We price our courses we way we do for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, to ensure a living wage for everyone involved in making our courses excellent and sustainable. And by everyone we mean our teachers, our crew, organisers, venues, backend and admin folks. Everyone.
Secondly, our course revenue funds everything that Milkwood does. We call it Social Pricing.
So everything we do for free, like creating resources on the blog, speaking at community events, building community gardens, holding community events, doing workshops in schools and acting as a sounding board for the large volume of emails and phone queries about just about everything from gardening, permaculture design + animal care (to name just a very few), needs to be funded by our course ticket prices.
The upside of all this? When you book a place on one of our courses, you are contributing to all of the free programs above, and also all the fair share programs below. And getting an incredible education experience at the same time.
As a permaculture enterprise, the concept of fair share is at the core of what we do. It is very important to us to help build strong, resilient communities, and to make knowledge available to those who want to learn, regardless of their personal circumstance. We give as much as we are able. Some of the ways we help out include:
Asylum Seekers Center, Sydney - we offer full scholarships & additional support to asylum seekers who are looking for education opportunities as part of their re-settlement in Australia.
Local Permaculture Groups - we pay for 1 year's membership for all our PDC students to join their local permaculture group, transition initiative or similar.
Landshare Australia - we sponsor Landshare Australia, a fabulous not-for-profit network dedicated to making land for food production available to whoever wants to farm or garden.
Sydney Food Fairness Alliance - we gifted Joel Salatin for an evening talk in Sydney in 2010, raising over $4,000 for SFFA.
Watershed Landcare - we gifted Joel Salatin for an evening talk in Mudgee in 2010, raising over $3,000 for WLC.
Australian Rural Education Center - we organize speaker programs of regenerative agriculture and permaculture for the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days.
Illawarra Councils - we gifted Joel Salatin's time for a community event promoting local food and farming networks in August 2011, helping to raise over $3,000 for local community initiatives.
Scholarships and discounts:
Students from developing countries - we have a charter of partial or full scholarships (as needed) for students attending our courses from developing countries.
Community discounts - we offer substantial course discounts to members of community gardens, transition initiatives and other important community initiatives.
Fair Share rates - we offer discounts to people who need access to our education program, but cannot afford it.
Consultancies and advocacy - we gift consultancies and advocacy opportunities where we can, to organisations and individuals who need them.
Free Film screenings - we host film screenings (with free organic popcorn!) of documentaries we feel are important and not easily found, in a range of communities.
Community buzz - we promote community and permaculture events and initiatives wherever possible, as long as we know they're happening!
Permablitzes - we fund plants, infrastructure, materials and lunch for over 70 people at our annual Alexandria permablitz.
Creating gardens - we invest in creating edible landscapes for the communities we work within.
We also support: Bylong Valley Protection Alliance - Australasian Permaculture Convergence 10 - Transition Bondi - Mahboba's Promise and a bunch of other organizations doing great community building work...
Another ethic at the core of what we do is co-operation instead of competition. So wherever possible we collaborate and co-operate with organisations and enterprises engaged in complimentary stuff to what we do. It's the best strategy for creating regenerative land and communities for everyone.
We've found that there's nothing stronger than a collaborative force, whatever the challenge. Plus, it's the right thing to do, when everyone involved is trying to make the world a better place. Our planet is at tipping point and our role is to help in whatever way we can, and create momentum by helping other organizations do the same.