Among Friends: How Friends Journal is Funded

If you’re reading this, you’re a stakeholder in what we do, so I’d like you to know how we’re funded and where your money goes.

In our fiscal year ending June 2012, Friends Journal received 48 percent of its funding from donations, grants and bequests; 26 percent from subscriptions; 19 percent from advertising; and 7 percent from investment income and other sources. We received income of $939,244 total in the 12 months ending in June 2012. We spent $873,097 over that same period, with our largest expenses being salaries and benefits for our small staff (65 percent) and printing and postage (12 percent). Our net income of $66,147 represented a turnaround of over $142,000 compared with the prior year, allowing us to rebuild our reserve funds and begin exciting projects like the new and improved

We had 6,957 subscribers over that period, over 20 percent of whom (1,393 in all) were also donors. Meetings represented 119 of those donors and gave a total of $23,666.  An amount of $115,506 came from five Quaker families. Our board of trustees gave a total of $15,152.

Breaking down the figures above, I would characterize our support as broad and generous. Those who give to Friends Journal understand that doing what we do—communicating Quaker experience in order to connect and deepen spiritual lives—is vitally important. It’s important in the abstract but also in the context of a faith community that is facing shrinking numbers in North America. I believe that Friends Journal has an important role to play in helping to both steady and grow the Religious Society of Friends in these times.

If you are one of those donors, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. I hope that you find our labor of love, Friends Journal, to be a magazine worth savoring and sharing widely. I hope you will continue to give as your circumstances permit.

The number of Quakers in the United States fell sharply between 2006 and 2012, according to the Friends World Committee for Consultation Section of the Americas. There were 76,360 U.S. Friends in 2012, compared with 105,835 in 2006. That’s a drop of nearly 28 percent, and we’ve seen the number of Friends Journal print subscribers decline over that period, too. On the bright side, despite falling print subscriptions, Friends Journal is reaching more people now than ever before when you include those who read our stories and interact on and through our social media efforts. As subscribers and donors, you make this outreach possible, and you make it possible for us to represent the diversity and richness of Quaker experience to a growing audience of curious readers. If we are successful, many of these new online readers will join you in adding their support to this ministry.

As I mentioned above, a significant portion of our income came from just a few generous Quaker families. If you believe in the power of a thriving Friends Journal to connect and deepen Friends’ spiritual lives and you are in a position to make a gift, I encourage you to get in touch with me to talk about how we can help move the Journal forward together.

Yours in peace,

Gabriel Ehri

Executive Director

P.S. You can learn more about us at

Gabriel Ehri

Gabriel Ehri is the executive director of Friends Journal.

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