As the person most often bookkeeping for the order, I wanted to take an opportunity to talk about our current financial stewardship policies, plans for handling the scholarship fund, and a few options we currently have to help make attending Hollow Bones events and trainings more affordable.
Coming into this year we did a complete review of our expenses and event pricing. We discovered that there were a number of occasions where we were not breaking even and were spending our small amount of capital cushion to cover retreat expenses. As part of our intention to wisely steward our collective resources, we determined that each event must be priced to at least cover the direct costs to Hollow Bones. For online-only offerings, or for the online option of a hybrid offering, that means at minimum we must cover the calculated portion of our yearly overhead for each seat sold. This includes things like website hosting, Zoom and other tech tools, compensation for our director, registrar, and communications manager, yearly legal filing fees, etc. For in-person events, we must cover this as well as the actual cost of the retreat itself–lodging, food, and sometimes additional personnel costs depending on the venue.
We understand this level of financial investment isn’t possible for everyone, and we do have two options currently in place for helping people afford attendance. First, for online events, you can always reach out to me to ask for more information on our sliding-scale policy. We have a simple formula based on your income and expenses that we will use collaboratively to come up with your fair discount for an online training or online retreat attendance. This allows us to cover our overhead while potentially giving you a reduced price.
Secondly, each event or training may have a coupon code available that can take a percentage of the cost off. Please feel free to reach out to me prior to signing up so I can issue you the correct code.
Both of these options can only reduce the attendee’s event price to the baseline cost to Hollow Bones. This allows us to keep our finances balanced while still helping those sangha members who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend our offerings.
Our new scholarship fund drive will, we hope, assist us in covering these costs while allowing even more sangha members to attend our events. We will be able to reduce the scholarship recipients’ costs further, since community funding will be able to cover the costs to the organization until the scholarship fund is depleted.
These funds will be held aside for in-person attendance to events, separate from the operating costs of Hollow Bones. This is important to note – any sustaining or one time donations to our annual fund support our operations, and your sustaining and one time donations to our operating budget are critical in allowing us to continue providing regular services and new trainings and events. If you would like to help us build a scholarship fund, that must be a separate transaction using a different Donorbox campaign.
If you have any questions about our current process or future plans, requests for financial assistance, or stories to share about how Hollow Bones’ financial assistance programs have impacted you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!