Readers’ donations to the Anglican Journal last year were the highest since 2008.
Unaudited figures show that the Anglican Journal Appeal, the newspaper’s annual donation campaign, raised $517,449 in 2015, says Beverley Murphy, senior manager of communications and information resources, and business manager of the Anglican Journal.
Donations last year were 3.3% higher than 2014’s total of $499,807, and the highest since 2008, when the appeal raised $558,299.
“I think because it was our 140th anniversary—that played…a part,” Murphy says. Many people last year, she says, gave donations of $140 to celebrate the newspaper’s birthday.
Another factor, she says, could be that more diocesan papers last year participated in the appeal by including half-page messages from their editors.
Journal editor Marites Sison says the positive results reflect “the continuing trust and support that our readers have for the unique role that the Journal plays in terms of providing stories that shed light on issues, and keeping them informed and engaged about their church across Canada and the Anglican Communion worldwide.” The Journal, she notes, also offers Anglicans “a platform for open and meaningful conversations about faith, social issues and everyday life.”
Proceeds of the appeal, after expenses, are shared with 21 diocesan newspapers. The diocesan share for the 2015 Appeal was $196,839.
Since it began in 1994, the appeal has received a total of $9.3 million in donations, of which $3.5 million was distributed to the diocesan newspapers.
A total of 9,629 people donated in 2015, slightly less than in 2014, when 10,163 people gave to the campaign, reflecting a trend many charities seem to be experiencing, Murphy says.
“From what I hear…that trend is pretty widespread everywhere right now,” she says. “People are tending to give more, but not as many are giving.”
Despite the drop in total donors, 727 people donated in 2015 who had never donated to the appeal before, Murphy says.
Most donations to the appeal are still mailed in. Electronic giving is growing, Murphy says, but remains a relatively small part of the total; fewer than 500 donors sent money to the appeal electronically last year.
Figures for funds raised in 2015 and other years are gross; they do not include expenses. Proceeds of the appeal, minus expenses, will be shared equally between the Anglican Journal and the Anglican Church of Canada’s diocesan newspapers.
The appeal is an integral part of the Journal’s annual budget, which also includes grants from General Synod and Heritage Canada and advertising revenue.
The appeal’s most successful year ever was 2005, on the occasion of the newspaper’s 130th anniversary, when 18,442 donors gave a total of $638,119.