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Martial Arts in Chapel Hill. Community-Minded, Family-Oriented, Behavior Based.

How You Can Help


Donate? Sponsor a child? 


There are many ways that you can help. Financially, things are tighter for us than you can imagine, so please don’t underestimate this point. We are a nonprofit so your donations are tax deductible. Our base rate for a child is $59 per month (with one-year agreement) and we have many families who come to us unable to pay this amount. So why not sponsor a child? Contact us and let us know that you’d like to do so and we can provide detail.




Volunteer your time?  


Sure, why not. We can’t guarantee that we could find something for you to do, but it’s worth a try. If you want to help, but can’t donate right now, sure, ask us if there’s any way you could help. 


Refer people you know to sign up for classes or contribute? 


Sign up for classes, or refer people you know to join our classes. One child per paying-family brings in between $800 and $1200 per year. One new student, therefore, can make a huge difference. All existing Ligo Dojo students and families should seek to “grow their dojo” by spreading the word and bringing in new paying members.  


Voluntarily increase what you pay?


Of course! Sure, you can! Remember that our base rates are less than other martial arts schools in the area, sometimes by as much as half, but please try to avoid feeling “entitled” to our cheaper rates. It’s a double-edged sword. Charging so little helps the community, but also makes it hard for us to get by. If you could afford the higher rates of the school across town, however, but pay ours instead (because of the quality of our instruction), sure, why not increase what you pay voluntarily?


Corporate Donations?


Absolutely. Please, if you work for a company that supports community causes, or if you know someone who does, we ARE a 501.c.3 nonprofit. All donations are tax deductible. 


 Why We Need Your Help


Society for the Betterment of the Human Condition through the Training, Instruction and Propagation of Budo Karate (d.b.a. Ligo Dojo) is an organization accustomed to some fairly down and dirty guerrilla program operation. What we mean by that is we are accustomed to pooling resources and operating programs with limited funding. At the same time we are accustomed to being highly successful and highly lauded for the work that we do. We were awarded Triangle Community Foundation’s only What Matters Innovation Award for Nonprofit Excellence two years ago. After not being funded at all for our first 5 years, we received a 3-year capacity building grant from the City of Durham which opened the floodgates and we received virtually everything that was available locally in our field over the next two years. We had two simultaneous 2-year Governor’s Crime Commission Grants, we were funded two years in a row by Triangle Community Foundation, 3 years in a row by Duke University’s Doing Good in the Neighborhood Community Care Fund, and have received a total of 12 years of Juvenile Crime Prevention Council funding (made up of as many as 3 simultaneous programs some years). We have also been funded by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation 3 years in a row, and the Human Services Boards of both Chapel Hill and Carrboro now for our 3rd year. Our founder, Nathan Ligo, was named Tar Heel of the Week by the News and Observer, and interviewed on ABC news.

Even with that kind of record, however, several of these sources of funding are now drying up. Governor’s Crime Commissions funds have been decimated due to federal compliance issues (i.e. NC’s issues, not ours), and Triangle Community Foundation prioritizes new organizations, and we’re no longer a new organization. We are in the second year of our Young Warriors CBT program ($70,000 state legislated funds awarded by DPS at the state level to provide Cognitive Behavior Therapy for court-referred youth) and, due to political and economic changes in Raleigh and beyond, we cannot be sure this program will continue for a third year. Our new Chapel Hill location earned over $50,000 this year in program revenue (offering karate classes to the non-subsidized general public), and we are sure, therefore, that we are on the road to eventual self-sufficiency. Chapel Hill rent, however, is not cheap, and this $50,000 doesn’t quite pay the dual monthly expense of rent plus our start-up loan payment (these two expenses alone exceed $60,000/year).  Currently we have more than one instructor who last year were being paid, but who are, this year, volunteering their time. Things are tighter for us, financially, than you can imagine. Please find ways that you can help. 


Give to Help our Kids:

Every Dollar Helps.