Why I donated €10,000

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Michael Höhne's picture
Michael Höhne
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 16 2008
Posts: 119
Why I donated €10,000

Donating money isn't an easy decision. There are countless web sites and charitable trusts deserving money and there are also countless reasons for not donating at all.

I read Erik's post "Your donations are keeping the site alive" (http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/your-donations-are-keeping-site-alive/8993) and he mentioned that two large donations totaling $3,000 were received. This is a lot money, but certainly not enough to really push the message. Erik also said this:

What I'd really like is to produce an abbreviated 1-hour version of the Crash Course - with Chris live on camera - as a TV documentary that could be sold to A&E, the Discovery Channel, etc. We'd need someone willing to make a six-figure investment to step up as Producer, but who knows - it might actually make a profit if successful on cable TV. If you ever had dreams of being a Hollywood big-wig, here's your chance!

In summary, we need your continuing help at all levels, and we look forward to working with larger donors to assure that their money is being spent in a way they are comfortable with. Please contact us through the site's contact page if you can help.

I found this to be a really good idea, but am unable to donate a six-figure amount. However, I thought that I'm able to give €10,000. If some of you do the same - and I'm absolutely sure that many readers of this site are wealthier than I am - then 100,000 or even more don't seem unrealistic.

If you wonder why I donated Euros and not Dollars: I'm German and I live in Germany. So why am I spending so much money? I could say that it's mainly a problem of the US and to be honest, it certainly was created in the US. However, the others countries are doing mostly the same. Even though the state budgets seem much more balanced, the banks did invest in the same toxic assets, either directly or indirectly, thus we face the same problems in Europe. And any deflation or inflation of the Dollar will lead to deflation or inflation of the Euro. I mean, the great depression wasn't US only and since then we had this monster of "globalization".

Donating such a huge amount is difficult, but after a while I thought that someone has to do it and if no one else does, then it has to be me and I did. If you think that inflation or even hyperinflation is coming, then money will lose value in the future and maybe at some point it's not worth anything. If that happens, then it's too late for a donation. But as long as the game isn't over, we can use it to change things before they get too bad.

We all "enjoy" this site and use it as a place to share our thoughts. But again we're acting as a consumer: getting information without paying for it. I do understand it and I'm in no way different in general. But I feel responsible for my children and wanted to make a clear sign that I'm willing to change things.

I really hope to see larger donations in the future and maybe it's a good thing that I'm from outside the US, so that some of you think that the largest donation has to be made from someone in the US.

Tim_3425532's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 6
Re: Why I donated €10,000

Very generous of you! Hopefully more people in a position to do so will follow your lead!

radiance's picture
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 11 2008
Posts: 112
Re: Why I donated €10,000

 Dear Mr. Michael Höhne,

Your extravagant generosity places you among rare ranks; the self-deniers. My best to one of Germany's selfless finest. 


joe2baba's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
Re: Why I donated €10,000

WOW glad you are here

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Michael, you're a true inspiration


You are both an inspiration and a role model. You made the difficult decision to make a significant gift and personal sacrifice for a cause you believe in, and I know from experience how that can be both very difficult and wonderfully fulfilling all at the same instant. I applaud you both for honoring your own passion for doing what is right, and for serving as a role model to others through your unprecedented generosity. 

When I first discovered Chris' work, I donated $5,000 myself, then quickly got involved with the cause by donating my time and business experience to serve as the site's business manager. I flew across the country yesterday, and I'm here in Massachusetts for the rest of the week meeting with Chris and Becca Martenson, refining a long-term strategy for the site. It really feels fantastic to be part of this and I'm proud to be spending my time and donation dollars supporting this great work. 

When I first made the decision to make a large (ok, not as large as yours!) cash donation to this cause, it came with a little bit of hesitation. Am I crazy? Donating thousands of dollars and then following onto that with what has become an almost-full-time commitment of my time... Have I lost my mind??? Well let me tell you, it's only been a couple of months now and already this work has become one of the most rewarding things I've ever done in my entire life. Chris' work cannot continue without the generous donations of people like yourself, and I hope others will feel inspired to follow in your footsteps. 

