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Dinner With Me? A Blog Idea.

A member of the blog has sent me an email (and given me permission to cite it here) with an idea that may be attractive to some of you.  Or you might think it’s a bit crazy.  It involves giving people a chance to have dinner with me in exchange for a sizeable donation (which would go not to me but to the blog; every penny of it, then, would go to the charities the blog supports).    It could be fun, but for it to work it would have to raise some significant dosh.

At this point, I’m not interested in actually *doing* it.  I’m interested in knowing what you think.  Any ideas you have about it, comments, suggestions etc. would be welcome.  (For it to work, the dinner would almost certainly have to be on my home turf.)  Here’s what he says:

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So, on to my idea. You can take this and run with it, or tell me I’m nuts!  I know you have lots of members on the blog; many who are very grateful for your impact on their lives and who are grateful for what you are doing to help with the hungry and the homeless. I know you are always aiming to raise more and more to continue your fundraising efforts and are probably always thinking of innovative avenues to press forward in this endeavor.

Last year you offered an early copy (with the invitation to make comments and suggestions) of your upcoming new book for any member who donated a specified, one-time donation. I was thinking, what could you do this year to add that extra fundraising to boost the blog and all that is promotes?

I was hoping we could form an auction of some sort. You could set a reserve (hidden or not) and include 5 or 10 spots in this auction. The bidders who have the highest bids (as long as the total of those bids is your reserve), will participate in a meet and greet private group dinner with you in North Carolina (or a central city in the USA)!  It would be a great opportunity to talk nearly one-on-one with you, have a few days off, a great dinner and raise more money for your cause. I haven’t quite finalized the best format in my mind, but wanted to see if you would be willing to entertain an idea like this and ask the blog if they would want to do it?  I know there are logistics that would need to be worked out still, but I think it could be big!

 


Background to a Different View of the Afterlife: The Maccabean Revolt
Job and the God Who Refuses To Answer

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Comments

  1. stokerslodge  April 20, 2017

    Don’t you run the risk of putting on a considerable amount of weight as a result of all those dinners?

    • Bart
      Bart  April 21, 2017

      I’m thinking *one* dinner wiht several people. And I’ll eat fish….

      • michael1942  April 22, 2017

        i’m in…for the most part…when will the decision be made and especially the amount of the “donation.” I definitely prefer a Triangle (or Triad) location.

      • swdeneens  April 22, 2017

        Yes, at least two or three people would be best. And charge
        no less than $500,00 per person or you will be swamped.

  2. jwesenbe  April 20, 2017

    I would prefer a lottery, as I would love a chance to meet you. I could not afford to be the winner in an auction, but I could afford a $50 lottery ticket.

  3. talmoore
    talmoore  April 20, 2017

    If I were a multi-millionaire, I’d write you a million dollar check right now to have dinner with you, Dr. Ehrman. But seeing how I’m dirt poor, working odd jobs to support my indepedent research, so I barely have two pennies to rub together for heat, I’m rather indifferent.

  4. bwarstler  April 20, 2017

    Hi Bart,

    I like the idea. I could not afford to do it, however. Another idea, what if you raffled off a chance for dinner with you when you visit different cities for lectures? $5 or $10 per entry? It might not raise as much, but you’re there for a lecture anyway, and it would give those of us with more limited finances a chance to participate.

  5. Jana  April 20, 2017

    Depends. Are you also cooking ?? 🙂 (I read you are a gourmet chef in front of a stove)

    • Bart
      Bart  April 21, 2017

      ha! That’s an idea.

      • Jana  April 21, 2017

        Oh sign me up ! Please … Just wait a while until my ship comes in lol !!

        • Jana  April 21, 2017

          btw: I’m suppressing an urge to defend you on a couple of comments I’ve read here … you are very tolerant.

  6. kencreten  April 20, 2017

    I’m guessing I’ll be priced out on a bidded offering, but I’d go for it if it came in under my financial radar. I’ll certainly be part of the bidding.

  7. Tempo1936  April 20, 2017

    Off topic laugh,

    They are proclaimed as overly hazardous .

    Until now children were close to their parents.

    Now children have unlimited potential to be influenced by others.

    Because of these new destabilizing Innovations the children are not spending enough time reading.

    And many are led away to being seduced.

    Such concerns were quoted in numerous publications as The adverse impact of bicycles on society in 1880.

    Sound familiar.
    Have a great weekend

  8. Josephsluna
    Josephsluna  April 20, 2017

    I think it is a great idea! I would go for sure! To have dinner with you or Elaine would be a dream come true! I would have a lot to talk about … Lots to catch up on….

  9. RJTINGEY  April 20, 2017

    Bart,

    Love your columns, love the idea of dinner with you. Not to mention supporting your causes. But I’m troubled with this emphasis on sizable donations. Really, should we be buying our way into all these privileges?

    How about this–people who make various levels of donations are entered into one or more lotteries and selected randomly for a dinner invitation.

    Second suggestion: You’re the magnet here. How about you set up dinners in various places in the US? Synchronize it with your trips. Lotteries as above?

  10. spazevedo  April 20, 2017

    I wish it was a draw, contest or something. It would be amazing to have dinner with you, but I do not have money for a big donation.:/

  11. Rwpostle6844  April 20, 2017

    I know Bart travels extensively so these planned “lunches” could possible be coordinated in various locations, e.g. Lunch with Bart in Dallas, or Denver, etc. Also could be on a train or cruse ship.

  12. kentvw  April 20, 2017

    You are a great guy Bart… Changed my views and life too. Seriously, thanks a bunch… But that said, a bit too geeky for me to pay have to have dinner with.. Images of having dinner with Pee Wee Herman come to mind….
    I’d be happy to grill a good steak for you and share some conversation. But, You will need to throw in a salad or something. Maybe a couple ‘taters as well..

