A question about the cost of Mej.com.
July 23, 2021
We received the following question this morning. Our answer follows below:
Why do you need so much money to build a website? Just curious?
Daniel from Australia
Thank you for the question. In the past when we have done these kinds of pleas for the site, a few people have asked this very same question, though not as nice as you asked us. We believe you are good-willed in asking, which is why we are taking the time to answer.
We will give you a short history before explaining the actual cost. We will give a complete answer, and this is why the explanation is long.
We will say some things below we have not said before.
The History of the Mej Sites
To begin, when a Friend of Medjugorje first started the Mej project, it took about 5 years of building, from 2001 to 2006. During this period of time, a lot of Caritas’ systems had to undergo updating. We had to purchase many different pieces of equipment, servers, etc.
We did a soft launch of Mej.com in 2006, and then updated in a major way in 2009. The budget for that update was $208,000, which included a major design change, moving the site, in-house developers, including a person we hired from out of the country that required a visa.
We did not do another plea for the site until two years later in 2011, and the budget was the same $208,000.
Then we went almost 5 years without making any plea for the site. During this period of time we decreased cost, made more changes to save on monthly bills, etc. In 2016, we had changed our platform and the budget went down to $100,000.
This plea allowed us to not only pay for the hosting, radio station, etc., but also to begin with developers to start the new Mej v3, which was launched in 2017.
In 2017, we did another plea, because development of Mej v3 was still ongoing, and we needed to upgrade backup systems, servers, etc. That plea was $200,000 because we added 12 new features to the site – you can read all about those here.
We have not done another plea for Mej.com since 2017.
During the past 4 years, we have decreased our costs, while at the same time, increasing our ability to reach more people. We have done this by the way a Friend of Medjugorje has structured Caritas to be as low-cost/high-impact as possible.
On the new Mej v4, we have had to migrate the site, upgrade and redesign it, etc. The main issue people had with the older Mej v3 site was that things were too buried and hard to find. With the new site, we have brought more up-front, and we will explain that in another piece coming soon.
With the outside agency we hired to help us, there were 5 people working full-time on the new site, along with our normal monthly bills we were covering. We had to double-pay for hosting, etc. while the migration was ongoing to make the transition seamless.
Making all of this history known first, is to give you an understanding that we are way lower in our budget than we have been in the past and that we should be asking for.
Where Does the Cost of the Site Come From?
So, where does all the cost in the $75,000 budget come from?
1. Hosting costs us $16,000 a year – not including the double-paying which cost us an extra $5,000.
2. Radio Wave costs us $10,000 a year – not including double-paying which cost us an extra $4,000
3. Backup systems cost us $3500 a year.
4. Domains and Security costs us $12,000 a year.
5. Outside development of the site cost us $40,000.
6. A full-time hired developer, outside of Caritas will cost us $12,000 a year.
If you add these numbers up, they come up to $102,500.
How can we cover this amount with only $75,000 budgeted?
Because of the way that a Friend of Medjugorje has structured Caritas’ operations, we make up the extra amount:
1. Through how we have managed the last plea from 4 years ago to stretch the dollar to cover the extra costs.
2. Through the generosity of one-time donations that come in throughout the year.
3. Through what we sell in our online store.
How does this work?
In a verse which a Friend of Medjugorje quotes often, St. Paul says, “Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nothing, but in labor and in toil we worked night and day, lest we should be a burden to any of you.” – 2 Thes. Ch. 3
We provide the food of the messages, free of charge. Mej.com is still the #1 most used Medjugorje website in the world. It costs a lot of money to be the central point of the world’s contact for Medjugorje. There are many parts that come together to make all this work as one system.
Other Medjugorje centers and believers write books and give presentations based off of their research using Mej.com. A Friend of Medjugorje intended the site to be used this way. And we do not charge for that.
Many of you already know this, but we are explaining it here to give a complete picture of how we pay a higher amount with less money. We also work for our own food to save cost for the mission.
A Friend of Medjugorje has never taken royalties for any of his writings. Since 1986, this amounts to millions of dollars of royalties that he has put back into the mission of Caritas. Just the book Words from Heaven alone, would be at least $250,000 in royalties that a Friend of Medjugorje has donated back to Caritas. He has no retirement account, nor does he have plans for retirement. He has a beautiful home which he built and paid for previous to Our Lady ever appearing in his home. He has shared his home with over 100,000 people who have come to pray there.
Why are we continuing to explain all this?
Years ago, when Medjugorje visionary Marija was here for a public visit, a local radio station interviewed one of the Caritas Community members. They were fairly nice at first asking questions about the event, etc.
Then the interviewers asked the “magic” question: How does Marija make her money?
We knew this question was coming.
What the radio station was getting at, was that Marija was only doing this to make money – a baseless argument that has been debunked over and over.
For you Medjugorje believers, you know this is typical of the world, looking in at a phenomenon that cannot be explained. So the world has to explain it by saying the visionaries are only in it for the money. Even some other Catholic groups have said this.
When people see that we are asking for $75,000 to run a website, what they are not seeing is that it actually costs $102,500, but that we make it work with only $75,000, because of the way a Friend of Medjugorje has structured the mission of Caritas; first by a Friend of Medjugorje donating what is even rightfully his back to the mission; and second by the Community working for its own keep.
If Mej.com was simply a blog run by a person sitting in their pajamas, then $75,000 is a lot of money – yet, there are people out there doing just that, making $75,000 running a blog, sitting in their pajamas and no one has any problems with that.
To some, even for a site like Mej.com, $75,000 is still a lot of money. But for most organizations the size of Caritas of Birmingham, with the output and influence that a Friend of Medjugorje has globally, the cost would easily be $750,000 – $1,000,000 to operate. A site administrator alone would have a salary of close to $75,000. For us, that is free.
For a site that gets millions of visits, mostly people using it as a tool, and in reaching new people who would never learn of Medjugorje pre-Secrets and post-Secrets, $75,000 is a very inexpensive way to save souls.
Every time we do a plea, we have had to answer this very same question.
A local contractor we worked with recently, explained that one of their small service vehicles, a half-ton pickup truck costs $60,000 – without the tools.
We have in Mej.com, not a small service vehicle, but a massive cargo ship of information, spiritual direction, spiritual tools and discernment for millions of people, backed by a massive port full of cargo to send all over the world – given away for free, while we only ask for $75,000 to fuel the ship.
Remember that we also have 7 more releases from a Friend of Medjugorje, several of them things that we have never made available before.
Everything we have here at Caritas is the result of many sacrifices that a Friend of Medjugorje has made, and that his family has made, to break from a comfortable life in the moment, to reach for what takes years to build up. We do not have anything here that has not been years in the making or years to work for.
We are up early and working past midnight to feed the world the messages of Our Lady, and we have a founder who literally worked himself to death, and who even after his heart attack, is up and running to feed the world, while recovering. Read more about his heart attack here.
We do a lot of the work ourselves. Besides the 3 hours of prayer daily, we work to be worthy of the gifts that many of you have given through your generosity. If we did not do that, Our Lady would not be able to bless this mission, in making $75,000 stretch to $102,500, and go even beyond that, not for monetary profit, but to “purchase” souls for an eternal gain, saving many millions of souls, now, and billions of souls into the future. Medjugorje and what Our Lady will do through Medjugorje will save the world. Thank you and God bless! See where we are in reaching the goal below.↓
Caritas of Birmingham
Operated by the Community of Caritas
Where Are We in Reaching the Goal?
120 People Have Given a Total Of: