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					Traversing a money storm when
    planning a DXpedition
         May 19, 2012
  By N1DG, Don Greenbaum
        Why This Discussion?
• Financial transparency rarely done on
  DXpeditions. It should be.
• If more of the ham community knew the costs
  and risks involved in big ticket DXpeditions fund
  raising might be easier.
• DX Foundations and Clubs can’t continue to do
  all the heavy lifting.
• Not all DXpeditions are alike. One size does not
  fit all in donations.
 DXpeditions go to pretty places.
The financial story is not as pretty.
         Types of DXpeditions
• Visit a resident ham
  ... Be happy, don‘t worry. $
• Fly-in. Airline served, hotels, power.
   … Worry about excess baggage $$$
• Semi Remote Places, ship/chartered plane.
   … Worry about amplifiers sinking in the deep ocean
    $$$$$
• The bottom of the World
   … Worry about needing an icebreaker
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
       Methodology of Survey
• Examined 20 NCDXF funded DXpeditions since
  1997.
• Sent everyone same questionaire and invited
  outlier costs (ie. Unique to destination)
• Confidentiality assured if requested. Few did.
• These 20 expeditions covered almost 2 million
  QSOs from the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Asia and
  Africa at a cost of $3 million.
  Budget Considerations-Fly-in
• Mostly Commercial transportation.
• 5 DXpeditions analyzed, 4W6A, A52A, VU4PB,
  VU7LD, and VK9DNX.
• These expeditions made 275,508 QSOs,
  average expedition 55,000.
• Biggest budget: $90,000, smallest $17,000.
• Average cost, $42,000, average cost per QSO:
  $.72. Individual contributions: 11 cents per Q/
  36 cents per unique callsign.
  Budget Considerations-Fly-in
• Licensing in rare countries like this can be as
  much as 50% of the cost of the operation.
• Shipping to some of these destinations can be
  significant due to import duties or unreliable
  shipping routes.
• Travel and planning times short compared to
  other two levels of operations.
• This group, on average, relied on the highest %
  of operator funding of the budget and the lowest
  ratio of NA stations worked.
  Fly-in: The makeup of Sources of
               Funding

          $31,600



                               Team Members 66%

$41,600                        Foundations/Clubs
                               21%
                               Individuals 13%
                    $140,600
   Fly-in: Geographic QSOs

         11335

 49985


                          Europe 52%

                          Asia 26%
                 144722
                          North America 18%

                          Rest of World 4%
72249
     Budget Considerations Semi-
              Remote
• Private Charter of ship/plane, averaging $88,000.
• 9 DXpeditions analyzed: BS7H, K4M, K5D, T32C,
  VK9DWX, VP6DX, VP6T, ZL8R and ZL8X.
• These expeditions made 958,607 QSOs, average
  expedition 106,512.
• Biggest budget: $327,000, smallest $54,000.
• Average cost, $145,000, average cost per QSO:
  $1.37. Individual contributions: 33 cents per
  Q/$1.31 per unique callsign.
   Budget Considerations-Semi-Rare

• Licensing could require lengthy approval processes
  from government and/or fish and wildlife authorities.
• Travel and planning times significant. Average travel
  time to and from these locations average 10 days.
  Most of these operations took a year or more of
  planning and fund raising.
• This group, on average, had the highest % of North
  American contacts and the lowest % of costs by the
  operators.
    Semi-rare: The makeup of
      Sources of Funding

 $316,875

                          Team Members 58%

                          Foundations/Clubs
                          17%
               $751,410
                          Individuals 25%
$217,700
Semi-Rare: Geographic QSOs

            38916

195789

                             North America 44%
                    422818
                             Europe 32%

                             Asia 20%

                             Rest of World 4%


   301071
   Budget Considerations-Southern Oceans
• Ice breaker rated ship averaging $260,000.
• Shelters and generators must survive harsh
  conditions.
• 6 DXpeditions analyzed: 3Y0X, FT5XO, VK0IR,
  VP8GEO, VP8ORK, and VP8THU.
• These expeditions made 370,000 QSOs, average
  expedition 74,000.
• Biggest budget: $475,000, smallest $160,000.
  Average team member contribution $12,700.
• Average cost, $323,000, average cost per QSO:
  $4.30. Individual contributions (pre/post): 52 cents
  per Q/ $1.69 per unique callsign.
  Budget Considerations-Southern
            Oceans
• Licensing long and tedious process.
• Shipping and loading involves dealing with ports
  in South America with astronomical charges.
• Travel times mean a commitment of team
  members in excess of a month. In addition to
  large financial commitments to team, foul
  weather gear and airfare to departure points can
  add thousands in personal costs.
• Individual donations in this group amounted
  to the smallest % of funding of any of the
  groups.
  Southern Oceans: Sources of
            Funding

