Why Ads?

Why Ads, Affiliates, and Sponsored Posts?

You may have noticed ads, affiliate promotions and a few sponsored posts appearing on this blog. Although I am interested in how monetization works and whether a blog or website can truly make money, I'm not quitting my day job to rely on ad revenues anytime soon. However, I do believe in a penny saved is a penny earned (literally, with my AdSense funds), and I want to see how this can potentially add up.

Chanatown Gives 2012

From the Update Post (1/12/12):

January-June 2012 Beneficiary: Rainier Scholars

For one summer, I worked with Rainier Scholars, an outstanding program based in Seattle, Washington that works with promising students of color in securing a solid pathway to a college education. Instead of just giving one-time assistance to students, Rainier Scholars groups students into cohorts and works with getting them placed into selective schools and mentoring them all throughout and beyond the college selection, admission and enrollment process. I had the good fortune to teach Chemistry to the second cohort of students and have kept in touch with several of the administrators. For more information or to donate directly, please visit their website.

In addition, I have chosen to explore a financial micro-lending site called LendingClub.com. There, I invested a portion of my own funds and plan to use the interest (touted as being higher than other more traditional investments) towards future donations. Think of it as an endowment of sorts, though nothing close to the billions that many universities possess. Still, every penny counts, and here's to more of them in 2012.

As always, thanks for reading!

From the Update Post (7/10/11):

July-December 2011 Beneficiary: Garfield Park Conservatory

On June 30th, a severe hail storm hit the city of Chicago (one of the loudest I've heard in my three decades of living here).  Unfortunately, one of the victims of this massive storm was the Garfield Park Conservatory. That evening, the roofs of the beautiful Fern Room, Show House, Desert House and nine propagation houses were severely damaged.  I've visited the Conservatory numerous times and my wife has volunteered there; it is truly a magical place on Chicago's West Side. For more information about the storm damage or to donate directly, please visit the website.

Chanatown Gives 2011

From the Announcement Post (2/3/11):

January-June 2011 BeneficiaryEden Place Nature Center

Eden Place is a 3.5-acre urban garden, nature preserve, and educational center on the South side of Chicago. The center was formerly an illegal dumpsite until founder Michael Howard, with the support of the local community and neighborhood, removed 200 tons of waste and transformed it into an urban oasis.  Eden Place today is home to farm animals (including chickens, pigs, ponies, ducks, and geese), a wetland, restored prairie, butterfly gardens, a woodland area, two green houses, and raised-bed food gardens.  Eden Place also hosts farmers markets, educational workshops, youth field trips, and community festivals that all help connect city residents to nature and healthy food. I encourage you to visit both the organization's website and the actual site if you are local.

Update: 2/3/11

My first check has arrived, and today, I took advantage of a rare snow day to issue eight new Kiva loans. I'll update the badge as soon as the loans get processed. Until then, please see below for this year's giving campaign.

Chanatown Gives 2010

Instead of pocketing the proceeds, I will be matching all revenue and using the combined dollars to issue additional loans through Kiva. If you're not familiar with the site/organization, Kiva collects micro loans from lenders such as you and me, and offers them to field partners throughout the world. When the loans get repaid, you then have the option to re-lend your original amount. So, here's hoping those pennies will turn into someone's new taco stand, livestock, or beauty supply inventory.

Join the Chanatown Gives Kiva Team!

NEW: Unsure of Kiva? Try a $25 free trial while they last.

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