When SI began, I wanted to create a blog and forum to discuss news and ideas. Now, after two years, the site has grown to become much more than that. It’s an online magazine, a resource for pastors, a web community, and a news outlet. What it took to run the site at the beginning and what it takes now are worlds apart. Basically, Greg Linscott and I started this site out of our “garage.” Now the site has more than a dozen moderators, more than 50 writers, a tech team, an executive team, and a traffic stream of about 3,500 visits a day.
The success of SI, however, has had its downside. First, SI began to take a larger chunk out of my life and out of the lives of others who were helping to run it. This site began as a diversion for me, and I am committed to keeping it that way. The site fits into one of my life passions of helping pastors and church leaders. But running a website isn’t my passion. Blogging isn’t my passion; however, SI continues to be a blessing to many pastors and church leaders, so I continue to run the site. However, the site needs to be manageable and not infringe on my other priorities. In order to do that, I need help.
The second downside of the site’s success was that with the reaching of a broader audience, we desperately needed a better structure. We were publishing an article a day without an editor. We were asking volunteers to help us format and post all articles; some articles take hours to get into publishable form. A donor stepped forward and volunteered to pay for an editor. Last summer, I used the funds from our donor to hire Adam Blumer, a professional editor. This was a huge help. At the end of 2006, however, the donor informed me that he wouldn’t be able to continue funding into 2007.
Our monthly budget is now over $1,000. The budget includes paying help, procuring supplies, paying for bandwidth, etc. I had hoped that advertising would make the site self-sustaining, but it hasn’t. And to be realistic, if the site continues its current rate of growth, we will always be short of the funds needed to move the site forward. Our web hosting service gives us a great deal on our bandwidth and doesn’t throttle us when our traffic peaks. However, we still fill a lot of pipe. Our podcast has become more popular lately, and the last one pulled seven gigs in one day. Advertising brings in only about half of what we need to run the site.
So, for the first time, I’m asking for financial help with the site. A donor has agreed to match all gifts made to SI. I would gladly accept any onetime gift, but I’m really looking for those who would support SI on a monthly basis. If you believe in what we do and would like to help, I would appreciate any donation you can afford. Thanks.
To make a secure donation online via credit card, please click on the “Make a Donation” button below.
To make a donation by check, please make all checks payable to “SharperIron” and mail them to the following:
719 E. H St.
Iron Mountain, MI 49801
In order to keep it accountable, I have two eyes seeing all transactions, Adam and myself. Adam has access to the SI PayPal account, and all checks go through him before they are sent to me for deposit. The monthly amount of donations will be reported to the Executive Team.
To support SI via advertising, please visit our advertising page for more details. You may now purchase advertising online.
|Jason Janz, SharperIron site publisher, serves as an assistant pastor at Red Rocks Baptist Church (Denver, CO). He has a bachelor’s degree in Bible and is currently finishing a master’s degree in theology. He has been married to Jennifer for 10 years, and they have four boys. His interests include pastoring, reading, and wrestling with his boys. He likes SI because of how it helps serve pastors and church leaders.|