       $192,100


                               Team Members 63%

$344,000                       Foundations/Clubs
                               25%
                               Individuals 12%
                  $1,015,600
Southern Oceans: Geographic
           QSOs
          21261

58405

                           Europe 43%
                  158097
                           North America 36%

                           Asia 16%

                           Rest of World 5%


 132246
            Comparing Averages
•   Item                    Fly-in   Semi-Remote Southern Ocean
•   Total Budget            $43K     $145K       $323K
•   Cost/QSOs               0.72     $1.37       $4.30
•   Team %                  66%      58%         63%
•   Foundation %            21%      17%         25%
•   Individual %            13%      25%         12%
•   Average Individual$/Q   $.11      $.33       $.52
•   Average $ Unique        $.36      $1.31      $1.69
•   Plane/Ship               -       $88K       $260K
•   % QSOs EU               52%      31%         43%
•   % QSOs NA               18%      44%         36%
•   % QSOs AS               26%      20%         16%
•   Operating Days          16        13         12
•   Travel Days             5        10          20
A word about uniques
     Donations from individuals are not only a
     function of the total QSOs a DXpedition
     makes but also the unique stations worked.

     Donations did not go up proportionally to the
     number of bands and modes a station
     worked the DXpedition. In fact, across all
     three types of DXpeditions, each unique
     callsign brought in triple the donation
     compared to each additional QSO a DXer
     made.

     Just as in contesting, it’s the unique QSOs in
     the log that can make a difference in the
     financial results of the DXpedition.
         QSOs, QSLing, Donations @ VP8ORK

Country    Uniques   Total   OQRS    QSL    % Total   % Total   $ per Q
                     QSOs    Users   Direct QSOs in   Income    Country
                                            log
USA        5754      21566   999     814    34        80.0          11.137
Italy      1243      4902    260     160     8         .8            0.486
Germany    1295      4646     94     183     7        1.5            0.973
Russia     1001      3181     72     147    5         1.1            1.009
Japan      1211      2838    215     311    4         1.3            1.387
Spain      989       2681    76      119    4          .4            0.416
Poland     586       2146    52      113    3          .3            0.373
France     388       1643    45       73    3          .5            0.975
Canada     379       1442    37       66    2          4.9          10.153
England    398       1436    75       46    2          1.6           3.240
Czech.     344       1373    22       73    2           .1           0.312
Brazil     296       1277    14       32    2           .2           0.504
Finland    253       977     25       22    2           .6           1.914
Timing: Cash Flow for VP8ORK
         Foundation Support




In this study NCDXF funded 60% of the total donations given by all
 Foundations and Clubs to the six Southern Ocean DXpeditions.
Larger Clubs
Clubs
Clubs
You want to go where?
      If you REALLY want to go to
                VK0H?
• Clear 3 years from your calendar. Find 20 rich and
  competent operators who can take 6 weeks off of work.
• Create a management team. First, organize fund
  raising. You are going to need $600-700,000. The last
  group to go was in 1997 and the budget was over
  $300,000. Things have gotten much more expensive.
• Start to request donations of equipment.
• The cost of a ship from VK (no ship can go to Heard if it
  has visited a French Island like last time) is going to cost
  at least $500,000. You need a heli, add $100,000.
• Survival tents, proper clothing, generators, fuel and
  shipping will easily run another $100,000.
Do you still want to go to VK0H?
          Random Thoughts
• Foundations and clubs supported 24% of the
  cost of the 20 expeditions analyzed. If you
  supported one of the those mentioned above,
  thank you. If you don’t, please consider joining
  one of the organizations.
• NA Foundations, clubs and Individuals are 80%
  of the money pool to these DXpeditions.
• NA QSOs were 36% of the total Q analyzed.
  We clearly have an education process ahead of
  us if we want to see 3Y0/B or VK0HI again.
Questions?

				
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