Wonderland and the Real World

Dear Catholic Exchange Community:

I sat down with a friend last Friday, the Chief Financial Officer of a company here in Atlanta, who had volunteered to help me with “budget modeling.”  I’m thankful to my friend for doing so.   He helped me a lot.

The process of budget modeling is curious, though.  “Budget modeling” is like budgeting except that the dollars being apportioned are a dream.  You try to make reasonable assumptions.  Under this set of conditions we can expect this amount of revenue, and under these, this amount.

It’s best to hedge on the conservative side.  You look at benchmarks: the performance of other organizations.  Then demographics come into play—the total size of the audience, the percentage of that audience you are likely to reach, the marketing costs of doing so.

It’s a fine and salutary exercise, and in the end it all reminded me that the author of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, was a mathematician.

“Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun/The frumious Bandersnatch,” Carroll wrote.

I’m not sure budget modeling is the “frumious Bandersnatch,” but it could be.

Still, I sit in the Catholic Exchange offices day by day, and get fantastically excited about the possibilities before us—possibilities as vivid and delightful as Alice but in our case decidedly meaningful as well.  We are not talking about Wonderland here but spreading the Kingdom of God.

Today I was working with the people who are finishing off the redesign of our site, and it’s going to look first-rate and be so much more functional.  It should appear in early June as Catholic Exchange approaches its 10th anniversary.  I cannot tell you how much this is going to mean to all of us.

Unexpected and providential emails reach me all the time.  The other day I received a note from Paul Kengor, a widely-published and increasingly admired writer.  He’s also a political science professor at Grove City College and a Catholic convert.  He wondered if Catholic Exchange would like him to do a weekly commentary, in both audio and print form.

This is like having an up-and-coming G.K. Chesterton offer to make a few contributions to your periodical.  You say, Yes!

The CE community should really enjoy Paul’s commentaries and plans are in the works for you to hear them far and wide on Catholic radio stations as well.  Stay tuned.

New opportunities present themselves nearly every day to bring the community great content in new ways.

But then there’s the “frumious Bandersnatch,” the Unknown Variable of how much revenue we will have.

Catholic Exchange is grateful for all of its contributors.  That cannot be said often enough.

We have a special place in our hearts for monthly contributors.  Those who either send a monthly check or authorize a monthly deduction from a credit card enable us to budget in a realm other than Wonderland.  Monthly contributions are incredibly helpful.  They allow me to say “yes” when I really need to say “yes” for the good of the mission.

Please click here today to make a monthly contribution—or a contribution of any nature.

From now until our new site goes up, I’d like to ask ­100 new people to become monthly contributors of $25 per month.  In order to keep track of the progress we are making, I’m going to ask our IT specialist, Joshua LeBlanc, to put up a graphic on the website that will track our progress toward 100.

Catholic Exchange attracts an audience each month of slightly more than 100,000.  That means our 100 New Monthly Subscribers Challenge will be successful if 1/1000 of those who visit the site monthly become monthly contributors.

Please don’t say, “Well, there are a lot of people that can do it then.”  The question is, “What will you do?”

Our monthly subscriber list has now fallen well below 100.  That means we need you to take this challenge to heart.  We badly need our monthly subscriber list replenished, strengthened, and expanded in order to say “yes” to technological innovation and to those, like Paul Kengor, who are willing to share their talent and faith with the Catholic Exchange community.

Please click here right now and become a monthly contributor!

May God bless you for it.

Every good thing,


Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • kirbys

    I am trying to click here and it’s not working–is it my computer?
    Thanks for your work!

  • Harold Fickett

    We’ve fixed the links now. Click away! And THANKS. Harold