Bart’s Blog

What Charities Does The Blog Support?

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I was going to entitle this posting “What Charities Does the CIA Support?” but in a saner moment I thought that maybe that was not such a bright idea….

I have received several emails from potential members who have indicated that they are reluctant to pay a membership fee for charities without knowing exactly what those charities are.  Fair Enough!  A couple of these people have also indicated that they aren’t convinced that I am giving all of the money raised to charity, but that some of it is being used to line my own pockets.   To which I have numerous comments, but will simply say, instead, “Good Grief!!!”   But just to be sure everyone understands, do let me say again – I am not making a single penny from this venture.  It is all done to support charities that deal with issues of poverty, hunger, and homelessness.

I don’t know yet whether I’ll be glad, in the long run, that I’ve taken on this task, as it is very time consuming and I have mind-numbing demands on my time otherwise, as do most scholar/teachers that I know.  My reason for starting the Blog, though, is simple.  I have long been deeply concerned about those who suffer from hunger and homelessness – even more, for some reason, since I became an agnostic, some 15 years or so ago.   I give a sizeable chunk of my income to charities that deal with these problems, but I never can find the time to volunteer – for example, at the local soup kitchen.

And then it occurred to me at the suggestion of some friends that I could volunteer in another way, a way that makes particular sense for me and that can be unusual and distinctive.  And this Blog is the result.  I volunteer my time dealing with issues in my field of expertise and raise money for the causes I deeply believe in.

Back to the point: people want to know, or may want to know, which charities, exactly, this Blog supports.  Again: fair enough.  I will eventually make this information part of the site itself (I can’t now, since my amazing web-designer is gone on vacation for a week) (he is someone many of you should get to know, if you are interested in getting help on web design).  For now I can just give the simple information.

Funds raised from this site (all of them: I pay for the administrative costs out of my own pocket) go to support four charities, two of them “local” and two “international.”

• The one nearest and dearest to my heart is the Urban Ministries of Durham, which is the agency that deals with hunger and homelessness in my own locale.   It is an absolutely amazing “ministry” (it is not religious in anyway; the term is used in the secular sense), and I wish I could do more and more for it.  Anyone interested in seeing what a local organization can do, and do brilliantly, should check out their work at http://umdurham.org/ — and please, donate some money!

• The other “local” is a terrific agency that deals with food distribution to the needy throughout my part of the state, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.  They do an amazing job; the logistics sometimes boggle the mind.  You can see what they are about at http://www.foodbankcenc.org/site/PageServer?pagename=FBCENCHome

The other two agencies that the Blog supports are well known and do not need much comment from me.  I have supported their work for years and am a true believer in what they do.
• CARE.  Dealing with heart-rending problems with dignity and integrity: http://www.care.org/
• Doctors without Borders.  A bright light shining in our universe. http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

I deeply wish I could do more for these groups than I do.  But I hope the Blog will do some good in meeting the overwhelming and crushing needs that these groups all face and deal with.

If anyone has any concerns or issues with any of these groups or with the mission of the Blog, please let me know.  The CIA is always interested.  :-)

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Discussion

  1. ferlinp  April 20, 2012

    Dr. Ehrman I am a great admirer of your work and field. But regarding this website of yours, why make it mandatory to “donate” to charity by completing a payment transaction just to access your resource of knowledge while making the “option” to donate as well open?

    Also, Richard Carrier is one of your secular critics that I wish to hear what you have to say regarding his review of your most recent book “Did Jesus Exist?” freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/1026. I really liked your book. I find most of your arguments compelling. I’ve read a few of your popular titles and own a copy of my own.

    Keep up the good work and I will be active on your site.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 20, 2012

      Good question! The entire reason I’m doing this Blog is to raise money for charity. And if people want to give more — all the better! I have established The Bart Ehrman Foundation precisely to this end, so that I can raise as much money as I can to deal with hunger and homelessness.
      On Richard Carrier: yes, he has given a lively response (to put it euphemistically; “intemperate” would be less euphemistic; what I really think maybe I probably shouldn’t say. :-) ). I’ll be responding to him on and off on the Blog.

      • ferlinp  April 20, 2012

        Good response. I see your cause. I’ll support your cause. I can’t wait for your response to Dr. Carrier. :)

      • Adam  April 24, 2012

        I think it is better to have a membership fee not only because it raises money, but because it will enable some discussion between members. Otherwise, there will be unbelievable amount of posts (an haters).

  2. Patrice Nelson  April 23, 2012

    Urban Ministries of Durham is grateful to Bart for being our top individual donor for several years as noted in the donor lists of our annual reports. His very generous gifts to our program from his book sales have enabled us to continue to serve over 6,000 people per year in Durham who are homeless or living on very limited incomes. We serve over 600 meals a day, house an average of 135 homeless men, women and children a night in our emergency shelter, provide groceries and clothing to 425 households a month and work diligently with partner agencies to help those who are homeless in Durham, leave homelessness for homes of their own. Bart has been a speaker at our events, has visited many times and communicates regularly with us via e-mail. Though his thoughts on Jesus differ from many of our own, his thoughts on our need to do all we can as members of one community to help one another and especially our neighbors in need, are certainly the same. I found his earlier book God’s Problem, to reflect his philosophy on his commitment to compassion and concern for others. We thank him and his wife for all they do to help those who are most in need in our community. To learn more about UMD, please visit http://www.umdurham.org. We welcome and need your support as well. Sincerely, Patrice Nelson, Executive Director

    • samtriangle  April 23, 2012

      Patrice I just found out about Bart’s blog today and was very pleased to subscribe, both because I am very familiar with your good work and because it turns out I am listening to some Bart lectures on CD currently and finding them very insightful. They bring to ligh,t I must admit, how myopically I have been reading the Bible over the years.

  3. medw14  January 15, 2013

    If you donate to the Bart Ehrman Foundation would that be considered a charitable donation?

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  January 16, 2013

      We are still waiting (9 months later) for the IRS to declare the Foundation to be non-profit. Bureaucratic mess. Once it does, it will be retroactive to the beginning.

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