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EDITORIAL: Amid postage woes, reasons for praise

In our January 2013 issue of The Christian Chronicle we promised to keep you informed regarding the financial impact of the new postage rate increase.
Though not quite as large as we were originally told, the actual postage increase is still a staggering $11,200 per month, or $134,000 per year — a very large amount for a small organization.
After five months at the new rate, we were blessed to end the fiscal year — May 31, 2013 — in the black. In the previous fiscal year, 57 percent of our operating revenue came from your generous donations. In 2013, that amount increased to 58 percent. The rest came from advertising sales.
We are very grateful for the support you’ve given us as we have faced this new financial challenge. Now, of course, we are looking at a full year at the new rate, and we ask for your help once again.
We ask you to please consider placing the Chronicle in your church’s budget. Consider placing us in your will and future estate planning. And please prayerfully consider giving a donation that fits your financial status.
Every bit helps.
We planned to run this appeal in our previous issue, but the massive need that arose at Southwestern Christian College in Texas took precedent. We appealed to our readers to help this college, associated with Churches of Christ, and we have learned that many of you responded generously. For that, we are overjoyed.
In the same way, we realize the dire situation in the Philippines, highlighted in our Page 1 story this month. We prayerfully urge you to contribute to relief efforts.
At the same time, we humbly ask for your support as we face ongoing postage challenges.
This ministry must remain dedicated to our Lord’s purposes and the needs of our readers.
We have considered the option of printing a smaller-size paper with significanlty fewer pages to mail at a lower postal rate. This would mean additional expenses, however, as it would require a complete redesign and reformatting of the newspaper.
As we weigh the benefits and costs of this possibility, we have renegotiated some service contracts and have looked for other ways to reduce our operating budget.
Knowing that the future of news is online, we recently launched a completely redesigned website, easily accessible on mobile devices. The new format allows advertisers to feature their products and services in more ways than ever before. Our online readers have reacted favorably to what they have seen.
Many of our readers have told us they prefer reading the Chronicle online, but neither online contributions nor online advertising revenue are at the point where an online-only publication can be self-sustaining.
Meanwhile, the print edition of the Chronicle continues to grow in circulation — contrary to the newspaper industry’s trend. Discontinuing print is not an option for the foreseeable future.
We face an important challenge: To offer a reliable source of uplifting and timely Christian journalism in multiple formats. We must maintain our print edition while we continue to expand and develop our online resources and revenue streams. To do this, we must have more reader and church participation.  
So please, dear readers, consider the value of what you are getting, whether you are using the print or digital version — or both.
The Chronicle brings you something we believe you have come to rely upon — a trustworthy source of information about God’s kingdom that is worthy of support.
This paper’s positive-yet-honest content helps us love and appreciate one another more. We regularly receive letters and comments thanking us for the paper’s tone — encouraging and supportive of brotherhood unity.
In the midst of speaking of finances, challenges and donations, I must express our deepest gratitude for the incredible way you have long blessed The Christian Chronicle with your generous financial support. I do not want that appreciation for your support to be overshadowed, because I am keenly aware of it.
We are deeply grateful for the many ways you encourage and support this unique ministry. We always are mindful that this ministry must remain dedicated to our Lord’s purposes and the needs of our readers.

Filed under: Editorial Headlines - Secondary

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