Consider this a kind of experiment in determining my social capital in the comics blogosphere.
This is a post that's the result of a lot of things - my recent experiences at Wizard World Chicago; meeting the staff of the Hero Foundry at Wizard World; my activities with e-democracy and Net Tuesdays; the fact that economic times are tough; and the fact that I am considered by many a "non-profit guru".
I want to engage in an experiment in transformative philanthropy - I want to do more than just give money to decent causes, or even time. I want to help facilitate their development, or at the very least - to give them a little more presence. As a comics blogger, I get at least one e-mail every week that's basically a press release saying, "Please post about my product". I have no problem with that, but I would rather dedicate some space to entities which may deserve the attention, but who may not necessarily have access.
So, this is an open-ended offer to any non-profits, with a special emphasis on those dealing with the comics industry, like the Hero Foundry or the Hero Initiative: for no cost whatsoever, you can have an ad placed in the sidebar of my blog for four weeks. (A sample is the cute kitty picture that, when you click it, links to Golfwidow's blog). The only thing I ask from the agencies in return is some data - how many people visit their site, and/or donation information. I also may request your 990 Tax Form and/or perform an appropriate search on Guidestar for more background information. (Unless I want this to happen - my blog, my decision)
If you're a fellow comics blogger and/or site administrator (like Chuck at Comic Related), you have my permission to reprint any and all of this blog entry with full attribution. (And to my fellow comics bloggers - please feel free to link away). If you belong to various social networks (like Digg, Twitter, Delicious, Facebook, and others), please eel free to click on the green "Share This" icon and socially bookmark like you've never socially bookmarked before.
For the more cynical of you - yes, this is a blatant attempt to drive traffic to the blog. But it's also, in these times, a good way of trying to create some positive buzz for some worthy organizations. I've always been a kind of community development wonk - and quite frankly, I firmly believe that if the least action can bring about the greatest good, it's worth taking that least action.
I hope anyone who's reading this will join me...and thanks in advance.