Mormon Stories Listeners / Community Members – This is John, and I/we really need your help.
Over the past several months, in spite of the quality interviews/presentations we’ve delivered (Terryl Givens, Michael Quinn, Michael Coe, Joanna Brooks, Daniel Peterson, Greg Prince, etc.), and in spite of the many regional conferences and Facebook communities we’ve helped to organize (for which we lose money) — we’ve had a high percentage of our original financial subscribers (from 2 years ago) drop out due to either:
1) financial cost-cutting (tough financial times for many) or
2) they have lost interest in Mormonism generally (so far none have dropped due to concerns about content….thankfully).
So, this is a plea for those of you who benefit from either: 1) Mormon Stories podcast, 2) the Mormon Stories Facebook Support Communities, or 3) the Mormon Stories Conferences — to please, please, please become a monthly subscriber/donor today. You can do this above (top right).
For the record — the donations you send to Mormon Stories go for the very basics: web hosting fees, domain names, audio equipment, conference costs, food and health insurance for my family, etc. The total amount of revenue is very small (especially compared to what I/we could make doing other things)….so when it starts dwindling, it literally threatens our ability to continue.
We have a TON of super high quality content, projects and conferences on the way….but we literally can’t keep doing all this without your support. With your support, we can do much, much more.
Thanks so much (in advance).
One thing for people to consider as well, is making this a pay it forward concept. In other words, you may have benefited MUCH from MormonStories in the past, but thankfully you have moved to a more stable point in your religious journey and no longer rely on MormonStories the way you once did. If this describes you, you should still consider donating so that others can benefit from what MormonStories does. Though I still enjoy MS and benefit from what they do, I no longer NEED the support the same degree that I did in the past. Nevertheless, I donate because I want others who are currently as traumatized and stressed out as I once was to have these resources available to them. The end. Preachifying complete.
Love it, Matt. I think of it the same way. John, I’ll send a check (prefer that to PP) — what’s a mailing address?
2754 N. 920 E.
N. Logan, UT 84341
And thanks to you and Matt for your support.
Having found that the law of tithing works (donations to charity and not necessarily to a church), can you assure us that that law will work with a charity donation to MS? ;-)
However, if it is a value-for-value exchange, then why not make it subscription based?
If a charity, then, unlike the Church, it would be ideal to provide a Financial Statement . Would you be willing to do that? A Excel Spreadsheet that could be used as a basis for that can be found at:
You can change the items to reflect your income and expenses.
I support full financial disclosure. The board is trying to figure out the best way to do this. More on this soon.
Is there an address where we could send cash? Given my situation, a credit card charge or check might arouse suspicion.
2754 N. 920 E.
N. Logan, UT 84341
“especially compared to what I/we could make doing other things”
seems identical to gordon hinckley’s rationalization for the 15’s salaries =)
John – I canceled my paypal subscription so that I could re-subscribe at a higher monthly rate. I couldn’t figure out any other way to change my monthly contribution. But, I didn’t want you to take the cancellation personally. :)
I’m in. A small price to pay for my sanity.
You really need to take the next step and put yourself on a disclosed salary with defined roles in the organization. Most of us are trained to never give money to orgs that don’t issue detailed, sworn and audited financial reports–the risk of abuse is just too great. No one doubts your integrity (I sure don’t), but it is a lot to ask for donations into a black hole. If you need help getting it set up right, let me know. I’m happy to help with legal stuff (just don’t ask me to do a spreadsheet). Once set up properly, the money will flow in, I’m sure.All the best,Adam Ford
I agree. Last time this came up it was voted down by the board (I voted for it, for the record). I’ll bring it up again next meeting. I’m sure your voice will carry weight.
A great article on the topic.
Unfortunately, my financial situation is very dire right now (about to be evicted), otherwise I would be more than willing to help out. As soon as I get things in order, I will definitely help support.
No worries. Take care of yourself, Aaron. This is only for the folks who are in a position to give. :)
I really enjoy Mormon Stories and have put my money where my mouth is (or my ears). Keep up the great work!
You deserve so much thanks! We will support you to the ends of the earth!
I don’t log on to MS as much as I used to but I fully endorse and enthusiastically pledge my support. I became a monthly subscriber and even though my faith journey has taken me beyond the need for emotional support, I feel the cause is a worthy one, so I continue my modest financial support. If you can’t give a lot, give a little. Most people can afford a little.
John has done a tremendous amount of leg work in setting up interviews, podcasts, conferences, and support networks for the thousands who find themselves adrift after a faith crisis. If you have not pledged support but have benefited from these services, I urge you to do so now.
I signed up to be a monthly subscriber but haven’t been following closely to see if it’s been deducted from my account each month. Do you know how to check on this? I’m not very pay-pal savvy. Thanks!
Lindsay – It being deducted, and it’s very much appreciated!!!
Thanks for the update John. I find the , what I consider a “movement to enlighten” worthy of my support. While I have donated on a one time donation several times, I just signed up for the monthly donation.
