Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pay-Pal Donations Now Accepted on JonathanLack.Com

Running this website isn’t cheap.  Since I am not an official member of the press, I don’t attend the free press screenings most critics are invited to, and therefore, I have to pay full price for every movie I see.  Given the number of films I review, that adds up quickly.  It also applies to any DVDs, Blu-Rays, Video Games, or Albums I write about; each costs money, and that money adds up over time.  The dollar amount doesn’t take into account all the time I spent writing and posting these reviews: my three-part “Drive” analysis, for instance, was an all-day project I worked on from noon to eight pm.  I’ve got some very big, exciting plans for November and December, plans that will be bringing more new content to the site than ever before, but these projects come with a higher price tag than ever before. 

I am therefore announcing today that JonathanLack.Com is now accepting Pay-Pal donations.  You can find the donate button in the upper right corner of the webpage, and it will be included at the end of some articles.  Clicking on it will take you to the secure Pay-Pal network; with your Pay-Pal account, all major credit cards are accepted as well as bank transfers, you can choose any amount to donate, and you may pay with anonymity if you wish.

More details coming up after the jump, but I want to say one thing before we move on: I don’t want any reader to feel compelled to donate for following this site.  I don’t do this for money, I do this because I love it, and I have added Pay-Pal donations only as a means to recover certain expenses.  I value your readership above all else.  Continue after the jump to read about the benefits of reader donations…

There are three main benefits to reader donations.  If you choose to donate, your money will 1) Go towards generating new content for the website.  2) Keep this site free to use, and 3) Keep this site completely ad-free. 

Let me elaborate on these points: #1 – the first and foremost purpose is to recover expenses.  In addition to normal ticket purchases, I’ve also just finished buying all my tickets for the Starz Denver Film Festival.  I’ve never attended a major festival, but given the fantastic line-up this year, I was eager to change that.  I will be attending thirteen films, many of which are high-profile awards contenders making their exclusive Denver premiere at the festival, and I will be reviewing each and every one right here on www.jonathanlack.comThe festival isn’t cheap though – in total, the tickets cost me north of $200, and that doesn’t factor in the expenses it will take to travel to-and-from Boulder to Denver, such as gas. 

Therefore, I feel it would be fiscally unwise to continue operating this site without attempting to bridge that budget gap one way or another.  This brings us to Reason #2:  I am accepting Pay-Pal donations because I want the site to remain free to use.  The best content on the internet is the material anyone can access, and I am proud to have kept my work free to the public for as long as I have.  Adding Pay-Pal donations could help pay for expenses while still allowing the general public to access the content on this site. 

Another way I considered making-up expenses was through advertising on the site.  As you may have noticed, I’ve experimented with Google’s AdSense service over the past few weeks, but ultimately, I have decided not to include advertising on this website.  To create a fiscally sound advertising model would require many more ads than I am willing to display, so I have decided to do away with ads altogether.  This is the third reason I am accepting Pay-Pal donations: it keeps this site 100% ad-free

Together, I believe those are three fair reasons to accept money from readers.  To reiterate, a donation will 1) Go towards generating content for the website.  2) Keep this site free to use, and 3) Keep this site completely ad-free. 

I guarantee that all funds donated will go towards content for the site.  None of the money shall be used for personal reasons.  If you wish to find out where exactly your money is going after donating, you can always shoot me an e-mail at, and I will point you towards the article(s) your contribution made possible. 

In the first year I wrote for the Denver Post’s “Colorado Kids,” when I was ten, I was paid a grand sum of $100 dollars, which seemed like an awful lot to a little kid.  In the seven years since then, I’ve never been paid a dime for what I do, and as I said above, I don’t mind because writing about film is what I love.  But the expenses are becoming somewhat arduous, and while I don’t want my readers to feel compelled to donate, just be aware that any amount, even the smallest, helps. 

The next few months are going to be very exciting.  There will be a review or article posted nearly every day in November, and there will be a post every single day in December.  I have some big plans, and your contributions will help to make it all possible.

Just click on the yellow donate button located in the upper right corner of the screen or at the end of an article to donate today!  If you don’t have a Pay-Pal account but wish to donate, e-mail me at and we can work something out. 


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