. All Centers must require that anyone driving for the organization have their own automobile insurance coverage which would apply in case of an accident even if they are driving on behalf of our organization.
In the United States and Canada, Centers will participate in our liability insurance coverage. This insurance covers liability only for accidents happening in classes to students. The costs of insurance may vary from year to year depending on our policy, but will be lower than what an individual could obtain separately for equivalent coverage. Outside the United States and Canada, Centers must have liability insurance coverage at a level appropriate for their country.
Publications and Information Material
The Center is responsible for the cost of providing written information materials to students. We will provide electronic masters of all handouts and promotional literature for the Centers to copy. If people wish to have information individually tailored here for their Center, then they will pay word processing costs of about $40 per hour.
Publications such as Manuals, Teaching Kits, Comic Books, and Guides are Publications are ordered and purchased online by the Center. These publications are copyrighted material and may not be reproduced by the Center without a separate written agreement.
Center Support Fee
A Center Support Fee on all gross income (income before expenses) is paid by the Center to Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International. This requirement includes income from all sources except the Center Organizer’s own personal donations to the program–any other donations, fees, grants, sale of products except those purchased directly through the Central Office, etc. The Center Support Fee helps to cover the costs of providing ongoing quality control; subsidized instructor training and conferences; ongoing program development; referrals; use of the programs names, content, and reputation; and ongoing coaching by experienced instructors.
The Center Support Fee is $300 or 5% of all gross income (income before expenses) per year – whichever is greater. This amount will be adjusted annually for inflation.
Included in the Center Support Fee is a review of two video recorded classes for an Instructor Candidate’s follow up training. An additional Video Review Fee of $100 per video recorded class will be charged if we are reviewing more than 2 classes per year and the Center is not paying more than the minimum Center Support Fee of $300.
In the United States and Canada, Centers are covered through our two liability insurance policies—one is $2 million coverage for liability associated with teaching workshops and the other is an Officers and Directors policy. Individuals are still responsible for their own automobile liability and office premises liability and for paying worker’s compensation insurance as required in their states or provinces.
For new centers in the United States and Canada, we waive your insurance costs for the first year you are in your certification process as long as you are not collecting fees for service and you are not teaching physical self-defense. If you collect fees for service in your first year, your insurance costs are $300 if you earn less than $6,000 a year and teach only Everyday Safety Skills (i.e. no physical self defense practice).
For new centers in their second year, conducting only Everyday Safety workshops and earning less than $6,000 per year will pay a minimum fee of $300 a year for insurance. New Centers will pay a pro-rated amount to cover increased costs if their income is over $6,000. Centers offering any type of physical self-defense practice with kick-pads or a full force padded instructor will pay a minimum fee of $1,200 a year, which can be prorated based on when they start.
After the two-year start-up period, an individual Center will pay an insurance fee of $1,200 for up to $50,000 worth of services if full force work is conducted and $800 a year if only every day safety workshops are conducted. Centers earning more than $50,000 will pay an increasing amount of their share of the liability insurance cost depending on their level of income. These fees may need to be adjusted depending on insurance costs.
In countries outside of the United States and Canada, Centers will purchase liability insurance to provide adequate coverage for the kind of work they are doing in their country and will take full responsibility for any liability to the organization resulting from their provision of services.
All of the following information will be kept in the Center’s main office, and will be given to Kidpower annually or oftener on request.
Service records need to be kept of all names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other relevant information such as types of information requested and what classes they took of all people who contact your Center. This information will be entered into a data base to use for future marketing and will submitted to Kidpower upon request. Annual statistics will be kept of the numbers of people served in each program.
Employment records need to be kept of who was paid for what type of activity for your reports to state and federal agencies for individual tax purposes and for whatever worker’s compensation requirements you have in your state or country.
Financial records need to be kept of the amount and source of income the Center receives and the amount and type of each expense the Center incurs at least monthly. The form we use in the United States is based on the categories required for our Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nonprofit reports. The IRS requires that we provide the names of contractors and major donors. We are flexible about the type of bookkeeping system used by your Center as long as clear records are kept so that we receive this information in the format we need.
Center Startup Help and Fundraising
We provide ongoing consultation to help Centers set up and run successful programs. This consultation is provided at no charge to Centers except for their covering any long distance telephone, word processing, photocopying and postage costs. Samples of fundraising and marketing materials used by other Centers are provided and Centers are helped to adapt these materials for their own situations.