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The 400

Monument of Leonidas, Thermopylae, Greece. Image courtesy of Ava Babili.

The Battle of Thermopylae, in 480 BC, was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states and Xerxes I’s Persian Empire. While a Greek army of some 7,000 men blocked a pass for seven days against an army of over 100,000, eventually, they failed after being outflanked. As legend has it, King Leonidas of Sparta, accompanied by 300 of his finest warriors and an assortment of soldiers from Thespiae and Thebes, held the pass while the rest of the army retreated, fighting until the last man was overcome.

It is a battle shrouded in mythology, but it has become, for many, the paradigmatic example of the David and Goliath story; an inferior force stemming the tide of overwhelming odds.

Here at 1P5, we identify with Leonidas and his Spartans. Overwhelmed and overpowered, we stand in the breach, holding the pass against the forces of darkness that seek to conquer and destroy the Catholic Church from within. We know that with a tactical advantage — the truth — and enough soldiers to hold the line, we can fend off the enemy for much longer than they can afford.

But we need your help. 

We’ve made appeals in the past for our large readership to give only a little each month. But now I’m here to make a more practical appeal, and I’m going to ask you to stick with me until I explain.

Our goal of $20,000 per month is far less than most other Catholic publications are seeking, and yet ours is arguably the loudest voice in the Church against the internal forces sought on the destruction of our beloved faith. This amount has been listed as our “stretch goal,” but in reality, the only way we can run a growing publication like ours is to meet it.

We currently stand at 50% of that total for this month. Most months, we don’t do much better. And without hitting the numbers, we cannot grow. We can’t pay for the resources and personnel we need to do our best work. We’re falling behind.

We cannot hold the pass. 

So today, I’m looking for 400 soldiers to stand with me. (That’s 100 more than Leonidas had Spartans, but he had another 1100 Thespians and Thebans!) 400 monthly recurring donors at $50 a piece would ensure we have the $20,000 in monthly revenue we need to keep going indefinitely.

I run these appeals every month, and I’d argue that I dislike them more than you do. But the fact is, we have only a little over $3,000 per month in recurring revenue from an audience of hundreds of thousands of readers a month. Every month, we have to wonder where the income is coming from. Every month, we have to hope that we can pay all our bills. We can’t budget for future expenses. We can’t plan. We’re always relying on your generosity and the providence of God, but we don’t have certainty about anything.

At this moment, we have only 24 monthly donors giving $50 or more. We need more swords and shields to stand in the breach. 

With just five days left in the month, we haven’t raised enough to meet our expenses. If you are able, we are asking that you prayerfully consider setting up a recurring donation today.  All you need to do is check the box labeled “Create Recurring Transaction” at checkout. You can see a brief video walkthrough of the process here.

Will you help us today? Will you be a part of the 400? 

God Bless You!

In Christ,

Steve Skojec
Publisher & Executive Director

18 thoughts on “The 400”

  1. Steve–I wonder if it would help fundraising if One Perter 5 had a goal, e.g., removal of Pope Francis from the papacy. Information without action is like prayer without good works.

    • The mission statement is stated thus: restoring Catholic tradition. Rebuilding Catholic culture.

      The site brings the truth to a lot of people. It brings some people to Christ. It helps Steve, the contributors and the readers on the path to Heaven. That is the goal and it’s being met and it’s the only goal worth striving toward.

      • Yes sir, Brian. There are many similar sites on the internet. The question is how does Steve set 1P5 apart from the others. What do we get from 1P5 that the others don’t provide?

        Personally, I have been one of the major and constant contributors to 1P5 and note the total monthly contributions haven’t risen significantly. When the one considers only $3000 a month comes from consistent givers setting a $20,000 month goal doesn’t make sense to me given that most of similar sites are also looking for funds. Maybe Steve should consider growing the audience or merging with similar sites. Two really good conservative sites are Crisis Magazine and The Catholic Thing which have a much broader appeal.

        • I believe our audience is big enough to accomplish this goal – We get somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 to 200,000 unique visitors a month. Most of them read more than one page and many come back.

          It’s a question of distribution of the fundraising needs. Larger sites like Lifesite do big quarterly fundraisers where they bring in $250,000 at a time. First Things will be doing one soon where they bring in $500,000 in just a month or two.

          We’re at a plateau here. We have the largest audience in our niche, but to grow means I need more resources to pay for the help to get things done. The majority of what we raise goes to supporting the cost of business and paying me to do this full time; as budget becomes available I’m paying some of our featured writers and our editor, etc. and looking at opportunities to expand our offerings. My biggest constriction is time and the risk of burnout.

