Donations to the Anglican Appeal rebounded in 2004, increasing four per cent to $760,000, compared to $730,000 in 2003.
However, donations to the Anglican Journal Appeal continued to decrease, raising $460,119 compared to $490,976 in 2003 or a drop of seven per cent. (Donations in 2003 already decreased by 2.4 per cent compared to 2002.)
Larry Gee, Journal business manager, attributed the decrease in donations to the “competition for the dollar,” with parishioners inundated with appeals coming not just from Anglican organizations but other charities.
Both Mr. Gee and Stephanie Peddle, Anglican Appeal co-ordinator, said that the appeal for victims of the December tsunami that killed nearly 300,000 people in parts of Asia and Africa, also affected their appeals.
“Our donations were down in December,” said Ms. Peddle, who surmised that donations that might have gone to the appeal went instead to Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) and other organizations raising money for tsunami relief.
(At press time, PWRDF, the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada, had received $802,237.98 in donations for its tsunami appeal. Figures for its annual appeal, which supports projects from Asia to Africa, have not been tallied since its attention was refocused to the tsunami relief efforts, said Jill Martin, PWRDF financial manager.)
Still, Ms. Peddle said, Anglican Appeal donations were higher than the previous year because Anglicans now have a better sense of what it does. “I think we’ve been really looking at our stories and trying to explain more about the breadth of the appeal and everything that it covers,” she said.
A series of advertisements that it ran in the Journal, which told the stories of individuals and groups who have benefited from Anglican Appeal grants, have helped put a human face to the programs, said Ms. Peddle.
Anglican Appeal supports mission and ministry in Canada’s North (through the Council of the North), the indigenous healing fund, and the work of the Anglican Church of Canada’s church partners overseas.
Mr. Gee, meanwhile, underlined the importance of the Journal Appeal. “When revenue falls below the amount budgeted, we can only look at reducing costs,” he said in his annual report. “Unfortunately, this usually means reducing the issue size of the newspaper.” Every $5,000 in reduced donation revenue means cutting four pages from an issue, he said.
He said that many donors are still unaware that their donations help the Journal’s publishing partners – the diocesan newspapers. Net donations are split 50/50 with participating dioceses.
Year-end figures have shown that donations to the Journal Appeal dropped in 20 of 27 participating dioceses. It suffered the biggest decrease in the diocese of Quebec (34 per cent), resulting in a cut of $476.50 or nearly one-third of the share that the diocesan newspaper, Diocesan Gazette, received last year ($1,333.94).
Donations from the diocese of Toronto, which traditionally shows the highest rate of donations, showed a drop of seven per cent, or $101,618 in 2004 compared to $108,804 in 2003.
Notwithstanding the decreased donations, Mr. Gee said he remained positive. “Since the appeal’s inception in 1994, we have seen a tremendous growth in response to the appeal,” he wrote. “From 1994 to 1999, the Journal received a total of $1,122,856 from its readers. From 2000 to 2004, donations more than doubled to $2,398,105.”
In its 11 years of running the appeal, the Journal has received $3.5 million in donations. Of this, $1.3 million has been returned to diocesan newspapers.
Readers may contribute to the Journal at any time during the year, said Mr. Gee. Increasing numbers of donors are also giving online through CanadaHelps.org or by clicking the “Donate Now” button on the Journal’s Web site. Credit card information is secure and tax receipts are issued immediately after the