New Sources of Funding for Theology on the Web

Funding

I recently posted a poll in the Theology on the Web Facebook Group asking for suggestions as to how I could secure regular funding to continue to develop Theology on the Web. This is because Income from affiliate links, Google ads and one-off donations have fallen, while server costs will rise in September this year as I add more web space to the server. Before I begin I wanted to thank those who contributed their ideas to the post and to give some feedback in the hope of provoking further discussion. I also want to thank the couple who have now signed up to support the sites regularly.

Here are the options the Group suggested:

Open a Patreon Account

For those not familiar with it Patreon provides a superb service intended to offer support for artists and creators by offering regular supporters special deals, such as early access to new products, etc. 14 people voted for this option.

There are several reasons why I cannot take up this option, but for brevity I will mention only one. As part of my agreement with the publishers and authors who contribute content I undertake not to sell their work, but to make it available to everyone free of charge. I think that offering such content for payment, even for only a short period, conflicts with this obligation.

Add a PayPal Donate Button

8 people voted for this. To be honest I was a little bemused by this suggestion, as every page on my websites (over 2,000 of them), already has a PayPal donate button at the very top of the left-hand sidebar. I wondered if it was not obvious enough?

Approach your Church to Make it a Ministry of the Church

2 people voted for this. I know from experience that getting for support for providing theological resources is difficult even from those who are using the websites regularly. Promoting to those who have never heard of it is not likely to succeed.

Initiate a GoFundMe – Education Fundraiser

4 people voted for this. A few years ago my supporters responded very generously to my GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a new laptop. GoFundMe is great for one-off requests, but I would not be comfortable about making the same request each year. However, if I reach a funding crisis, I may have to take up this option in the short-term to keep the sites running.

Advertise my Bible College / Seminary on the websites

11 people voted for this option. As I mentioned above that income from Google ads has now fallen to such a low level. SO low, in fact, that I have today removed all the Google banner ads from the websites. This will give me enough space for two more seminaries / Bible Colleges to place vertical banner ads.

This is my preferred option. Please pass on this offer of advertising on to those in charge at your institutions to see if they are interested or sponsoring the websites in some other way. My contact details are here. If you would like to support the websites as an individual please visit the support page for suggestions of how you can best do so.

Cyber Monday Sales & Theology on the Web

Cyber Monday on Amazon

Today is “Cyber Monday” when millions of people will be buying Christmas gifts on Amazon and Christian Book Distributors.

Did you know that by clicking through the links below before making your purchases on Amazon & CBD you can support Theology on the Web at no extra cost to yourself? Just choose the appropriate link for your country below. Many thanks!

Christian Book Distributors

Christian Book Distributors

Amazon

Website Visitor Numbers Double

The statistics for BiblicalStudies.org.uk in October make very encouraging reading.

BilbicalStudies.org.uk Website Statistics
Website Statistics for BiblicalStudies.org.uk 2013-2014

In October 2013 the site received 46,347 visitors; this October it received 92,240 visitors – a 100% increase! The month by month figures over the year also indicate a steady growth. This means that the 20,000+ theological articles and books currently hosted are being distributed at a phenomenal rate.

Website Statistics by Month
Websites statistics for BiblicalStudies.org.uk 2013-2014

I was also greatly encouraged to see that the site is being used Internationally, including countries where these theological resources are otherwise difficult or impossible to obtain (see table below).

Top 30 countries of visitors to BiblicalStudies.org.uk
Top 30 countries of visitors to BiblicalStudies.org.uk

The only downside of the dramatic increase in site usage is that the demand on server resources now regularly exceeds the capacity of the shared server in which it resides. This can be seen on the usage chart below. When the blue line on the chart meets the red line, this indicates that server cannot meet the demand being placed upon it.

Server Usage for BiblicalStudies.org.uk
Server Usage for BiblicalStudies.org.uk Oct. 2014

None of this tremendous growth would have been possible without your support. Thank you to everyone who has prayed, financially supported, lent resources and given permission for material to be hosted here. We give thanks to God that there is every indication that visitor numbers will continue to climb.