You may have noticed that there aren’t any ads on my website. No promises of miracle weight loss or accelerated language acquisition. No links to Liberty University or new Bible software. In other words, with the exception of the very modest kickbacks I get from purchases made through embedded Amazon widgets, my website is a deadzone for revenue generation.
At the same time, running a website ain’t cheap: I pay out of pocket more than $1000 per year to run this website. And that’s not including the 500-600 hours a year I invest in writing new content and responding to comments.
So why not have a few ads expostulating on the virtues of an acai berry diet or TBN’s programming, if only to help ameliorate the cost?
First, I hate advertising. More specifically, I hate the encroachment of advertising on increasing spheres of public life. Bill Watterson could have made untold millions of dollars had he chosen to license “Calvin and Hobbes” for coffee mugs and calendars. But he turned it all down, recognizing that crass licensing would undermine the spirit of his comic strip. (See my discussion in “A Tale of Three Kitties.“) If Watterson can turn down millions, I suppose I can turn down hundreds.
Second, I would happily absorb the costs of the blog if folks would consider donating to a charitable cause in return. I support several charitable organizations on a monthly basis, but my favorite (if my must choose) is Kiva. What makes Kiva different is that it is a micro-lending agency. You open an account, deposit money, and begin lending it out to Kiva entrepreneurs in the developing world. Over the years I’ve lent money out and reinvested dozens of times. Only once did I have a loan default, and that was a high risk loan I chose to make to a person in a war-torn region of the world.
A couple years ago I asked folks to support this blog by supporting Kiva. The results were, how shall I say this, underwhelming. So I thought I’d try again. If you appreciate the content of this site, if you’ve benefited from it, I hope you’ll consider supporting business people in the developing world through Kiva. This time around I’m formalizing the appeal by inviting you to join The Tentative Apologist Team at Kiva. Join the fundraising team by following the link (either in the previous sentence or at the bottom of the article). There you can open a Kiva account, deposit $25 on behalf of the Tentative Apologist Team, and start lending. (Keep in mind, you’re not donating money to anybody. You’re using Kiva, an NGO with the highest possible rating (four stars) on Charitynavigator.org, to lend money to motivated and resourceful entrepreneurs around the world.
Why do I mention this today? (Especially since writing this article is a strict violation of my Lenten observance of one hour of blogging a day?) The reason for all of this is that I just received the following notice from Kiva:
So today we can maximize our impact on the world. By the way, I’ve made two loans in the last few days which are not presently showing up on the group site. I’ll be looking into why that is the case, but rest assured, I am supporting the group! [Edit: I have now discovered that when making the loan you have the option of clicking which group you want it to count toward! So I just made another loan through the group.]
I hope you’ll support The Tentative Apologist blog by joining The Tentative Apologist Group and helping to change the world. Here’s the link: