Donations to the Anglican Journal Appeal were flat in 2002, but gifts to the Anglican Appeal rose from the previous year.
Givings to the Journal Appeal totalled $497,228 last year, compared to $505,076 in 2001, according to Larry Gee, Journal business manager. “Our base of donors is very consistent,” he commented.
“The fact that donations have remained steady is encouraging, considering the turmoil over the residential schools issue,” said Leanne Larmondin, acting editor of the Journal. “It indicates that Anglicans place great value on being informed.”
The number of donations was 16,302 last year, a slight increase over the 16,136 received in 2001, when the appeal topped $500,000 for the first time. The average donation amount has stayed consistent for eight years at about $31, said Mr. Gee. After deducting administrative costs, the Journal Appeal is split with the diocesan newspapers and Mr. Gee estimated that about $200,000 would go to the 26 of 30 dioceses that participated in the appeal.
In 2000, the appeal took a dramatic jump to $444,282 from $132,617 in 1999, mainly because the Journal began a direct-mail campaign to previous donors. In other years, the appeal had used an envelope inserted in the Journal. The direct-mail format was also used in 2002. The increase to a record amount in 2001 meant that the newspaper was able to expand its size to 16 pages from 12 pages. The Anglican Journal is mainly funded through the Journal Appeal, advertising revenues and a General Synod subsidy; it also receives income from Canadian Church Calendar sales and some paid subscriptions.
Meanwhile, the Anglican Appeal, which supports dioceses in the North and work overseas in theological education, leadership development and social justice, is on track to exceed its goal of $800,000 for 2002, which would mean an increase of about $50,000 from 2001, said General Synod treasurer Jim Cullen. The number of donations last year was about 10,500, up from about 9,700 in 2001. Donations were still being tallied early last month, since more than half the year’s gifts come in November and December, said Mr. Cullen.
Donations to the Anglican Appeal plunged to $773,500 in 2000 from $1,007,000 in 1999 since donors were concerned that donations were being used to fund the costs of defending the church against lawsuits concerning native residential schools, Mr. Cullen said. “A lot of effort has been put into getting the word out that the money is used for the North and overseas and not for legal fees,” said Mr. Cullen. The increase in 2002 givings is an indication the message is being heard, he said. General Synod uses funds from existing assets, not from parish or appeal donations, for legal fees, he said. In addition, Mr. Cullen noted, no funds from Anglican Appeal will go to the $25 million residential schools settlement fund.