Nearly three years ago, the inspiration for OnePeterFive came almost out of the blue. It was early 2014, and I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. There was, I thought, an obvious need that was going unmet. Though very few people had realized it yet, I saw that we were facing a papacy that was quickly accelerating toward destruction. A crisis was on the horizon — I visualized it as an ominous and gathering storm — and I knew that it would soon be buffeting unwary Catholics just trying to live day to day, threatening to sweep them away.
I didn’t know what form it would take. I didn’t know how fundamental the assault would be — on the traditional teachings of the Church, on the Sacraments, on the concepts of the existence of sin, and even on objective truth. I simply felt in my bones that something dark and terrible was coming, and I wanted to do all I could to help to prepare as many people as possible for its arrival. I was so convicted that it was the right thing to do — that it was what Our Lord wanted me to do — that I jumped in with both feet and dedicated myself to this work full-time — a risky thing (and possibly stupid) to do with a large family to support. I didn’t plan nearly as much as I should have. I just put it together the way I believed I was supposed to and trusted that God would provide the rest.
Now, here we are, approaching our third year online. We have gone from an obscure upstart website with a funny name to the most widely read traditionally-focused online Catholic publication in the world (still with a funny name), serving over 2.1 million readers over 10 million pages of content since our launch. God has blessed our work, and I am so honored to have been given such an opportunity to defend our Holy Faith.
But the fight is far from over.
2017 has already fallen like a hammer blow. As I wrote last month, not even Christmas would bring a cessation of hostilities. The war may be principally ideological and spiritual, but it is no less a war. And nothing less than souls are at stake. We are all extremely weary. But we will fight on. We must.
As we have grown, so too have our expenses. In 2014, we barely existed. In 2015, we eked out an existence, even though I almost lost everything I had in the process. In 2016, we actually paid our bills. In 2017, we need to invest more in staff, technology, and resources to increase our efforts and output. I have reached a point where I can no longer do the majority of this on my own. Much of the help we’ve received — including from most of our writers — has been on a volunteer basis. It’s time for that to change.
I have some ambitious plans to increase our offerings this year, still in the planning stages:
- We have purchased access to an online education platform in hopes that we can begin producing content that can introduce Catholics looking to enrich their understanding of the faith to concepts not presented in most post-conciliar catechesis programs.
- We are looking at options to build a community platform that would allow more communication and networking options for like-minded Catholics in a space outside of existing (and often hostile) social networks.
- We have plans to publish some longer-form, more in-depth analysis of the current state of affairs in the Church and how we got here, for those just getting up to speed.
- We are interested in collaborating with pastors to develop resources that could help parishes deal with the challenges they are facing in educating the faithful in a post-Amoris Laetitia world.
- We will soon be implementing a new platform for donor management that will allow, at long last, some alternatives to Paypal, in answer to many reader complaints. (In fact, I just had a meeting with them in the middle of writing this; we’re hoping to get set up before the end of this month.)
It seems there’s never enough time to put new things into place when we’re constantly being barraged, so I ask your prayers that we can see these projects through. We need to continue to raise revenue first, however, so we can afford to put the extra development time in and hire help where needed. With that in mind, we’ve doubled our monthly fundraising goal to $20,000. While that sounds like a lot for us, it’s a fraction of the budget of other Catholic publications, and I’d argue that we’re doing critical work. Numerically, I believe this goal is achievable. Of the 2.1 million readers I mentioned, we’ve been supported thus far by fewer than 1700, truly dedicated and incredible donors. (That’s all-time, not just the previous 12 months.)
I know you’ve heard the funny fundraising math before, but think about it:
- In the past 30 days, we’ve had 186,958 unique visitors by Google’s rather spartan estimate (we will be billed for over half a million unique visits by our web host next week.) So we’ll round it to 200,000 to make it conservative and easy.
- If every one of those visitors donated just 1 dollar and 20 cents, we’d be funded for the entire year.
- If 10% of those visitors donated just 12 dollars, we’d be funded for the entire year.
We can do any number of permutations. The fact is, it doesn’t take a lot of large donors to keep us running. 1P5 was always designed to be a crowdfunded endeavor, immune to the editorial dictates of donors with exceptionally deep pockets or the approval of local bishops. It’s what keeps us fast, nimble, and able to always report on the stories you want to hear, however unpopular it may make us. For less than the cost of a lunch out or two fancy coffees a month, you can help keep us going strong.
So If you’d like to see us continue to do this work this year, please consider a tax-deductible gift of $5, $10, $20, or $50 today. Monthly recurring donations are even better. (If you’ve already given in January, THANK YOU!) We’re happy to accept larger donations, but we don’t want you to think that if you can only give a little, it doesn’t count. It does. Every dollar matters.
I truly hate bugging all of you for money, but I’ve noticed the bill collectors lack my reticence. I’d much prefer to be writing, editing, and sneaking contraband analysis to all those IP addresses coming from the Holy See. Thank you for your generosity thus far, your patience with our endless appeals, and for your readership, prayers, and support.
And buckle up. Because if you thought last year was crazy, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Publisher & Executive Director
P.S. – If there’s something you’re hoping to see more of this year, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or use our contact form. We’re always happy to hear your suggestions.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.