Summary of Financial History and Financial Facts
Red ADvenir as a non-profit organization is sustained exclusively by donations. The financial
strategy differs from other institutions. We have a great trust that money will come at the right time
for the right need. We are acutely aware of the necessity to maximize the use of every dollar.
Increase in efficiency means, we will have more funds to spread the Gospel. It also means we will
prove even more faithful to the trust granted us by donors.
As a Satellite TV Network our operations´ costs are among the lowest across the Americas and
possibly across the world. Currently, 57% of our staff is working on a volunteer basis. By the end of
June, 2009, we had a staff of 54 persons, 25 volunteers and 19 with a fixed salary. Employee salary
is capped at US$300 per month, in this is in most cases only for employees with families. This is
little, even by Bolivian standards. Volunteers receive a small stipend (of US$100 a month) or they
work for free, depending on their financial basis (some volunteers, especially those from North
America or Western countries have a stronger economic base than volunteers coming from Latin
America). Volunteers are normally provided with living quarters.
Both volunteers and employees have accepted the call to work under challenging economical
circumstances. Thanks to their sacrifice, personnel costs are kept to 11% of total expenses.
Our greatest expense is for the payment of satellite fees. These expenses are covered directly
by GMI’s head quarters. Red ADvenir manages the rest of the expenses, which include all operations
in Bolivia. However, these expenses are only a fraction of what is paid for satellite (about 20% of
Detail of monthly expenses (US$) 2008 average:
8.2.Detailed discussion of expenses
In this section we look at our expenses in detail. Efficient use of our funds is our aim. And we
believe that God in His providence has seen that costs be kept very low in comparison to the same
work carried in other countries.
Satellite expenses are by far the greatest expense Red AD Venir faces. 80% of total budget
goes for this expense. Satellite is what brings Red AD Venir to the world, it connects us with all the
communities that are downlinking the signal to rebroadcast locally. Every other expense is small in
comparison with this cost. This is what drives the personnel often to their knees, requiring God’s
providence in covering expenses. Below is a discussion of these expenses and of our efforts in the
past years to increase our efficiency.
After satellite fees, the highest expense in the budget of Red ADvenir are personnel costs that
are now around 7,200 US$ monthly (as per 2008) and Transmitter related costs (are also at about
2,000 US$). Transmitters around Bolivia are also paid by Red ADvenir and their energy costs
constitute the biggest part this expense.
The graph below shows that these local costs have remained capped over 2006-2008. In
fact, once we exclude costs related to special events (restructuring, legal fees, etc), we actually see
that we have reduced our total cost. As per second half of 2008-present costs have started to
increase mainly in the areas of utilities and personnel costs due to the expansion of the channel.
However, considering that while the number of personnel is the same as in the years 2005-
2006, our production has dramatically increased to include two TV channels (Spanish &
Portuguese), and administering programming or uplink for a total of four TV channels. Productivity
over the last 4 years (2006-2009), has increased by a factor of 2.5 times. We praise God for this!
jun_06 dec_06 jun_07
Allocation of local budget costs.
Personnel expenses, running costs, and transmitter related costs comprise 80 % of our local
expenses. These costs and the rest of expenses are discussed in detail below.
Personnel Expenses, Transmitter and Running Costs
8.4.1. Personnel Costs
The graph below shows the progress of personnel costs over 2006-2008. The graph clearly
shows that most costs for 2007 were slightly above US$5,000 per month. In 2008, costs increased
(especially towards the second part of the year) and have stabilized at around US$7,200 a month.
This is due to the expansion of operations started from the second half of 2008 onwards, including
the addition of a radio station with fixed personnel.
Costs are always double in December since employees receive a 13th pay (this is standard in
Bolivia). Despite the increase in costs over 2008, the majority of our workers are on a volunteer
basis; this is why the personnel expenses have not picked dramatically even though production has.
Operation’s output due to changes in technology and increase in services offered, has nearly
doubled by mid 2009.
The months that show reduced costs are those months when salaries were not paid because
there were no funds available. Thus, the limited funds paid out (a few hundred dollars monthly)
were “survival” money, to allow personnel to pay for their living expenses (food, emergency bills).
The amounts for November, 2006, and May, 2007, need to be explained. In November, 2006,
there was a restructuring where approximately 40% of the personnel were terminated. The high
amount paid out was for severance pay (a legal requirement in Bolivia).
In May, 2007, due to legal reasons, new work contracts were issued starting in 2007. Thus,
the employees were given an indemnity (required by law) for the years they had worked prior to
2007. This was paid in May, 2007.
The other peaks in the graph are for payment of skipped salaries (due to shortage of funds).
