Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Requesting donations- shameful or just annoying?

If you are one who doesn't enjoy reading posts about my personal finances, this post isn't for you. See ya tomorrow, I hope.

For anyone else...
Most of my life I have had "real jobs", even if they weren't high-paying jobs. There were good things and bad things about every single one of them- just as there are with this job. Probably the worst thing about this job- besides the pay- is the isolation. But, when I can, I get out and interact with people. (Money helps that, too.) The best thing? I love the emails of support I get, and the occasional in-person appreciation!

But, even my "real jobs" have not always gone smoothly, as far as bringing in the money.

Once I was working for a place which got into some financial trouble, due to some dishonesty from a relative of theirs. I didn't get a paycheck for at least 6 weeks, but I wasn't in dire need at the time, so I kept working without complaint, listening to the assurances that "soon" all my back hours would be paid. Finally I said I had to start getting some money, or I would need to find a different job, therefore I would only keep working if I got paid in cash at the end of the day. I hated mentioning it. So, that's what happened- and finally I started getting paid for the back wages, too. (I still got stiffed for one whole week of work- my claim was disputed, so perhaps I was wrong... but I was keeping up with what I was owed, and what I was being paid, pretty carefully).  If I hadn't asked for the money I was owed, I doubt I would have ever gotten it.

Well, the recent commenter who is "embarrassed for [me]" and my tin cup rattling obviously feels I either don't deserve to be paid for the writing I do (except, perhaps, for the newspaper column, which is only 1/7 of my writing), or that I am paid enough already. Or maybe that only certain work, under certain traditional conditions, deserves to be paid. And that is his perfectly valid opinion, so I can't dispute it. That doesn't guarantee I wouldn't end up asking for money, either, but I guess I wouldn't be bothering you (or him) about it.

I have some very generous subscribers and donors, and I can't begin to express how grateful I am for their support, but unless I mention a need I rarely get any "out of the blue" donations. And I really do need those extras to make ends get sorta close to meeting- or at least being in sight of one another.

So, why should I be ashamed to mention the need?

I have donated money to certain blogs/projects/people, myself- not as much as I would like to, and not usually when I am feeling the need to do some begging of my own (although I helped one person out in an emergency, which made me have to ask for donations afterward- but I would have helped her regardless of what happened to me in that case).

I have never been offended by others asking, even if I feel bad that I can't help. That's my problem, not theirs. The "job" landscape is changing, and it is still a bit chaotic and unsettled. And it may get worse before things settle into the new "normal".

I love William N. Grigg's "Pro Libertate" blog, and even though he ends every single post with a request for donations, and even though I don't believe I have ever donated a cent to him, his requests don't bother me at all. He is awesome and works for- and richly deserves- every penny he gets.

Recently Chris Muir's "Day by Day" comic strip ran a multi-week fund raiser where he requested a specific amount and kept beating the drum until he got it. And, once again, I didn't donate anything, but his request didn't strike me as crass or that he was asking for "money for nothing". He obviously works hard to produce his strip and I believe he should be rewarded for the work he does.

And, I could mention other examples, too.

Do I think I am as good or important as either of those examples? Heavens no! If you'd rather donate to them- or to no one- it's none of my business. But, if they can ask, why can't I? What makes me different? That I am not famous?

It does bother me to ask- sometimes a lot. Does it bother others to ask? I have no idea. But, often, asking is what makes a difference. In the past I would say I have usually gotten donations about half the times I make a request. And for that I thank you all.

But then, maybe I am not "good enough" to ask for donations. That would be a perfectly valid reason to object to my requests- if I seem to be saying I "deserve" something I don't. Only you can judge that.

I thought long and hard after feeling I had been scolded for asking for donations- on a post where I wasn't asking for donations, but running some product ideas past my readers. After that happened I considered making a commitment to myself to never ask again.

But, you know what? I have nothing to be ashamed of. I have never resented someone telling me they won't or can't donate to me. I have never tried to make anyone feel bad for not donating when they try to explain why they don't. I put a lot of work into this blog, and when I need money I ask, but if you don't want to donate, for any reason, don't. It doesn't bother me. You don't "owe" me anything. No explanations necessary.

If I ever get to the point where I am regularly getting at least $600 per month, total, I don't think you'd ever see another request for donations- unless some unusual crisis crops up. Until then, I hope you don't mind if I post the occasional reminder. If you do mind, I'm really sorry. I don't want to drive anyone away, and I hope the rest of my content is worth the occasional bleg you can just skip over without giving it a second thought. If it's not, it isn't your fault.

And, yeah, I could really use some donations right now.



  1. The ideal, as far as I am concerned, is Jeffersonian Rightful Liberty. Part of that is working, and being compensated for that work. I am really mystified when "Patriots" throw words like "Profiteer" around, as if it is somehow a bad thing to get paid for doing "Patriot" work.

    What you are NOT doing is asking FedGov to take money from your neighbors, then accepting that money.

    George Washington's soldiers expected to be paid, as any American should be proud of such an honest transaction. Here's my answer to anyone who doesn't think you should be paid for the work you do: STFU. And my advice to you is: Do more selling of patches, or whatever, to cover your needs. Your "Time's up!" patch is great - get a booth at a gun show and sell them for $10/each. Give every buyer a business card with your website addy on it.

    Anyone condemning the Free Market just doesn't get it.


    1. Thanks! And, you know, that's a really good idea.

  2. I see no shame in it. You're providing a public service at your own expense and need some extra cash to keep the service going. I just wish I could afford to make a donation.

    1. Now see... you never need to apologize for not making a donation. No explanations necessary. Ever. Read and enjoy.

  3. It's quite infuriating to me that shysters like Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen receive millions in donations all the time, while you cannot even find 50 people to give you $15 a month.

    I'd be really sad if you had to cut back on the blog, it's become a daily routine for me to check this place and I sure get a smile whenever I see something new.

    With regards to your Clovis News articles, I wonder how many pageviews they receive from you linking to them. I click the link to read your article, and I am always prompted to answer a couple of questions before they will let me read the whole thing. Surely they are profiting from ad revenue from this. It might be time to ask for a raise :D

    It is my hope to be able to support you to a greater degree in the future. Reading your blog improves the overall happiness of my life. Truly!


    1. I'm not planning to cut back, so don't worry about that. If I end up having to get a "real job" again, it will just have to be someone who'll hire me in spite of my rather public writings.

      The Clovis News Journal just got a new publisher, and I don't yet have a sense of where I stand with him. This might not be the best time to push the issue. Maybe soon...

      But thank you very much for the encouraging words! They are worth more to me than you know.