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How You Can Help!

Last week I asked you what you really liked about the blog and what you would recommend we change.  I was gratified to hear lots of things people like and even more gratified to hear relatively few things that people don’t!  I have taken all of your comments to heart and will keep doing things that seem to be working and try to change things that are not.

My big concern in sending out my request for feedback was that our fundraising is not keeping pace with last year, at a time when I want to be doing *better* than last year!  I did get a number of suggestions that were very helpful, and I thank you all for them.

On my part, one of the things I will start doing (in addition to incorporating other changes that have been suggested) is saying more about the charities the blog supports.   I think there is just a general, vague sense that “all the money goes to charity.”  It would be useful, as readers have pointed out, to make that much more concrete.  The donations are actually doing massive amounts of good to support those in desperate need.  I’ll let you know more about that in future posts.

Here let me reiterate that I enjoy doing the blog – making the posts, reading comments, responding to them.  But as I have said repeatedly, if it were not for the charities, I simply wouldn’t do it.  Don’t think I could make the time!  (And, to reiterate, I very much do enjoy the chance to share scholarship with you and to hear and interact with your reactions)

With all that in mind, I would like to make a couple of very strong requests of you.

  • A number of people have said that they would be willing to pay more for the blog, and others have suggested I raise the prices. I am not inclined to raise prices, even though the cost to join has not changed since we started in April 2012.  I don’t want to make the blog unaffordable to those on budgets that are already oh-so-tight.   So what to do?

Here’s an idea.  For those of you who are willing and able to pay more – I bet there are a lot of you out there! – I’d like to ask you to … pay more!  It is dead easy to make donations to the blog, either as a one-time shot or as a recurring donation.

Suppose you think the blog is worth double what you now pay.  As you know, you pay less than seven cents a day.  That, I might mention, for many people is not much.  Suppose you double that.  All you have to do is hit the DONATE tab and arrange for a monthly donation of an additional $25.

Some of you think the blog is worth even more than that.   So why not donate more? Any amount would be deeply appreciated, and in aggregate, new donations could make the most significant difference.

Others of you can’t give that much more.  But even $5/month would be a huge help, especially if a lot of you are so inclined.  So if so, do it!

I’d suggest you do it now.  It will only take a minute of your time.   If you can afford it, just click the tab!

  • Relatedly, the blog does bring in periodic one-time donations. Please think about making one.   We have received donations from $5 to $5000.  That’s a huge range. Do you fall into it?  Can you make a one-time donation?  If so, please do so!

 

  • And just as important: what would *really* help the blog would be to get a greater number of full-paying members.  I would like to ask you to help get the word out.  Surely you have friends, family, and neighbors who would be interested in the kinds of things that happen on the blog.  It would be amazing if each one of you could simply help one other person to join.

 

There are two ways you could make this happen.  You could simply convince someone that they would love the blog and should join.  Or you could give a gift membership (or five) to a friend, relative, or acquaintance.  Why not?  It’s easy to do:  Just click “Gift Subscriptions” on the home page.  I think this is one of the most under-utilized options on the entire blog.  Let’s maximize it!  Give some gift subscriptions!

 Thanks so much for reading the blog, contributing your comments, and making it happen.  And thanks for all your comments about how to make the blog better.  I’ll keep trying to do so!

 


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Comments

  1. Avatar
    John  September 3, 2016

    I used to be Christian but I am now a Deist. Reading your books and monitoring your blog has answered a LOT of questions.. It all comes down to what one believes is the most likely scenario. I CAN’T prove there is a God neither can an atheist prove there is no God, and theists certainly can’t prove there is a God It is ALL a matter of belief. I think it was Dawkins (maybe Hitchens) said major claims demand major evidence. That is true but there is so many unknown things in our universe that I believe science will never answer all of them so it seems there is a prime mover out there of some sort. Is there more after death? I have experienced an NDE so for me there might well be but I doubt it will like any conceived heaven or hell. It will be interesting to find out. Mark Twain said he was happy billions of years before he was born and will be happy for billions of years after he dies. Could be.

  2. Avatar
    Pattycake1974  September 4, 2016

    Are you aware that your charity can be registered through Facebook? Your followers can donate directly from there.

    • Avatar
      Pattycake1974  September 4, 2016

      Btw, the changes on the blog are nice.

  3. TWood
    TWood  September 4, 2016

    I’ll find a few people who will join. After I get paid this month, I’ll make an additional donation also. I believe this blog has value so I’m happy to pay a bit more. I hope more people do the same.

    Don’t forget your invite to come on my show. I’ve run successful businesses before. I know what I’m doing. I know I can get your blog some legitimate exposure for merely a 15 minute phone call into my show. I only bring it up again due to the context of the question you asked here. I see it as legit win-win. But whatever’s clever! Either way, I’m a fan of the blog!

