The Anglican Journal Appeal, the Anglican Journal’s annual donation campaign, raised $479,956.76 in 2017, bringing the grand total raised in its 24-year history to more than $10 million.
The 2017 appeal represents a 3.5% drop from the previous year, which grossed $497,121.79, says Beverly Murphy, senior manager of communications and information resources, and business manager for the Journal. In total, 8,753 people donated in 2017.
Last year’s results were in line with a general trend that she has noticed over the last few years, says Murphy. Though fewer donors are giving, those who do are making larger donations, she says. The average donation has increased from $30 when the appeal launched in 1994 to $55 in 2017.
The anomaly to this trend was the 2015 appeal. Donations spiked to more than half a million year, which coincided with the Journal’s 140th anniversary.
All in all, 2017 was still a “successful” year, says Murphy, adding that she was pleased to see readers making a personal connection to the paper. Many donors enclosed letters and notes “about how important the paper is to them,” she says. “It’s a good way to connect with our readers.”
The appeal has also fostered this reader connection in the past few years by including “lift notes,” short messages from editors of the Anglican Church of Canada’s diocesan newspapers, in the appeal materials. Fifteen diocesan papers included lift notes. “I think they’ve proven to be quite successful, because it gives a local connection,” says Murphy.
Proceeds of the appeal, less expenses, are shared between the Anglican Journal and the diocesan newspapers.
As of the end of 2017, $10,285,998 had been raised through the Anglican Journal Appeal since it began in 1994, with $3.8 million distributed to the diocesan papers.
Donations from the appeal account for roughly a quarter of the paper’s budget; in 2017, donations made up 24.4%. Other income sources include funding from General Synod, a grant from Heritage Canada, distribution revenue and advertising revenue.
The appeal is “one of our largest sources of income,” notes Murphy. “Without the appeal and the loyal donors, I don’t know if we’d be able to continue the paper.”
2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the appeal. “Journal readers came to the newspaper’s rescue 25 years ago and they have been our faithful advocates ever since,” says editor Marites Sison. She explained that the appeal was launched in 1994 to offset declining income that would have made it difficult to publish the Journal.
Murphy says the 2018 appeal is “off to a really good start.” Murphy, who has been involved with the appeal since its inception, adds that she has seen some of the same names on donor lists since the beginning. “Some…have donated more than 25 times, because some of them donate more than once a year. There are some very loyal readers out there.”