Please read this note til the very end as if the future of JWR depends on it. It does.
As of today, I'm beginning the "Dime-a-Day Challenge". For the backstory, I'll let you eavesdrop on a conversation that I had last night with somebody I'll call a "Very Close Relative" (VCR). Is this person correct?
I'll let you decide.
ME: Not as many as last year.
VCR: Now, what is that supposed to mean? How many?
ME: Look, you must understand that times are tough. It's hard for folks to respond to appeals. You ...
VCR: You? No, not me, you. YOU answer my question. How many people responded to your appeal?
ME: Around 600.
VCR: OK, I know I'm sounding angry. But don't play with me. I'm not in the mood for this. I'll ask you one last time. How many of these so-called loyal readers of yours responded to your appeal?
Pause. Trying to stay calm and defuse the situation.
VCR: What are you waiting for? How many of these so-called loyal readers of yours responded to your appeal? Answer me already!
ME: About 600.
VCR: You aren't giving me a hard time, are you?
VCR: Binyamin, you've got to stop this insanity! Enough is enough! On Wednesday JWR turned 11 years old. You have given more than a quarter of your life to your website. Day in and day out you work obscene hours to make it as good as it is. You answer reader mail. You even answer non-reader mail. You have tens of thousands of subscribers and only 600 care enough to chip in!?
Don't you get it? People don't care. You may call them your "loyal readers" but you see that they aren't. They know you have expenses. They know that you have to make a living. AND THEY DON'T CARE!
ME: Maybe they don't understand what is involved. Maybe ...
VCR: Stop making excuses for people, Binyamin. Just stop it. Everybody who knows you, knows that you love humanity. You are nice to people that most would avoid. You strike up conversations with people that I would be embarrassed or scared to. But altruism only goes so far.
Look, you wanted to make a difference in this world --- and you have. Nobody will ever be able to take that away from you. In 11 years, you've done amazing things. And if your health holds, you'll no doubt do many more.
ME: I appreciate it
VCR: OK, let me calm down.
VCR: You had once considered becoming a rabbi. You were almost there and decided to go into journalism. You write well. You speak well. And you care about humanity. People who meet you immediately sense your sincerity. Even those who disagree with you. Maybe it's time to reconsider finishing your ordination. That way, you can accomplish great things and get paid a salary. You'll have normal hours. More importantly, people will actually appreciate you.
ME: I want to give it one last try. I've already redesigned the site and am about to have a technology overhaul. There's a new html newsletter coming, too.
VCR: In other words, you want to dig yourself deeper.
VCR: You still don't get it. Your readers don't care about you or they'd already have helped!
PLEASE TAKE THE DIME-A-DAY CHALLENGE
It's a fact that most of Obama's money came from "micro-payments". I want to apply the same MO to funding JWR. I can't imagine there's anybody reading JWR who can't afford to donate 10 cents a day -- 50 cents a week -- to empower JWR.
We can arrange that $2 will be deducted by credit card or from a checking account each month. If readers see that they really can't afford to help out with a Dime-a-Day, we can immediately cancel.
VCR: It's actually a very good idea. But your readers don't care enough to even spend a dime a day on your work. You'll see I'm right.
Is VCR correct --- or am I? I don't even know what to think anymore.
Needless to say, I'm praying that you as loyal readers prove VCR wrong.
I'm VERY sorry about the length of this note. But I wanted you to know what I'm up against.
To take the Dime-a-Day Challenge via our secure online form please click here.
You can also make a tax deductible charitable contribution of ANY amount -- and given the financial situation, we do mean ANY amount -- by clicking here or by making out a check and mailing it to the sponsoring organization at:
Keren Yehoshua V'Yisroel/JWR
Please note on the "memo line" of your check it is for the Internet educational project.
In SINCERE gratitude and friendship,
Binyamin L. Jolkovsky,