The Anglican Journal’s annual fundraising appeal raised its second-highest total in 2007, $565,929, said Larry Gee, the Journal’s business manager.
Nearly 15,000 donors responded to the appeal, giving an average of $38. “We also noted that we had 1,048 new donors, or about seven per cent of the total, which is very encouraging,” he said.
In the 14 years that the Journal has run the appeal, the highest annual result was $638,000 in 2005, when readers responded to the newspaper’s celebration of its 130th anniversary. In 2006, the appeal raised $556,065 for the Anglican Church of Canada’s national newspaper, which has a circulation of 200,000.
“The results are fantastic,” said Journal editor Leanne Larmondin, adding the Appeal’s success demonstrates the dedication readers have for the newspaper. “We often receive letters from readers and donors telling us that the Journal and the diocesan newspapers are their link to the wider Anglican Communion, to the Anglican Church of Canada and to their own dioceses.”
Ms. Larmondin also noted that although dioceses fund subscriptions for their parishioners, Journal readers through their direct donations “are going above and beyond the call.”
Since the appeal began in 1994, it has raised a total of $5.3 million.
Proceeds of the appeal, after expenses, are shared with 21 of the 22 diocesan newspapers. As a result of the 2007 appeal, $235,198 will be distributed to diocesan newspapers. Angilcan Life, the newspaper covering the three Newfoundland dioceses, has run its own appeal since 1995.
“It’s wonderful, the support we’ve received this year. It says something about the loyalty of our readers. Without it, we’d be in big trouble. The support is nationwide and is important for the diocesan newspapers, many of which base their budget on the appeal,” said Mr. Gee.
The Journal is funded by a grant from the General Synod national office ($597,000 for 2008), the Journal Appeal and advertising revenue. Ms. Larmondin noted that the grant has declined over the years. In 1994, for example, the grant was $703,000.
Another concern for the Journal’s financial health is the fact that Canada Post confirmed in January that its participation in the Publications Assistance Program, which offers postal subsidies to some publications, will end on Mar. 31, 2009.
The Journal and the diocesan newspapers benefit from about $500,000 per year in postal subsidies. Without them, distribution costs for the local papers would rise fourfold, said Ms. Larmondin, endangering their existence.
In the past, Canadian religious publications have successfully advocated for continuation of the postal rate reductions.