At the risk of trying our readers’ patience with a continuing focus on the affairs of FRIENDS JOURNAL I want to tell you about the heartening response we’ve had to the Open Letter from Janet Ross, clerk of our Board of Trustees, and me that was published in the December 2009 issue and is posted on our website. It is still too soon to say precisely how strong the immediate financial response to our need has been, because we are still receiving end-of-year gifts as this column is being written in early January. But I can say that we have had many more, and many larger donations than we generally do at year end—over 90 percent more—and we have also had a very strong written response from readers—dozens of emails, letters, and notes offering encouragement, suggestions, and volunteering support. It has been very moving. We on staff and members of our Board of Trustees thank you warmly for this. Every message we’ve received has been read and passed on to the relevant staff and Board members. We are not out of the woods, but we are greatly encouraged.
In addition, we’ve had two extremely generous donors step forward to offer matching gifts to us as the year ended, requesting us to find two dollars for each one that they will donate. The total offered is $13,800—which we will receive if we are able to raise two dollars for every one that has been offered. We hope that readers will help us with this challenge, and that by raising an additional $27,600, we’ll end up with a total of $41,400! Look for the donation envelope inside this issue and consider helping us to match these wonderful challenge gifts. Please mark your donation "matching gift."
I’m very pleased to announce that our website now offers some new features, the most notable being an opportunity to subscribe to the full JOURNAL online in PDF format. Although the majority of our readers have told us that they prefer a print edition of the magazine, there is a significant cohort who have urged us to provide an online subscription option. Visit https://www.friendsjournal.org/digital-edition to subscribe and download the latest issue instantly.
I’m also glad to let readers know that you can now help to sustain our work with a recurring donation from your checking account, set up on our secure website at https://www.friendsjournal.org/donate. This is a great way to help us with our monthly cash fl ow, and it enables donors of even modest means to make a significant gift over the course of a year. Every contribution helps. Of course recurring credit card donations are also quite welcome.
With this column, I am sad to announce the departure of our director of advancement, Larry Jalowiec, who has taken a major gifts fundraising position with Friends General Conference. Larry joined us in 2007 to help us establish a solid fundraising program for the JOURNAL, and he’s done a very fi ne job of getting things in place to pursue that work. We are sorry to have him leave us, but know that he will bring wonderful energy to his work with FGC.
The New Year has brought with it changes and challenges. We are excited by the new opportunities before us, the openings for new creativity, and for the generosity of the human spirit, which often is revealed in moments of crisis. May we all continue to provide warm encouragement and inspiration to each other as we work our way through the events of the months ahead.