Record year for Journal Appeal

Published March 1, 2006

The Anglican Journal’s annual fundraising appeal collected a record total of $638,000 in 2005, smashing the previous record, $505,000 in 2001.

“Our readers continue to amaze me,” wrote editor Leanne Larmondin in an e-mail to staff at the Anglican Church of Canada’s national office in Toronto. The 2005 amount was up 39 per cent from the $460,118 collected in 2004, she noted. It was especially remarkable since donations had declined in each of the three years after the record year of 2001.

The current appeal also attracted the most donations in its 11-year history – 18,500. The next-highest year was 2002, with 16,302. Compared with 2004, when 14,048 donations were received, the 2005 figure was up 31 per cent.


Larry Gee, business manager of the Journal, said many readers were responding to the fact that the newspaper last year marked its 130th anniversary. “People who responded sent congratulations. A number of people wrote cheques for $130 to celebrate,” he said in an interview.

The success of the appeal will allow the Journal to improve its Web site and launch a reader survey – an essential tool for editors and advertising salespeople, added Ms. Larmondin. Both projects are expected to be completed by the summer; it is the first redesign of the Web site,, since its launch in 1998.

The diocesan newspapers, the Journal’s publishing partners, will benefit as well, since proceeds of the Journal appeal are shared with them. “The Anglican Journal Appeal has generated $4,156,000 since 1994 … more than $1,600,000 has been returned to the diocesan newspapers,” wrote Ms. Larmondin.

Mr. Gee said the materials sent to readers in the Journal’s direct-mail campaign emphasized the benefits for diocesan newspapers, with a map of Canada reproducing the front page of each newspaper and highlighting its location. Several testimonials concerning the appeal’s benefits were included from diocesan editors. The Journal began a direct-mail campaign to its readers in 2000 and has seen response rates jump as a result. In 1999, the response rate was 2.62 per cent of those contacted; in 2000, it was 6.95 per cent. Before 2000, the appeal came in the form of a letter and envelope enclosed with the newspaper.

The Journal’s circulation manager, Beverley Murphy, said the appeal was more important than ever, since the federal Heritage Canada department has reduced postal subsidies and Canada Post in January increased postal rates. In 2005, the Journal received $523,594 in postal subsidies to mail the national and diocesan newspapers. On Sept. 2, 2005, Heritage Canada said funding levels would be cut by an average 16 per cent, effective Nov. 1. On Jan. 16, the Canada Post increase amounted to an additional cost of $10,300 for the Journal and dioceses. The two moves meant an increase of $68,500 in expenses in 2006, split by the Journal and diocesan newspapers. The Journal planned for the cuts by dropping a contract staff position and making cuts in other areas, such as the number of pages in each issue. “With such pressure on our finances, support from our readers is vital,” Ms. Murphy said in an interview.

As of press time, 2005 figures were not available for the Anglican Appeal and Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.


  • Solange DeSantis

    Solange De Santis was a reporter for the Anglican Journal from 2000 to 2008.

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