An Update from the Avalanche Center
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This is a special update for the fundraising auction. The next update will have more non-auction content, but for now please keep in mind that the auction is an important supplement to user contributions and store revenues. In addition to some items donated by members of the outdoor industry we also have avalanche safety equipment that goes to very low bidders in many cases (like the $300 DSP last week!), and small items like Chums for 50 cents or so that still come with a years membership to the avalanche center.
We need your help with the auction - help promote it, bid on some items, and if you want to sell any outdoor equipment of any kind you can post it on our auction with no fees.
Thanks to everyone who added the Avalanche Center as a friend on Facebook. We have over 50 friends now. This may not be a lot by facebook standards or as a percentage of list subscribers, but it's a good start in a short time. If you haven't become a friend the link is at the top of this update. Let your friends know too!
Auction - http://www.avalanche-center.org/auction/
The auction started December 2 and is now open. Getting started is always slow, discouraging, and somewhat depressing after the work of setting it up. The final week usually overcomes this to some extent as more people decide to visit the auction and bid. It also takes until the final week to get everything open for bidding. Promotions efforts seem to catch up by the last 5 to 7 days as well, but promoting it without assistance has become more difficult each year.
We have sold one Pieps DSP for $300 so far. It is surprising more people didn't bid, but this happens. We can maintain a good turn over of beacons that all go for cheap as long as there is some bidding and it is promoting the auction and the site. Right now there are 2 more DSP transceivers posted, and plans to post a single Ortovox S1. We'll auction more than just those if the interest is there. (Otherwise we auction them on e-bay where the deals vary but are rarely as good as on our own auction.)
For our supporters in Colorado, or planning to go there, and wanting to take a class we have a certificate for a Level 1 class from Alpine World Ascents. There is a pair of goggles, and a subscription to Rock and Ice. The biggest items still need to be open for bidding but should be on Wednesday - a Vaude pack and some Columbia Sportswear items. And we have a dry suit donated by a friend of the avalanche center who won it at the Outdoor Retailer show.
We always include small items and logo items, and this year is no exception. Chums for 50 cents will get you a membership for a year. Some sizes of our logo shirts need to be sold down a bit so we can order more soon after the auction. And we have some small items left from the past. Keep checking in to see whats there! While larger items all close on the 16th the smaller items and avalanche safety gear are sometimes only posted for a couple days and close before the end of the auction.
There is a link to the auction at the top of the Avalanche Store page, and there are also text ads on the left side of the home page, for the auction and for the store main page. A more prominent link now appears on the home page.
We need all the promotion we can get. There is a link to a pdf flyer at the top of the auction front page - print it out and post it anywhere you can that is appropriate. Email your friends and the lists for any clubs you are part of. And post a note for the auction an any forums you participate in. ( In the early days the only discussion resource on the net was usenet, and a lot of encouragement for the development of this project came from the intelligent and fruitful discussions there. Today nobody knows what those groups are and they are not used much. Todays dispersed forums tend to be contentious, and if we post something about the auction it is almost inevitable that somebody gets upset over being commercial. On the other hand people post announcements about sales at stores (which are clearly commercial). So we don't post anything any more, but in many cases other people do and that appears to be acceptable. It helps, and it does make more people aware of the site and the store. )
New this year ...
You can now use our auction resource to sell your own items, and there is a link to information on doing this. Any outdoor related items can be posted. There is no fee or charge for this, but we hope that people will make an appropriate donation to the Avalanche Center when they succeed in selling something. (Actually this is not entirely new, it was available during and after our last auction and at least one set of skis changed hands.)
Budget and Fundraising - http://www.avalanche-center.org/Organization/finance/
The budget through November is almost completed and the web page will be updated soon. So far this season user contributions are very low. We have more or less broken even, which will not help us get through the non-winter months when we operate at a loss. Our first update usually brings in more contributions, especially from our regular and long time supporters. Please contribute if you can.
The financial details posted at the above link seem to be very atypical when looking around on the web. Many sites have a button to donate but no information at all on what they need donations for. In some cases the group provides resources to businesses, and the related products or services are not priced any lower. Which leaves me wondering why I should donate. There are also groups that transfer funds to other groups or agencies where the recipient agency takes a percentage for accounting!
Our revenues and expenses are all publicly available, and the funds raised cover the costs of operating (which does not include any salary for anyone). Computer expenses, server expenses, office costs, and a small percentage for travel are typical costs. And we don't take any kind of surcharge out of donations to pay for handling, processing or accounting.
Coming Next ...
Once the auction is over efforts will return to our new educational efforts, and we will hopefully be able to get some promotional materials printed again. Decals, full color bookmarks, and new shirts in particular. The incident reports and database, news stories, and bulletin distribution and archiving will all be brought up to date as well. In the meantime ...
Please help us out and join, contribute, bid in the auction, and spread the word. Mention the auction (and the deals!) on forums you participate in. Become a Facebook friend. Look for our auction flyer on the auction page and distribute it by posting locally or sending to your local clubs. Your help is appreciated and is important to keeping this non-profit sector project alive. The things we do, including the ones in the last paragraph, rely on your help and support.
Some links in parting: