The summit is in view. We're getting closer, but we need your help to reach the top.
Since last November we've been trying to raise $165,000 to restore order to our financial house and to withstand the losses we've suffered this year publishing a small, independent Catholic magazine. We are pleased to report that, as of this writing, we have raised $156,515. We're almost there. We've only got another 8,485 steps to go.
The surest way to financial health is to increase our readership. Raising funds on a one-time basis helps only in the short run unless we are able to convert the funds into new subscriptions. (Besides, it is the nature of a nonprofit to recycle funds back into the operation, not to siphon them off into the pockets of officers. The NOR is run like a true nonprofit.) To that end, although we haven't yet met our fundraising goal, we have already gone full steam ahead with new projects aimed at increasing the number of NOR subscribers.
The first step we took was to mail a "come back" letter to former subscribers whose subscriptions had lapsed. We have heard from so many of you that the NOR is better now than ever before. Surely, we thought, others might find it so as well. The letter, mailed in June, described the orthodox renewal taking place both in the Church and at the NOR, and why now is a great time to be a Catholic and a great time to read the NOR. We made special mention of the great writers who have appeared in our pages in recent issues (those mentioned in our November 2009 and May 2010 editorials, and those mentioned below). Thus far, the come-back mailer has helped return a good number of readers to the fold. We welcome back those of you reading this who have recently renewed. We hope you find the NOR to be fruitful reading.
In addition to our appeal to former subscribers, we recently mailed a direct-mail package to potential new subscribers. In the late 1990s our trademark display ads began to be banned from various publications in which we had been advertising regularly with varying degrees of success. As time passed, more and more outlets refused our advertising. Casting about for a way to make up for the loss of new readers, we looked to direct mail. We sent out our first mailing in 2002 and were pleasantly surprised by the favorable response. In the intervening years we have relied heavily on direct mail to introduce the NOR to potential new subscribers, again with varying degrees of success.
In the past couple years, due to the financial straits we've entered, we have had to drastically cut back on advertising; for the past year and a half we've had to forgo all mailings entirely a real conundrum. Our subscriber base has shrunk accordingly. But, thanks to the infusion of funds from you, our readers, during this fund drive, we were able to launch a revamped new-sub campaign in late September. We hope our mailer bucks industry-wide trends and brings sufficient returns.
We haven't given up entirely on display ads. (We're stubborn!) We're happy to report that our advertisements have been welcomed back to a few of the venues that were once shut off to us. But we've found that display ads don't "pull" like they used to, though it's not for a lack of trying. We're not the only ones who've had this experience: Flip open virtually any Catholic magazine these days and you'll search high and low for any advertisements for periodical publications. Ours might be the only one you'd find!
Ultimately, our goal isn't merely to perpetuate the NOR but to bring the message of orthodox Catholicism to as wide an audience as possible. So please say a prayer for the success of the steps we've taken, and for the overall health and vitality of our apostolate. Without the prayers of our supporters, we would not survive.
We are poised not only to survive, but to thrive. As related above, we have endeavored to bring you the ideas of some of the best Catholic minds writing today. We would be remiss if we didn't mention a few of them. Since our last editorial, we have introduced new writers such as Andrew M. Seddon, Tracy Jamison, and John Beaumont (June); Gregory K. Laughlin (Jul.-Aug.); Paul Koenen (Sept.); and Stephen Napier (this issue). Familiar names who've returned to our pages after years-long absences include Stephen Rombouts (June); Kenneth D. Whitehead, Thomas Storck, and Philip Blosser (Jul.-Aug.); and Fr. James V. Schall, Chene Richard Heady, and Ken Skuba (Sept.).
These glad tidings are buoyed by the ongoing contributions of writers with whom the NOR has long had an unbroken association, and who are too numerous to list.
What this means is that the NOR is making great strides toward returning to its position as the publishing venue for orthodox Catholic thought and discourse. And we are working hard to make this known to the Catholic reading public. Your support is making this possible. Without it, we would shrink beyond all recognition, and the voice of orthodox Catholicism would be muffled even further. There simply is no other publication that consistently offers the breadth of topics and wealth of writers that the NOR has over the years this is our core strength. Others specialize in reporting Church news, in apologetics and evangelization, in the spiritual life, in politics and culture, in history and tradition but the NOR does all that and more.
If you'd like to see the NOR continue but more than that, if you'd like to see it charge to the fore please help us raise the final $8,485 toward our fundraising goal of $165,000. To other publications this goal would be but a meager molehill easily climbed; to us it is a lofty peak, and we have been borne this far on the wings of angels. Please help carry us over the top by sending in your donation today.
The NOR is a nonprofit religious organization and has 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. Donations are, therefore, tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please mail yours to: New Oxford Review, 1069 Kains Ave., Berkeley CA 94706. Make checks and money orders payable to: New Oxford Review. We also accept VISA, MasterCard, and Discover credit-card donations by mail (at the above address), by telephone (510-526-5374), or by clicking this link: https://www.newoxfordreview.org/associates.jsp.