    If you did that I wouldn’t make you pay me back for the steak, or, for allowing you to be present with the wonderful piece of superior humanity that I am and allowing you to be allowed with me in “my” space.. After all…………… (Sigh…) I’m such a busy man!!

    Hey, I don’t have an ego problem… Wha?

  13. HawksJ  April 20, 2017

    I think that’s a great idea and I’m certain the demand would be very high.

    An alternative idea (and perhaps garnering more total $) would be perhaps offering a lottery where members could buy chances (maybe $100 per shot). You would dramatically increase participation if the winning bid also included a travel voucher of a couple/few hundred dollars to help offset the costs of getting there (as NC is not the cheapest place to travel to if you have to fly).

    I would definitely buy-in for a chance at that.

    Good luck however you proceed!

  14. RonaldTaska  April 21, 2017

    I am very grateful for the tremendous impact that you have had on my life especially at a time when I could find no other people really interested in discussing Bible History 101. It has meant a lot to me. And as a bonus, you write clearly in a way that I can get it. I also admire all the work you have done supporting these remarkable charities.

    I don’t think the idea is “crazy.” I guess I would view such an event as a way of just thanking you and not as something where you have to once again do something . You already do more than enough. One thing that really interests me a lot is how a religious questioner fits in with a more devout spouse. I am afraid that I have not done that very well. I would love to hear how your work has affected your wife. Could she be talked into writing or talking about this?

    I probably would suggest not “bidding,” but just setting a price with first come first serve.

    • twiskus  April 21, 2017

      I would be interested in taking to you about your comment on living with a devout spouse. I can understand where you are coming from…

  15. nbraith1975  April 21, 2017

    I like the idea but think the meet-and-greet should be in Chapel Hill. Having Bart use money to travel takes away from the idea of this being a “donation.”
    Neil

  16. RonaldTaska  April 21, 2017

    Depending on some of the details, I would be willing to organize such a dinner at the Washington-Duke Hotel in Durham.

  17. Jessie  April 21, 2017

    Long time lurker, second time poster.

    I think this is a great idea! I see that some of your most devoted readers prefer the lottery – so I support a lottery system. (It turns out that Raleigh is one of my favourite vacation destinations!)

    Just one question: if you choose to hold a lottery, are people allowed to buy more than one ticket? 🙂

    Thank you,
    J.

    • Bart
      Bart  April 23, 2017

      If I do it, and if we go with a lottery, most certainly!

  18. SidDhartha1953  April 21, 2017

    In order to make it a bit more democratic (and raise more money from small donations) why not host a symposium and set levels with different perks. The x largest donors will be invited to be with you in person. Everyone who donates a given amount or more will receive a passport code to participate​by live stream. The next level will receive a DVD and/or signed transcript and the minimum donation will receive a link to watch the video after the fact.

  19. Hormiga  April 21, 2017

    Hey, I’m good for a couple of hundred bucks a head (like two heads) but am in TX, not NC.

    That said, an idea: the Great American Solar Eclipse is coming up on 21 August and will run over South Carolina, just north of Charleston. Any way to combine a dinner with you and the eclipse experience? Maybe a lecture on astronomical things in the New Testament?

    http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/communities/states/SC/Mount%20Pleasant_1539.htm

  20. Duke12  April 21, 2017

    I think it’s a great idea. While I likely won’t be participating or affording, I’m sure there are some who would love to and are able to do so. It sounds similar to NPR appeals to “leadership circle” donors. I also agree it should be at Chapel Hill.

  21. madmargie  April 21, 2017

    Sigh…Another wonderful idea I simply could not afford on my $1200 a month income.

  22. gwayersdds  April 21, 2017

    As many have mentioned, I probably wouldn’t be able to meet the “reserve” price so I think that a lottery ticket at a reasonable price ($5-$10) might attract more entries and provide a greater return for your charities. Since I’m in S.C. a Chapel Hill location would not be difficult to reach. I’d be sure to wear my Blue Devils T-shirt!

  23. redshrek  April 22, 2017

    Dr. Ehrman, I would jump at the idea of meeting with you for dinner.

  24. Raemon  April 22, 2017

    This idea worked out quite well for a dinner with Michael Shermer and Bill Nye at Michael’s home in Pasadena a couple of years ago. But, I don’t think the host cooked! As I recall, the money raised did go to charity.

  25. jdub3125  April 22, 2017

    It’s a good idea. I would submit a bid and not expect to win, what my apparent ultimate destiny to seldom or never win anything. I’m out of state and unlikely to attend anyway but would cheerfully give my seat at the table to someone more worthy. On the other hand if you downscale the event and have it at the Four Corners, or the Q Shack, or most anywhere in downtown Asheville, I just might show up. The last of these sites includes the Grove Park Inn as an exception, due to a special fondness.
    That the winner(s) would be determined by high bid at auction, one or more prior posters expressed some regret. I agree. So, why not offer a seat at the table to the person who bids the lowest amount? The minimum bid should be, of course, two cents, which might be all the person has. No problem in case of a tie, since the winner could be determined by casting lots.
    Presumably one of the themes for discussion at the table will be the NT. Same for this post.
    BTW, if you do have a seat for the minimum bidder, the cost of that person’s dinner is on me. And if the person desires a glass of wine, or for that matter on a warm summer evening a craft brew or a frozen rita, I’d spring for that also.

  26. randal  April 23, 2017

    I’d do the raffle tickets & drawing. Maybe have dinner with several winners.Otherwise, you’ll only be having dinner with your wealthiest member.. You might also think about tickets and a drawing for a informal private “beer with Bart” event at your favorite brewpub. That would be cool.too.

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