Finances workshop at ESS 2014.

We do our best to make Epic Skill Swap as affordable as possible and we operate on a sliding scale payment model. The average cost per person has been about $75 for the last few years, which includes lodging and meals.

Our sliding scale model: One of our organizing principles is that Epic Skill Swap should be accessible to everyone. No one should have to stay home because they can’t afford to come. To that end, there is no absolute price. We operate on a loose sliding scale that ranges from $0 to $140. We’ll let you know what it costs us on a per-person basis to put the event on, and ask that you consider this, as well as your ability to pay, in choosing what to contribute.

If the per-person cost is prohibitively expensive for you, it’s OK to pay less. If you can afford to, consider paying more, to offset those who pay less.

No one makes a profit on this event, and the organizers work tirelessly for months to plan and organize it, so it is important that they get reimbursed for their costs. We took a leap of faith using this approach early on and each year the community did not disappoint us. Each year we have covered our costs and a had a few dollars left over to put toward the next year, which was exactly what we were hoping for.

Paying for kids: You do not need to register your baby and toddler, but we do ask that you register older kids who you expect will eat with the group. Our suggested sliding scale for kids is $0–$50, but we encourage you to pay what feels appropriate based on your child and your situation.

Workshop material fees: In addition, some workshops will include a nominal fee to cover the cost of materials. These will be indicated on the schedule. Please bring cash to be prepared to reimburse instructors if you decide to go to these workshops.

Where the money goes: We feel that it’s important for our community to know what our costs are so that everyone understands how their contribution is being used. All of the money collected goes into putting this event on. Our goal is simply to break even. If we have a few dollars left over, that will be used as seed money for next year. (Note: In the last few years, thanks to our community’s generosity, we have started accumulating a small surplus. The organizing committee is currently deciding how to use that surplus — travel grants? helping workshop leaders pay for materials? helping start new swaps in other locations? — and will post here once we make a decision!)

Cost breakdown for 2017:

Rental of Camp Wilmot            $3,045
Food                                            $1,788
Chef                                                $400
Insurance                                      $486
Supplies                                        $169
Total                                           $5,888