In the process of brainstorming, planning, and implementing this whole ‘retreat centre’ idea, we have gone back and forth multiple times on how to structure our organization. We explored the possibility of registering Ballast Lodge as a charity, a not-for-profit, an incorporated business or a sole-proprietorship. Each of these is a viable option, and each has its pros and cons. We wanted a dynamic approach, since we are sure that we will need to pivot and adapt as we develop our model. We also did not want to increase overhead and administration with additional tax filings, registrations and legal fees. This led us to conclude that running the Lodge as a sole-proprietorship makes the most sense. However, simply because Ballast Lodge is a business, that does not mean the end goal is profit. We see ourselves as missional entrepreneurs operating in a ‘Business as Mission’ environment.
Our goal is not to build an empire. We may be business-structured, but we are mission-oriented. We desire to keep our rates consistent, low and accessible. We are trying to avoid weekend/high season rates and also not basing our pricing on your ability to pay. Our weekly and nightly rates are the same, regardless of your station in life. The only exception will be that if you could benefit from a stay at the Lodge and can’t afford it, we hope you will reach out and we will find a way to make it work. We desire for Ballast Lodge to be an affordable getaway (with some luxurious touches) that is accessible to anyone who needs it.
We do need to charge fees in order to cover our basic expenses. The heat and lights need to turn on, the municipality wants its taxes and as risk tolerant as we are, we need to purchase insurance to protect not only ourselves, but our guests in case something unfortunate should happen.
Having decided against charitable status, this means that you cannot donate to the lodge and receive an income tax receipt. However, it does mean that with our reduced administration we can keep our rates low for everyone. Should you desire to do something to support us as we step out in faith, we would encourage you to find a counselor, ministry worker, or couple you know who needs a break and bless them with a stay at our standard rates. You won’t get a receipt, but 100% of your donation will be going to support both the people that you blessing and the continued operation of Ballast Lodge.
Thanks for your interest in our Business as Mission. We are looking forward to what God has in store for us as we undertake this adventure.