Hello. My name is Nancy Watt, and I'm one of the Editors of Peace Magazine. I'm writing this note to tell you, our readers, about the latest goings-on of behind the magazine. A great deal has changed in the past few weeks.
I should begin by explaining what our plans were when we decided to make The Peace Calendar into a magazine. The most important consideration in making that decision was that the publication would not survive very long in a newspaper format, primarily because we couldn't get retail outlets to carry the newspaper on their shelves. You see, everything depends on retail distribution. Newsstands are the place to reach potential subscribers; subscriptions bring in higher advertising revenue (as well as subscription money); and advertising revenue can be put back into the magazine to make a mote attractive product which mote people will buy.
Going to magazine format was part of an overall plan which included hiring new staffpeople, who would work on getting better distribution, developing better contacts with activists across the country, training and coordinating volunteers, selling advertising, and so forth. We had (and still have) some excellent candidates in mind, and the only thing that held us up was the lack of money.
Well, we switched to magazine format, and the response was tremendous, to say the least. We're receiving almost ten times the amount of new subscriptions as we used to, the magazines are selling Out on the few newsstands we can get them onto with minimal time investment, and ads are coming in even though we have nobody out there selling for us, Judging from your comments, our readers are enthusiastic, and you're sending us all sorts of valuable suggestions, for which we thank you.
Still, we really need to build momentum, or the magazine's life will be short. And, just when we need help the most, we have come up against a rather large obstacle. Just before we went to press last month, Holy Trinity Church, of which CANDIS was a project, decided Peace Magazine should try to make it on its own.
This poses two major problems. The first of these is that we no longer have the office space at 10 Trinity Square, which was almost half of our total space. We will need to get a new office -- which requires rent money. Second, one of our largest donors, who used to pull us out of messes like this, cannot now afford to do so, because we are no longer published by a charitable institution, and we can't give tax receipts for donations.
The magazine's long-term prospects are overwhelmingly favourable, if our readers can provide us with the "capital" we need to invest in our future. All indications are that Peace Magazine is exactly what many Canadians were looking for, and we can almost certainly break even in less than a year. But we can't do this without more staffpeople and an office.
In January of last year, we called some of our Toronto area readers to see if they could help us out of a small financial crisis. They did.
This time, we're asking you -- all our regular readers. We're trying to raise upwards of $20,000 in the next two months. It sounds like a large figure. but it could be raised if each of you sent us $6.00, or if half of you convinced a friend to subscribe (or subscribed on their behalf).
There are many ways you could help us to reach that goal. Donations and subscriptions are simply the most obvious methods. But I'm a full-time peace activist, and I know what peacework can do to one's personal finances. If you can't afford to contribute, you might ask your friends to subscribe. Or you could advertise in the magazine (and help your business to boot), Also, peace groups can order bulk copies of the magazine and sell them, thus making money for your own local peace activities.
When you buy something from one of our advertisers, be sure to tell them where you saw their ad. Or go ahead and get crafty -when you go into a bookstore, ask if they carry Peace Magazine. (If enough people ask, they'll have to cough up after a while.)
If, however, you prefer the tried-and-true method (cheques in envelopes), there's a subscription ad on the back cover, and we'd be glad to extend your subscription beyond the turn of the century if you give us enough cash.
While you're busy sending us money, we're going to take some time and get to work on some fundraising. Thank you for your support. We'll see you in August.
Nancy Watt, for Peace Magazine