What’s this about WCA raising its prices?

After 17 years, we’re finally raising our prices to
$20-$40, sliding scale.

Our quarterly specials will increase from 5 treatments for $65 to 5 treatments for $85 (an even better deal!).

When:
Our new prices will take effect on November 1, 2019.

Why:
$15 in 2002 is the equivalent of $21.36 in 2019.
The cost of living in Portland has gone up, and we need to raise our staff’s salaries.

What do I do if I can’t afford this?

Please don’t worry! At WCA, we get it: the times when you need acupuncture the most might coincide with the times that you can least afford to pay for it. That’s why we’re here. If you already have an individual payment arrangement with us, that doesn’t have to change. If you need an individual payment arrangement, please talk with your acupuncturist, and we’ll figure out something that works for you.

How is WCA funded?

87% of WCA’s funding comes from our patients paying for treatments. 12% comes from contracts we have with other agencies to provide acupuncture for their clients (like the on-site clinic for people in recovery that we run at CODA) and 1% comes from donations. We do not bill any insurance or, as a general rule, receive grants.

What’s WCA’s budget like?

WCA brings in about $855,000 in revenues per year and has about $863,000 expenses. We employ ~15 acupuncturists in four locations: Cully, Hillsdale, Rockwood, and onsite at CODA.

What does WCA do with that money?

We provide about 61,000 treatments per year. We also support the teaching clinics of POCA Tech, the acupuncture school that we helped found in order to train the next generation of community acupuncturists. WCA’s clinic in Rockwood is the main internship location for POCA Tech students.

What can I do to help?

Please keep doing what you’ve been doing -- referring your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors to WCA! Also, we’re always looking for reception volunteers (and a volunteer perk is free acupuncture!) You can learn more about volunteering by emailing volunteer@workingclassacupuncture.org. And if you’d like to help with our fundraising efforts for expansion, please read on below.

About WCA Fundraising

How does WCA do fundraising?

Beginning this fall, we’re going to hold two month-long fundraising drives per year (one in the fall, one in the spring) in order to support expanded access to affordable community acupuncture. If you want to help us get more acupuncture to more people who need it, you can sign up for:

The WCA Builders program, to help open our next clinic

and/or

The POCA Tech Sustainers program, to help train community acupuncturists (like Betony and Rebecca!)

What’s the price tag for opening a new WCA clinic in a new neighborhood?

Between $60K -$100K over three years. New WCA clinics lose money because it takes awhile for them to become self-sustaining. In order to make opening a clinic feasible, we need to raise a chunk of operating expenses (mostly staff salaries) ahead of time, to create a bridge from “WCA losing money” to “enough patients that the new clinic can cover its own expenses”. WCA doesn’t have enough savings to take the hit all by itself.

Do you really need to fundraise AND raise your prices?

Yes. The purpose of the price increase is to give our staff a cost of living raise. The purpose of fundraising is to cover the cost of expansion (opening a new clinic) and to invest in the future of community acupuncture (training WCA’s future workforce, as well as community acupuncturists who can open clinics in other areas).

Why doesn’t WCA apply for grants?

WCA isn’t a good fit for most grants or most foundations, because although we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we run on a solidarity model rather than a charity model, and almost all grants are designed for a charity model.

The biggest obstacle is that WCA doesn’t use “means testing”: we never ask for proof of income when people are using the sliding scale or when we work out individual payment arrangements with people. Most grants require recipients to prove that they are “serving the needy” and that’s just not a fit with our systems.

Also, as part of our solidarity model, WCA runs on a very, very lean administrative structure, and most grants require a large investment of staff time -- not just in applying for them, but in reporting outcomes later.

Thanks for supporting WCA!