          I’ve made the choice to do. monthly appeals because I know many folks can give a little each month but not a lot each quarter.

          At some point, hiring a fundraiser would be nice. I don’t care for this part of the job. I’m not a guy who likes to ask for things. I prefer to earn them flat out. But this is the “free content” business model. You put all you have into giving away your stuff and hope people will value it enough to give something back.

          I do want to start running Catholic business ads again, but the current site design doesn’t give me many options and I’ve not taken the time to troubleshoot that.

          • Thanks Steve. Evidently an infinitesimal number of your monthly visitors give nothing. If they each gave 10 cents you would be home free. I wonder why they don’t give. Giving seems like a duty to me. Maybe you could focus on trying to get more folks to give $1-$5.00 per month. This is easily accomplished on PayPal

            And another thing. The very fact you have had only 8 comments on this request for contributions is telling..

          • I actually was trying to do that, because it seemed the easy ask. Then a fundraiser who works for another non-profit contacted me after reading one of my recent appeals.

            He said that there’s psychology at work here, and that people do something called “anchoring”. Whatever number you tell them is used as the baseline for making their decision. So if you ask for $1, people will use that and the center of the target range for gifts. You’ll get smaller gifts than if you’re asking for $50. A $10 gift feels huge if you’ve been asked for $1, whereas a $25 gift feels modest if you’ve asked for $50.

            And there’s also the problem of volume. If you ask 100 people to give $1, and 50% respond, you have $50. If you ask 100 people to give $50 and only 2% respond, you have $100. Bigger gifts add up more quickly.

            My goal here, as much as possible, is to stabilize revenues in such a way that it can be counted on. We’ve been pretty successful at raising $10-15,000 per month this year, but that’s all based on appeals, and it’s hard to know what the final takeaway will be when scheduled, recurring donations are so low. Knowing you can count on $3,000 but you MIGHT get $10,000 more makes planning and budgeting almost impossible. It makes salaries impossible. It makes me nervous about over committing to any outlay of funds on an ongoing basis, which stifles growth.

            I’m a writer. That’s what I do. The other hats I wear — from business manager to web developer to graphic designer to copy editor to fundraiser — these are things I can get by doing, but I’m not a specialist in any of them. I make a lot of mistakes. I’m sure I’m making them in these appeals. That’s why I just shore up the ask with prayer and do my best.

    • As laudable as that goal is, and as valuable as OnePeterFive is for English-speakers, it is impossible to have that as a goal; only the Cardinals can initiate that goal, which we all pray for.

  2. Just a suggestion: Make a site multilingual (the articles, at least). That would help, I am sure, with just a few languages more. Spanish, German, French,.. There are probably, some good Samaritans, who have more volition and linguistic knowledge than money, who would voluntarily help. Which would cause more readers, and with that, also more supporters.

  3. Steve, the laity in the in the United States would be lost without 1P5, We would hear nothing, about the true nature of the faith from our so called Knights of Christ. With that said, I don’t know if I’m speaking for all traditionalist when I say this, but we’re broke. No blood in the stone. A true persuit in a life with Christ rarely leads to conventional wealth. Why don’t you start taking advertising from real Catholic businesses, with the understanding that they cannot advertise if they want to exert any control on the message in content or in form. I own a small rosary a t shirt design business, 50 percent of proceeds go to directly feeding the poor. Yes me and family in the streets feeding the poor 4 nights a week. These are the kind of advertisers you could take

  4. Folks, you only have to give up that one soft drink a day, or something similar, to give $25 per month. The 800 would also do it.

      • Requesting perhaps a dollar (50 cent ?) a comment, tallied up monthly by individual commentator’s as a voluntary offering.
        Or is that impractical? As an addition to the standard option’s already set, this path might encourage prospective poster’s whom
        otherwise may not be in a position to commit to a regular gift.
        And in doing so give them an avenue to contribute.

  5. Steve, your website is one of several catholic websites I visit on a daily basis. Because I don’t have a fixed income I only donate once at the end of each year, but you are definitely on the list. It’s always difficult to decide how much to give to each organization, they all need more money. When I look at the subscription rates of the Remnant Newspaper I see the highest rate is sixty dollars to mail it to the Netherlands. You don’t have to print a newspaper but just like Michael Matt you have to do your research, write the articles, pay for website hosting, etc. So sixty dollars a year seems fair to me. You get more when Michael raises his rates…

  6. If most you appreciate this man’s website you should be able to do a recurring monthly tax deductible donation. Something, anything, let’s hear from you, and save this man from having to plead for support each month. Put your money where your mouth is (as they say).


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