We make a wide variety of budget information available right here on our website for anyone who is interested. It takes time to do this, and of course most people don't really care as long as somebody else is supporting something. But we've always felt it's important in principle as a non-profit to be open with the public.

All of this information has been updated through February at this point. (March budgeting is done but the graphs haven't been web-readied and posted yet. It doesn't change the picture much though.) As you can see, we really do need your support.

This year is looking very tough. Due to a death in the family of the webmaster/director there was little communication for a couple months, although the site was maintained and added to. As much as we hate repeatedly asking for contributions it's what works, every time we ask we get at least a few more. Our store is doing about average.

The graphs of interest are somewhat scattered even though they are all in this section of the website. So here is a quick listing/summary with links which will open the charts in a new window. All of these plus many more can be found from the finance index page.

Total revenue and expenses history - You can see that on the whole we've been getting by with less in recent years, which is possible by economizing and also by the much lower cost and longer lifetime of computer equipment today. Notice that the last two years operated at a loss, with last years being very significant. We may appear to be ahead so far this year, but our base overhead costs continue through summer when we have almost no revenue.

Contributions - Total Amount by Season - Number of Contributors by Season - You can see that both the total amount of income from contributions as well as the total number of contributors has dropped significantly over time. The average amount has actually remained fairly constant at around $30-35, which is the minimum amount for a membership. The extremes tend to be $3 contributions added to shopping carts and the occasional donation of $100 or so. Last season the average was higher, showing that we relied more on fewer but more generous donors.

In addition to not sending out more communications a couple other factors may be playing a role. This season has been relatively quiet with 14 or 15 fatalities so far in the US, compared to an average for the season of 31 or 32. There have not been any high profile incidents. This is all good of course, but it also means people may think less about the importance of resources like ours.

We have also essentially phased out our mailing lists for advisories. This required a fair amount of overhead and a certain amount of risk of abuse. (Abuse was rare but very problematic when it did happen.) Interest declined as well and it got to the point where it just isn't worthwhile to offer at all. Although list subscribers are required to contribute most were happy to. It wasn't as much the requirement and the fact that we had more frequent contact with these supporters.

So things are not so well financially. We don't need anywhere near the budgets some centers require to function at all. We've never threatened to shut down if we don't get a certain amount (and growing much faster than the rate of inflation as a result). But nothing is free, somebody has to support it. And in the case of avalanche safety nobody else is going to, so we really do rely on your help.