Last year’s two direct mail appeals for donations to the Anglican Journal have met with unprecedented success. Readers responded to appeals in June and September by increasing donations to $444,282 over the 1999 appeal total of $132,000 – an increase of 236 per cent.
The Journal’s share after expenses is $210,064, and the diocesan share is $173,061. Proceeds from the Journal appeal are traditionally split 50-50 with the diocesan newspapers, and 26 out of 30 dioceses participated in the 2000 appeal.
Participation is optional. Non-participants included the three dioceses in Newfoundland and Rupert’s Land.
Larry Gee, the Journal’s business manager, said the response among newspaper subscribers to last year’s direct mail was 50 per cent, compared to a norm for an direct mail appeal of between three and four per cent. The success was unexpected, he said. “We had hoped for $30,000. It was only the first year we had ever done a direct mail piece.”
Big winners among dioceses were Toronto and Ottawa. Toronto’s share of the funds went from $11,000 in 1999 to $37,000 and Ottawa rose to $16,303 from $5,000 in the previous year. Originally Toronto had opted out of the 2000 appeal but then chose to participate.
The Journal handles circulation and distribution for diocesan papers and shares mailing costs. Each diocese gets exactly 50 per cent of its total donation to the appeal.
“They are all winners,” said Mr. Gee. He added that although half of the money is supposed to go to diocesan papers, “some papers do get it, some don’t.” Mr. Gee was unable to say which dioceses did not share the appeal proceeds with their diocesan papers.
“They may chose to use the money for other more pressing things,” he said.
Last year was the first time lapsed donors were canvassed for donations. The lapsed donor appeal in June was very successful, said Mr. Gee. “We wrote to those who had given in the recent past but for some reason in 1999 had declined our regular appeal.”
The 1999 appeal was a dismal failure, caused by an attempt to save costs by using a small envelope and no “donor package.” Gross revenues from that effort – $132,000 – were 30 per cent lower than the previous year’s.
The successful two-page September appeal letter stressed the Journal’s award-winning news, editorials, and reviews written from an “Anglican perspective.”
The direct mail letter said in part: “Our church faces an uncertain future. But through the Anglican Journal, we can remain connected and informed as we walk this path together.”
The total administrative costs for the two appeals was $61,000.
This chart depicts the net amount (after expenses) received by dioceses that participated in the Anglican Journal appeal.