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Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

NY
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Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

The tours were worthwhile, but I got to wondering how an operation with such little overhead can charge this much. This tour company does not pay their volunteer tour guides, yet charges $12? How does this add up?

Tourist spots with real budgets (renovations, staff, etc) don't charge that much more. I paid $10 for the Old State House. For $25, you are funding major tourist destinations that budget for multi-million dollar renovations and paid staff.

You're really telling me that a small office, printing plain brochures, $10 website hosting, and 2 staff costs that much?

Has anyone ever looked into this supposed "non-profit" companies public filings & books?

Quincy...
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for Boston
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1. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

that might have been a question for you to ask BEFORE you booked the tour, don't you think?

From the BostonbyFoot FAQ page:

If you're a nonprofit, why do you charge money?

Boston By Foot is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We incur expenses just like any other organization, including rent, utilities, insurance and promotional expenses. Though our guides are volunteers, we do have a small staff to run the organization. Our staff is respnsible for managing and supporting the 200+ guides, scheduling, coordination, communications and customer service. We aim to keep our prices as low as possible to make our tours accessible to the largest number of people possible.

One way to help Boston By Foot continue this valuable service while keeping ticket prices low is to join as a member. Boston By Foot also accepts contributions and grants.

Edited: 22 August 2014, 17:00
Boston...
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2. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

I think you're underestimating the overhead cost. Office space, accounting, classroom space, study guides, salaries and benefits, and outside instructors for the training all cost money. Anyone concerned about non-profits can always consult Guidestar or Charity Navigator to see where the money goes. It's all available in public records.

I also think you're underestimating the cost of keeping the website.

Boston
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3. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

Boston By Foot has been around since 1976. They are a reputable organization. There are about 200 volunteer guides. If they thought someone was profiting off of their good intentions I don't think they would stick around.

Georgia
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4. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

Can we assume you tipped the guide?

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

"Can we assume you tipped the guide?"

This, especially in the States.

Boston...
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6. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

Thank you for your comment. We’re so pleased that you enjoy our tours!

Your question is a good one. Boston By Foot is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to serve the public by providing educational tours of Boston’s history and architecture. We are fortunate to have over 200 dedicated volunteers who deliver our tours, but as with any organization, we do have many expenses that need to be paid.

Though we aim to keep these expenses as low as possible, we must pay for rent and utilities, insurance, marketing materials, training and recognition events for our volunteers, and salaries and benefits for our staff people who oversee and support our operations. In fact, our tour revenue alone does not cover all of our expenses, so we rely on our generous members and donors to help us meet our operating budget.

As with all nonprofit organizations, we file annually with the state and federal governments and our financial records are always available for public inspection.

Thank you for your interest in our organization. We hope you will participate in more Boston By Foot tours and programs!

-Boston By Foot

Lincoln, NH
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7. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

So, Yuk strikes again. You paid $12 and got a great tour and you are complaining? That gives me a little understanding to your breaking in to Fenway to watch the end of the game.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

Man it's painful to read people spew such venom with little to no background knowledge of how corporations/non-profits/situations work....the entitlement of these that want to be spoon fed answers and still are unhappy with what they are told blows me away...

Massachusetts
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9. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

Well, I was curious so I looked at their calendar and did a back-of-the-envelope calculation: 8 month season x 30 days/month x 5 tours/day x 12 people/tour x $12 = $172,800

Obviously the numbers are guesses but I can believe that a couple of staff salaries, rent and utilities would swallow that entire amount and more.

NY
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10. Re: Boston by Foot tours uses unpaid guides yet a $12 ticket ??

Pardon me, but I am very concerned about exploitative labor practices, and felt the question was worth answering. That is an interesting calculation, Ana.

Edited: 23 August 2014, 05:38