Ron and Derry Bailey
Thanks so much Ron and Derry!!!!
How can I donate from Sweden?
I went on my mission to Sweden!… What city do you live in?
I think PayPal will take your Visa card and convert the currency. Plus, the Krona is still strong against the dollar, so you get a good rate!!!
You have a really wonderful offering of “all services and products offered by Mormon Stories.” You need a strategic way to position it to listeners in order to increase revenues. Here is a list of examples of the millions of ideas out there to help you raise your revenues:
1.Diversify your offerings – offer other products and services that would appeal to your audience, besides lectures and dialogues. How about interractive chat links where people chat with counselors for a small fee.
2. Have people pay for some high profile lectures on special topics (put them on DVDs and have people buy them from this site). You may post clips of the lectures to elicit interest among listeners. Talk to DVD and CDROM companies to find out their production costs. (Let’s do the Math’s – an objective DVD with a high profile panel discussion on a topic such as Blacks and the Priesthood – imagine it going for only $5. If you sell 10,000 DVDs in a given year, that is an easy $50,000. Imagine having such high selling 10 DVDs in a given year, that is an easy $500,000!) Other DVDs may address topics such as “How to Keep Marriage alive when a Spouce leaves the church,” “How to treat gay/lesbian couples,” etc. Produce topics that even active mormons would easily buy.
3. Produce documentaries and books based on mormon stories topics (have renown speakers assist) and have them be sold online on this site (a good example is “The Mormons” by PBS, where several mormons are interviewed).
4. Build a website that does advertisements for various companies (you will get more revenues from various companies advertising on this website)
5. Build a dating website that is connected to this site so that like-minded mormons can meet each other on here. They will pay a small monthly fee to access this dating site.
6. Recruit online counsellors to help people along their struggle with mormonism (for a fee) part of which goes to Morrnon Stories. Some counseling sessions may be posted online and accessed only via pay.
7. Create membership levels, such as Level 1 (for basic free lectures) and Level II (for high profile lectures which requires a small fee to access ALL lectures).
To get a picture of what I’m prescribing John, look at McDonalds – to the public, it is popularly known as a fast food restaurant offering humbergers. However, its real revenues do not come from fast foods, but rather, from real estate assets that it owns and controlls.
Have mormon stories apply a similar strategy so that the real revenues do not come from lectures but from other unique offerings on this site.
Have you thought about hiring business consultants (you may get so many of them for FREE from this community to help you find alternative means to raise revenues (rather than rely on donations).
If I could be of help, please let me know…Sean
Sean I’m sorry and not to be negative but you’ve given me one of the most convincing arguments for starting my contribution again, especially if it will help John avoid at least some of this. I appreciate the community feel – even though out in the Midwest I’m pretty far from most of that community.
I like the current system the way it is. Thanks for everything that you do.
My monthly subscription was doubled up in PayPal. I cancelled one of the two. Please don’t take this badly! It was merely a bookkeeping issue and not a commentary!
Don’t worry about your periodic pleas for cash. As any loyal NPR listener knows, it is a SMALL price to pay for the high quality content we’ve come to expect! We all need a reminder occasionally! Keep up the GREAT work!
Just subscribed and so grateful to you for all you do. It’s high time we lend a little bit each month to support a community which has so entirely supported us through our faith transistion. Thank you, John!
Is there a way to up my current monthly donation?
Aaron – The only way I know of doing it is to cancel your current subscription and then re-up. Thx, bro.
I’ve signed up! I understand what people are saying about financial declarations – which are mandatory for charities here in the UK – but I’m seeing this more like a purchase from and regular company. I’m putting value in and getting exceptional value out.
Thanks so much, Isobel!!!
I dusted off my old paypal account. I had some trouble retrieving the login data. Guess what, it works! Lucky you ; )
John, it would be so much easier for me to pay by auto deduct from my account, but I hear you and will absolutely contribute each month. Right now, I’ve got to go put some funds INTO PayPal so you can take them out! Continue doing what you are doing. It’s worth it. For me, this is a “pay it forward” thing, and I am so, so happy to do it.
My understanding is that Paypal will process automatic deductions from credit card….fwiw.
no one has any money dude .we are in the second great depression in case you havent noticed
I see a lot of white space in the left and right columns. I understand the desire to stick with the “public radio” model and keep the site clean (i.e., no ads), but if things get tough, maybe a rethink is in order?
Anyways, what you’re bringing here is something that I think has real cultural value in a documentary “if we don’t record the trajectory of contemporary Mormonism, who will?” kind of way and I’ll sign on for a monthly contribution. Keep rockin’.
Thanks, Chino. And yeah…I need redesign for sure. It’s in the works.
