Some may wonder why the Donate button has been placed prominently on the home page when before it was all but hidden at the bottom of one of the menus. The reason for this change is that we continue to get requests from time to time from appreciative readers wishing to help out, but not knowing how to contribute. Perhaps in our desire not to have it appear we were after the “almighty dollar”, we hid the button too well. Of course, that still leaves a question or two. For instance, why do we need money at all? And if we get donated funds, how will they be used?
From the start our site has been supported financially by its founding members. Eventually, we opened the way for others to donate should the spirit move them. The monthly cost of maintaining a dedicated server capable of handling the current load of traffic and of supporting future expansion is about US$160.
Currently, our three sites—BP Archive, BP JW.org Reviewer, and BP Bible Study Forum—get a combined monthly readership of 6,000 unique visitors with close to 40,000 page views. Surprisingly, the most views are still with the archive site even though no new articles are published there.
Besides rental costs, there are additional expenses such as server maintenance, software upgrades, and other incidentals, but all these have been supported through contributions from our founding members and some of our readers. For example, over the past 17 months, from January 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017, a total of US$2,970 has been contributed by the readership. (We are not including the donations made by the founding members over that same period of time so as not to skew the figures.) The server rental costs alone for those 17 months comes to about US$2,700. So we are keeping our heads above water.
No one is taking a salary or stipend, so all the money goes directly to supporting the web site. Fortunately, we have all been able to contribute our time while continuing to earn money secularly to maintain a reasonable standard of living. With the Lord’s blessing, we hope to continue in this way.
So why would we need any more money than is already coming in? To what use would additional funds be put? We have thought that should there be enough money, we might use it to spread the word. One method for doing this could be through targeted advertising. There are about two billion people currently using Facebook. There are a number of Facebook groups serving the JW community with many thousands of members. Often these are private groups, so direct access to them is not possible. However, paid ads can be used to get one’s message out even to such private groups. This might allow us to make awakening Christians aware that there is a gathering place on the internet for those wishing to deepen their knowledge of and appreciation for Jesus Christ and our heavenly Father.
We do not know if this is the way the Lord is leading us or not. However, should sufficient funds come in, we will give this a try to see if it bears fruit, and by this means allow the spirit to lead us. We will continue to keep everyone informed should this option open up to us. If not, that is fine too.
We would like to take this opportunity to again thank all those who have helped us out financially to share the load and keep this work going.