Donation Based + Sliding Scale Offerings at Alchemy Ritual Goods

The Ancestral Medicine Clinic at Alchemy Ritual Goods: A Donation Based Offering

The Ancestral Medicine Clinic is one of Alchemy Ritual Good's most unique offerings. We partner with skilled practitioners who specialize in multiple healing modalities including; traditional Chinese medicine, somatic touch, herbal therapeutics, ancient divination practices, and other holistic wellness sessions through a donation-based clinic accessible to all regardless of ability to pay. Practitioners consult with individuals and offer hands-on sessions, to address their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

Ever since the Ancestral Medicine Clinic opened 5 years ago, we have been operating on a donation based system.

What is a donation based model?

The definition of a donation based model is allowing folks to determine the price of services based on their own circumstances.

We have a suggested donation of $40-80 but we never turn anyone away. We will not ask you for proof of anything, this is completely based on trust and reciprocity.

Many donation based models are operated on the idea that the highest price of the scale is the ACTUAL cost for the service. This is to be transparent and help you more accurately make a decision of what is realistic for you and your current position.

Why did Alchemy choose to make the Ancestral Medicine Clinic a donation based offering?

When Ancestral Medicine Clinic was founded, the practitioners and organizers were clear about its intention: this clinic was to be an accessible source of health and wellness services for all. In a city which boasts of having a healthy lifestyle minded population, Denver has fallen behind in things like child health outcomes and health equity. This means that those who have access to resources such as wealth, are able to benefit from the wellness industry which is thriving economically with the commodification of holistic wellness modalities. These services have become financially inaccessible to many of Denver/Colorado’s residents. As small businesses in the holistic wellness industry, we all wanted to create something that could support community members who could need/want these services for their own wellbeing. While we must operate as a for profit retail shop, for example, and practitioners are also small businesses with their own private practice, this gave us all an opportunity to collaborate over a common goal and create a much needed service at an accessible rate. Collectively, practitioners from many backgrounds have come together to create the space for community members to access their services at a discounted rate which has created a sustainable model for practitioners and customers alike. In our vision to expand Ancestral Medicine Clinic is the collective voice of our elders, children, folks of all walks of life, for a space that people can learn in, commune, and create the life they envision. As an organization, Alchemy Ritual Goods and Ancestral Medicine Clinic are in cooperation with various community partners with a collective vision of liberation, sovereignty and healing. We envision a future where all who are desire can connect and benefit from individual and class offerings for their own wellbeing. 

How to determine where you fall with a donation based model:

Ultimately, with donation based offers the price you pay is what you are most comfortable with.

If you are interested in some guidance on how to use our donation based scale for our clinic, check out the two different models we have below.

This model has been adapted from and inspired by Toi Smith. You can find more information about Toi and her work, here.

Tier 1 Pricing: Suggested Donation of $40-60

Tier 1 Economic Identifiers:

  • you are supporting children or people other than yourself
  • have significant debt
  • have medical expenses not covered by insurance 
  • receive public assistance 
  • have immigration related expenses
  • are a student with limited financial resources
  • are an elder with limited financial resources
  • are an unpaid community organizer 
  • are otherwise experiencing financial instability
  • Tier 2 Pricing: Suggested Donation of $65-80

    Tier 2 Economic Identifiers:

  • own property or the home you live in
  • travel recreationally
  • have investments, retirement accounts, or inherited money
  • have access to family resources in times of need
  • work part time by choice
  • have a relatively high earning power due to level of education or status, gender/racial privilege, class background, etc.

  • This next model is a graphic from Worts and Cunning and is a great example of how you can self-identify your price point being on a sliding scale which is similar to a donation based system.

    sliding scale model using green bottles from Worts and Cunning

    Sliding Scale for our New Weekly Wellness Classes:

    Starting in April 2023, we will be offering weekly wellness classes! 

    We will be starting this program on a sliding scale of $11-22 for our first month as we learn and grown in to this new aspect of our work.

    Sliding scale means that you can pay what feels accessible to you. We offer sliding scale pay for our classes because we want to remain accessible to all, and we truly appreciate every investment that goes in to making our programs sustainable and in integrity with our values. 

    Be sure to use the information above to help you determine where you fall on the scale.

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