Now why would I donate money so you can afford health care and support for your children when mine have no healthcare since you ruined my husbands testimony and we got a divorce? Ok bring out “truths” if you would like to call them that way, but what solution do you offer in the end? Just like much of the people that protest for X cause, no solution or good comes from it. Have you helped people become better men/women? better spouses? better friends? NO. You can not be so oblevious to not realize the harm you cause to relationships by your statements and planting doubt and anger. It seems very misingenious to scam people offering out of context information, “understanding”, “empathy” and you making a living off peoples’ unfortunate experiences in the Church. Worry about yourself and how you can be a true follower of Christ. I noticed some donations are being made under the table and hidden from the spouses. Why do they hide it from their spouse? I can tell you it is not something that would improve their marriage at all. Think about that.
John: What is the overarching aim of Mormon Stories? (the entire enterprise, not the podcast) Is it still your main intention to keep people in the LDS Church?
Nelie — It’s all here in the 1st 15 minutes. https://www.mormonstories.org/?p=2099
Thank you John for all the work you have done! You and this website are an answer to prayer. My check is in the mail.
Thank you, grateful listener.
I can’t believe how great the interviews are and how much they’ve meant to me and my family. I just sent what I hope is a helpful donation.
I wish I had known what I learned from your podcast before being called as Bishop…
Mormon Stories has helped me sort out a lot of things in my faith transition. Some of the interviews have drawn me to a more progressive place, and others have helped me maintain my desire to be faithful. I am very grateful. MoSto gets my discretionary tithing this month (I send half to the church and half where I think it will be well used). I can’t do a subscription just now, but I’ll be back I’m sure. I am very grateful for what you’re doing here.
Thanks so much for the support, Jenni!
i will send $$ anonymous when i can. You have changed my life. You will never know to what extent. For the first time in my life every thing is making sense. I’ve been trying to make sense out of mormonism for 50 years and haven’t been able to. Until now. Thank-you John.
My husband two adult kids all have left at the same time. I don’t have grandchildren yet, but am so happy they won’t be raised in this mental, spiritual breaking system. The madness stops here. Thank-you thank-you thank-you!
I’ve benefitted a lot over the last few weeks too since finding MS.
I have a beautiful young family consisting of three kids and a wonderful wife who happens to be athiest. She wasn’t always but a few years ago stopped going to church after coming to a conclusion. Oddly enough she had no problem with the church and swears she would return if not for her lack of faith in God. It was difficult but because I love her and to empathise with her, I saturated myself in Richard Dawkins and co so I knew what her world might now look like. It has been difficult for me raising the children in the church on my own and would be so easy to find an excuse to leave if I wanted one.
If that weren’t enough, my recent trial of faith with church history has kept me awake at nights and breaking into a blubbering mess at the most inconvenient of times. But in the last few days I have begun to see the world with brilliant colour instead of the black and white it used to be. I can’t believe the newfound richness I am now seeing from having this trial.
I would never dare judge another because we are all on this journey together and must work out whats going on in our own way. I have chosen to continue faithfully in the church, perhaps more devout now than ever, coupled with the vibrant colour that is now my world view.
As well as others, I can’t recommend enough Terryl Given’s podcast. I listened to all sessions straight through and couldn’t put it down as it eclipsed exactly what my heart knew. Of course I think I will have to be patient with ward members who only see black and white like I did but why am I here if not to help others. I forgive the church for not telling me the uncut truth. It deserves my forgiveness.
I will donate the day after I see a MormonStories’ financial statement showing complete transparency in donations vs expenses. One that so many ex-Mormons are complaining the LDS church doesn’t provide. John Larson (MormonExpression dot com) seems to do just fine without having to solely rely on donations to support his family (he is employed), yet he does so many similar things to what John Dehlin does, albeit on a smaller scale I assume. So I’m interested to hear why John Dehlin needs so much more money, and needs to be unemployed to provide us with these quality podcasts. Donations are fine, but this kind of plea (an article begging for money to – among other things – support his family) is to me very distasteful, and reeks a bit of the religious charlatans so many of us despise.
I just had to say it. Nobody else dared to so there you go. Still love what you do John and wish all the best to you and your endeavors! :)
I very much value this work and I share it frequently with others in an attempt to introduce them to the options out there. I cannot currently support through funds, but I can support hopefully through exposure of others which can hopefully help with funds along the way whether through contributors or attendees at conferences.
Currently, this stuff is very much a lifeline for me and I am often a lifeline for others inside and outside of Mormonism interacting with the Mormon community. Keep up the good work. I do think some T-Shirts may be of use on a site like Cafepress which can be lowkey but can assist with fundraising and/or things that could be sold at the conferences online like Coffee mugs and whatever else with a quote or image. Some people may not be able to donate funds, but could donate time to help with things like that that could help raise funds, plus it could be fun to have t-shirts that have the website on them and a quote or interesting artwork that expresses the work of the organization.
Also maybe some art could be sold at the conferences and online that expresses the tone of the organization as well and could help contribute both to peoples’ inspiration and expression in less orthodox ways and to the ongoing work of MS. Much like on PBS stations people could get a gift or gifts with levels of donation as well. That can keep more of a home-grown element to things while also having some further ways of fundraising.