  4. ronaldus67
    ronaldus67  September 4, 2016

    I think your blog is worth at least twice as much! So I just doubled up in a one-time donation 😉
    Keep up the good work!

  5. Avatar
    Judith  September 4, 2016

    Your birthday is just a month away. If we could all donate the equivalent of a nice card and stamp ($5), it would be significant. I’ll do all I can.

  6. Benjamin
    Benjamin  September 4, 2016

    I often wonder, since my fundie faith taught me to be selfless, and that spreading the gospel is the only way to get rewards, so I did. When i was alive and kicking as a fundie, this was my motto, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I still think of Jesus in this romantic way. But, I tend to look at the outsiders (atheists and agnostics) as selfish and pleasure seekers. Since they don’t have a God and need not to live for rewards in heaven, Question is, do you find atheists more selfish and self-righteous, or are they fundies opposite to the some coin? I cannot tell, but I suppose people of the similar free thinkers should be able to do what their conscience tell them. I will do what I can here. For me, doing good is my reward. I no longer need a God to tell me. I do suspect that some atheists could learn to do good, if they invent a God and rewards to help them. What say you, o Eminent One?

    • Bart
      Bart  September 4, 2016

      I think there are enormously self-centered fundies and atheists. Many devoted Christians try to live for others, but so too do many devoted atheists!

      • Benjamin
        Benjamin  September 8, 2016

        o Eminent One, I don’t give to church or charity, but I believe in what you are doing. So faith without works is dead! Herein a humble 25 dollars, given that I have 5 kids and a lovely Episcopalian wife who has not been pushy and I still think about God a lot these days, because of you.Keep up your work, they bring me a sense of hope and community.

    • talmoore
      talmoore  September 4, 2016

      Some might say that “doing good” only for the sake of reward from God is itself ironically selfish, and that those non-believers who do good without any expectation of reward from a “higher power,” that those people are the truly selfless altruists.

  7. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  September 4, 2016

    Okay. A donation is on the way. I, for one, think the educational value of your blog far exceeds the charity value. I have read every blog you have written and usually read your blog right after I read “Peanuts” each morning. In all seriousness, in our Bible belt culture, it is extremely difficult to luck into a “historical” education of the Bible and you have provided that for me. It all started one morning after I had read “Peanuts” in our local paper and then read a review of your “Misquoting Jesus” which I promptly bought and read. I then read your other trade books as they were published and your textbooks. I also listened to your Teaching Company Great Courses and your youtube debates and lectures as well as becoming an avid reader of this blog. This journey has changed everything…. I am no longer feeling so odd about not accepting the conservative view of the Bible and that is a “huge” relief. I just wish our churches would get the message and provide such an education. Compared to calculus, It’s just not that hard. Thanks

    • Bart
      Bart  September 4, 2016

      Thanks! And yes, we’re not talking quantum physics here….

  8. Avatar
    rivercrowman  September 4, 2016

    Let me add my voice to the chorus of continuing members encouraging you to boost your “membership fee” to say $40 per annum. It’s not like insurance or taxes that we “have” to pay. It’s voluntary on our part, and is put fully to good use. … You’ve never failed to respond to and answer my dozen or so questions — so far. … It’s like having Bart Ehrman on a retainer, and that’s worth money too! I’m making an added contribution today.

  9. Avatar
    Boltonian  September 4, 2016

    Whatever the sterling equivalent of $25 on its way.

  10. Avatar
    puzzles  September 4, 2016

    FWIW, it seems that most of your charities are local to your area. Of course, you have a right to support any charities that you want with your efforts, but it made me less enthusiastic about the charitable motivation for joining – what do I care about charity in your area? I know that is self-centered, but maybe it is a factor that limits your fund-raising efforts? If you added some charities with more name recognition, then it might help.

    BTW I will add a voluntary donation, because there is so much interesting content. Also, I am sure those are good charities.

    • Bart
      Bart  September 6, 2016

      Yes good point. Two of the charities are international (CARE and Dr.s Without Borders), but I do give more to the one that is local to me. On the other hand, a starving homeless person in Durham North Caroline is no less important than a starving homeless person in Los Angeles or Laos.

      • Avatar
        Pattycake1974  September 6, 2016

        Personally, I’m all for giving back to your local community. You know how the money is being used, and the organization took the time to thank you and everyone who donated last year. They’re appreciative and maybe dependent on it now. Other charities are good too, but if you couldn’t run the blog, what charity would likely suffer the most? The local one. The bigger ones have more resources to pull from, so to me, the local charity represents all of our communities in need.

  11. Avatar
    HawksJ  September 7, 2016

    When you mention ‘doubling’ what we pay, you say ‘an additional monthly donation of $25’. Don’t you mean ‘annual donation’?

    • Bart
      Bart  September 7, 2016

      Ha! So I did. Freudian slip. Feel free to pay $25/month and donate $25/month. 🙂

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