Personnel Costs 2006-2008 with moving average (3 months)
8.4.2. Transmitter Costs
Antennas are the means by which most people view Red ADvenir in Bolivia. The market
share of cable companies is limited, so most people use air antennas to view TV. We broadcast to
most major cities in Bolivia.
The costs for transmitters include electricity (our higher cost), personnel (guards for towers),
and rental costs for the towers from where we transmit. There are other costs related to broadcasting
our signal. These are licenses and maintenance (which can be repairs and traveling expenses). These
costs are not included in this graph. Maintenance is discussed in a next graph.
Costs have averaged about US$2,000 for 2006-2007. Costs are shown as erratic in 2006,
because not enough funds were available for prompt payment. This was accepted by our suppliers
and they waited until the total payment was made. The Lord has provided funds every time, even if
at times with some delay. That keeps us on our knees.
In the middle of 2008, we were able to reduce costs by moving one transmitter to our own
tower in Santa Cruz (instead of renting one), this saved us US$500 per month and so our costs for
the second half of 2008 dropped to about US$1,500 a month.
Transmitter Costs 2006-2008 with moving average (3 months)
If one adds the maintenance or expansion costs related to transmitters, the costs increase, but
not significantly. Disparities in the graph are due to technical purchases, most of these towards the
end of the period. These purchases responded to expansion needs and not repairs. (See January, July,
September and November, 2006. March, July, and September, 2007. April, July, November, and
December, 2008). The large expenses in 2006 (almost US$4,000 each), were for a transmitter and
broadcasting equipment and repairs. In June, 2007, new equipment was purchased. In 2008, we
moved the transmitter to our tower and in April and July there were costs associated to this move
(cost reduction). In December, 2008, a down payment for a new transmitter was made (expansion).
Considering the years 2006-2008, we can be thankful that comparatively little has been
spent on repairs and maintenance for the several transmitters around the country. We are also
thankful that weather related damages have been small and we have been able to find components
in China for our legacy equipment, that are priced at a fraction of the sale price anywhere else.
TECHNICAL TV EQUIP
8.4.3. Running Costs
Overhead expenses for studio operations are about US$ 2,500 per month. This includes
utilities (water, electricity), phone and internet connections. The gaps in the graph, are once again,
due to lack of funds (expenses were paid later).
Our costs have somewhat shifted. They averaged about US$1,500-1,600 in 2006, they
decreased in 2007 (after the reduction of personnel), and have picked up on the 2nd half of 2008 to
about US$2,000 a month (due to an increase in personnel). The largest portion of these costs
correspond to a higher electrical bill.
Our phone bills have significantly been reduced, due to higher competition among
telecommunication companies in Bolivia.
Running Costs 2006-2008 with moving average (3 months)
The remaining 20% of the expenditure is miscellaneous. Peaks in the following graph are
always attributed to some special event. Normal costs seem to average around US$ 2,000 - 2,300 per
month. The peaks in taxation are absent in 2008. They occurred in July, 2006, and April, 2007, due
to fluctuating broadcasting license costs in Bolivia.
The peak in July, 2007, for miscellaneous, is due to volunteers’ costs for their participation as
representatives of Red ADvenir at a youth congress in Colombia. The peak in October, 2008, were
the covering of legal fees in an effort to receive a tax exemption status for import duties. Other
expenses under miscellaneous in 2008, are due to higher expenditure for volunteers.
Maintenance costs – special repairs were done on the building at the end of 2008, including
air conditioning fittings – these are also under miscellaneous.
Also under miscellaneous are: office supplies, and a few technical and legal costs.
Our production costs remain at a low level due to our use of printed sets, which are
significantly less expensive than built sets. Costs for a printed set range from US$150-300. We have
started to provide sets for other GMI productions, so that they can also benefit from these low prices.
We also air programs from other networks, free of cost which further reduces production
Concluding remarks on costs
The analysis of our main expenditures shows that as per mid 2008 we started increasing
costs for personnel and some running utilities. All other costs have been kept stable in the last three
years. We have also seen that, despite lack of funds at times, we were able to keep up with all
expenses during this period. Also, efficiency has nearly doubled, but costs have been capped in most
To bring our signal to the viewer, GMI assumes most of the cost (about 80% of our budget for
satellite fees). We assume another 16% locally to produce and air programs. And in Bolivia, we
assume a further 3.5 % to broadcast the signal in various cities.
Since we are able to share productions from other networks we can save on production costs.
Also, many international communities help to defray the cost of broadcasting our signal, including
costs for licenses, electricity, and human resources.
Considering the data here shared, we believe that in comparison to other networks in Latin
America, we cover operational costs on a significantly smaller budget.
We are thankful to God that with little, He has helped us to accomplish much. We pray for
wisdom to responsibly manage all the resources allocated to this ministry and for continued growth,
as the work of preaching the gospel expands.