QUESTION: If I remember right, you just passed the three year mark of the blog. How much have you raised total?
RESPONSE: Right! This will be just a short post to provide an update on the blog. Yes indeed, we passed the three-year mark a month ago, on April 4. I was going to make a post summarizing the year, but other things got in the way and I ended up doing other threads and never got back to it. So I’ll do it now, a month late.
The blog is still doing great and getting ever better, in my opinion. First, in direct answer to the question about the money that has been raised. That is the matter particularly near and dear to my heart. It’s my ultimate interest, as I’ve said numerous times, since the entire point of the blog, in one sense, is to raise money for charity. I am very happy indeed to say that we raised $78,000 in our third year of operation.
That is significant money, obviously, and every penny of it went to the charities the blog supports (see the Philanthropy tag on the home page).
What is more significant, and very heartening, is that the blog is raising increasingly more money all the time. In our first year of operation, we raised $37,000. In the second year it was $58,000. And so we have been increasing by $20,000 a year, each year. Is that going to continue? I don’t know, but one can only hope. And to do the things that can make more people want to join and more generous people to donate.
I would absolutely love to increase by another $20,000 here in the fourth year. That would get us very near the golden $100,000 mark, which is what I am ultimately shooting for as a goal.
There are several ways you can help us to achieve this goal.
- You can tell others about the blog and encourage them to consider joining. It really is terrific value for the money. For a $24.95 annual membership fee, members receive 5-6 posts a week, about a 1000 words per post. So that’s an average of 20-25 posts a month – for just about two bucks. How good can it get? And the posts deal with a very wide range of topics involving the New Testament, the historical Jesus, the writings of Paul, the Apostolic Fathers, the early Christian apocrypha, the manuscript tradition of the New Testament, the Hebrew Bible, and many other related things. In addition, members can ask me questions and I respond; some questions I address as entire posts; some even turn into long threads. On top of that, members can comment on the posts, and I respond to queries that come in these comments. Members get a lot. Please urge other people you know to join up!
- You can make suggestions about how to improve things. The technical side of the blog has just gotten better and better as we have implemented lots of good suggestions. My tireless assistant, Steve Ray, is a magician in all things computer. I absolutely could not do this blog without him. Literally, the blog could not function. He knows good ideas when he hears them and he has the skill to implement them. As a result, there have been enormous improvements, based on changes both small (e.g.posts you have already read are now highlighted for you so you know) and large (e.g. the Forum). So feel free to continue to suggest things that we can do to make the blog more attractive, user friendly, and useful.
- You can suggest topics for me to address, either in single posts or in threads. I can’t address all the questions I get (since I don’t do 20 posts a week!). But the ones I feel competent to answer and that I think would make for good posts, I do deal with, as often as I can.
- You can give gift subscriptions to the blog. Think about doing it. It’s easy to do. It’s a good present for someone for a birthday or a holiday, or for no occasion at all, just to be a nice person.
- You can make, or continue to make, donations to the blog. I am deeply grateful for the donations that come in. Many thanks to you if you are already a donor. If you are not yet, please consider becoming one. Having the funds come in energizes me and keeps me at it, and thus helps enormously to make the blog what it is.
So thanks to all of you who are members. I look forward to plowing ahead through year four!