I really respect you for what you have done, and for the inspiration you're providing to others. Bravo, Michael!



Lemonyellowschwin's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2008
Posts: 566
Re: Why I donated €10,000

A few months ago I donated $2,000.  I must admit that there was a selfish motive as well as an alturistic one.  I recognized early on that Chris's site was unique and invaluable and I wanted to do my part to help ensure that he was able to continue his work.  To be frank, I've come to depend on Chris's insight and analysis as one important part of helping to keep me and my family ahead of the curve.

cmartenson's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 6027
Re: Why I donated €10,000

I am, of course, deeply grateful to Michael for several reasons.

When I began this work of "raising awareness" 5 years ago it was lonely work.  But more than that something began to nag at me.  Even as my audiences grew and the responses became more favorable, it dawned on me that reaching 100 people at a time was insufficient.

So I took 6 months out of my life and created the online version of the crash course. It was the hardest work I've ever done as it taxed my technical abilities to the breaking point but also revealed to me the places where I did not yet understand the material well enough to tell the story in short chunks.  Where the last seminar I gave with all this material was 8 hours, the crash course is three and a half hours so I definitely gained new appreciation and insights along the way.

But I also gave up much in terms of being there for my family and income to make this happen (and I am giving it all away for free).

My first reason for gratitude is that Michael has expressed to all of us, in concrete terms, that he was willing to give up something for this message.  Knowing that there are others who are ready to sacrifice for the purpose of helping to spread this message is like an enormous weight lifted from my shoulders.  One that I was not entirely aware I was carrying.

My second reason is that in my conversation with Michael last night, he made me aware of the fact that the Crash Course and the Three Es are about the globe, not any one country or west vs. east or any other physical or political boundary.  So I checked and discovered that the #10 country for website traffic to the site over the last month is Iceland.  Of course their economic crisis is an obvious driver for that traffic, but a country with only 300,000 souls is the #10 source of traffic.

Here's the latest site traffic for the past month.


Those nearly 250,000 visits came from 157 territories and countries.  The time on the site (in minutes) is quite unusual for its length.

I am encouraged by this growth and "stickyness", but I want to see the traffic number grow into the millions, and this is where the donations come in.

To get there we need to do much in terms of

  • promotion
  • creating new material in different languages
  • a shorter course
  • media appearances
  • alliances and affiliations
  • study guides and other supporting materials
  • technical development to support that kind of traffic

We've been doing most of this with volunteer work, and supporting the rest with donations and subscritpions.  And I have still not yet taken a single dime out of this for my own uses.

At the end of it all the goal is to be a part of the many dedicated individuals who are trying to create a tipping point in awareness about the our future on this planet.

I happen to use the economy as the lens by which I promote that awareness, and I happen to hold the view that awareness is insufficient; understanding is necessary.   Understanding requires context and understanding something as complex as the Three Es requires a lot of context.

I am indebted to Michael and to the other 165 people who have donated up to this point.  I am grateful to be on this mission with you as this is the most important project I can possibly imagine.  

The final piece of gratitude concerns the momentum that comes with Michael's generous donation.  I hope that others will follow and that together we can reach the millions necessary to change the stories we tell ourselves in time.

Best regards,
Chris Martenson


pinecarr's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2262
Re: Why I donated €10,000

Well done, Michael!!  You're donation to help Chris and his team reach more people is inspirational! 

Michael Höhne's picture
Michael Höhne
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 16 2008
Posts: 119
Re: Why I donated €10,000

Well, thanks. I didn't want to tell at all in the beginning, because it could be misinterpreted as a way to show off. But after talking to Chris, I thought it's better doing so, because it could be a signal for others to follow. If we not only want to see this site continuing but expanding, then more money is needed. It's just so damned hard doing it, even if you can afford it.

tom.'s picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 345
I donated €10.00

To a blogger in Iceland ... for the time being, Chris will have to make do with my subscription remuneration. I admit I am getting more value than it's costing me, but I will try to make up the difference with some of my experiences as we all go down this precarious path.

Michael, I applaud your outstanding unselfishness. 

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