Avalanche Center Home Update - October 26, 2011


An Update from the Avalanche Center

http://www.avalanche-center.org/
October 26, 2011
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Introduction, From the Director

This is our first newsletter of the season. It is relatively short, one of our goals being to send something out every 7-10 days and not have any of them be too long with accumulated news. Unfortunately it is a stretch to even run this project at all so we do not have a great track record in this regard, having resorted to infrequent and lengthy newsletters. However, once again we will try.

Halloween is rapidly approaching and few things are as scary as an avalanche. Not necessarily in every context but certainly in recreation. We have never thought much of the approach some instructors and programs use of scaring people out of having fun, but Halloween has a lighter side than that. Perhaps somebody can come up with an avalanche costume. You can take that as a challlenge, and if you come up with something post some photos on our Facebook Page!

As always, it is essential to comment on our budget situation. We don't like having to constantly ask for donations but nobody has found a magic alternative to this. Which is why you endure radiothons for community radio and television and receive direct mail requests. It does seem that these things work, even in difficult times. A number of recent radiothons announced record breaking results and in the US a couple of the Forest Service operations have held record breaking fundraisers. We can't do quite the same things but please consider supporting this non-profit project. Even a small automatic monthly contribution can make a bit difference and there is more on this option below.

While this first newsletter will not dwell on our budget the final details for last season (ending September 30) are available on the website. Some links need to be updated to go to this most recent information but it can be found in the "About Us" section.

Store Sale - 25% or more off!

There isn't any need to write much about this, except that all the details are on the website store and that it ends on November 6. Any order which includes at least one beacon is eligible for 25% off, just contact us after ordering and let us know where you heard about the sale and we will refund the 25%. If you mention our Facebook Page and have Liked it we will give you 30% off!

Another way to get 30% off any order right now is to log in as a member. If you do that the shopping cart will automatically deduct 30% whether or not the order includes a beacon.

We found, through a customer report, that our shopping cart had some problems. We think everything is fixed now and the customer was able to order successfully, but if you encounter any problems in the store let us know so we can check them out and fix things. We only know there is a problem if it gets reported for the most part.

Purchasing gear through our store means supporting our non-profit safety related work rather than contributing to the profits of a business. And it doesn't cost any more, we'll even match anyones pricing. The sale pricing actually has more to do with helping our early season cash flow than making anything.

Store Blog - Backcountry Access Product Line Update

We will use the store blog to cover changes for this season in the various product lines we carry. There is still quite a bit of updating to do but we have completed the BCA line. The blog describes what is new, what is changed, and any other information about this seasons products.

Auction

There will be a fundraising auction again this season. How successful it is will depend on how much support we get from industry and how many people participate in the bidding. We recently sent out an initial fax seeking product donations but for the most part it is still early to have any news on results.

We did get one initial response rather quickly and are happy to announce that Revolution Snowboards is donating a custom board! They are the first ones to contribute something this year, and it is the first auction they have supported. Hopefully there will be some other industry supporters following suit.

The actual auction dates will be Dec 7th to Dec 15th. We will be making more announcements and updating the auction page between now and the event.

Recurring Contributions

We finally have recurring contributions set up! You can choose an amount and an interval and the appropriate contribution will be made each month (or week, or whatever). This is an easy and effective way to support the avalanche center. A monthly contribution of $10 is very significant over the course of a year, yet less than many people spend on coffee in a week or beer in an evening.

This method of donating to the avalanche center is available on the home page as well as the Contribute! page.

Recurring donations help keep us going all year. One reason for the big fall sale is that we hope to generate some cash flow. There are basic operating expenses all year yet very little income in late spring through fall. It is November or December before contributions and store sales pick up and the auction occurs. Your recurring contribution, even if it's very modest, will be a big help in the slower parts of the year.

Another way to make contributions, including recurring ones, is through the American Express Just Give program. AmEx administers that and sends any donations on to us. It may offer some advantages if you are an active AmEx customer.

Social Media

Be sure to look for us and follow us on Facebook and other sites. We have a Facebook Profile with about 1200 friends and a Facebook Page with just over 50 followers. Obviously we need to promote the page more, and it is likely to have more useful information during the season than the profile. Be sure to be a friend of the Avalanche Center and to Like our page. We are also on Twitter.

Facebook has made changes which result in their deciding what you want to see. Some things are provided with a lot of visibility while others are buried. The user has much less choice in the matter than they used to. We were using Networked Blogs to post blog updates to Facebook but in addition to having major problems of its own Facebook has decided not to include anything at all from that app on news feeds. You can help us get our posts out most effectively by liking them, commenting on them, and sharing them. And "retweeting" them in the case of Twitter.

Also, have you suggested our profile or page to any of your friends?

Remember:

This has been an early season update as we try to get things underway. We do have more to include that is on hold for next time, such as a 2010-11 incident overview, additional product line updates, educational information and resources, and more. For now please consider contributing if you can, spread the word about the fall sale, and help us out on the social media front. Your support in any of these ways is appreciated and helps make out work possible and effective.

Jim Frankenfield
Executive Director


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