In the past roughly six years I’ve tried to help many people through this blog, both by writing what I hoped were informative articles, but also by helping people who contacted me privately through my contact page.
I’ve never asked for money, and I’ve never made any money from this site or any assistance I’ve offered. With the creation of the B&F Encyclopedia of Jewish Genealogy (BFEJG? Just EJG? Does it need any acronym?) I’ve invested quite a bit of time and effort into creating something which I think will be able to help a lot more people researching their family history.
This project has been a major undertaking, spanning months of long days and nights of work. Just the continued maintenance of what is already up (207 countries, states/provinces for US, UK, Canada and Poland, over 1000 towns for Poland, and thousands of resources) will take a huge amount of time. Expansion of the site to include province-and-town-level information for all 207 countries would be a full-time job, if not full-time jobs for several people.
Running the site even without updating the information is not, of course, free. In fact, increased traffic to this site is likely to drive costs up, maybe even requiring me to move to a bigger more-expensive server.
The question then is not whether this site needs funds to run it, but how best to fund the site.
I’m not comfortable requiring any kind of payment to use the site. It’s intended to benefit everyone. Some options for funding the site:
- Individual users who feel they’ve been helped by the site can donate funds
- Corporate sponsorship
Some combination of the above options might be the best course. I’d love to hear people’s thought on these options in the comments below.