The DW March Donation Drive is winding down — tomorrow is the last day I’ll bug you about donating. My goal was to raise $7500 for the next six months, which I thought was a near impossibility, but it was the amount I figured was necessary to stay afloat and provide a small safety net for DW in the event my ad revenue suddenly dropped or, worse yet, I lost any of the ad or affiliate accounts that help pay the bills to run this site.
Last year, I grossed $15,000 through ad and affiliate revenue. I spent over $6,000 on site maintenance — mostly server fees and tech assistance (the bulk of that was a major site overhaul in the fall that helped speed up and optimize the site), but also a small amount on stock photos, advertising, and marketing. I spent an additional $9,000 on childcare coverage so I could invest roughly 20 hours a week (12 of which, Jackson was/is with a sitter and the other 8 squeezed in while he’s sleeping) creating content for DW, moderating comments, reading and answering emails, and editing guest posts. I still had to pay taxes on my income, which would have put me in the hole had it not been for the $3,000 I got in donor contributions. In short: it is the readers of this site that keep it afloat. I can’t continue running this site if it costs me more than I make. You can help.
Your donations mean that DW stays around. They mean I have money to pay the (growing) overhead costs and contribute time to creating the content you come back every day or every week (or every hour!) to read. The more money there is, the more I can do. Money literally buys me time to work. I can devote more energy to creating quality content, both on this site and on related projects (a book! a podcast! videos! etc!). I can devote more time to marketing the site and growing the traffic and attracting more quality members like you. And maybe one day I can even have an editorial budget and start paying guest contributors a small fee. Maybe I can even pay a stipend to the copy editor of this site — my mom! Thanks, Mom! — who devotes several hours a week to correcting all my mistakes (which she has lots of practice doing).
As I said, I figured $7500 over the next six months was an amount that would at least allow me to keep this site afloat — covering the basic overhead costs and giving me a small safety next on months when my ad revenue is lower than expected. It’s a small amount in terms of paying all the bills, but it seemed like a huge amount to set as a fundraising goal. I didn’t expect to get anywhere close. But after six days, we have raised over $5400 — over 72% of the goal! I’ve been overwhelmed by the response!
Every day, several thousand people read this site. So far, 184 of those readers have donated. If you want to be included in that number, this is the time to donate. If DW has gotten you through slow days at the office or entertained you on your lunch break, consider donating a few bucks to help keep it going. If you’ve asked for advice and gotten support — from me and/or the community, consider showing your appreciation with five or ten dollars. If you’ve learned something through DW about relationships and friendships and how to deal with difficult family members or co-workers, think about donating so others can benefit the same way. If you’ve made friends here, show a token of the value you place on that with a small donation. It doesn’t need to be a lot. If 100 more people of the several thousand who regularly read this site kick in $5 each, we’ll be at almost $6,000. If 50 of those 100 make their $5 a monthly donation, we’ll be at nearly $7,300 for the next six months and certainly close enough to the goal that DW will be safe for at least the next six months and likely for at least another year.
I am so grateful to all of you who have already donated and to those of you who would donate if you could. I’m grateful to those who show their support in other ways, too. Your response this past week has been so heartening, and I feel more motivated than ever to create quality content and work hard to keep fostering the community that has grown here. Thanks, again, everyone.