When you come and sweat at one of our events, we ask that you make a $5-$10 contribution to the Society. What do we do with that money?
Sauna Fuel. The first contribution goes toward the propane to heat up the sauna for the night. The amount of gas and the fuel cost fluctuates a bit based on how long the session is and how seasonally cold it is, but a $10 cost is average for a session.
Hosting Expenses. Our gracious sauna hosts often have small costs to take care of to make regular sweats possible. This might include things like shower hose or extension cord replacement, backyard lighting, or new gate hinges. Each new location needs a little bit of work to make hosting weekly sessions possible, as well as regular upkeep to ensure it keeps going smoothly, and we’d like to budget $4 per session.
Sauna and stove maintenance and replacement costs. Our saunas see a lot of use with weekly or sometimes multiple weekly sessions, and attendance ranges from 8 to 40 people or even more in a single evening. For this reason the sauna and sauna stove requires maintenance. Over time, they will require full rebuilds or replacement. This includes the sauna burners, propane tanks, sauna doors, benches, lighting, batteries, electrical equipment, the roof, locks and other hardware. Based on our experience, we estimate that each sauna will require a rebuild every decade in addition to regular maintenance, which comes out to about $15 per session.
Vehicle maintenance, insurance and replacement. Thanks to our gracious hosts, we don’t pay rent for our mobile saunas, but we do have to maintain our vehicles to ensure they to stay roadworthy. They also need insurance to be on the road, and there are fuel or towing costs every time they move to a new location. If we don’t have the funding for this maintenance, the harder it becomes to get them back on the road, and eventually the vehicle requires total replacement. Based on monthly insurance costs and a 10-year (used) vehicle cycle, this works out to $50 per session.
The following costs are divided between the multiple saunas the BCMSS operates.
Society expenses. The BCMSS doesn’t have a large overhead for a non-profit society, but there are some costs to maintaining the society which include registration fees, printing, office supplies, website renewal, insurance and bookkeeping. $4 per session.
New Projects. The goals of the Society include promoting and supporting mobile sauna culture. We would like to be able to build new mobile saunas, or help people building new mobile saunas with grants and other support. We built one sauna in 2014 funded by community support, and we’d like to do this every year with surplus from contributions made by the people who will benefit the most. $14 a week would allow us to create new sauna experiences and grow our community.
Volunteer Support. Most of the work on our community saunas is done by volunteers. If our budget allowed it, we would like to be able to reward our members for their hard work, and hire them to develop and support the goals of the society. We would like to at least have a yearly dinner to say thanks to those who put in so much time to make our community sweats a reality, and we could do this for $2 more a week.
The Real Cost of a Session. When these weekly costs are added together, we realize a weekly community sauna session costs $99. On average our saunas see 10 people in a week, sometimes many more. If each of these people were to contribute $10 each, we would easily reach our funding goals.
If our weekly contributions are not enough to match our budget, we have to seek out individual donors, hold fundraising events and seek out corporate opportunities in order to make up the budget shortfall. Even with these efforts we often can’t afford to fully maintain our equipment and are forced to reduce our operations.
So next time you enjoy a sweat, think about how much you enjoyed your experience and how much you’d like it to continue. Please make a generous donation to the Society every time you enjoy a sweat, and encourage other to do so. For our supporters, you can donate online. Visit our community page to sign up for automatic monthly contributions online through our paypal account.
Thanks for your support!